The Vegas Golden Knights (42-29-8, 107 points) lost in the shootout 2-1 to the Dallas Stars (44-21-14, 102 points) Saturday afternoon amidst the NHL's full schedule. The VGK did not clinch the Pacific Division but secured home ice for the first round, as they will now, mathematically, be either the first or second Pacific Division seed in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Roughly two hours before puck drop, it was announced that forward Jack Eichel would miss the game with a minor injury, which allowed Paul Cotter to rejoin the shuffled VGK forward group. Jonathan Quick got the start for the Golden Knights and Jake Oettinger for the Stars.
Roope Hintz also returned for the Stars, giving them their elite top line of Hintz, Jason Robertson, and Joe Pavelski.
- Miro Heiskanen's long shot from the point trickled through some skaters, but Jonathan Quick made the stop.
- Phil Kessel used his size and speed to force a mini-break. His backhand shot was stopped by Jake Oettinger.
- Jonathan Quick made a big save on Wyatt Johnston after a nifty deke to the net and shot.
- VGK PP- Max Domi went to the box after tripping Nicolas Hague. The Golden Knights did not score on the powerplay.
- Jamie Benn had a grade-A chance to score first but missed the net thanks to a late defensive play by William Karlsson.
- The Golden Knights jammed away with several chances from their first line, but Jake Oettinger stopped all of them.
- 1-0 VGK GOAL- Keegan Kolesar hit Brett Howden with a burst of speed, and he converted on a break to make it 1-0.
— x – Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 8, 2023
- Another long shot from the point shot by the Stars bounced several times, but Jonathan Quick found it and covered.
- NO GOAL- Phil Kessel accidentally gloved in a centering feed to the net. The puck went in, but this isn't handball.
- DAL PP- Just 22 seconds into the second period, Brett Howden took a hooking penalty.
- Jonathan Quick made a strong glove save on Ty Dellandrea after the Stars had a couple of solid offensive shifts.
- Brayden McNabb made one of his patented big hits on Luke Glendenning on the boards.
- Max Domi found Ty Dellandrea in the slot for a quality shot, but his shot missed the net.
- DAL PP- Jonathan Marchessault's stick got caught up in Jason Robertson and was called for hooking.
- 1-1 DAL GOAL- Off the rush, Joel Kiviranta beat Jonathan Quick with a wrist shot.
- Jamie Benn slammed Michael Amadio with a massive hit by the boards. Clean hit, Amadio got up.
- VGK PP- Off the rush, Pavel Dorofeyev tried to feed Jonathan Marchessault, but he was slashed by Miro Heiskanen.
- Chandler Stephenson hit the outside of the post on a one-timer on the powerplay.
- Brayden McNabb made a great block at the net on Roope Hintz to likely prevent a goal.
- Paul Cotter made a beauty move to the net but never got the shot off for a potential goal.
- INJURY- Roope Hintz accidentally fell on the left leg of Zach Whitecloud, twisting it up. Whitecloud left the game and did not return.
- The Golden Knights put some pressure on the Stars, with Michael Amadio and Nicolas Hague having shot opportunities.
- Old friend Evgenii Dadonov ripped a shot off the top of the post on Jonathan Quick. No goal, however.
- The Stars and head coach Peter DeBoer used their timeout with 43.6 seconds left in regulation.
- Joe Pavelski saved a goal as he stopped Chandler Stephenson's wrap-around chance.
- Both Max Domi and Reilly Smith had quality, high-velocity shots that just missed the goal.
- Jason Robertson- Stopped by Jonathan Quick.
- Pavel Dorofeyev- Stopped by Jake Oettinger.
- Roope Hintz– GOAL on a wrist shot.
- Jonathan Marchessault- Stopped by Jake Oettinger.
- Joe Pavelski- Stopped by Jonathan Quick.
- Paul Cotter- Stopped by Jake Oettinger.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS NOTES
- For the first time in NHL history, there were 16 games played on Saturday, with all 32 teams in action.
- With that, a ton of playoff implications come to fruition. Stay tuned for an article later today recapping the madness.
- For the Golden Knights, they failed to clinch the Pacific Division, but are confirmed to have home-ice advantage in the first round.
- Stalwart defenseman Ben Hutton now has five points in his last six games.
- Jack Eichel missed this game with an injury, but the lines tell me he will be back soon as not much changes as Nic Roy just moved up.
- Stay tuned for an injury update on Zach Whitecloud from head coach Bruce Cassidy.
VHN's Player of the Game: Brayden McNabb, for his shot-blocking and hard-hitting.
Up Next: The Golden Knights have just two games left in the regular season, both against the Seattle Kraken. They start at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m.