The power play may have stalled following their five-day bye, but the Golden Knights’ penalty killing continues to run smoothly.
The Knights returned to action Saturday and were 0 for 6 with the man advantage. But they also successfully killed off three penalties in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The three kills extended the team’s streak of successful kills to 23. The Knights, who are ranked No. 13 in the NHL in penalty killing, last surrendered a power-play goal on Dec. 19 to Tampa Bay late in the first period of the Knights’ 4-3 win at T-Mobile Arena.
“When your PK is good, it starts with goaltending,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said Sunday after the team’s 40-minute practice at City National Arena. “We talk about special teams a lot. They can win you a lot of hockey games.”
Defenseman Brayden McNabb, who takes a shift on the penalty killing unit, said it’s a combination of a lot of little things that have made the penalty kill successful.
“It’s communication, it’s guys knowing each other’s habits,” McNabb said. “We know when we need to pressure and our goalie is always our biggest penalty killer, whether it’s Flower (Marc-Andre Fleury) or Malcolm (Subban).”
Eakin day off
Center Cody Eakin was the lone skater missing from Sunday’s practice. But Gallant said it was nothing serious.
“We gave him a maintenance day,” Gallant said of Eakin, who logged 10:46 in ice time Saturday. “He’s just a little nicked up. We expect him back at practice (Monday).”
Looking to sweep
The Knights face the Nashville Predators on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena for the final time this season and will be looking for the sweep of the series. The Knights defeated the Predators 4-3 in a shootout on Dec. 8, then blanked the Predators 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 2.
The Predators (25-11-6) are in second place in the Central Division with 56 points, three behind first-place Winnipeg and one in front of third-place St. Louis. Nashville will also be coming off its bye week. The Predators last played Jan. 9 and defeated Edmonton 2-1.
Breakdown of the Golden Knights’ streak of 23 consecutive penalty kills.
Dec. 19 vs. Tampa Bay (2)
Dec. 23 vs. Washington (4)
Dec. 27 vs. Anaheim (2)
Dec. 28 vs. Los Angeles (1)
Dec. 31 vs. Toronto (3)
Jan. 2 vs. Nashville (2)
Jan. 4 vs. St. Louis (2)
Jan. 5 vs. Chicago (2)
Jan. 7 vs. New York Rangers (2)
Jan. 13 vs. Edmonton (3)