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Knights complete sweep of Islanders following one-goal win

Just 24 hours after a heartbreaking overtime loss against New Jersey, the Vegas Golden Knights righted the ship and got back in the win column Tuesday night as they defeated the New York Islanders, 3-2.

“We wanted to win a hockey game and we did that,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We certainly weren’t perfect but we competed harder to keep the puck out of our net and that was basically the ask after yesterday. I didn’t think we did as good of a job last night doing that. We still had some puck management issues which you’ll always have some, it’s never going to be perfect but I thought we really wanted to defend better. We still have a ways to go.” 

The win completes the season sweep of the Islanders for the Golden Knights and now gives them nine points in their last five games.

Vegas runs their record to 28-14-6 on the year, good for 62 points and second in the Pacific Division, six points behind division leading Vancouver.

“It was a big game for us,” right-winger Jonathan Marchessault said. “We’re not proud of our record on the road and it’s just good to get a win tonight.”

Up next for the Golden Knights, they continue their east coast road trip on Friday night as they take a trip to Madison Square Garden to face off with the New York Rangers. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

Friday’s meeting will be the second and final one of the year between the Golden Knights and Rangers. Vegas looks to complete the season sweep as they took the first matchup 5-1 back on Jan. 18 inside the friendly confines of T-Mobile Arena.

Tuesday marked the return of goaltender Adin Hill who had missed the last 16 games due to injury. In his return, last year’s title run hero made 41 saves on 43 shots faced for a final save percentage of .953.

“It was fun to get back into game action tonight and battle with my teammates,” Hill said. “I felt pretty good. I thought our guys played a pretty good game against a tough team over there.”

Hill has a goals allowed average of less than two for the season to go along with an average save percentage of .933 and a 10-2-2 record and a pair of shutouts.

“I always like facing a lot of shots to feel the puck more,” he said. “And get some more confidence as each shot goes on so it was nice.”

It was another fast start for the Golden Knights who grabbed the game’s first goal with about eight minutes to go in the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the opening intermission. The goal came off the stick of center Ivan Barbashev who netted his 12th goal of the season.

Barbashev’s goal extended his point streak to four games. He has three goals and three assists for a total of six points during that stretch.

Right-winger Sheldon Rempal scored his first career NHL goal Tuesday night when he lit the lamp on a power play goal to put Vegas up 2-1 with just over 12 minutes left in the second period.

“A lot of guys seem to black out,” Rempal said. “I’m going to remember every detail about that. Just an awesome moment.”

Rempal is the 25th player to score for the Golden Knights this season and he is also the 66th player all-time to score as a member of the franchise.

“It’s a big goal,” Cassidy said. “He can score. He had some looks against the Rangers. Nothing against [fellow rookie Brendan] Brisson, we just felt in a back-to-back, one of the issues with the younger guys is strength in the battles. It would be a heavy game.”

Center Nicolas Roy was responsible for lighting the lamp on the third and final Vegas goal when he scored less than two minutes after Rempal.

Roy has scored at least one point in four of his last five games and has two points and six assists for a total of eight points during that stretch.

The aforementioned Marchessault found the score sheet for the fifth straight game, assisting on Roy’s goal for his 15th assist of the season.


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