NHL Hockey

Golden Knights aim to end home skid vs. Predators

The Vegas Golden Knights will try to snap a franchise record five-game home losing streak when they play host to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The second-year Golden Knights, who lost just 10 times on their home ice during their entire inaugural regular season (29-10-2), are in danger of going winless during a four-game homestand that began with a 4-3 setback to Columbus on Saturday and was followed by losses to Arizona (5-2) on Tuesday and Toronto (6-3) on Thursday.

All three losses featured third period collapses for Vegas which has been outscored 8-2 in that period during the three games. Cam Atkinson scored twice in the final 5:12 to pull out the win for the Blue Jackets, while both Arizona and Toronto scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to win going away.

"We've got to get better in the third," coach Gerard Gallant said after the loss to the Maple Leafs. "That's where you win hockey games and we didn't do it.

"It's disappointing to lose at home. We've had a good record here. ... We're playing some good teams. I thought we (fumbled) away a couple, but for the most part we played some good teams and they beat us."

The home losing streak started with a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 21. The Predators arrived in Las Vegas two days later and behind a career-high 47 saves by Juuse Saros, earned a 2-1 victory.

"It's going to be the guys in here that are going to turn it around," Vegas center Paul Stastny said. "We've just got to mentally refresh and turn the page. It's easier said than done, but we all have got to kind of carry our own weight and help each other out as much as we can."

Vegas has lost seven of its last nine games overall but still holds a comfortable seven-point lead over Vancouver for third place in the Pacific Division. But the Golden Knights, who had hoped to make a run for one of the top two spots and home ice for the first round of the playoffs, are nine points behind co-leaders San Jose and Calgary with just 23 games to play.

Nashville, which snapped a three-game losing streak of its own on Thursday night with a 3-1 home win over Montreal, has won both of the first two meetings between the two teams. Saros was also in net during a 4-1 victory on Oct. 30 in Nashville and had 23 saves while Ryan Hartman scored two goals.

The Predators, who are 15-10-4 on the road this season, enter Saturday night's contest two points behind first place Winnipeg in the Central Division, but the Jets have two games in hand. The trip to Las Vegas begins a two-game road trip that concludes on Tuesday night at Dallas. The Stars and St. Louis Blues are 10 points behind Nashville in third place.

The Predators scored two third period goals to pull out the win over the Canadiens on Thursday night.

"Huge," goalie Pekka Rinne, who had 34 saves, said of the win afterward. "This time of year, it's the last stretch. Only 22 games left. ... Hopefully we can build some momentum going forward."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 15, 2019

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