Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2020

Currently: 99° — Complete forecast

Keys to a Vegas victory in Game 2 vs. Dallas, sponsored by Credit One Bank

Golden Knights Fall to Stars in Game 1

Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP

Vegas Golden Knights’ Alec Martinez (23) is checked by Dallas Stars’ Joel Kiviranta (25) during the third period of an NHL Western Conference final playoff hockey game, in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020.

The Golden Knights are trailing in a playoff series for the first time this postseason after dropping Game 1 of the Western Conference Final to the Dallas Stars.

It’s second time in three years that Vegas has reached the conference final. In 2018, it also dropped the first game of the series, and then won four straight against Winnipeg to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Reaching another final will take a better offensive effort than Sunday, when Vegas only mustered 25 shots.

Game 2 against the Stars is 5 p.m. tonight on NBC Sports Network. Here are three keys to victory, sponsored by Credit One Bank.

Start on time

The third period of Game 1 looked a lot like how Vegas has played much of this postseason. The Golden Knights controlled the puck, had a few scoring chances, and although they didn’t come away with a goal, had to be pleased with the result. The problem is 20 good minutes of play isn’t enough. If the Golden Knights play the first period tonight like they did the third period in Game 1, even if they don’t score, they’ll be able to carry something over to the later periods and keep the Stars out of the attacking zone.

Hold onto the puck

The Stars spent the first two period of Game 1 either controlling the puck, or taking it away every time Vegas got a hold of it. Dallas registered 18 takeaways on Sunday, compared to just seven for the Golden Knights. Vegas will need better puck security in Game 2.

Get the top players going

Mark Stone and William Karlsson each had one shot attempt in Game 1. Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault haven’t scored since Game 1 of the Vancouver series. While all of them have been pretty good defensively, they’ve struggled in putting the puck in the net. In fact, since Game 4 of the Vancouver series, no Vegas forward has scored against a goalie. The Golden Knights will need to get their most skilled offensive weapons going, or we’ll see more games like Sunday’s 1-0 final score.