|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 6, 2018
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota Attendance: 19,077
Golden Knights begin road trip against Wild
Vegas Golden Knights at Minnesota Wild
- The Golden Knights allowed five goals on 25 shots in Thursday's season-opening loss to Philadelphia. It was the seventh time in the franchise's 83 games to date that Vegas netminders had a save percentage of 80.0 or lower -- and the second time this happened against the Flyers.
- The Wild lost their opener in regulation at Colorado on Thursday. Only once in the franchise's first 18 seasons did the team fail to gain a point in its first two games, and it was the first two games in Wild history in 2000-01 (losses at Anaheim and Phoenix).
- The Wild swept the season series in 2017-18, winning all three games in regulation by a combined score of 13-6. Minnesota is one of three teams the Golden Knights have yet to beat, and the only one in the Western Conference (0-2-0 versus the Islanders).
- Thursday's game was a rare loss for Vegas in which Jonathan Marchessault scored a goal. In 2017-18, the Golden Knights were 22-3-1 in the regular season and 6-0 in the playoffs in games in which Marchessault lit the lamp.
- Zach Parise scored Minnesota's lone goal on Thursday, giving him 13 goals in 19 regular-season games since March 1. Parise, who missed the entire 2017 portion of last season's schedule, totaled only three goals in 24 games in January and February of 2018.
- In the three Vegas-Minnesota meetings last season, the Wild outscored the Golden Knights by a 3-0 margin in the first period and 5-1 in the middle 20 minutes. The Golden Knights scored five of their six goals in the third period.
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Two teams coming off disappointing opening-night losses will look to get to the .500 mark Saturday night when the Vegas Golden Knights start a five-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild.
Vegas' 5-2 loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday evening was surprising for several reasons, not the least of which was that goalie Marc-Andre Fleury lasted just 30:11. That was long enough for Philadelphia to pump five goals past him on just 16 shots.
"We left him out to dry there," Golden Knights left winger Max Pacioretty said. "That's frustrating. He's the backbone of this team, so it's frustrating when you leave your best player out to dry like that and we'll make it up to him."
After making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in its expansion season, Vegas loaded up for another run by acquiring Pacioretty from Montreal and inking Paul Stastny as a free agent in the offseason. They basically took the place of James Neal and David Perron, who are now skating in Calgary and St. Louis, respectively.
There was no immediate impact by Pacioretty and Stastny in their Golden Knights debut. Neither scored a point, both were minus one and they combined for just four shots on goal.
Vegas center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare referred to the loss as a slap in the face. Coach Gerard Gallant said it's just a matter of the team getting back to work.
"I think the expectations started late last year when we got into the playoffs," Gallant said. "We were a good team. We know we're a pretty good team again this year ... obviously, things didn't go our way tonight at all."
They also didn't go Minnesota's way in Denver, where not even another Zach Parise opening-night marker and a terrific performance by goalie Devan Dubnyk could save the Wild from a 4-1 loss to Colorado.
Parise's tap-in marker just 6:14 into the game marked his 10th goal on opening night, second among active players. He nearly notched his 11th to snap a 1-1 tie in the second period, but his backhand bat of a rebound caromed off the right post.
"That's where he's made his living," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of Parise. "He goes to the front of the net, he's going to score a lot of goals. That's what he did."
While Parise scored, Dubnyk mostly denied. He made 36 saves on 38 shots, keeping Minnesota in contention for two points on a night where it was outshot 40-21. Among his best saves were a glorious glove stop of Nathan MacKinnon and a sprawling pad save on a Colin Wilson attempt that seemed certain to find net.
But two empty-netters in the last 1:53 tagged the Wild with a loss that it probably deserved, given the Avalanche's nearly 2-to-1 advantage in shots on net.
The good news for Minnesota is that it's entering a home-heavy stretch of its schedule. Saturday's game kicks off the first of two three-game homestands in the next three weeks. Of the next nine games, seven will be played at Xcel Energy Center.
Updated October 6, 2018