Golden Knights welcome chance to gain ground at home

Updated February 8, 2019 - 6:05 pm

The Golden Knights are comfortably in the playoffs about two-thirds through the season.

Their hopes of repeating as Pacific Division champions largely hinge on how they get through a long stretch of home games that begins Saturday when the Columbus Blue Jackets visit T-Mobile Arena for a 7 p.m. game.

Vegas (31-21-4) is seven points behind division leader Calgary and five behind San Jose. The Flames have two games in hand and the Sharks have played one fewer game than the Knights as the stretch run begins.

The Knights are 11 points ahead of Vancouver for the third and final automatic qualifying spot in the Pacific.

Their outlook might not be as rosy had they not rallied for a 3-2 shootout victory over league-leading Tampa Bay on Tuesday, then overcome an early 1-0 deficit for a 4-3 win Thursday at Detroit.

Those victories have set up the Knights to make a run at the top of the division now that the schedule starts to get more favorable, at least in terms of travel.

“Every game is important, and like I said, we’ve got eight of the next nine at home, and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to play,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We usually play real good in our building, so they’re real important and hopefully we can gain a lot of points over the next eight or nine games.”

The Knights will start to reap the rewards of a hectic early-season travel schedule with 16 of the final 26 games at home, where they are 16-6-3. It starts with four straight home games, followed by a trip to Colorado before closing the month with four consecutive home games.

The opposition isn’t as friendly. Six of the eight teams that will visit T-Mobile Arena the rest of the month are in playoff position, including the Blue Jackets.

“We just need to play the right way, be ready for Columbus and take it one game at a time and get the energy off our crowd,” said Jonathan Marchessault, who had two goals in Thursday’s win.

Saturday’s game will be the first time the Knights have played at home since a Jan. 23 loss to Nashville that came right before the All-Star break and the team’s bye week.

The Predators visit again Feb. 16 in what figures to be an intense rematch after the last meeting included an alleged bite by Vegas’ Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on P.K. Subban’s finger.

Neither Calgary nor San Jose is on the schedule the rest of the month, but the Knights play each team twice in March.

While it’s too early for scoreboard watching, the Knights undoubtedly are keeping tabs on the Flames and Sharks.

Should Calgary play .500 hockey and get 28 points in their final 28 games, the Knights would need 36 points in their final 26 games to finish ahead of them.

That would represent a significant drop-off in play by the Flames, who are 34-15-5. The scenario also would assume the Sharks fall off their pace, which they have shown no sign of doing. San Jose is 11-3 since Jan. 1.

A division title would mean much more than another banner. The first-place team would have home ice through at least the first two rounds of the playoffs and draw a wild-card team in the first round. The second- and third-place teams will play each other, so a second-place finish at least would ensure a Game 7 at home.

“(Until) the end, I don’t see it loosening up,” goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. “We play a lot of games against our conference, so those are always important points. A lot of good teams, so we’ve got to bear down here. It’s good, though. Our schedule’s not too busy like it was earlier. Use the rest smartly and give a good push to get those points.”

