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David Zalubowski / AP

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Jiri Patera, right, stops a shot by Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Denver.

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 | 11 p.m.

On a night that was supposed to mark the return of Adin Hill, that ended up not being the case.

Not that it would’ve mattered who the Golden Knights started in goal. They got nothing going offensively in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on Wednesday.

It’s the second time in four games the Golden Knights failed to find the back of the net, and the fifth time all season. Compare that to last season when Vegas was shutout twice in 82 games.

“It’s hard to win when you don’t score,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “This time of year, you’ve got to find a way to score some goals.”

Hill, who entered Wednesday missing 16 of the last 17 games, took part in morning skate and was in line to start for just the second time since Nov. 30. But Hill was announced as a late scratch, paving the way for rookie Jiri Patera to get the start.

Isaiah Saville was recalled from AHL Henderson to back up Patera. Logan Thompson (illness) did not travel to Denver.

“Once we found out that Hilly wasn’t going to go, Patera’s the guy,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s a bit of the job for the backup. Sometimes you’ve got to be ready to go. He’s a good pro, he’s a good worker. He did his job tonight.”

Cassidy didn’t provide an update postgame on Hill. There’s a chance he could play Thursday against the Boston Bruins if he’s available. Thompson’s status could also play a factor.

Patera made 32 saves and made some big stops to keep Vegas in it, including a sliding stop on Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen in the second period.

“Jiri’s been awesome for us,” forward Chandler Stephenson said. “To see him have the game he did, and for us to give him that performance, was upsetting.”

But it wasn’t just Hill who was absent. Michael Amadio, who is playing third-line center in place of the injured William Karlsson, was a late scratch, as well, due to an illness.

That forced the Golden Knights to play with just 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Already shorthanded, they were even more hampered this time around.

Vegas couldn’t solve Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev en route to a 25-save shutout. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice on the power play for the Avalanche, and Logan O’Connor scored the final goal late in the third period.

“Not good enough, obviously, to beat a very good hockey club,” Cassidy said. “We had some pockets of good hockey, but not good enough.”

Patera did his best to keep the Golden Knights (23-13-5) in it, but he got no offensive support. The Golden Knights were 0 for 4 on the power play, while Colorado was 2 of 4 on the man advantage.

“Special teams kind of let us down,” Pietrangelo said.

Vegas will do it all over again in less than 24 hours against the Bruins at T-Mobile Arena (7 p.m., Vegas 34). The Golden Knights will enter the matchup against the top team in the Eastern Conference at 3-8-0 in their last 11 games.

“We need to be better,” Cassidy said. “It’s not like we’re outplaying teams every night and losing. We’re just not on top of our game from top to bottom. So, obviously, it’s on me to fix it.”

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on X at

Article written by #LasVegasSun