The Wraparound: Waking up the Golden Knights’ power play

Golden Knights
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The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

The Marc-Andre Fleury gaffe to give the Canadiens the chance to win in overtime will be the image burned in everyone’s memories of Game 3 forever.

The Golden Knights even letting it get to that point, though, might be equal concern.

Vegas pummeled the Canadiens all game, outshooting them thoroughly, even holding them to three looks in the opening period. Yet, they held just the 2-1 lead when Josh Anderson forced overtime with 2:02 to go.

[NBC 2021 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

The Golden Knights went 0-for-4 on Friday night, and while Canadiens goalie Carey Price has had a stellar postseason, the Knights put a lot of blame on their failed special teams.

“There are a lot of problems (on the power play), I don’t think you can just pinpoint one,” said Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith. “Breakouts have been bad. We’re not doing a good job handling pressure. We’re not releasing the puck very well, and we’re not doing a good job crashing the net and picking up rebounds. So, there are a lot of things we have to get better at, and it’s costing us the series right now.”

Vegas out-chanced the Canadiens 59% to 40%. The Golden Knights, by every statistic in the book, should have put that game away before Fleury mishandled the puck.

The power play would have gone a long way in getting there.

[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 schedule, TV info]

“The last two games, our power play has had to step up, and we haven’t even gotten us any momentum,” said Golden Knights forward Mark Stone after Game 3. “….It’s about time as a group we take a little bit more pride in playing on the power play. (We need to) take that five-on-five mindset to the power play.”

It wasn’t just Game 3, either, where the man advantage unit has failed to produce. Through three games the Knights are yet to score on the power play all series, going 0-for-10. Dating back to the Second Round series with the Avalanche, the Golden Knights are scoreless on their last 13 power plays.

They have a 10.5% success rate for the entire postseason, which, honestly isn’t terribly far off from their 22nd ranked power play during the regular season. The Golden Knights, for as many offensive weapons as they have, got to this point without relying on their power play.

They still don’t have to rely on it; not really. But if can’t be a detriment, either, and on Friday night and throughout this Semi Final series with the Canadiens, that’s what their power play has been.

SUNDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 4: Golden Knights at Canadiens, 8 p.m. ET (MTL leads 2-1) – NBCSN / Peacock (livestream)

MONDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 5: Islanders at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (Series tied 2-2) – NBCSN / Peacock (livestream)

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

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