Jack Eichel scores in OT, Golden Knights beat Jets 2-1
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jack Eichel scored with seven seconds left in overtime and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday night to improve to 8-2-0.
With the victory, the Golden Knights are tied with Boston for an NHL-high 16 points as they head out for their first extended road trip of the season.
The Jets, who were 2-0 in overtime this season, had their season-best, three-game winning streak brought to a halt thanks to Eichel’s nifty skating as time dwindled in the extra session.
“I wanted to get to my backhand side, it’s a little more dynamic that way,” Eichel said. “Obviously, I circled the net there on my forehand to start. I wanted to take it to the net, I could hear the bench saying there wasn’t a whole lot of time left, and I knew they had some tired bodies on the ice, I just wanted to try and challenge them.”
Eichel circled the offensive zone for eight seconds before changing directions on Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele at the blue line, then skated down the left wing, darted through the crease and beat goalie Connor Hellebuyck’s left pad.
Winnipeg had won five of its past six meetings with the Golden Knights.
Mark Stone tied it for Vegas in the third period, and Adin Hill made 24 saves.
While Vegas starter Logan Thompson (1.69) and Hill (1.72) rank fourth and sixth, respectively, with their goals-against averages, they’ve combined to help Vegas rank No. 1 in the NHL with its 1.70 GAA.
“Logan’s played six and Aidan’s four and I’ll be upfront, that was our plan. And we were going to stick to it unless something really went haywire,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We were not going to deviate just because maybe one of the guys had a poor outing. And that didn’t work out, they’ve had solid outings.”
Adam Lowry scored Winnipeg’s lone goal in regulation. Hellebuyck stopped 46 shots.
After saving the first nine shots he saw over the first two periods, Hill let the 10th get past him when Lowry punched home a rebound at the doorstep to put Winnipeg in front 13 seconds into the third period.
It was only the third time in 10 games the Golden Knights allowed the opposition to score first, while it marked the seventh time in eight games the Jets was the first to score in their games.
Hellebuyck, who has the second-most shutouts since entering the league in 2015 with 29, lost his bid for No. 30 when Stone tied it seven minutes later. Eichel assisted on the goal, and he now has four multi-point games this season.
“Our goaltender had to stand on his head for most of the evening,” Winnipeg associate coach Scott Arniel said. “We’ll take the points, get out of here. We got some lessons to learn, continue to have to get out of some habits that we keep throwing at ourselves. Just, the way we get started in games isn’t good enough in this league.”
NOTES: Vegas’ Alec Martinez and Reilly Smith are both four games away from skating in their 700th career game. ... With the first-period penalty for interference, Winnipeg’s Brenden Dillon reached surpassed 700 penalty minutes for his NHL career.
Winnipeg: Hosts Montreal on Thursday night.
Vegas: Opens a five-game trip at Washington on Tuesday night.
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