LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Logan Thompson was a little down on himself after Saturday’s game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. The Golden Knights’ netminder was particularly upset that he wasn’t able to stop Valeri Nichushkin’s decisive third-period goal in a 3-2 loss.
“You just got to make some timely saves,” Thompson said. “That one in the third (Nichushkin’s goal), it’s a 2-1 game, that’s a save I can make. I’ve done it before.”
Thompson was saying he needed to stop that shot, keep the game close so his team had a better chance to win.
But coach Bruce Cassidy was having none of it. He defended his goaltender’s play Saturday and has said often through the first six games the fellas between the pipes — pardon the vernacular — have played well.
Indeed. Thompson is 2-2 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Adin Hill has won both his starts and has a 2.00 average and a .934 save percentage.
It’s been a neat twist for the Knights, having two goalies playing solidly, especially without Robin Lehner, who is out for the season after offseason hip surgery.
“I think any team will tell you if you can do that (have strong goaltending), you’re in business,” Cassidy said last week. “You’re gonna get a chance to win. We’d like to keep it that way and not overtax one of them. Let each sort of compete with one another and keep pushing one another. Then you’re better off. … I think that’s what’s happening.”
Hill delivered the standard goalie line after beating Winnipeg in his last start Thursday, that he’s just trying to give his team a chance to win. Thompson has said the same. So far, then, the goaltenders are doing their part.
It’s likely Hill will play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, with Thompson playing Tuesday at San Jose in the second game of a back to back.
Toronto Maple Leafs Jets at Golden Knights
- Faceoff: 7 p.m., T-Mobile Arena.
- TV/Radio: AT&T Sportsnet/KKGK, 1340 AM, 98.9 FM
- Records: Maple Leafs 4-2; Knights 4-2.
- Notes: Toronto, winner of two straight, was leaning on Matt Murray to be its No. 1 goaltender, but he’s out with an abductor issue. Enter Ilya Samsonov, who has won all four of his starts and has a .938 save percentage. Samsonov, 25, was 52-22-8 over three seasons in Washington, but the Capitals decided to part ways with the Russian because of some issues with maturity, according to reports. … Monday’s game for the Leafs starts a four-game road trip that ends Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks.