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3 takeaways from Knights’ loss: Home woes continue against Detroit

Updated January 19, 2023 - 11:13 pm

Jonathan Marchessault addressed his teammates after Monday’s home loss to Dallas.

The Golden Knights right wing said every player in the locker room needed to step up with the team down key players like captain Mark Stone, defenseman Shea Theodore and more. The Knights needed more of a “20-guy mentality,” Marchessault said Thursday morning.

The team had two days between games to get that collective effort ready. But when the puck dropped Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings, it wasn’t there.

Coach Bruce Cassidy said the Knights continued to have “passengers” in a 3-2 loss in front of an announced crowd of 17,911 at T-Mobile Arena. Guys the team is counting on aren’t stepping up.

The result is the Knights’ first three-game losing streak of the season, and a home record that fell to 13-13.

“Without a full lineup, we’re not going to win every night, but we should be much more competitive,” Cassidy said. “So a little disappointed in the guys that aren’t bringing it.”

The Knights (28-16-2) got little offensively from a lot of their players against Detroit.

Marchessault and center William Karlsson got a two-on-one barely more than a minute into the game that was broken up by defenseman Jake Walman. Karlsson said after the game that he should have shot instead of attempting a pass to Marchessault. The Knights created almost no other rush chances the rest of the night.

They finished with five high-danger scoring chances at five-on-five, tied for fourth-lowest total of the season, according to the website Natural Stat Trick.

The missed opportunity on the two-on-one led to another poor start for the Knights.

Center Nicolas Roy fumbled a puck in the defensive zone on his second shift, and the Red Wings (19-17-8) took advantage. Center Dylan Larkin fired a sharp pass to right wing Lucas Raymond for a tap-in 2:45 into the game.

It was the fifth straight game the Knights allowed their opponent to score first.

They seemed to stabilize things late in the first period, and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tied the game with 37 seconds before intermission.

Detroit didn’t go away, however.

Left wing Dominik Kubalik scored a power-play goal 2:37 into the second after drawing a tripping penalty from defenseman Nic Hague. Fourth-line center Joe Veleno added to the Red Wings’ lead with a wrist shot with 9:35 remaining in the period.

The Knights didn’t cut into the lead until center Jack Eichel — who Cassidy said “needs to be better” with players out of the lineup — fired a shot off Karlsson and into the net with 41.5 seconds remaining. The Red Wings held on to snap an 0-2-1 skid. The Knights fell to 2-4 on their season-long, seven-game homestand.

This most recent loss caused them to slide to second in the Pacific Division standings. Seattle defeated New Jersey on Thursday to match the Knights with 58 points, but the Kraken have a game in hand.

“It’s three straight now,” Karlsson said. “We just can’t lose the belief, you know? Cause we know we can do it. We just can’t talk. We need to do it. More action. Less talk.”

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

1. Scoring struggles

The Knights have 15 goals this homestand, including five their last three games.

Their struggles to score at T-Mobile Arena have been consistent all season. The Knights ranked 31st in goals per game at home (2.68) entering Thursday, ahead of only the Anaheim Ducks. They were 30th in shooting percentage (8.33).

The Knights are fourth in goals per game (3.85) and fifth in shooting percentage (11.85) on the road.

“I think as a group we’ve got to make it a little bit harder in front of other teams,” Pietrangelo said. “These goalies, they’re seeing a lot of pucks.”

2. Husso tastes victory

Red Wings goaltender Ville Husso made 33 saves for his first win against the Knights in six tries.

Husso allowed 21 goals in their previous five matchups, including a 4-1 loss in Detroit on Dec. 3. He won his rematch with goaltender Adin Hill on Thursday to raise his save percentage against the Knights to .869.

Hill made 22 saves to lose for the first time in three starts, and only the fourth time in regulation all season.

3. No extra All-Star

The Knights’ All-Star Weekend participants will stay at two.

Vancouver center Bo Horvat and Edmonton center Leon Draisaitl and goaltender Stuart Skinner got the last three spots on the Pacific Division roster Thursday.

The Knights will still have Cassidy and goaltender Logan Thompson at the event.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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