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3 takeaways from Knights’ OT loss: Blues goalie cools off offense

Updated December 5, 2023 - 1:28 am

The Golden Knights’ sticks cooled off on Monday night as Jordan Binnington was able to end their run of scoring four goals in three straight games.

Binnington made 33 saves, and Pavel Buchnevich scored a goal just 38 seconds into overtime to lift the Blues to a 2-1 victory over the Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

“We played a pretty good game overall,” Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “Give them credit, their goalie played well. Lots of chances and we couldn’t finish.”

Buchnevich was able to put the puck in the net at the most important time in the game for the Blues (13-10-1).

The winger found himself all alone on the side of the net and was able to tuck the puck just between Logan Thompson and the post and watch it trickle into the net for the game-winner on the first shot of overtime.

The game was only able to get to the extra session because of Jack Eichel’s power-play goal with 7:02 remaining in regulation for the Knights (16-5-5).

Alexey Toropchenko had put the Blues ahead with 21 seconds remaining in the first period, and his goal held up until Eichel’s shot, which came off an offensive-zone faceoff.

Colton Parayko had two assists in the win, and Binngton made Toropchenko’s goal stand up with a brilliant performance.

“Good for Binnington,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He played well, and he was the biggest reason they got two (points) and we only got one.”

He made several glove saves, including one on Paul Cotter from point-blank range in front of the net in the first period. Binnington also turned away former teammate Ivan Barbasev on a breakaway just 90 seconds into the game.

“I thought we had a lot of good looks that he made stops on,” Cassidy said. “All in all, a pretty good game. We played well enough to win for sure. We’ve seen a bit of this movie the last month with some goaltenders playing real well against us where we didn’t get points, so at least we got a point in this one.”

Here are three takeaways from the overtime loss:

1. Streaking

While the Knights had their two-game winning streak snapped, they were able to pick up a point in a fifth consecutive contest thanks to Eichel’s heroics, as he extended his run to three straight games with a goal.

“You’re never going to be satisfied with losing,” Cassidy said. “But over the course of 82 games with the schedule we’re in now and where we’re at, I like the fact that we’re able to push through and come back and get a point.”

The goal was a pretty one, as Eichel tucked a shot from the point just inside the far post and under the crossbar through traffic.

“That was a great job by our power play,” McNabb said. “They were able to bury one for us and get us in the game. Big point. We’ll take it and move on.”

2. Back-to-back

Logan Thompson, who has been rotating with Adin Hill in net all season, started his second consecutive game for the first time since January.

He made 25 saves and kept the Knights in the game until the very end, allowing them to pick up a point in the overtime loss.

Hill remains sidelined with the lower-body injury he suffered Nov. 30 against the Vancouver Canucks. He was not in uniform Monday, as Jiri Patera served as Thompson’s backup.

Cassidy said he doesn’t expect Hill to travel with the team on its upcoming two-game road trip to St. Louis and Dallas. The Knights play the Blues again Wednesday and face the Stars on Saturday.

“That could change, but we leave (Tuesday) and without him being on the ice, I’m not sure we have the practice time there to get him what he needs if he was going to go,” Cassidy said. “I’ll get an update, but that’s my feeling.”

Patera, who won his only two career NHL appearances last season, could start this week. The 24-year-old is 6-6-2 in the American Hockey League this year.

“We have four games this week, and it’s a lot to ask of Logan,” Cassidy said. “I’m not going to get that far ahead, but all things being equal, Logan playing four games in a week and traveling like that, I don’t think is good for any goaltender.”

Defenseman Alec Martinez also remains sidelined for Monday’s game, along with defenseman Shea Theodore. Martinez hasn’t played since Nov. 19 because of a lower-body injury, and Cassidy said he doesn’t believe the veteran is joining the team on its road trip. Theodore is week to week after undergoing surgery for an upper-body injury.

3. See you soon

The Knights won’t have to wait long to get another chance at the Blues, as the teams will meet again Wednesday in St. Louis.

“It doesn’t happen often, but it doesn’t change much,” McNabb said of the back-to-backs. “I guess it depends how heated the first one gets, but it’s just another game. We liked our game tonight. Now we’ll try to build on it and try to finish a bit more so we can get them in their building.”

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Alex Pietrangelo and Ivan Barbashev.

Pietrangelo, who had an assist Monday, captained the Blues to a Stanley Cup championship in 2019. Knights left wing Ivan Barbashev was also on that St. Louis side.

“I spent a long time there, and I always go back and visit,” Pietrangelo said. “There’s five guys still playing from when I was there and the whole staff, so it’s always great seeing familiar faces. I really enjoy playing against my friends. I think it gives you a little extra competition. And it’s still a city that’s special to me. We still go back there in the summers. My wife is from there. You always have to get excited to play against your old team.”

Pietrangelo noted the scheduling quirk Monday.

“This day in age, with all the video, there are no secrets,” he said. “You know every team’s systems pretty well. But I always find it interesting when you have a home-and-home. You have seven months and somehow end up playing the same team twice in a row. I enjoy it, though. The second game gets almost more intense in the same way as a playoff series.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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