The Vegas Golden Knights found a way to win Friday night against the New Jersey Devils, 4-3, in a shootout. Defenseman Shea Theodore supplied the game-winning goal for the Knights in the extra period.
“Tonight was a game that we weren’t prepared to play so we’ll all take the blame for that,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We’ve got to prepare the players and the players have to be ready this time of the year.”
This win keeps Vegas in the top spot of the Pacific Division Standings with a record of 37-19-6, good for 80 points and a two-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings. Seattle and Edmonton are tied for that third spot with 76 points each. The top three teams from each division are given playoff spots.
Vegas wraps up this three-game homestand on Sunday, March 5 as they get set to welcome the Montreal Canadiens to T-Mobile Arena. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m. in that one.
Sunday’s matchup is the second and final regular season matchup between Montreal and Vegas. The Golden Knights took the opening matchup 6-4 on Nov. 5 in Montreal.
Goaltender Adin Hill was awarded the first star of the game Friday after facing a career-high 49 shots. Hill was able to make 46 saves on those 49 shots for a final save percentage of .938 in the shootout win. He now has a 16-6-1 record on the season.
“Tonight was another playoff-type game just like the other night against Carolina,” Hill said. “We pulled through and got the win.”
Those 46 saves are also a career-high for Hill and he has compiled a 6-1-0 record since the all-star break with a save percentage of .926 during that time.
“He put in overtime tonight,” Cassidy said. “Good for Adin. He was really on tonight at full value and we needed it.”
The high scorer of the game was right-winger Jonathan Marchessault who finished the game with two goals and an assist for a total of three points.
The first of the Marchessault goals gave the Knights a 1-0 lead just under eight minutes into the opening period. New Jersey responded with two goals in the final 4:44 of the first period to grab a 2-1 lead after one.
Assisting on the opening goal was new addition Ivan Barbashev who finished the game with two assists, giving him his sixth multipoint game of the season and first as a member of the Golden Knights. He has three assists in the last two games.
“He’s one of those guys that makes all the little plays out there,” Marchessault said. “He has that veteran presence on the ice, he has a lot of poise and he plays hard too.”
This was Marchessault’s 400th career NHL point making him the fifth active undrafted player to reach this milestone.
Marchessault’s second goal was a game-tying goal in the second period when he tied the game at two apiece with 7:10 to go in the middle frame, a score that would hold going into the third period.
Marchessault grabbed his fourth multi-goal game of the season and his 19th as a member of the Golden Knights which ties with Max Pacioretty for the most in franchise history. He sits at 19 goals scored for the season.
Center Jack Eichel was the third Golden Knight to finish this game with multiple points in the stat sheet. Eichel broke a 2-2 tie just 3:47 into the third period to give him his 23rd goal on the season. This goal was his eighth goal in his last ten games and he has racked up a total of 13 points in those last ten games.
Eichel leads the team with 15 multi-point games this season.