LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights chased Thomas Greiss from his net and then they chased the Detroit Red Wings from the building.
A good start dissipated into a sloppy loss Thursday at T-Mobile Arena, with the Wings falling for the third straight time on the trip. Their 5-2 loss was the third consecutive time they’ve surrendered five goals.
As it that wasn’t bad enough, rookie defenseman Moritz Seider limped off the ice in visible pain with five minutes remaining in the third period.
Givani Smith celebrated his first goal of the season, but it was overshadowed by the Golden Knights, who kept building leads even as their list of unavailable players included Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore and Max Pacioretty.
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The Wings’ odds of rallying took a blow when they gave up a goal in the last minute of the second period, to Canton’s Paul Cotter. It was a tough night for Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who took a penalty in the first period, had the third Vegas goal go in off him and committed a turnover that led to the fourth goal.
Greiss was replaced by Alex Nedeljkovic to start the third period, but Greiss’ teammates bore responsibility for not playing better in front of him. Nedeljkovic got a taste of it, too, when Filip Hronek was out of position and Reilly Smith took advantage to make it 5-1. Joe Veleno scored in the final minutes of the game.
The Wings (8-9-2) wrap up their trip Saturday at Arizona.
Smith gets first
Smith has struggled to find a groove — he has taken unwarranted penalties, and that led to curtailing his physicality so as not to make his team shorthanded. He should get a boost of confidence from Thursday’s performance. Smith played well, and was rewarded for his play at the net with a goal midway through the second period. Larkin directed the puck on net at the crease, and Smith got his stick on the loose puck.
Heck of a save
Rookie Lucas Raymond was robbed of a goal in the first period. Defenseman Nick Leddy set up him on a wraparound, feeding the puck to Raymond for a doorstep play. Raymond had an open net — or so he thought. Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo got his stick out at the last second, deflecting the puck away. That was part of a 13-shot opening salvo from the Wings, who spent four of the first 20 minutes killing penalties.
Nicolas Hague scored at 3:31 of the first period, gliding to the slot and firing a pass from Evgeni Dadonov behind Greiss. The Golden Knights got a second goal from a defenseman at 5:56, when Zach Whitecloud one-timed a pass from Mark Stone from the right circle. Whitecloud scored again at 12:32, firing a shot from just inside the blue line that deflected off DeKeyser.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.