LAS VEGAS — Vegas coach Pete DeBoer, who believes in cutting to the chase, says the high-pitched, high-stakes divisional games like Wednesday’s battle with the Edmonton Oilers are “where the rubber is hitting the road at this time of year.”
He could read the standings in the Pacific Division like everybody else.
Vegas: 76 points. Edmonton: 74.
At his morning briefing, DeBoer stayed with the driving analogy.
“We have a chance to put the Oilers in the rearview mirror with a win. I love game-planning and I know (Oilers coach) Dave Tippett is doing the same with his team. We lose and we’re back in the mud with everybody else in the division,” said DeBoer, who took over the Golden Knights on Jan. 15 after Gerard Gallant, a month after DeBoer was shown the door in San Jose for Bob Boughner.
Or in the ditch with those mud flaps.
As it turned out, Vegas ran their winning streak to seven with Marc-Andre Fleury getting his 61st shutout in a 3-0 verdict, taking the special-teams battle, something the Oilers have been feeding off all season long with their No. 1 power play and No. 2 penalty kill.
In this one, though, the Oilers were 0-for-3 on the power play, without a shot to start the third when Vegas was caught for too many men to end the second period, and their penalty kill, which had only given up 11 goals in 33…