Updated March 29, 2021 - 10:34 pm
The Golden Knights never have been known as hospitable hosts at T-Mobile Arena.
This season, they might as well have one of those video doorbells mounted out front considering they’re sending away almost all of their visitors disappointed.
Boosted by a three-goal second period, the Knights cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night before an announced crowd of 3,950.
“Can you imagine what our record would be if we had a full house here?” coach Pete DeBoer said. “The guys love playing at home. I think we’re still living off the energy of the memories of this building full, and hopefully we’re going to see that again soon.”
The Knights won their sixth in a row at home, the longest home winning streak since they won seven straight from Feb. 13, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2020. The franchise record is eight straight set from Oct. 15, 2017, to Nov. 24, 2017.
The Knights, who opened a four-game homestand, improved to 14-2-1 at T-Mobile Arena and trail only Pittsburgh (16) for most home wins in the NHL.
That matches the franchise’s best start at home through 17 games set during the inaugural season and is a significant improvement over last season when the Knights were 8-6-3 at that point.
“We wanted to make sure it was a tough place to play,” winger Jonathan Marchessault said. “We take a lot of pride to be good at home. … We go on the road, and there’s no fans sometimes. It’s an amazing difference, so we definitely fuel off the energy.”
Tomas Nosek and Nic Hague scored 1:26 apart in the second period after Reilly Smith converted on the power play to tie the game at 1.
The Knights (24-8-1, 49 points) remained in first place in the West Division with 23 games remaining, one point ahead of Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
Goalie Robin Lehner withstood an early flurry to record his third straight victory. He has stopped 62 of the 66 shots he’s faced since returning from a concussion.
Lehner made 12 saves in the first period and turned away Austin Wagner on a breakaway in the second. Blake Lizotte was denied from close range late in the third period for the last of Lehner’s 24 stops.
“I thought Robin was solid,” DeBoer said. “Thankfully, he was good early when we weren’t in the first 10 or 12 minutes of the game. He settled in as the game went on.”
Smith buried a rebound on a power play at 4:04 of the second period for his seventh goal before Nosek put the Knights ahead.
Zach Whitecloud fired a shot wide, but the puck took a hard bounce off the wall and Nosek banged in his fourth goal with 3:32 left in the second.
Nosek had seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games.
“Right now, it seems to be our line is clicking,” Nosek said. “It’s always good when all four lines can play and coach can trust us to put us on the ice.”
Defenseman Alec Martinez added a goal in the third period, and Marchessault finished with two assists.
Los Angeles started with plenty of energy in its first game since Wednesday, creating a handful of chances early and taking the lead exactly one minute after the opening faceoff.
Gabriel Vilardi backhanded a pass to defenseman Matt Roy in the high slot, and Roy beat Lehner with a one-timer to the stick side for his second goal.
“We did a good job being able to answer after the first 10 minutes,” Smith said. “We were a little slow, but I think for the rest of the game we carried the pace and the momentum.”