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Vegas Golden Knights

Maple Leafs Score at Will in 7-3 Defeat of Golden Knights



Thursday was the first look at a Vegas Golden Knights team that would be without Jack Eichel and Mark Stone on the ice for the next few games. The Toronto Maple Leafs reminded the Golden Knights fans how much Eichel and Stone mean to the team.

The Golden Knights had a great first four minutes of the first period. Alex Pietrangelo had his shot deflect off Martin Jones and over his head. It seemed like the puck was going to cross the line, however, the puck landed on edge and spun away from the goal line. The Golden Knights followed that up with a couple more scoring chances.

The Golden Knights gave up goals 70 seconds apart, both due to poor giveaways. Mason Morelli gave away a puck in the defensive zone that led to the first Leafs goal by Jake McCabe.

The second goal started as a result of Nic Hague not being able to handle a pass from Adin Hill. David Kampf skated in and beat a sprawled-out Hill. Ryan Reaves got the assist.

Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, the Maple Leafs scoring would continue.

After a lost faceoff in the defensive zone and a Brayden McNabb lost puck battle, John Tavares beat Hill with a low shot. The goal from Tavares ended Hill’s night.

Max Domi scored the Leafs fourth goal of the first period. Domi took a pass near the bottom of the right circle. Logan Thompson made the first save and failed to stop the rebound attempt.

A concerned crowd at T-Mobile Arena watched the Leafs leave the ice up 4-0 after the first period.

The Golden Knights needed just 21 seconds in the second period to get on the scoreboard. William Karlsson fired a shot from the high slot that beat Martin Jones.

Unfortunately, the Leafs removed any excitement the home crowd had when Domi scored his second goal of the game. Chandler Stephenson and Brayden McNabb had a miscue over who should have played a loose puck. That brief moment of indecision was all the time Domi needed to create a breakaway.

Pontus Holmberg gave the Leafs a 6-1 lead when he was able to beat Jonathan Marchessault down the left side and score off a low wrist shot.

The Leafs took a 6-1 lead into the second intermission.

The Golden Knights made things interesting early in the third period. Goals by Jonathan Marchessault and Michael Amadio in the first 85 seconds of the period gave the Golden Knights life.

Auston Matthews put the game out of reach with 9:25 remaining in the game.

The Maple Leafs handed the Golden Knights their worst home loss of the season. The scoreboard read 7-3 in favor of the Leafs at the end of the game, but it was not that close.

Coach Bruce Cassidy was a man of few words after the loss.

“Don’t make excuses.” Cassidy on the inexperienced players in the lineup. “It’s up to the guys that have been here and done it to lead this team. It’s time to be good, right now.”

Cassidy is getting concerned over the Golden Knights’ identity.

“We’re losing our identity here. We are getting easier and easier to play against.” Cassidy on the home slump. “Teams want what we have. We’re the defending champs. They want to be that so they are coming at you. It looked like men against boys out there for 15 minutes.

The Golden Knights hit the road for a five-game road trip starting Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.