April 16 (UPI) — The Vegas Golden Knights are one win away from a historical sweep in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Vegas is the first NHL franchise to make the playoffs in its inaugural season. The Golden Knights beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, getting goals from Cody Eakin, William Karlsson and James Neal.
The Game 3 victory gave the Pacific Division squad a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference series.
Kings center Alex Iafallo put his team on top 1-0 at 6:43 in the first period, going top shelf on Golden Knights net minder Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury fortified the Golden Knights’ net for the entire second period before Eakin tied the game 1:10 into the third frame. Eakin finished a feed from Ryan Carpenter, beating Jonathan Quick to his left on the strike.
The Golden Knights took a 2-1 lead with 5:38 remaining when Neal skated around Oscar Fantengerg with a nifty sidestep along the boards on the right side of the Kings’ half. He then shot a laser wrist shot through Quick’s five-hole.
“I had some room to make a play. Just tried to have some patience with the puck there and shot it low,” Neal told reporters.
“I’ve had quite a few shots on him throughout the series. I would like to have the one back that I passed … I hit myself. I maybe should have shot it. But, it felt good to get one.”
Karlsson lit the lamp again just 22 seconds later, beating Quick to his right after a face-off.
Anze Kopitar scored off of a deflection in the final minutes of the period, getting the Kings in striking distance. But Fleury stonewalled the attack to secure the victory.
“It was so close until the end,” Fleury told reporters. “It felt like every shot, every goal mattered. But, it’s fun when you come out on top.”
Vegas goes for the series sweep at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles. The winner of the series faces the San Jose Sharks or the Anaheim Ducks in the second round.