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Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jake Walman (96) celebrates after his goal against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in Detroit.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024 | 9:52 p.m.

Given how this road trip started, getting five out of a possible eight points should feel like a success for the Golden Knights.

It will go down as a successful four-game trek and will go in the books as a strong way to head into the All-Star break, but a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday could result in a sour way to going into a nine-day break.

Good. (But) we had a chance to make it great tonight,” captain Mark Stone said. “We get five out of eight, it’s pretty solid.”

The Golden Knights played four games in six nights and managed to sandwich two solid wins with two losses. There’s also stating the obvious in that both sets of games were back-to-back situations with travel involved.

All of those factors into account, the Golden Knights are still going into a long, much-needed break at 29-15-6; the 64 points in 50 games are two more and one game fewer than when Vegas went into the break last season. Let it also be remembered that the Knights went 1-5-2 in their final eight before their bye week.

The Golden Knights closed this stretch 5-1-1 in their last seven and 7-3-1 in 11 games following a 4-9-0 run from Dec. 15 – Jan. 13.

“We’re in better shape than we were, say, two, three weeks ago,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I think our game has come around.”

Ivan Barbashev scored to extend his points streak to six games (four goals, seven assists), tying a career-high, and Paul Cotter ended a 15-game goal drought. Logan Thompson made 24 saves, but is on the ledger for giving up 10 goals in his two starts on this road trip.

Monday’s loss in New Jersey, a 6-5 overtime defeat, can’t be pinned on Thompson. This one could with giving up three goals in the first period, two of them that can be argued he should’ve stopped.

Barbashev and Cotter scored 2:53 apart to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 tie. Detroit’s Joe Veleno gave the Red Wings a 3-2 lead late in the first period, a lead that the surging Red Wings would not relinquish. Detroit has now won nine of its last 12 and heads into the break with the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cassidy said he liked the Golden Knights’ compete level after falling behind by two goals, but just couldn’t find another equalizer when Vegas went down 3-2.

“We’re not in the business of moral victories,” defenseman Zach Whitecloud said. “It’s either two points or nothing.”

Much like last season, the break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Golden Knights. They’ve gotten goalie Adin Hill back after missing two months with a lower-body injury, and forward Michael Amadio returned after missing five games with an upper-body injury.

Amadio returned in place of Pavel Dorofeyev, who was out due to an upper-body injury following an elbow from New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba on Friday. Trouba, the Rangers’ captain, was suspended two games as a result.

Even with them returning, Vegas still has six players on injured reserve, including Jack Eichel, William Karlsson and Shea Theodore. There’s optimism some of those players could return before resuming play Feb. 6 against the red-hot Edmonton Oilers, winners of 16 games in a row.

For now, it’s time to rest up.

“We’ve played a lot of hockey,” Stone said. “We’ve got a lot of guys banged up. Hopefully we get some guys back after the break. Good time for us to refresh.”

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

Article written by #LasVegasSun