Sweep! Golden Knights oust LA Kings 1-0 to reach Western semifinals

Updated April 18, 2018 - 1:08 am

LOS ANGELES — Brayden McNabb was not a member of the Los Angeles Kings team that captured the Stanley Cup in 2014 and affectionately was known as the “cockroaches.”

But after spending the past three seasons with the Kings, it was appropriate that the Golden Knights defenseman helped exterminate his former team Tuesday.

McNabb scored early in the second period as the Knights grinded out a 1-0 victory at Staples Center for a sweep of the Kings in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series.

“It feels good for sure,” McNabb said. “Definitely nice to beat your old team.”

The Knights are the third team from the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball to sweep their first playoff series and the first to accomplish the feat in their inaugural season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The Knights await the winner of the San Jose-Anaheim series in the conference semifinals. San Jose leads 3-0.

”When you think back to early October when the season started, we were thinking about competing and playing hard and seeing what we could do,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “Now all of a sudden, we’re moving on to the second round of the playoffs and we played good hockey. We’ve got experienced guys and a good hockey team, so we’re pretty proud of it.”

Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 31 saves for his 12th career postseason shutout, tying Terry Sawchuk for ninth all time.

He also moved past Dominik Hasek into 11th on the all-time list with his 66th career postseason victory.

Fleury, who also blanked Los Angeles 1-0 in the series opener, made a huge glove stop on Kings’ leading scorer Anze Kopitar from point-blank range with a little more than 12 minutes remaining in the third period.

“It was such a close series from the beginning,” Fleury said. “When you win those close games, it’s a good feeling. … They were buzzing around us for a while there. But the guys did well.”

Los Angeles is one of four franchises to overcome a 3-0 deficit, knocking off San Jose in the first round in 2014. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez described the team as “cockroaches” because they wouldn’t die that season en route to their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

But the Knights made sure there wouldn’t be a repeat performance, winning their fourth straight one-goal game in the series.

“Obviously, you can’t win a series scoring three goals total,” Kopitar said. “For sure, we have to give him (Fleury) credit. I thought he was playing really well. We also had some chances that we didn’t score on, so you know, we just didn’t score enough goals.”

After a scoreless first period dominated by Los Angeles, the Knights found their legs and took the lead on their first shot of the second.

Jonathan Marchessault took a hard check in his own zone from Kings defenseman Christian Folin in order to make a breakout pass to William Karlsson at center ice. Karlsson dished the puck to Reilly Smith, and McNabb, who jumped into the rush to create a 2-on-1, one-timed Smith’s feed past Quick at 4:04 for his first postseason goal.

McNabb celebrated with a fist pump.

“I’m not a big-time guy who jumps up in the play, but if there’s an opportunity, I’ll take it,” McNabb said. “There was some space … (Smith) made a great play, and I was able to get it on net.”

Ryan Carpenter nearly gave the Knights a 2-0 lead with a little less than five minutes remaining in the second after a Kings turnover, but his backhander was turned away.

Los Angeles’ best chance of the period came midway through when Alex Tuch tried a no-look, behind-the-back pass in his own zone that was intercepted. The puck eventually ended up with Tobias Rieder, and his drive was smothered by Fleury.

The Knights spent most of the first period pinned in by a tenacious forecheck from Los Angeles and were fortunate to head to the locker room scoreless after 20 minutes.

Fleury made 14 saves and the Knights also blocked nine shots, as Los Angeles held a 33-11 advantage in shot attempts.

Kings forward Kyle Clifford tested Fleury six minutes in with a low shot that was kicked out. Also, Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland got his stick on Tyler Toffoli’s drive from a prime scoring area in the final minute of the period after some strong work along the wall by Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter.

“I think the way we played all year, we should be confident in our game,” Knights wing James Neal said. “If you want to play physical, we can play physical. We can play quick, we’re good defensively. We’re a really good team, so we take a lot of confidence out of this series, move on and know that we can win.”

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

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Golden Edge: Knights In Flames After Loss To Calgary
Golden Knights fall to 7-2 to the Calgary Flames. Review-Journal sports writer Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney go over the Knights loss before heading to Arizona to play against the Coyotes.
Golden Knights Forward Reilly Smith On 7-2 Loss
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith talks to media about loss to the Calgary Flames.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant On Loss To Calgary
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant talks to the media after their 7-2 loss against Calgary.
Golden Edge: Golden Knights Have Stellar Second Period Against Oilers
Golden Knights have stellar second period against the Edmonton Oilers on the road. Review-Journal sports writers Adam Hill and columnist Ed Graney break down the Knights 6-3 win over the Oilers.
Golden Knights Assistant Coach On Win In Edmonton
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt On Win Against Oilers
Knights coach welcomes Schmidt back to lineup
Coach Gerard Gallant looks for contributions from Nate Schmidt as the defenseman returns to the Golden Knights lineup to start a road trip at Edmonton.
Nate Schmidt talks about his return after the morning skate
Nate Schmidt, returning to the Golden Knights lineup after serving a 20-game suspension, talks about his return after Sunday's morning skate. (Ed Graney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Edge Knights Singing The Blues After Loss To St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen and Adam Hill go over the Knights loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Golden Knights Gallant on the team's 4-1 loss to the Blues
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the team's 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues and says what kind of impact he expects Nate Schmidt to make upon his return.
Coach Gerard Gallant Speaks After Morning Skate
Before playing the St. Louis Blues tonight Gerard Gallant speaks with the media after the Golden Knights morning skate at City National Arena | November 16, 2018.
Coach Gallant Speaks with the Media After Practice
City National Arena | November 15, 2018.
Golden Edge: Fleury Shuts Out Anaheim
Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Marc-Andre Fleury gets his third shutout on the season in his shiny new pads. Adam Hill, Dave Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant on the Golden Knights win over the Ducks
Gerard Gallant discusses how key the home victory over the Anaheim Ducks was for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Knights after their 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights players talk about the 5-0 win on their home ice over the Anaheim Ducks.
Gerard Gallant On Haula And Stastny Status
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallants speaks after practice about the status of Erik Haula and Paul Stastny.
Golden Edge: Alex Tuch Interview
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz interview Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch.
Golden Edge Mailbag With Alex Tuch
Golden Knights' Alex Tuch is LIVE in-studio for our VGK Mailbag with reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill!
Golden Edge: November 12 Practice
Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss Nate Schmidt's return to practice, Gallant's absence, and Erik Haula's injury.
Nate Schmidt On Suspension
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about his suspension.
Golden Edge: Knights Coming Home After Loss To Boston
Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights loss to the Boston Bruins.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal
Max Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal, but it is former Golden Knight Tomas Tatar who scores the game winner for the Canadiens defeating the Knights 5-4. David Schoen reports from Montreal.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Senators On The Road
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights win against the Senators.
Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension after practice in Ottawa (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Golden Edge: Knights Shutout the Hurricanes
The Golden Knights defeat Carolina 3-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury marking his 50th career shutout. Adam Hill and Ed Graney report from T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury and William Carrier on the Knights Win Over Carolina
November 3, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena.
Coach Gallant Presser
Gerard Gallant speaks after the Knights defeat Carolina 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena November 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Knights Feeling Blue After Loss In St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
Gallant on consistency after a loss to the Nashville Predators
Coach Gerard Gallant says the Golden Knights are playing well in stretches, but consistency has been a problem. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fleury on commercial
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about a commercial that features him in disguise as Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like