Player of the Week | William Karlsson
William Karlsson built to a four-game point streak (3-6–9) and scored a short-handed, Pacific Division-clinching goal to move within three of the top spot for the Maurice "Rocket Richard" Trophy.
March 26-April 1, 2018
3-6–9 over 4 GP
9 PTS led league scoring
Back-to-back short-handed, GWGs
Karlsson kicked off his week by picking up his 40th goal of the season Monday as part of a three-point night in a 4-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche. The victory clinched the first franchise Stanley Cup Playoff berth for the Golden Knights in what's been an incredible inaugural season. Karlsson's first 40-goal campaign in the big leagues marks the first time the 25-year-old has registered double digits in goals scored, and it came as a surprise, perhaps to no one more than Karlsson himself.
"Before this season, I didn't think I'd score 40, to be honest," Karlsson confessed to reporters postgame."I wanted to score more than six goals. Safe to say I did that."
Wednesday night, the Golden Knights continued at home with a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. Karlsson picked up his 30th assist of the season on a goal by Alex Tuch before Kevin Connauton of the Coyotes closed out the middle frame by scoring what was the eventual game-winning goal.
The Golden Knights took a big step Friday towards clinching first in the Pacific Division with a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.
"Someone told me we're one point away from clinching the division," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told reporters. "That's what the goal is. Let's keep battling hard, playing hard."
Karlsson obliged his coach by picking up his second three-point performance of the week, scoring his 41st goal of the season – and his third shorthanded goal – on a breakaway.
He wasn't done there.
Karlsson pulled out a show-stopper the very next night with the second place San Jose Sharks in town and a Pacific Division title within reach for Vegas. In a 3-2 win in the Golden Knights' final home game of the season, Karlsson scored the game-winning, division-clinching goal – which is sure to make its rounds on highlight reels for every goal of the year conversation. It was his second shorthanded goal in as many games to give him four such markers on the season.
.@WKarlsson71 JUST DID THAT. pic.twitter.com/pvcKL1PiyL— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) April 1, 2018
If Roberto Luongo is chiming in, you know it's good.
Scott Foster stops that while filing his client’s tax returns https://t.co/DwmMP1lrzi— Strombone (@strombone1) April 1, 2018
It was the centre's 42nd goal of the 2017-18 season, which ranks him third in the category alongside Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins – just three goals behind the current Maurice "Rocket Richard" Trophy leader, Alex Ovechkin. Karlsson also leads the league with a +46 rating.
Karlsson's six assists over the week also ranked him second in helpers over the week, one behind Artemi Panarin of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Las Vegas looks to build on its 50th win as the team heads to Vancouver for a matchup with the Canucks Tuesday night.
Complete listing of the 2017-18 NHLPA.com Players of the Week here