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game recap

Golden Knights shut out Kings in first playoff game

Fleury makes 30 saves, Theodore scores only goal

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights won their first Stanley Cup Playoff game, 1-0 against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for his 63rd NHL playoff win, tying him with Curtis Joseph for 12th on the all-time list. It was his 11th postseason shutout, moving him to 10th all-time.

Vegas, which has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, became the fourth NHL team to have a playoff shutout in its inaugural season, joining the New York Rangers (1927), the St. Louis Blues (1968) and Kings (1968). The Rangers and Blues also had shutouts in their playoff debuts.

 

[WATCH: Kings vs. Golden Knights highlights | Complete Golden Knights vs. Kings series coverage]

 

"It's the best time of the year. It's the best hockey," Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault said. "I think we were really pleased with how our team played. It's what we're living for."

Shea Theodore scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights at 3:23 of the first period.

Video: Fleury earns Wednesday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

"It's exciting to score the first goal," said Theodore, who scored two goals in the playoffs with the Anaheim Ducks last season. "Obviously, it gets our crowd and fans into it. It was an exciting moment."

The offense was limited, but the physicality was not; in four regular-season games, Los Angeles and Vegas combined for 61 hits per game. On Wednesday, they combined for 100 hits by the end of the second period.

The Kings outhit the Golden Knights 68-59.

Video: LAK@VGK, Gm1: Quick flashes the leather on Bellemare

"It's the playoffs. Since when do you play the first game in the playoffs and expect it to be a walk in the park?" Golden Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. "It shouldn't be, otherwise it's not the playoffs. Otherwise, it's not fun to play in the playoffs. This is the hockey you strive to play for the whole season."

Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the Kings, who have lost the series opener in three of their past five trips to the postseason.

"A 1-0 game may be a little tougher to swallow than anything else," Kings forward Anze Kopitar said. "We definitely had chances. You've just got to cash in on them. We know we can play better, and we'll have to in Game 2 if we want to go home with a split."

 

Goal of the game

Theodore's goal at 3:23 of the first period.

Video: LAK@VGK, Gm1: Theodore nets first Vegas playoff goal

 

Save of the game

Fleury against Dustin Brown at 17:16 of the third period.

Video: LAK@VGK, Gm1: Fleury turns away Brown late in the 3rd

 

Highlight of the game

Fleury's save against Adrian Kempe at 6:18 of the second period.

Video: LAK@VGK, Gm1: Fleury shows off hand-eye coordination

 

They said it

"I thought our guys played hard tonight. I thought we created some opportunities to get some offense. We've got to make it a lot tougher for [Fleury] to see the puck. I'd like to see us improve in certain areas." -- Kings coach John Stevens

 

"We're playing a good team, and we've been playing a good game all year long. Obviously it's going to be very physical, but it's a one-goal game and there's going to be a lot of physicality. But I thought we handled it well." -- Golden Knights forward Pierre Edouard-Bellemare

 

Need to know

It's the first time the Kings were shut out in a playoff game since May 10, 2014, a 2-0 loss against the Ducks. … Golden Knights forward William Carrier left the game in the third period after taking a hit from Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. Gallant said Carrier is day to day.

 

What's next

Game 2 of Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena on Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, ATTSN-RM, PRIME)

 

Video: Golden Knights shut out Kings in first playoff game

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