LAS VEGAS (AP) – As an expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights have defied all sorts of odds.
Long shots to even make the playoffs seven months ago, they are a favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup in June. Behind the stellar play of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Golden Knights completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Kings to move into the second round against San Jose.
That puts the Golden Knights in some rare company as they became the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a series in their inaugural season . The Pittsburgh Penguins recorded a sweep in their first playoffs appearance in 1970, which was their third season in the NHL. Not to be overlooked are the St. Louis Blues, who made three straight Stanley Cup finals beginning in 1967-68 after the league expanded and threw all the new teams into the same division. The Florida Panthers also had early success, going to the 1996 Finals three years after entering the league.
“We’re just trying to be as good as we can be,” Vegas general manager George McPhee said. “No one knows what exactly is going to happen. We think we’re a pretty good club, but we’ll keep trying to do what we’re doing and see where it takes us.”
After a few days off, the crew gets back to work with the Sharks looming.
Asked if the down time was good for his squad, McPhee responded: “This is not like the bye week where they have five days off and they’re not skating or they’re not training. We’re not going to Mexico.”
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