The Vegas Golden Knights found the win column for the second time in three games as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, Saturday, Dec. 3 inside the Little Caesars Arena.
This was the third of a four-game road trip for the Golden Knights.
“There’s a lot of good things,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We got the lead early, we got our game back and played a real responsible, professional road game.”
For the second time in as many games, center Jack Eichel was responsible for scoring the game’s first goal when he scored less than two minutes into the contest with his 13th goal of the season and 29th point of the year. This is now the fourth time this year Eichel has scored the game’s first goal and fifth time this season that he has scored VGK’s first goal.
Speaking of goals in back-to-back games, this was the second straight game where right-wing Reilly Smith and Eichel both scored a goal in the same game. The combo has now combined for 25 goals and it’s the third time this season that both have scored a goal in the same game.
Smith scored his goal on an empty net with three minutes to go in the game.
Center Paul Cotter made his return home to Detroit along with defenseman Alec Martinez.
“It was special,” Cotter said. “Anytime you can be home and have a home cooked meal is nice.”
With the win, the team improved to 18-7-1 on the year with 37 points in the Pacific Division. As it currently stands, Vegas holds a four-point lead over Seattle in the division. The Knights have the third most points in the league behind the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins who have 41 and 40 points respectively.
Defenseman Brayden McNabb and center Phil Kessel were the top point scorers this game as both came away with two points to add to their season totals. McNabb finished with two assists while Kessel scored a goal and an assist.
Goalie Adin Hill got the start in net for the Golden Knights and did not disappoint. Hill finished his evening with 24 saves on 25 shots faced for a final save percentage of .960.
“I thought we were great tonight,” Hill said. “We had a good all-around game. I thought we did a good job with our puck management and keeping their chances to a minimum to the outside.”
The Golden Knights will wrap up this four-game road trip in Boston for a matchup with one of the league’s top teams in the Boston Bruins Monday night. This will be the first time that Cassidy will make his return to Boston since being fired by the team at the end of last season.
Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen on AT&T Sportsnet in Las Vegas and on ESPN+ nationwide.
Center Jonathan Marchessault made sure to get the Vegas power play off to a good start when he scored a second period power play goal with just over 12 minutes to go in the period. For the second straight game, Vegas held a 2-0 lead.
Detroit center Oskar Sundqvist made sure to respond and cut the Vegas lead in half when he scored on a Detroit power play nearly four minutes after the Marchessault goal.