In rare slump, Golden Knights visit St. Louis
Posted on Apr 4, 2021/03:20 PM MDT
Updated: April 4, 2021 / 3:20 p.m. MDT
The Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues will look for answers on Monday when the West Division playoff contenders meet in St. Louis for the first of two competitions.
While the Golden Knights are 2-1 in their last three games, the Blues’ problems go much deeper and have gone 5-1 since March 22 as they exited the playoff position.
The Arizona Coyotes now occupy fourth and final playoff spot in the west, one point ahead of the Blues, while the Golden Knights are in second place, four points behind the glowing Colorado Avalanche.
The Blues have suffered consecutive losses in Colorado, which is far more understandable than their previous consecutive losses to the last Anaheim Ducks, including one in overtime.
There is reason to be optimistic, however, after the Blues gave the Avalanche an uphill battle on Saturday before Colorado’s Cale Makar scored a 2-1 decision 41 seconds to go.
“It’s hard to swallow without making a point,” said Blues coach Craig Berube. “Pretty good fight from us.”
The tight controls game had a playoff feel to it and it’s an energy the blues will try to repeat on Monday. Getting free on the offensive is the game plan. Satuday, Ryan O’Reilly scored the Blues’ only goal late in the opening stages.
“We have to find a way to get more pucks into the net,” said Berube. “If you keep playing the way you play, you are doing a lot of good things, (and) things will change. I have to stay mentally strong and we have to find a way to get more pucks into the net. “
The Blues have only scored seven goals in their last six games and have only scored more than two goals once in their last ten games.
The Golden Knights are also in offensive funk with five goals in the last three games. Vegas was runner-up in the West Division and eleventh in the NHL before playing with 3.14 goals per game on Sunday.
The Golden Knights will compete on Monday after being defeated in two games in a home game against the Minnesota Wild. They lost 2-1 on Saturday when they gave up two goals over 55 seconds at the start of the third half.
It is the first time that the Golden Knights have lost three games in a row in the regular season under coach Peter DeBoer.
“We played pretty defensively (and) made a lot of mistakes,” said Mark Stone, Golden Knights captain. “We had our looks, we had our chances. (We are) 1-0 into the third round and lost the game. We were right there. I just need to find more ways to score goals. “
Vegas have won their last three games against St. Louis, including a convincing 5-1 home win on March 22nd, and have scored one point in all four games this season (3-0-1).
Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves has missed three games with a lower body injury while defenseman Zach Whitecloud missed two games with an upper body illness. After 18 missed games due to an ankle injury, St. Louis center Ivan Barbashev played 25 minutes in the two Colorado games.
–Field level media