Golden Knights look to halt slide against Oilers
The Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers have two different objectives heading into the Monday night's game in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights, who have clinched third place in the Pacific Division, look to snap a five-game losing streak while building some momentum for a likely first-round Stanley Cup playoff matchup with San Jose.
The Oilers, all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs after a 5-1 home loss to Anaheim on Saturday, hope to build some momentum for the 2019-20 season.
Vegas, playing its eighth straight game without starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who remains day to day with a lower-body injury suffered in a 2-1 victory at Dallas on March 15, comes in off a physical and emotional 4-3 overtime loss to the Sharks on Saturday night, losing on a Brent Burns power-play goal 22 seconds into the extra period.
"I think it was a tone-setter," Cody Eakin, who scored his 21st goal in the loss, said. "I think both teams wanted to win it for pride and the rivalry. That's the way it's going to be (in the playoffs). It's going to be fun."
Said Vegas coach Gerard Gallant: "There's a good chance we're playing (San Jose) in the first round. I thought it was a little chippy, a lot of chirping going on both ways, but a good game though. I liked our game. It was good."
Edmonton, eight points behind Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference with four games -- and eight potential points -- remaining, is 10-6-3 over its last 19 games. Centers Connor McDavid (114 points, 40 goals) and Leon Draisaitl (101 points, 47 goals) are the first set of Oilers teammates to record 100-plus points in a season since Jari Kurri and Jimmy Carson did it in 1988-89.
Left wing Milan Lucic picked up his 500th career point in Saturday's home loss to the Ducks when he assisted on Sam Gagner's goal with 6:51 remaining to break the shutout bid by John Gibson. Richard Rakell had a hat trick for Anaheim.
"We haven't had one of these for a long time, but we didn't stay with it," said Oilers interim head coach Ken Hitchcock. "(Gibson) made some big saves in the first period, a couple went in on us, and we were far too easily discouraged and tried to hit home runs. You can't win in this league when you're easily discouraged, and that's what we were."
Lucic said the Oilers are playing for pride during the final week of the regular season.
"Unfortunately, it's going to be a long summer here, so we have to go out there, play for each other and have fun doing it," Lucic said. "Some guys are playing for jobs, some guys are playing for stats, and some guys are playing to end the season right to have a bit of carryover into the summer and next year feeling good about themselves. Those are things you look forward to in the last few games here."
Vegas has won two of the three previous games between the two teams, both by 6-3 scores, including on March 17 in Las Vegas in the last meeting.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 31, 2019