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|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, November 17, 2019
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada Attendance: 18,083
Flames, Golden Knights skid into clash in Vegas
At least the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights know one of their current losing skids will end when they square off Sunday in Nevada.
As the Flames and Golden Knights ready to drop the puck just a stone's throw from the Las Vegas strip, they're both in the doldrums, a shocking spot when you consider how they were elite teams last season.
Calgary, which was the Western Conference's top team in 2018-19, has lost three straight games, the latest a 3-0 shutout at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday afternoon. At the same time, the Golden Knights dropped a 4-3 road game to the Los Angeles Kings, their fifth consecutive defeat and fourth straight in regulation time.
And it's not just that the Knights, who have been a powerhouse since joining the league in the 2017-18 season, are losing -- it's who they're losing to. Their last three defeats have come at the hands of the cellar-dwelling Kings, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Everybody around the Golden Knights is looking for answers.
"You just keep trying," coach Gerard Gallant said. "We haven't played perfect hockey the last while, but we were right there in every game. We just have to get that killer instinct ... dominate a third period. It seems like we're scared to lose in the third period instead of going out there confident."
In Vegas' favor going into Sunday's clash is the fact the Knights have won all five home meetings with Calgary in franchise history, including a 6-2 victory last month. Then again, this is the first time the Flames will face a Vegas team that's reeling.
"Any time the confidence is down, it seems like every chance against ends up in the back of your net, but we've got to play through it," Knights forward Max Pacioretty said. "We've got to be stronger than that. I know if we keep doing good things, eventually we'll get rewarded."
The Flames were believing they've turned the corner, but have gone more than a week since a victory and have trailed by a 2-0 count in all three losses.
"We've got to get out of that," Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "We've got to start playing with the puck at the start of the first faceoff."
That's a message coach Bill Peters has been stating seemingly all season, to no avail, but he continues to have to preach it. For some reason, his players are lacking an early fire in far too many games. The Flames have managed a few comeback wins, but their slow starts are adding up against them.
"I don't think we have to wait to get that emotion starting, it should be there at the onset of the game, and that way we won't be behind as much as we are," Peters said.
Then again, it would help if the Flames found some scoring. Saturday's loss to the Coyotes was the first time they've been shut out this season, but the Flames have managed just three goals in their last three games.
"We can execute better," Peters said. "We can be harder on the puck, stronger at the net, work harder in the offensive zone."
--Field Level Media
Updated November 17, 2019