Golden Knights sweep Kings, are first team to advance to second round
The Vegas Golden Knights magical debut season is not stopping.
Thanks to their 1-0 win on Tuesday night, the Golden Knights are the first team in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to advance to the second round after sweeping the Los Angeles Kings in four straight games.
Vegas will now await the winner of the San Jose Sharks-Anaheim Ducks matchup, where the Sharks hold a 3-0 series lead and can complete a sweep of their own on Wednesday night.
For Vegas, well, this was impressive.
At this point nothing about this team should surprise us but the way they completely shut down the Kings was really something to behold. They limited the Kings to just three goals in the entire series, with starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury recording a pair of shutouts and stopping 127 of the 130 shots he faced in the four games.
For those of you keeping score at home, that is a .976 save percentage. If it didn’t become clear a year ago during his run with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the days of Fleury being a concern in the playoffs are long gone.
[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]
The Golden Knights needed that great goaltending and shutdown defense because they didn’t really light up the scoreboard themselves in the series, scoring just seven goals in the four games and winning two of the games by a 1-0 margin. That includes Tuesday’s series-clinching game in Los Angeles. But that is still four more goals than the Kings managed. That is all they needed.
On Tuesday, the lone Vegas goal came from defenseman Brayden McNabb.
Why is that noteworthy? Well ... McNabb was the player the Golden Knights selected from the Kings in the expansion draft back in June.
While Vegas gets ready for the second round, the Kings have to now get ready for an offseason full of questions as they figure out a way to fix a team that has not advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs since 2014, has won just a single playoff game (1-8 record) since then, and just has the look of an organization that has become completely stagnant. They need changes. Many changes.