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Golden Knights look to rebound vs. Bruins
LAS VEGAS -- The first homestand in Vegas Golden Knights history has already experienced its share of highs and lows.
The Golden Knights (3-1-0) broke an NHL record for an expansion team with their third straight victory to open the season, defeating the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday night.
But they followed that up with a 6-3 loss on Friday night to the Detroit Red Wings, allowing four goals over an 11-minute span during the third period, easily the ugliest 20 minutes in the team's young history.
Now the Golden Knights will try and rebound from their first loss on Sunday afternoon when they host the Boston Bruins at T-Mobile Arena.
Don't expect Vegas coach Gerard Gallant to push the panic button following his team's first setback.
"The quicker you forget about last night the better off your team is," Gallant said following his team's practice on Saturday. "I'm not going to go out there and start barking today. Let's get ready for (Sunday). We've got a quick turnaround, an afternoon game. Guys were in good spirits, and let's get back out there."
One player who wasn't on hand was starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was dazed after taking a knee to the head from Anthony Mantha during a goal-mouth scramble midway through the second period but stayed in and finished the game.
"Maintenance day," Gallant said when asked why Fleury wasn't at practice.
When asked if Fleury, who has a history of concussions, including two that sidelined him during the 2016 season, would play Sunday, Gallant replied simply, "Hope so, but it's a maintenance day. We'll see."
Ex-Bruin Malcolm Subban would make his Vegas debut if Fleury can't go. The younger brother of Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban played in just two NHL games during his stint with Boston and compiled an 0-2-0 record with a 5.81 goals-against average.
"Sooner or later our backup goalie is going to get some time," Gallant said. "Fleury can't play all 82 games. You'd love to see a guy who plays as well as he has play 82 games, but it's not going to happen in the NHL today."
Speaking of quick turnarounds, Boston (2-2-0) will be playing its second game in 22 hours in a back-to-back that started with a 6-2 victory over the Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz.
Defenseman Zdeno Chara had a goal and two assists and Anton Khudobin had 29 saves in his first start in net of the season as Boston bounced back after dropping a home-and-home set with the Colorado Avalanche.
"Obviously a big win for us," the 40-year-old Chara said after his 14th career three-point game. "Everybody contributed to it. Obviously, we know our job as veterans is to pull a good share of the load and we got that, and the younger group of players stepped up as well. You need that. You need to have everybody on the same page. ... I thought tonight was a lot of positives and good energy."
The big question Bruin fans are wondering is when will Patrice Bergeron make his season debut? The 32-year-old top-line center did some skating at practices in Arizona but missed his fourth straight game with a nagging lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. With a three-day break following Sunday's contest, it would seem like a long shot that Bergeron would play against Vegas.
Updated October 15, 2017