NHL Hockey

3
Final 1 2 3 OT Tot
Vegas 1 1 1 0 3
Florida 2 0 1 1 4
4
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, January 19, 2018
BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida  Attendance: 17,468

Rested Panthers ready for Knights

Vegas Golden Knights at Florida Panthers

  1. The Golden Knights beat the Lightning, 4-1, in Tampa on Thursday, snapping a two-game losing streak and improving to 15-3-2 (.800) since December 1, the second-best record in the league in that span. Boston is 15-2-4 (.810) since December 1.
  2. The Panthers fell to the Flames, 4-2, at home last Friday, as they headed into their bye week on a 1-3-1 run. The Panthers allowed 19 goals in those five games, an average of just under four per game. They scored 14, but seven of those came in their one win.
  3. These teams met in Las Vegas on December 17, with the Golden Knights erasing a 2-0 deficit on their way to a 5-2 win. Vegas had 40 shots in that game, compared to just 18 for Florida. That's the most the Panthers have been outshot by this season.
  4. William Karlsson scored his team-leading 24th goal in the win over the Lightning. He now has four goals in his last five games, and nine in his last 11. Vegas is 16-2-1 this season when Karlsson scores a goal.
  5. Evgenii Dadonov had both of Florida's goals in the loss to Calgary, his second multi-goal game of this season and third of his career. He now has at least one point in four straight games, the longest streak of his career.
  6. These teams have had different fortunes in the opening period -- Florida's 27 goals in the first are the second fewest in the league, with only Buffalo (19) having scored fewer. Vegas has 44 first-period goals, tied for third most in the NHL.

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle leads all active NHL players in consecutive games played, a streak that will hit 677 on Friday against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights.

Yandle's streak shot up to No. 1 this past Sunday when it was announced that Anaheim Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano was suspended two games for a hit he put on Adrian Kempe of the Los Angeles Kings.

As proud of Yandle as the Panthers are, they are looking for a different kind of streak. It's called a winning streak, and the Panthers (18-19-6) are in dire need since they have lost four of their past five games.

The Panthers haven't played a game since last Friday's 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Meanwhile, the Golden Knights (30-11-3) lead the Western Conference with 63 points after defeating the host Tampa Bay Lightning -- who lead the NHL in points -- 4-1 on Thursday night.

Vegas has been nearly unbeatable at home this season (18-2-2) but a bit vulnerable on the road (12-9-1).

The Golden Knights, a first-year expansion team, are led by three former Panthers -- coach Gerard Gallant, points leader Jonathan Marchessault (16 goals, 26 assists) and winger Reilly Smith, who is third on the team in points (12 goals, 24 assists).

Gallant said he has been impressed with the improvement shown by Marchessault.

"'Marchy' has worked really hard to become a complete hockey player," Gallant told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "The biggest thing was that he had to get better defensively. He had to pay more attention to the defensive zone.

"We all knew he was good with the puck and is never afraid to shoot. But he is improved defensively, and his whole line (Smith and William Karlsson) has taken a lot of pride in their defense.

"I think any player who puts his mind to it can do that. He's got talent and skill and confidence in himself. But he wanted to develop a 200-foot game, and he's done that."

Gallant has done a masterful job of getting this team to gel so quickly. The Knights have also overcome injuries. Four players are on injured reserve: goalie Oscar Dansk (lower body) and defensemen Jonathon Merrill (lower body), Luca Sbisa (left hand) and Clayton Stoner (abdominal).

In addition, left winger Tomas Nosek is day-to-day with an unspecified injury.

However, Vegas center Cody Eakin returned on Thursday night when Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves to earn the two-game season sweep over Tampa Bay.

Clearly, the Knights are on a roll, and it would behoove the Panthers to get off to a good start due to this startling statistic: Vegas is 19-1-0 when scoring first.

Updated January 18, 2018

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