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Eichel Scores First Point as a Golden Knight But VGK Lose 4-3 in OT



Andreas Athanasiou and Dylan Coghlan (Photo- Los Angeles Kings via Twitter)

The Vegas Golden Knights (28-18-4) suffered yet another loss Friday night losing in overtime to Adrian Kempe and the Los Angeles Kings (25-17-7). The Kings are now only three points back of the Golden Knights in the Pacific Division Standings which are rapidly changing.

The Golden Knights made a few lineup changes since their last game. Nolan Patrick was knocked out of the lineup after he took a high hit from Nathan Mackinnon last game. Keegan Kolesar drew back into the lineup as a result. Head coach Peter DeBoer also shuffled up his lines a bit and put Chandler Stephenson on the first line right wing spot and reunited the Misfit Line.

All night it was a tightly contested game between two teams fighting for positioning in the Pacific Division Standings. To start the majority of the chances for the Golden Knights came from the reunited Misfit Line of Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault. Andreas Athanasiou had a noticeable game for the Kings with most of their chances early on. 

The first penalty of the game came as Drew Doughty tripped Reilly Smith. This prevented a breakaway for Smith as he had picked off a pass from Viktor Arvidsson. But the Golden Knights were able to score on the ensuing powerplay with Max Pacioretty breaking his scoring drought.

Pacioretty scored his first goal in eleven games and ended the Golden Knights shutout streak at 147:57 which is the longest in team history. The play was set up nicely by Jack Eichel, playing in his second game with his new team. He took a hit to make a play and as the play developed Pacioretty found the back of the net. Eichel would have to wait until the second period for his first point with the Golden Knights though.

The Golden Knights extended their lead with the Misfit Line doing what they did best. Karlsson picked off a pass and the Misfits were off to the races. Off the rush, Marchessault dished a pass to Smith who buried it home with a one-timer.

Just 28 seconds later the Kings answered with Athanasiou walking Nicolas Hague. Athanasiou flipped the puck to himself, worked around Hague, and made a nifty move to score on Laurent Brossoit.

To finish out the first-period things got a little chippy between Kempe and Chandler Stephenson. To start the second, Stephenson was in the box for an unsportsmanlike penalty. The man who he quarreled with in Kempe made him pay with a powerplay goal to tie things up.

Eichel and Pacioretty started to develop even more chemistry in the second period. With a relentless forecheck, Eichel forced a turnover and then got the puck to Ben Hutton. Eichel then got the puck back and fed Pacioretty who scored. This counted as Eichel’s first career point with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Mattias Janmark, Evgenii Dadonov, and Nicolas Roy then followed things up with a great tic tack toe chance off the rush. But they were denied by Jonathan Quick and all three of their point streaks continued.

The Kings fought back to tie things with Arvidssons finding Philip Danault breaking. Danault cut behind the Golden Knights defense and scored his career-high fourteenth goal of the season.

The third period resulted in no goals but as big defensive plays from Shea Theodore, Olli Maatta, and both goaltenders kept the game tied.

The dogfight reached overtime with both teams earning a point. Kempe continued to be a pain in the side of the Golden Knights and scored the overtime game-winning goal.

This marks three-straight losses for the Vegas Golden Knights. They play the San Jose Sharks next on Sunday at 4:30 pm PST on the road.

VHN’s Player of the Game- Max Pacioretty

Two goals to remove a scoring slump has Patches as the player of the game. Good to see him and Eichel start to develop some chemistry as well.

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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