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Marc-Andre Fleury expects to improve in Golden Knights opener

Updated October 2, 2017 - 9:08 pm

Marc-Andre Fleury knows he can play better.

The Golden Knights starting goaltender surrendered four goals in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena in the team’s preseason finale. He admitted he’s still learning his teammates and getting comfortable with his new team.

“It was disappointing to give up four again at home,” he said. “I think the start of the game, our players did a great job coming out of the box. I wasn’t very busy back there and wasn’t handling the shots very well, which is frustrating.

“I think it’s good to go through this battle mentally to stay with it in the game. I think from that I can rebound from this and do better in the regular season.”

Fleury, who allowed 10 goals in three preseason appearances, knows now he’s not in Pittsburgh anymore.

“There’s a lot of new guys obviously,” he said. “You get used to each other’s rhythm and what we would like to build there, but I think we’re getting better as a team. I think we’re starting to play balanced, too. Now we’ve got to better our game and battle all the way into the opener.

“Obviously, I wish we would’ve won (Sunday), but I just have to learn from it, watch tape and practice hard all week and go from there.”

Power-play woes

The Golden Knights haven’t scored on the power play in their past 21 attempts, but coach Gerard Gallant isn’t panicking.

“I liked (Sunday) for the most part,” Gallant said. “There was a few times the breakouts didn’t work real well. Overall, it looked a lot better than the other night. We had some good opportunities.”

The Knights were 0 of 5 vs. the Sharks. Their last power-play goal was Sept. 24 in the first period of a 4-1 win over Anaheim.

“One step at a time,” Gallant said. “Like I said, it was a work in progress, but I thought it was good.”

Getting physical

The Knights aren’t a big team physically. But they took the body better in their three home games. They outhit the opponent in two of the three, including 13-8 vs. San Jose. They also had a 20-18 edge against the Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 26. Only Colorado had the advantage in hits at T-Mobile with a 20-10 edge Thursday.

For the preseason, the Knights were outhit 132-125 in seven games.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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