Golden Knights' David Perron out for first playoff game

Golden Knights' David Perron out for first playoff game

But low and behold, not only are the Golden Knights in the playoffs, but they won the Pacific Division and finished with the fifth-best record in the National Hockey League.

The Kings have an established leadership core featuring Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and company.

A burlier, bodily team like the Kings, they said, would render the Knights' speedier, aggressive style useless.

On the season, the Kings are averaging 2.9 goals and 20.4 power play percentage per game.

But in a season filled with ups and downs, they then reeled off eight consecutive victories. They want to be the team that goes down as the one that put an end to it. "Hopefully soon, but they're not ready to come back".

The Golden Knights have dealt with a rash of injuries down the stretch of the regular season, including Carrier, who Gallant said is day-to-day. The Vegas blueline is the least experienced in the league, and it's prone to buckling under heat. The other were on the third pair on their former teams or in the minors.

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The Golden Knights won the exact type of game the anachronisms said they couldn't.

The Golden Knights didn't get beat up, either.

Ghosts of the past: There are only a handful of Toronto Maple Leafs left from the team that blew a 4-1 lead and lost 5-4 in overtime to Boston in Game 7 of their first-round series the last time they met in the playoffs in 2013. At some point the clock has to strike midnight and Karlsson has to turn into a pumpkin. The doom saying only intensified with Vegas struggling to win only one of its final six regular-season games in regulation, despite the fact that all of those games came after it had already locked up the Pacific Division title. The veteran netminder turned in arguably the best campaign of his career, but he's had his share of playoff misfortune. If that's the Fleury that shows up against the Kings, Vegas could be in for an early exit. Meanwhile the Golden Knights were in the middle of winning 12 of 13 games at that point. Jeff Carter is entering the playoffs red-hot. Getting Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli going would also be a great help.

The Vegas Golden Knights will host the Los Angeles Kings on the first night of the Stanley Cup playoffs. "(There are) a lot of crappy goals that go in during the playoffs. No team allowed fewer goals against, the Kings had the eighth-lowest shots against per game and their penalty kill was tops in the league.

Sure enough, Shea Theodore slapped one past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in less than four minutes for a score that would ultimately prove enough. The only thing that can trip up Los Angeles' blueline is the knock to Jake Muzzin, which threatens to force him out of a game or two to start the series.

Fleury, 33, has been a different goalie since Mike Bales, the former Pittsburgh Penguins goalie coach, rebuilt his post play and reined in the puck-chasing habits that led to meltdowns in the postseason between 2010 and 2013, but there were signs of the old, more aggressive Fleury under Dave Prior, the goalie coach of the Golden Knights.

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