The Vegas Golden Knights walloped the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in what was the first time Vegas earned a victory over the Oilers all season.
And it looked like Vegas wanted the win badly.
Ryan Carpenter kicked off the scoring with a rebound off a chance generated by Deryk Engelland. The Knights then scored twice in the second period to take the game completely away from the Oilers, with Jonathan Marchessault getting on the board and William Karlsson scoring number 30 on the year.
Karlsson has now doubled his previous goal-scoring output from the past two seasons.
Erik Haula capped off the Knights' rout before Marc-Andre Fleury allowed his first goal of the night to Leon Draisaitl. Connor McDavid was held pointless and was sent to the box as well. A frustrating night for Edmonton and a great night for the Knights.
Carpenter has earned a permanent spot
Carpenter scored his fourth goal in six games and is beginning to earn a lot more playing time. He's developed chemistry with his linemates and appears to be the goal scorer Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has needed.
His possession stats with the Bellemare/Tomas Nosek combo aren't bad, either. Carpenter with that combination of linemates has a 68 percent shot share, has yet to be scored on (three goals for), has 66.67 percent high-danger chance share and owns a 62.5 percent Corsi.
Compare that to the fourth line of William Carrier, Nosek and Bellemare, who have a 49.83 percent Corsi, 46.41 percent shot share, 54.55 percent goal share and 51.72 percent high danger chance share.
Carpenter might be better suited to the fourth line and may help Nosek and Bellemare be more than just a great possession line in the long run.
Cody Eakin continues to not see the ice
Eakin played just nine minutes against the Chicago Blackhawks. Against the Oilers, Eakin played 10:22, including just 16 seconds on the penalty kill. He's being slowly left out of the lineup, and it's hard to blame Gerard Gallant. Eakin hasn't scored since Jan. 5, which certainly isn’t good enough.
It's not like the Knights don't have other options, either. At the same time as the Knights were beating the Oilers, the Chicago Wolves grabbed their own victory against the Cleveland Monsters. T.J. Tynan played a large part in that, adding three points in the contest. He does everything Eakin does but better.
If a forward gets injured, don’t be surprised if Tynan gets called up to see how he performs with the third line. If he does well, the Knights may find it easier to move on from Eakin.
Colin Miller is a fighter?
Miller got in his first fight as a Golden Knight against Jujhar Khaira. Miller actually has more fights than one would expect, and he had at least one fight in five games with the Boston Bruins.
COLIN MILLER IS FIGHTING!— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) February 16, 2018
(or something like that) pic.twitter.com/pKWcPjM2cG
Khaira needed to get his frustrations out, and I guess Miller was the guy to accept the challenge. It's just good to know that in a pinch, Miller isn’t afraid to throw the hands.
There might not be a first defensive pairing
Over the season, the first pairing for the Golden Knights has largely been considered Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb. But in a win over a team that gave the Knights problems, they played the least, just 18:55 and 18:35 respectively.
That's not the first time that's happened, either. Shea Theodore has posted times of over 23 minutes five times, more often recently. He doesn't play with Schmidt or McNabb often at even-strength. That's just Theodore. Engelland posted 22 minutes against the Oilers, the most on the team. He's been over 22 minutes 10 times this season.
But it's not like Theodore and Engelland are the first pair, either. Engelland and Theodore have both been under 18 minutes nine times (Theodore six times since his first three games). Miller, on the other hand, has been over 22 minutes just twice, and most of his minutes come from the power play.
So, there's no concrete order for Vegas's pairings. But if they're limiting McDavid, one of hockey's greatest players, to zero points, then the Knights should keep doing what they're doing.
The Golden Knights finally did it. They finally beat a team wearing the color orange.
Perhaps no color had given the Knights more trouble this season than that one. Whether it was the Oilers, who had two victories over Vegas before their own loss, or the New York Islanders, or the Philadelphia Flyers, the Knights could not beat the teams in orange unis.
There will be multiple theories about this, but I'll submit mine — sweeping the season series with the Blackhawks worked like a flu shot — that little bit of orange in Chicago's logo immunized the Knights against the color.
The Knights will next test the orange theory against Philadelphia on March 12.