The Vegas Golden Knights played their second to last preseason game in a special venue Thursday night at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, against the Los Angeles Kings. Jack Eichel’s four assists propelled the VGK to a 6-4 victory.
The next time these two teams meet, it will be the start of the 2022-23 regular season, with the Golden Knights traveling to Crypto.com Arena on Oct. 11.
Reilly Smith had two, and Chandler Stephenson, Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Marchessault, and Alex Pietrangelo scored one for the Golden Knights. Gabe Vilardi, Kevin Fiala, Trevor Moore, and Sean Durzi scored for the Kings.
Logan Thompson played the full game and stopped 25 of 29.
There was also a bonus practice shootout in which the Golden Knights also won.
In terms of lineup changes, the Golden Knights iced a close-to NHL roster. Paul Cotter, who had previously played in every preseason game, got the night off.
Golden Knights Takeaways
Who Cares? It’s Preseason
A strange sequence in the second period occurred when Jonathan Marchessault scored the Golden Knight’s fourth goal to make it 4-2.
After the goal was called, it was announced that the Kings had actually scored at the other end of the ice to make it 3-3. Given that the game was played in an NBA arena, there was no official review equipment at the venue.
So Kings’ goal did not stand, and the VGK were thrown a bone. The game remained 4-2. Good thing this is a preseason game in Utah and not game seven of the Stanley Cup Final.
It’s preseason, yes, but Jack Eichel continues to look amazing in a Vegas Golden Knights sweater. He finished the night with four assists and continues to be the main offensive catalyst for the team.
He now has eight points in three preseason games. Unreal. Expect a career-rejuvenating star-caliber season from Eichel in 2022-23.
Still a Shot
Despite getting sent down to the Henderson Silver Knights during the Golden Knight’s second batch of roster cuts, Sakari Manninen got another look Thursday. He played on the team’s fourth line with Jonas Rondbjerg and Jake Leschyshyn.
Based on this, there is still a shot the forward could squeak into the lineup. Will Carrier’s mid-body injury has left another forward spot open on the team.
Brett Howden had a strong game. He didn’t contribute to anything on the scoresheet but was jittery, in a good way, all night. His speed led to two specific offensive chances in the second period and had a breakaway in the third. He also scored in the practice shootout.
He started the night with William Karlsson and Michael Amadio but got bumped up to play alongside Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson.
Flashes of Stone
There were a couple of moments in Thursday night’s game where Mark Stone looked like his old self. He had a couple of his patented neutral zone takeaways which then led to VGK offensive chances. He finished the night with two apples.
Stone played in his second preseason game of the season after he had offseason back surgery in May. The health of Stone in 2022-23 will be critical to the VGK.
For the second time this preseason, Kevin Fiala made the Golden Knight’s defense look out of position. The Kings marched to an early 2-0 lead, scoring on their first two shots of the game. Alex Pietrangelo, in particular, once again had some trouble with the newest member of the Los Angeles Kings, Kevin Fiala.
The Golden Knights will finish their 2022 preseason schedule on Sat, Oct. 8, against the Arizona Coyotes in Boise, Idaho, at 5:00 p.m. The game can be found on PT KTNV Channel 13.
Here were the lines Bruce Cassidy started with Thursday evening in Salt Lake City.
Reilly Smith- Jack Eichel- Phil Kessel
Jonathan Marchessault- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone
Brett Howden- William Karlsson- Michael Amadio
Jake Leschyshyn- Sakari Manninen- Jonas Rondbjerg
Alec Martinez- Alex Pietrangelo
Brayden McNabb- Shea Theodore
Jake Bischoff- Kaedan Korczak
Logan Thompson/Adin Hill