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Eichel Scores His First At T-Mobile But Golden Knights Lose 5-2

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Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Missin Curfew via Twitter)

The Vegas Golden Knights (30-21-4, 64 points) dropped another game Thursday night against the Boston Bruins (33-18-4, 70 points). Sloppy defense, shaky goaltending, and an overall inability to score cost the Golden Knights yet another two points in the standings.

There were no lineup changes for the Golden Knights, who started their first game of a back-to-back. Laurent Brossoit will likely get the start against the Anaheim Ducks Friday night with Robin Lehner starting in this one. Lehner stopped 30 of 36 shots.

The Golden Knights entered the game with just two wins in their last seven games. In the month of February, they saw both the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames pass them in the Pacific Division standings.

Original Golden Knight Tomas Nosek was honored in his return to T-Mobile Arena with a video tribute during the first timeout. Nosek played four seasons with the Golden Knights and scored 64 points in 240 games played. Perhaps what Nosek is best known for is scoring the first-ever goal at T-Mobile Arena.

 

The first big chance from either team came when Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand got a chance after a Golden Knights turnover. Zach Whitecloud made it back just in time to stop Marchand but took a slashing penalty to prevent the goal.

On their third odd-man rush of the period, the Bruins broke free and scored.

Ben Hutton tried to skate the puck out of danger but only created more of it. Trent Frederic then fed Craig Smith off the rush and he scored. This all followed a play in which Lehner almost turned over the puck playing it behind his net.

The Golden Knights had some quality opportunities to get back into the game but Jeremy Swayman put on a clinic for the Bruins. He made big saves such as one on Evgenii Dadonov which Jack Eichel set up, and he also stopped Reilly Smith multiple times on the night.

After another unsuccessful powerplay attempt, the Golden Knights couldn’t help getting frustrated with their lack of scoring. They are now 2 for their last 34 on the powerplay.

The Bruins got another goal from Smith in the second period, which turned out to be a backbreaker for the Golden Knights. Brayden McNabb crashed behind his own net as Smith’s stick went under his skate. McNabb was shaken up after this play and left the game.

The Golden Knight’s defense was then out of position and Smith was then left wide open. Lehner struggled to get from side to side to make the save and the Bruins made it 2-0.

But just when it seemed like all hope was lost, a skylight with the number nine shined above the streets of Las Vegas. Answering the call was Jack Eichel, who scored to make it 2-1. Eichel caught the Bruins making a bad change, and used his speed and puck-handling skills to score his first goal at T-Mobile Arena as a member of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Eichel goal was just what the doctor ordered for the Golden Knights. They carried the momentum from this goal in the third period and drew an early penalty. But for the second time on the night, they were unable to score with the man advantage. A huge fault on the part of the Golden Knights.

This killed all momentum for the Golden Knights and not long after the Bruins scored. David Pastrnak went to work with Frederic, and while Lehner was able to make the first save, Pastrnak scored on his rebound.

The Bruins extended their lead late in the game with Smith finishing off the hat trick. Lehner was facing the opposite direction when Smith shot the puck. Not sure why. He left the game with just under five minutes in the game for the extra attacker.

Jonathan Marchessault made it a two-goal game with a shot from the right circle. But time ran out for the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights dropped the game 5-2 after Pastrnak added an empty-net goal. They have now lost six of their last eight games. They will play another team that is challenging them in the standings in the Anaheim Ducks Friday night at Honda Center at 7:00 pm.

Vegas Hockey Now’s Player of the Game: Reilly Smith.

Smith was the only Golden Knight, outside of Eichel and the entire group late in the third period, to show signs of life offensively.

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. 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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