It didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to find themselves on their heels.

John Klingberg took the first Dallas shot 2:36 into the game and it beat Marc-Andre Fleury for a lead that the Stars would not surrender.

From the 1-0 advantage on, Dallas controlled the game. They ended the first period up 23-12 in shots and finished with the possession advantage. For Vegas, it was their second time being shutout in three games. In the Second Round, Thatcher Demko posed the biggest problem late in the series. Right now, Anton Khudobin is their nemesis.

“They pack it in,” said Golden Knights forward Mark Stone. “They’re a good defensive team. They block a lot of shots and they play as a five-man unit. So you’ve got to get two, three guys in on the forecheck and use your defense as a five-man unit. When you can kind of get them spread out, I think that’ll help us offensively.”

According to Nate Schmidt, Vegas took too long to get into the game and didn’t find the proper energy until it was too late. The Golden Knights got to “their game” eventually, but the Stars’ defensive effort to cling to that 1-0 lead was too strong to break.

Game 1 was also a physical battle with 96 combined hits between the teams. The Stars (700) and Golden Knights (620) are first and third, respectively, in that category this postseason.

“Vancouver defended really well but didn’t have that heaviness that Dallas has,” said Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer. “We know now what we’re dealing with, and it’s on us to respond to that. This is going to be a different series, and we’re going to have to get our head around that and find a way to create offense.”

Per Natural Stat Trick, the Stars created 23 even strength scoring chances to the Golden Knights’ 12 in Game 1. That’s a change from the end of Vegas’ series against the Canucks where the opportunities were there, they just couldn’t finish. If Dallas is able to replicate their game from Sunday night, the Golden Knights will have to figure out a different approach in order to find success in the series.

“It’s a much different look, but our team has been able to win a multitude of ways throughout [these playoffs] and throughout the last couple years,” said Schmidt. “And so we know that we have to be a lot better from the start of the game.”

You can watch Game 2 of Golden Knights-Stars Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app. (livestream)

MORE: NHL Conference Final schedule

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Guoan beat Teda for 3rd Chinese Super League win in a row

SUZHOU, China – Zhang Xizhe and Alan Douglas each scored as Beijing Guoan beat Tianjin Teda 3-1 in the third round of the Chinese Super League (CSL) here on Thursday. Guoan midfielder Piao Cheng left the pitch on a stretcher…

‘No one in this team deserves to play’: Ex-Man Utd star Evra fumes as fans despair after 6-1 hammering against Spurs

United took the lead at Old Trafford inside two minutes through a Bruno Fernandes penalty, but Tottenham were ahead after seven minutes after they quickly responded through Tanguy Ndombele and Son Heung-min. Ndombele bundled the ball in after Harry Maguire…

Portuguese Joao Felix crowned Golden Boy 2019 after dazzling year

Portuguese forward Joao Felix has won the 2019 Golden Boy award, for being the best player in Europe under the age of 21. Felix is the fourth most expensive player of all time having moved to Atletico Madrid in the…

NBA star Towns’ mother dies of Covid-19

  LOS ANGELES – Jacqueline Towns, the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves all-star Karl-Anthony Towns, died of COVID-19 on Monday after a weeks-long battle with the disease which has led to a worldwide pandemic. The Towns’ family made the announcement on…