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Fall to the Jets, Search for Momentum
The Golden Knights lost their third game in a row against the Winnipeg Jets, 6 to 3. Adam Hill and Ben Gotz from the Golden Edge analyze the team's play and what they need to do to get back on track. Produced by Heidi Fang
Gallant after the Knights loss: We've got to find the misfits again
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to "find the misfits" that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season. The Golden Knights lost to the Winnipeg Jets, 6-3.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights proud of effort despite shootout loss to the Bruins
The Golden Edge's Adam Hill and Ben Gotz break down the Vegas Golden Knights effort after the team's loss to the Boston Bruins at home.
Gallant asks reporter what the Golden Knights can do better after shootout loss to the Bruins
Head coach Gerard Gallant challenges a reporter to tell him what the team could've done better following the team's 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins and the players talk about their performance.
Rain doesn't deter hockey fans
Golden Knights and Bruins fans waited in long lines in the rain to get in to the T-Mobile Arena for the hockey game on Wednesday night.
Rain doesn't deter hockey fans at the T-Mobile Arena
A solid amount of Golden Knights and Bruins fans showed up at the T-Mobile for the hockey game despite inclement weather descending upon Las Vegas.
Mike Kelly talks about Golden Knights injuries
The Golden Knights assistant coach discussed injuries and the “dog days” of the season, on Feb. 19
Golden Knights Lose Momentum on the Road, Fall 3-0 to Colorado - VIDEO
The Golden Knights were unable to take the momentum from the recent 5-1 win over the Predators on the road, and fell to the Avalanche 3-0. This is just the second time this season the Golden Knights have been shut out by an opponent.
Golden Knights Break Losing Streak At Home - VIDEO
The Golden Knights break their home losing streak and beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 with Subban at net.
Golden Knights snap losing streak, defeat Nashville 5-1
The Vegas Golden Knights snapped a 5-game losing skid when they defeated the Nashville Predators at home, 5-1. Head coach Gerard Gallant and players discuss the win at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Edge: The Golden Knights Lose Their Fifth Straight at Home
For the first time in franchise history, the Vegas Golden Knights lost their fifth straight game at home. This time they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs, 6 to 3. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Golden Knights on what they need to end losing streak - VIDEO
After suffering their fifth consecutive home loss, the Vegas Golden Knights talk about what went wrong against the Toronto Maple Leafs and what the team needs to end its losing streak. Video produced by Heidi Fang
Gallant Talks Improving Knights Game After Fourth Straight Home Loss - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to media after practice about what the team needs to improve on in order to win at home against the Maple Leafs.
Golden Knights ready to celebrate Valentine's Day
Even though they have a game on Feb. 14, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Reaves are ready to spoil the ones they love this Valentine's Day.
Gallant Ramps Up Golden Knights Practice - VIDEO
Gerard Gallant ramps up practice for the Golden Knights as they have suffered four straight losses at home.
Golden Knights Fall to Coyotes for Fourth Straight Home Loss - Video
The Golden Knights lose their fourth straight game at home with a 5-2 loss against the Coyotes. After the game, head coach Gerard Gallant spoke with players after the game in the locker room. Golden Knights reporters Adam Hill and Ben Gotz go over the loss and what the players said after the game.
Gallant delivers scathing response to media following the team's loss - VIDEO
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant was furious following the team's loss to the Arizona Coyotes and gave a scathing response to a question asked during his postgame news conference. The loss marks the team's fourth straight loss at home, which ties the franchise record.
Golden Edge Mailbag - February 12, 2019 - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all your burning VGK questions and comments here on the Golden Edge Mailbag
Gerard Gallant Talks About Trade Deadline - VIDEO
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant responds to a question about the trade deadline and what it means for the team.
Golden Knights Practice Before Game With Coyotes - VIDEO
The Golden Knights skate on the ice a day before their game with the Arizona Coyotes while the trade deadline comes closer. Golden Knights reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over what to expect from the Knights before trade deadline and William Carrier's return to the ice.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights lose their third straight at home
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz recap the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 loss to the Blue Jackets and talk about the team losing their third straight home game.
Gallant, Golden Knights players reflect on their loss to the Blue Jackets
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant says what went wrong against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the players assess their performances and the team's mental state at this point in the season.
Gallant talks about losing streak
Gerard Gallant talks about breaking a four-game losing streak. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on finishing road trip
Gerard Gallant talks about finishing the road trip on a high note. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant talks about the win over Detroit
Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the 4-3 win over Detroit on Feb. 7, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights End Road Trip With A Win Over Red Wings, 4-3 - VIDEO
