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3 takeaways: Knights blow 3-goal lead, fall to Predators in OT

Updated March 26, 2024 - 9:07 pm

Playing a second game in 24 hours, the Golden Knights played as great as a team could for 40 minutes.

They found out the hard way that regulation is 60 minutes.

The Knights squandered a three-goal lead in the third period and lost an opportunity to gain in the playoff standings with a 5-4 overtime road loss Tuesday to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

The Knights (39-25-8) led 3-0 after the first period, then took a 4-1 lead into the final frame thanks to a late second-period goal from center William Karlsson.

“We had a great 40 minutes,” defenseman Noah Hanifin. “It’s just playing that complete 60 is something we have to get better at, obviously.”

Everything unraveled in the third.

Nashville center Ryan O’Reilly scored 5:52 into the third, then forwards Filip Forsberg and Gustav Nyquist scored 40 seconds apart to tie it at 4-4 at 12:57.

Forsberg cut the lead to one with his 40th goal of the season. The play was challenged for offside, but officials could not find conclusive evidence. Nyquist tied it with a wrist shot from the slot on the ensuing power play.

The rally ensured the Predators (43-25-4) extended their franchise-record point streak to 18 games (16-0-2).

Defenseman and captain Roman Josi scored the winning goal 50 seconds into overtime.

“When you have a lead like that, teams start to cheat a lot and produce offense,” Hanifin said. “I don’t think we handled that well.”

Karlsson had a goal and an assist, and right wing Anthony Mantha had two assists for the Knights, who played their second straight overtime game after winning 2-1 in St. Louis on Monday.

Goalie Jiri Patera made 30 saves in his first start since being recalled from Henderson of the American Hockey League on Sunday in place of the injured Adin Hill.

Left wing Ivan Barbashev scored his 100th NHL goal, and defenseman Shea Theodore scored his first goal since Nov. 16.

“The points are really important for us right now,” Barbashev said. “We got one of them tonight.”

It was a missed opportunity for the Knights to win their fourth straight game. It was also a blown chance to gain on the Predators in the wild-card race.

Nashville extended its lead on the Knights to four points for the first wild card. The Knights did push their lead to six points over the Blues for the final playoff spot.

The Knights also gained a point on the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division, but the Kings have one game in hand.

“It’s not the end of the world,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You’re going to have those nights, but we’ve been building in the right direction. We’ve been a lot closer to our game, and I thought we did a lot of things well.”

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

1. Carrier out

Left wing William Carrier was a late scratch and is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury, the team announced before the game.

Carrier returned March 17 after missing the previous two months due to upper-body surgery.

Left wing Paul Cotter filled in after being a healthy scratch the past three games. He had an assist and was plus-2 in 12:10.

2. Patera up and down

The 25-year-old Patera made his seventh NHL start and first since Jan. 10.

It was a chance for Patera to have a defining moment in his young NHL career. He was well on his way 40 minutes in.

Patera made some crucial saves, including a breakaway stop on defenseman Tyson Barrie after his slashing penalty expired.

But Patera will be on the hook for allowing three goals on the final six shots he faced. He played well enough to give Logan Thompson a rest after a 31-save win Monday.

He was 20 minutes away from the best win of his career. He and the Knights came up short.

3. Controversial challenge

It looked like the Predators were offside on Forsberg’s goal.

Nashville forward Jason Zucker appeared to cross the blue line before the puck did, which should’ve blown the play dead.

After a lengthy review, the goal stood, and the Predators were given a power play due to a delay of game penalty.

“Obviously the challenge didn’t help us,” Cassidy said. “You almost look at it, it looks like it has to be offsides almost by physics, but it’s not how they saw it.”

It would’ve remained a two-goal game had the call been overturned and would’ve increased the Knights’ chances to win in regulation.

Instead, they secured three of a possible four points to begin this four-game road trip. The Knights next play at Winnipeg at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Contact Danny Webster at dwebster@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DannyWebster21 on X.

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