The Vegas Golden Knights (39-27-4, 82 points) met the Vancouver Canucks (33-28-10, 76 points) Wednesday night for the second of three matches in nine days. They lost the game 5-1 with Jack Eichel scoring the only goal for the VGK.
This snaps the Golden Knight’s five-game winning streak and also ends their streak of earning at least one point against the Canucks in team history.
More importantly, this keeps the Golden Knights out of a playoff spot with the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers, and Los Angeles Kings all ahead of them in the Western Conference standings. All four of these teams will have a chance to gain separation Thursday night as well.
The Canucks played a simple game of hockey Wednesday night and limited the Golden Knights to few offensive chances. It will take a miracle, but the Canucks are still in the mix for a playoff spot and kept their hopes alive Wednesday.
No lineup changes were made for the Golden Knights as they stuck with seven defensemen and Robin Lehner made his second-straight start. It was Organ Donor Night and the team wore special warm-up jerseys which were auctioned off.
On a rare occasion, the Canucks started the game strong with a strong start that Bruce Boudreau was certainly happy with. But it was the Golden Knights who scored the games’ first goal.
After a faceoff win, Brayden McNabb fed a puck down low to Chandler Stephenson who found Eichel in the slot.
He hit the crossbar on his first shot attempt and with the puck falling, Thatcher Demko made a miraculous save to keep the puck out. But unfortunately for him, he swatted it right back to Eichel who didn’t miss on his second chance.
let's take it back to Jack 💯 pic.twitter.com/sBat5MZ6Mi
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 7, 2022
Eichel now has five goals in his last six games and since joining the Golden Knights, leads the team in goal scoring with ten goals.
The Canucks didn’t let this sink them and scored two goals before the first 20 minutes were over. On their first powerplay of the game, Bo Horvat scored with Ben Hutton in the box for a hold.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson fired a shot from the blue line which hit the left pad of Lehner and caused a juicy rebound which Horvat cashed in on.
Then, just 17 seconds later, the Canucks took the lead.
A failed breakout pass from Alec Martinez to Stephenson was picked off by Conor Garland and Jason Dickinson found the loose puck. Brad Richardson would end up scoring off the turnover for his first goal as a Canuck.
The Golden Knights closed out a sloppy period defensively with a hooking penalty to McNabb which the Canucks were unable to score on.
In the second period, the Canucks played a simple brand of hockey and did an excellent job of limiting the Golden Knight’s chances. Jonathan Marchessault had the only substantial attempt from the VGK on the period, set up in the slot by William Karlsson.
The opportunistic Canucks took their time and cashed in on their chances when they came. Off the rush, Elias Pettersson made a slick move to set up Tanner Pearson who scored to make it 3-1.
Then, Pettersson scored a goal himself after Ekman-Larsson found him in the slot with just enough time and space to make it 4-1. The buzzer rang after 40 minutes but the bleeding continued in the third.
McNabb went to the box again for taking out the legs of Pettersson and the Canucks scored after a brutal Martinez turnover on the penalty kill. Pettersson got the goal which put him up to four points on the night.
Canucks fans were heard chanting “Bruce there it is” at T-Mobile Arena.
The Golden Knights got a five-on-three chance in the third and called a timeout but finished the game down four goals, losing 5-1.
After a five-game winning streak, the Golden Knights dropped an all-important Pacific Division matchup and remain out of a playoff spot. They will play the Arizona Coyotes at home on Saturday at 7:00 pm.
VHN’s Player of the Game: Jack Eichel
He was more than noticeable again Wednesday night driving the play as usual and scoring again. But he can’t do it all himself.