Jack Eichel scores twice, Golden Knights top Winnipeg 5-2
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jack Eichel scored twice, Adin Hill made 26 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Thursday night.
Eichel had his third multi-goal game in 39 contests since joining Vegas last season. It was the 32nd time in his career he’s scored two or more goals.
Vegas continued its impressive start under first-year coach Bruce Cassidy with the Knights improving to 4-1-0 while outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 17-10.
William Karlsson had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights. Chandler Stephenson and Jonathan Marchessault added goals for Vegas, Alex Pietrangelo had two assists, and Hill improved to 2-0.
“Our energy right from the get-go was 100%,” said Hill, who was spotted a four-goal lead in the first period. “I feel like we looked really good. We played a strong game.”
Coupled with Calgary’s loss to Buffalo, the Knights moved into first place in the Pacific Division.
Neal Pionk had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg. Pierre-Luc Dubois added a goal, and David Rittich made 27 saves.
The Jets were playing the second of back-to-back road games after beating defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado 4-3 in overtime Wednesday.
“We know they played last night, traveled here and it’s never easy,” Eichel said. “We were rested and ready to rock. We came out and played well the first 20 and we were able to find a win from there.”
Eichel opened the scoring after linemate Reilly Smith raced down the left side with the puck and delivered a perfect pass into the slot. Eichel took two strides and delivered the puck to the upper right corner.
Less than two minutes later, Karlsson made it 2-0 when he took Michael Amadio’s pass from behind the goal and punched it home for his second goal of the season.
Stephenson made it 3-0 midway through the period when his centering pass went off the skate of Jets defender Brenden Dillon and past Rittich.
Eichel scored his second goal of the period with each team serving a penalty, when he swiped Rittich’s clearing pass in the slot, twirled around in the circle, and fired the puck home to give Vegas a four-goal lead.
“I did like our energy,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We did approach the game the right way. I thought they were well rested and ready to go.”
Dubois spoiled the shutout bid early in the second period, when he fired home a rebound off Hill’s chest through his pads.
Pionk’s third goal of the season in the third period, and Marchessault’s empty-netter provided the final margin.
“It’s kind of reverse, you score four goals last night in Colorado, unfortunately you spot a team (tonight),” said Winnipeg defenseman Nate Schmidt, who played three seasons for Vegas when it joined the NHL. “Back-to-backs are tough no matter where you’re coming from, honestly. We didn’t come out with our fire in the first period, you’re down 4-0.”
NOTES: Playing in his 400th career game, Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore notched his second assist of the season with a helper on Stephenson’s goal. Theodore’s 167 career assists are tied for 31st among defensemen since he entered the league in 2015. ... In 12 regular season meetings, the winning team has scored at least four goals 11 times.
Winnipeg: Hosts Toronto on Saturday night.
Vegas: Hosts Colorado on Saturday night.
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