The Vegas Golden Knights picked up a much needed win on Thursday by defeating the Nashville Predators by a score of 6 to 1. Evgenii Dadonov tallied a goal and two assists in his “return” to Vegas, and received quite an ovation from the fans at T-Mobile Arena. That moment was a real high of the evening, and unfortunately there was something else that drew a completely different reaction.
Toward the end of the first period Brett Howden awkwardly went head first into the boards near the Predators bench, and was eventually brought to the hospital.
Update: Brett Howden is in stable condition and has been sent for further diagnostics and exams. #VegasBorn— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 25, 2022
In addition to Howden, Nolan Patrick did not return after the first period, so essentially the Golden Knights played the entire game with just 10 forwards. Mattias Janmark got Vegas on the board early on in the first period, and Alex Pietrangelo (26) and Chandler Stephenson (32) picked up assists on his 9th goal of the season.
Nicolas Roy picked up his 13th goal of the year in the second half of the first period, and the score remained 2-0 after 2:00 of play.
btw this Nic Roy goal was *chefs kiss* pic.twitter.com/1dDrM3Xx7i— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 25, 2022
The Golden Knights went to the power play early on in the second period, and that’s when Dadonov got on the board and sent the crowd into a frenzy with his 16th goal of the season with Jonathan Marchessault (24) and Stephenson (33) picked up tallies on the goal.
Nashville eventually got on the board during a power play of their own, and Filip Forsberg’s 36th goal of the season came just under 2:00 after Dadonov’s. Roman Josi picked up his 61st! assist and Ryan Johansen added his 32nd on the goal.
The momentum for Nashville didn’t last long, as the Golden Knights went back on the power play, and this time it was Jack Eichel’s turn to score. His 6th goal of the year was assisted by Marchessault (25) and Dadonov (13).
The third period remained 4-1 for a good portion of time, but Vegas would tally their final goals of the game in the second half of the period. Stephenson picked up his 16th goal of the year on the power play at 14:42, and was helped by Eichel (7) and Marchessault (26).
Pietrangelo scored the 6th and final goal of the game at 17:07 with Roy (18) and Dadonov (14) adding another point to their ledger. Overall it was a pretty productive night offensively, as Marchessault, Stephenson, and Dadonov tallied 3 points a piece, while Eichel, Roy, and Pietrangelo had 2 points of their own.
Overall the Golden Knights peppered Juuse Saros with 50 shots, and found the back of the net 6 times, including 3 goals on the power play. Logan Thompson was spectacular in net for Vegas, and stopped 35 of 36 shots, including 30 of 30 at even strength. The lone goal surrendered to Forsberg came on the power play.
The victory is a huge one for Vegas who needed to keep pace as both the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers won on Thursday. They were successful because they got contributions for their top players, capitalized on the power play, and got excellent goaltending.