The Golden Knights ended the team's four-game road trip with a win in Detroit, defeating the Red Wings 4-3.
Gallant on Karlsson
Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about William Karlsson. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Break Four Game Losing Streak - VIDEO
The Golden Knights win with a comeback victory and Tuch scoring the only goal during a shootout. Golden Knights reporters David Schoen and Adam Hill break down the game including Ryan Carpenter being escorted off the ice after hitting his head.
Gallant on breaking the losing streak
Gerard Gallant talks about breaking a four-game losing streak agains one the NHL's best teams. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Valentin Zykov's goal
Gerard Gallant talks about Valentin Zykov's goal against Tampa Bay on Feb. 5, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-journal)
Gallant on penalty killing
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knights' penalty killing against Tampa Bay on Feb. 5, 2019. (Davis Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Mailbag: Defense Problems? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all the burning questions about the Golden Knights.
Gerard Gallant on facing Tampa Bay
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on facing the Tampa Bay Lightning. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on Valentin Zykov
Golden Knight coach Gerard Gallant talks about Valentin Zykov. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on next game after loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallant talks to reporters after Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on big plays hurting Knights in loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallant talks to reporters after Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on breakaway goals in loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallant speaks to media after Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on loss to Panthers
Coach Gerard Gallent speaks about Knights loss to Panthers. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Maxime Lagace talks about the loss to Carolina
Golden Knights goaltender Maxime Lagace talks about the 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 1, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant talks about the loss to Carolina
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 1, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about his development
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about his development and working to gain a spot in the NHL. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about the NHL
Golden Knights' prospect Cody Glass talks about pushing for a roster spot in the NHL. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves On Fighting In Hockey - VIDEO
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves goes over how he fights in hockey and how he scouts out his opponents before games.
Golden Edge Mailbag: Did Bellemare Bite P.K. Subban? - VIDEO
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill answer all the burning questions about the Golden Knights including if Bellemare bit P.K. Subban's hand.
Fleury on boos at NHL All-Star game
Fleury at NHL All-Star game (pokecheck)
Fleury about scooter at NHL All-Star game
scooter incident
Fleury on NHL All-Star game atmosphere
NHL Commissioner Talks Player Tracking Success with Golden Knights - VIDEO
Ahead of the NHL All-Star game, commissioner Gary Bettman discusses how the league implemented player tracking during two Golden Knights games and how the Knights have been a positive impact on hockey.
Subban says Bellemare knows he bit him
Vegas Golden Knights assistant head coach Mike Kelly, right wing Ryan Reaves and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban tell their sides of the alleged finger biting incident that occurred between Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Subban late in the second period of their game at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights Fall To Predators, Bellemare Bites P.K. Subban? - VIDEO
The Golden Knights lose 2-1 against the Predators and suffer two straight losses at home and a bizarre end to a second period between Bellemare and P.K. Subban. Golden Knights reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill go over the loss and Bellemare's alleged bite.
Golden Knights recap their loss to the Predators
The Vegas Golden Knights speak on their most recent loss to the Nashville Predators, the team's slump in momentum and their mindset as they head into the NHL All-Star break.
Real Estate Millions: Jonathan Marchessault
Vegas Golden Knight Jonathan Marchessault, shows off his Summerlin home.
HyperX Esports Arena hosts "VGK Twitch" event
Vegas Golden Knights players Alex Tuch, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt and Erik Haula attended the “VGK Twitch” event at HyperX Esports Arena at the Luxor hotel-casino on Tuesday. The players battled fans and each other at Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the members of the Blue Man Group made an appearance as well.
Golden Edge Mailbag: Nick Holden
Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden takes your questions on our Golden Edge mailbag!
Golden Edge recap: Golden Knights vs. Penguins
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss the Golden Knights’ 7-3 win over the Penguins at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.
Gerard Gallant talks new tech
The Golden Knights coach discussed the new iPad technology expected to be available to coaches after the All-Star break.
Gerard Gallant talks after practice Jan. 18
The Golden Knights coach talked about the team’s upcoming three-game stretch, injuries and the power play.
Gallant: Knights played a 'good game' vs. Winnipeg
Gerard Gallant says the Knights played a good game in the loss to Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Golden Knights power play
Gerard Gallant talks about the Golden Knight power play vs. Winnipeg on Jan. 15, 2019. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing