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Thompson Posts First Career Shutout, Golden Knights Defeat Kraken 3-0

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Logan Thompson Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

The Vegas Golden Knights (39-28-4, 76 points) defeated the Seattle Kraken (21-39-6, 48 points) in the battle of the NHL’s two most recent expansion teams. Logan Thompson made 23 saves for his first career NHL shutout and the VGK snapped a seven-game road losing streak.

Head coach Peter DeBoer opted for a different approach to his line combinations Wednesday night as he went with 11 forwards and 7 defensemen.

Brayden McNabb returned after missing 13 games with a hand injury and Dylan Coghlan was the seventh defenseman. Robin Lehner also “returned” from injury as he backed up Thompson who made his eighth straight start.

The Kraken started off the first period with a myriad of chances that Thompson had to stop to keep the game scoreless. Adam Larsson forced a tough pad save off the rush and the Kraken led in shots 4-0 just three minutes in.

But momentum died for the Kraken as the Golden Knights got two back-to-back powerplay opportunities. The Golden Knights were unable to score on either chance and blanked on all of their opportunities on the night.

Keegan Kolesar and Jamie Oleksiak dropped the gloves at center ice in a spirited and long-lasting tilt. Both went off for fighting, but when Kolesar came back and took a shift he took an awkward hit from Riley Sheahan and seemed to be stunned by it. He then left the game and did not return.

The Kraken came out in the second period again with more offensive chances. Kole Lind had two grade-A opportunities to score his first NHL goal such as a chance set up by Jared McCann right on the doorstep but he missed the net and then hit the post on another chance.

For the Kraken, their offensive pressure was once again halted by another penalty, this time it was the Golden Knights to the box with Shea Theodore being the guilty party.

Coming out of the box, however, Theodore made up for his penalty as he accepted a pass from Jonas Rondbjerg and went in on to score. Earlier in the penalty, William Karlsson got a shorthanded breakaway and went forehand on the shot which Chris Driedger stopped.

But Theodore went to the backhand and fooled the Kraken goaltender to score the Golden Knight’s 39th goal of the season from a defenseman.

 

Pressure continued from the Golden Knights in the second as Jack Eichel used his speed and stickhandling skills to bait out a defender and get a quality shot. Driedger also had to make a huge save on Jonathan Marchessault in the dying seconds of the period as Alec Martinez found him cutting across the slot.

To start the third, Ben Hutton stopped Karson Kuhlman who sprung on a breakaway. Hutton used his reach to swat the puck out of Kuhlman’s reach and prevent him from getting a shot off, all while not taking a penalty to keep the game 1-0 for the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights extended their lead with Michael Amadio showing his offensive skills. Amadio deked his way to the net and found a rebound which he put through Driedger to make it 2-0. The pitchfork-like shot by Amadio was going wide but hit off defenseman Adam Larsson’s skate and went in.

Another powerplay presented itself for the Golden Knights but once again they were unable to do anything with it. They finished the night 0/3 on the man advantage against the 30th ranked penalty kill.

Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol pulled Driedger and his team scored late to try and come back in the game. After setting up quickly, Jordan Eberle banged home a rebound after a point shot. But immediately following the goal the Golden Knights bench challenged the play for an offsides.

The play was deemed to be offside and the Golden Knights coaching staff led by Peter DeBoer and video coach Tommy Cruz saved Thompson’s shutout with their fourth correct challenge of the season.

Jonathan Marchessault scored an empty-netter and sealed the deal for the Golden Knights.

This once again puts the Golden Knights back in the Stanley Cup Playoff picture as they occupy the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. They will play the Kraken again on Friday once more at 7:00 inside Climate Pledge Arena.

VHN’s Player of the Game: Jonas Rondbjerg

Congrats on Logan Thompson for his first career NHL shutout. But I am going to have to give tonight’s POTG to Jonas Rondbjerg, who I thought had his best game of the season. He helped draw two penalties and had an assist on the ga

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