When the Vegas Golden Knights left the ice at Enterprise Center on Monday night, the team was enjoying its first win in a week as the 6-1 triumph against the St. Louis Blues put Vegas back in the win column.
During the course of its three-game winless streak (0-2-1) from March 31 to April 3, Vegas scored a total of five goals. The light scoring totals were not for a lack of trying as the Golden Knights put up a total of 107 shots including a 42-shot showing against Los Angeles on March 31.
Prior to Monday's contest against the Blues, head coach Pete DeBoer commented on the team's lack of scoring and how the group can get back filling to opposing net.
"There's a mental piece to it," DeBoer said. "When you look at the history of our group, we have to do a better job of getting pucks to the net, getting bodies to the net and scoring more goals within a couple feet of the crease. It's kind of the same recipe when we fall into these funks when we can't score. Usually, it's because we're getting away from those things."
DeBoer helped the team dig up that old scoring recipe and the team started cooking with gas as Tomas Nosek and Alec Martinez scored in the first period for the Golden Knights on Monday night. Martinez scored again in the second period for his first multi-goal game since being traded to Vegas last season. William Carrier, Jonathan Marchessault and Nic Hague also found the back of the net for the visitors in the middle period.
With a 6-1 lead after 40 minutes, the Golden Knights went into lockdown mode and cruised to the decisive win.
Video: Martinez scores twice in 6-1 victory vs. Blues
Vegas received three goals from defensemen in a single game for the first time since March 17 when Shea Theodore, Hague and Martinez each scored in a 5-4 win against the San Jose Sharks. The Vegas blueline combined for six points (3G, 3A) Monday night and Brayden McNabb said the back-end contributions are a result of the team taking care of business in all three zones.
"I think we've got a lot of offensive guys on the back end," McNabb said. "When we're getting pucks through and getting up in the rush, it creates a lot of offense. It starts with us in our own end. It starts with us in the back end with clean breakouts and good defending."
Getting pucks through to the net from all areas of the offensive zone creates first, second and third-chance opportunities to score. Deflections, screens and rebounds make life hard on any goalie and DeBoer said it's important for that to become part of the team's DNA at such a crucial point in the season.