Tuesday night marked the biggest game of the season for the Vegas Golden Knights as they faced off against the Dallas Stars, a team in whom they are chasing for the final wild card position in the Western Conference.
Both teams came into the contest with 79 games played, while the Stars had 93 points to the Golden Knights 90. The gap between the two, however, is now four points, as the Stars were able to escape with a 3-2 shootout win.
It can be argued that the Golden Knights deserved a better fate in this one, as they had plenty of great chances throughout the evening but struggled to solve goaltender Jake Oettinger, who had a brilliant performance. At this time of the season, however, there are no such things as moral victories, especially for a team who entered the 2021-22 campaign with Stanley Cup aspirations.
“It’s tough. We played a pretty good game. Couldn’t find a way to win,” said defenseman Brayden McNabb. “It’s tough, but you know we need some teams to do us a favor and we gotta go win.”
McNabb was also quick to praise the effort of his team’s netminder in Logan Thompson, who has been great for the Golden Knights down the stretch and was phenomenal again last night. Not only did he kick aside 28 of the 30 shots he faced, but he also stopped the first six shootout attempts he faced before finally giving up the deciding goal to Miro Heiskanen in the seventh round.
Despite being able to pick up a point, the Golden Knights playoff hopes are on life support. In order to still get in, they will need to find a way to win their two remaining games, the first of which will come against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, followed by their final game of the regular season on Friday against the red-hot St. Louis Blues.
As for the Stars, their two remaining games will come against the Arizona Coyotes – one of the league’s worst teams this season – as well as the Anaheim Ducks. They need to pick up just a single point to clinch a playoff berth and eliminate the Golden Knights.
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