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Eichel Scores Two, Thompson Stands Tall, Golden Knights Win 5-2

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

The Vegas Golden Knights (38-28-4, 80 points) defeated the Seattle Kraken (21-41-6, 48 points) Friday night 5-2 to close out the season series between the NHL’s two newest teams. Logan Thompson made 21 of 23 saves for his fourth-straight win and Jack Eichel scored two goals.

Despite being present during the morning skate and taking warmups, Keegan Kolesar did not play Friday night. He took an awkward hit Wednesday from Riley Sheahan and left that game. The Golden Knights once again went with seven defensemen and eleven forwards.

Henderson Silver Knights leading scorer Pavel Dorofeyev slotted into the lineup as Kolesar’s replacement, playing in just his second career NHL game. Philip Grubauer got the start for the Kraken and Thompson started his ninth straight game for the Golden Knights.

Overall, the Golden Knights simply beat the Kraken Friday night in every facet. If you made the journey up to Seattle to catch this game you were not disappointed as there were seven goals, two fights, and a big win for the Vegas Golden Knights all on a Friday night in the rainy city.

Jack Eichel was all over the ice for the VGK and scored two by the time the night was over. He and Evgenii Dadonov continued to show their chemistry as Dadonov walked away with two primary assists.

Alec Martinez scored his first point since returning to the Golden Knights lineup dishing a pass to Eichel in front of the net for the games’ first goal. Eichel was simply in the right place at the right time and got a stick on Martinez’s pass to make it 1-0.

This was the 46th time the Kraken had allowed the first goal this season, a league high.

The only offense truly generated from the Kraken all night was from forward Karson Kuhlman who had a trio of chances from the slot. He missed the net on his first opportunity and then hit the post on his second. Later on in the game, Thompson made his save of the night to deny Kuhlman on a third opportunity.

Eichel scored his second goal of the game early in the second period as Jamie Oleksiak and Carson Soucy fumbled the puck in their own zone. Dadonov jumped on the loose puck and fed Eichel who made no mistake alone on Grubauer.

This marked the first-ever two-goal game of Eichel’s Golden Knights career and his 30th career multi-goal game. He now has eight points in his last ten games.

Not long after the Golden Knights extended their lead with Dadonov doing his due diligence, dishing out pucks to his teammates. Off the rush, Shea Theodore cut down the slot and scored his second goal in as many games.

Dadonov now has six goals, four assists, and ten points in his last eight games.

With his team down on home ice, Jared McCann tried to inject some life into his team and dropped the gloves with Michael Amadio right at center ice. It was an interesting matchup given the two players not typically being fighters.

They both sat for five in a trade-off the VGK will gladly take every day of the week.

Logan Thompson didn’t have much to do for the majority of the game but when he was tested he made the saves he needed to make. After Pavel Dorofeyev took a delay of game penalty LT had to make some big stops on Ryan Donato and company who were scrambling in front of the net.

Thompson also took a stick to the face from Joonas Donskoi and was shaken up heading into a TV timeout. He remained in the game though and appeared to be fine. A huge sigh of relief for the Golden Knights.

To end the second period, Ben Hutton and Yanni Gourde fought after some typical hockey chit-chat happened in front of the net.

 

All the Golden Knights needed to do in the third period was play a solid 20 minutes and walk away with two points.

But in typical Golden Knights fashion, the Hockey Gods couldn’t let the VGK walk away with two points without demanding another sacrifice.

Dylan Coghlan took a puck to the face as a shot from Kuhlman rolled up on his stick and hit him under the visor. He then took another spill into the boards late in the game and struggled to get back to the bench.

Thompson continued to make big saves such as another one on Kuhlman and a sprawling save on Daniel Sprong. But he was unable to post his second-straight shutout as Alexander Wennberg scored after McCann set him up nicely.

The Golden Knights had an opportunity to seal the game on the powerplay late in the third but failed to score. They finish the season 1/9 against the Kraken on the PP. They are not 7/27 over the last ten games on the powerplay.

Alas, they closed things out with an empty-net goal from Jonathan Marchessault who scored from his own zone to seal things.

The Kraken didn’t go without a fight though as Kole Lind scored his first career NHL goal with just over a minute remaining in the game. But time ran out for the Kraken who finished the game off with another powerplay.

William Karlsson iced things with another long-range empty-net goal, this one coming shorthanded. Karlsson now has points in three straight games.

With their series against the Kraken now complete, the Golden Knights will turn their attention to the Vancouver Canucks who they will play three times next week. The Canucks are still in the playoff hunt and will play the VGK at Rodgers Arena at 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Elsewhere in the standings, the Edmonton Oilers defeated the St. Louis Blues but the Nashville Predators lost to Alex Tuch and the Buffalo Sabres.

VHN’s Player of the Game: Jack Eichel

Easy choice here. Although I feel bad not giving LT a POTG these past two games.

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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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