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Eichel Scores, Thompson Gets 1st Win, Golden Knights Cage Sharks 4-1

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Vegas Golden Knights Jack Eichel and Nicolas Hague after Eichel's first goal as a Vegas Golden Knight (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

Put the pitchforks down.

The Vegas Golden Knights (29-18-4, 62 points) are back in the win column after losing three-straight games. They defeated the San Jose Sharks (22-22-5, 49 points) 4-1 at SAP Center Sunday afternoon. This is the tenth straight win against the Sharks for the Golden Knights and was also the first matchup of the season between the two rivals.

Jack Eichel scored his first goal as a member of the Golden Knights. Logan Thompson also made 35 saves on 36 shots for his first career win. Outside of Thompson getting the start, there were no lineup changes for the Golden Knights. But both Zach Whitecloud and Robin Lehner are skating.

The Golden Knights scored two goals in the first period and coasted to victory adding another goal in the second period and an empty netter. But there were points in the first period where it could have been a completely different game.

The Sharks pressured a good deal shorthanded as the Golden Knights had two early powerplay chances which included a four-minute penalty. Thompson had to be sharp on shorthanded chances from the Sharks’ Matt Nieto and Tomas Hertl.

The pace of the game quickly changed though as Keegan Kolesar simply fired a shot gaining the zone for the Golden Knights. On a shot that James Reimer would like to have back, Kolesar scored his fifth goal of the season to make it 1-0.

Jack Eichel was flying all throughout Sunday evening’s game. His speed and puck handling skills were on full display as he finished the night with a goal and an assist. Midway through the first period, Eichel and Chandler Stephenson worked together which resulted in Eichel’s first goal as a Golden Knight.

This was Stephenson’s first point in seven games and Eichel’s first goal since January 28th, 2021.

Early in the second period Max Pacioretty extended the Golden Knights lead with a long wrist shot that slipped past Reimer. Nobody knew the puck was in except for Pacioretty and after video review, the goal was deemed a good one.

The Golden Knights closed out the game with a solid defensive effort led by Thompson in goal. He made a big stop with the poke check on Noah Gregor to keep the Sharks scoreless in the second.

The only blunder the Golden Knights made that resulted in a goal was when Shea Theodore lost an edge and fell behind his own net. This allowed Andrew Cogliano to pick up the puck and feed Nick Bonino who scored.

Bob Boughner pulled Reimer with around two and half minutes remaining but the Sharks failed to score as Thompson made yet another huge save on Logan Couture. Stephenson then scored on the empty net to make it 4-1 and ice the game.

With this win in the books, another gap in the schedule is what the Golden Knights are presented with as their next game is not until Friday. They take on the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena at 6:30 pm. Given the break, takeaways will be tomorrow.

VHN’s Player of the Game: Logan Thompson

Yeah, Eichel scored, but he will have plenty of chances to be the player of the game. It was quite the performance for Thompson Sunday night as he earned his first career NHL win. He looked calm and collected and the only goal he gave up was not one in which most goaltenders would stop. Just get him new skates, please? Twice in the game he lost his skate blade!

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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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