In the second game out west in as many days, the Carolina Hurricanes again failed to get their offense going and fell to the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 on Saturday night. In absorbing their fourth consecutive loss, the Canes continued to struggle mightily on the Power Play as they came up empty on all three of their opportunities to drop their league-worst Power Play to a paltry 11.7%. The Golden Knights received a wonderful effort in net from Marc-Andre Fleury as he stopped 34 shots in his 50th career shutout. For Carolina, Scott Darling was unable to match Fleury, even though he showed some signs that he has improved from last season in what was his second outing of the season.
Vegas opened the scoring just after the end of a Vegas Power Play provided after the Canes received the whistle for too many men with just over five minutes remaining in the first period, as Eric Haula corralled the puck behind the net and found Brad Hunt out front for the first tally of the evening. Carolina, as is typical, led in shots in the first 12-9, but two penalties didn’t allow them to settle into the flow of the game five-on-five.
Early in the second period, the Vegas fourth line got into the their game as Ryan Reaves parked himself in front of Darling, with Brett Pesce unable to uproot him, and collected a blocked Shea Theodore shot to deposit the second goal for the Golden Knights. The Canes then began what would be their best run of play of the night as they pressed Fleury with a number of good chances throughout the second period. Each time however, Fleury rose to the challenge.
After failing to produce anything of substance on the remainder of the Power Play carrying over from the second period, the Canes turned the puck over in their own end and once again yielded a goal to the fourth liners for Vegas as William Carrier slipped a loose puck in front past Darling to make it 3-0. From there, the Canes continued to be stymied by Fleury, and had their only potential goal wiped off the board when it was determined that Justin Williams batted the puck in directly with his hand just before the midway point of the final stanza.
Although the Canes were able to again outshoot their opponent, this time 34-24, the Canes were consistently outskated, outworked, and outplayed against the defending Western Conference champs. They now fall to 6-6-2 on the season as they continue their road trip. Carolina will look to break their four-game losing streak on Tuesday in St. Louis with a matchup against the Blues.