Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said every time the team plays on back-to-back days it’s different, but Sunday was certainly one of the easier turnarounds of the season.
The Knights hopped on a plane after their 6-2 win against the Calgary Flames at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, flew for about 40 minutes and relaxed Sunday before their 7 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Kings.
“It’s not too bad when it’s only a short flight here and you can get some good rest,” McNabb said.
The Knights play on back-to-back days 12 times this season. That’s down from 13 a year ago. The back-to-backs are frontloaded this season though, with eight in the first three months and four in December alone. The Knights were 7-5-1 in the first game of back-to-backs last season and 5-6-2 in the second.
“Every team does it and it’s no big deal,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We always play well in back-to-backs.”
Fourth line shines
The Knights’ fourth line of William Carrier, Tomas Nosek and Ryan Reaves had one plus-3 game between the three of them (Nosek on March 9) before Saturday. Then they each got one against the Flames.
Carrier, Nosek and Reaves all scored and weren’t on the ice for a goal against to play a key role in the victory.
“It’s nice when the fourth line can chip in,” said Reaves, who scored his first goal in the game. “Those guys played well. They’ve been playing well all year. It’s good for me to catch up a little bit.”
The trio’s success also made their teammates happy. The fourth line tries to give the Knights energy every time it’s on the ice. It just rarely does it with goals.
“It’s good to see them all score,” defenseman Shea Theodore said. “It doesn’t happen too often but when they’re clicking they definitely make a difference whether they’re on the scoresheet or not. It’s good that they got rewarded for it.”
Karlsson takes faceoffs
Center William Karlsson, who had been battling a “little issue” that prevented him from taking faceoffs, according to Gallant, was back taking draws Saturday.
“He’s over his issues,” Gallant said. “Everything is good.”
Karlsson took 16 faceoffs against the Flames (winning nine) after taking 11 in the first four games. That’s a welcome change for the Knights, as Jonathan Marchessault performed admirably (25 of 56) in the first five games but his career winning percentage is 43.1.
Golden Knights back-to-backs
1. Oct. 12 vs. Calgary/Oct. 13 at Los Angeles
2. Oct. 21 at Philadelphia/Oct. 22 at Chicago
3. Nov. 9 at Washington/Nov. 10 at Detroit
4. Nov. 16 at Los Angeles/Nov. 17 vs. Calgary
5. Dec. 2 at N.Y. Rangers/Dec.3 at New Jersey
6. Dec. 12 at St. Louis/Dec. 13 at Dallas
7. Dec. 22 at San Jose/Dec. 23 vs. Colorado
8. Dec. 27 at Anaheim/Dec. 28 vs. Arizona
9. Jan. 31 at Carolina/Feb. 1 at Nashville
10. Feb. 22 vs. Florida/Feb. 23 at Anaheim
11. March 8 at Calgary/March 9 at Edmonton
12. March 17 vs. Dallas/March 18 at Arizona