The Vegas Golden Knights secured their third straight win when they defeated the Seattle Kraken 3-0 Wednesday night at Climate Pledge Arena.
The Golden Knights are now back in the second wildcard seed with 78 points, one ahead of the Stars, who have four games in hand.
Logan Thompson stopped all 22 shots he faced for his first career shutout and sixth win of the year.
The Golden Knights never trailed in the game, scoring once in the second and again in the third before icing the win with an empty-net tally. A late Seattle goal appeared to make it a one-goal game with 2:08 remaining, but the goal was overturned after Vegas challenged for offside.
The Golden Knights got some positive injury news ahead of the game with Brayden McNabb and Robin Lehner returning to the lineup after being taken off injured reserve.
McNabb finished the contest with a plus-two rating, one shot, four hits and three blocks in 19:17 of ice time; it was his first game since March 3. Lehner served as Thompson’s backup.
With McNabb returning to action, the Golden Knights went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
But once again, the Golden Knights were down a man by the end of the night, which forced Vegas to play with 10 forwards for most of the game.
That’s because Keegan Kolesar, who has played a team-high 68 games this season — took a big hit along the boards and appeared dazed almost immediately. He made his way to the bench and went straight down the tunnel; he did not return, playing just 4:24 on the night.
Much like the other day against Chicago, the Golden Knights got off to a rough start but were able to turn things around. Thompson was particularly clutch in the first period when it was all Kraken, which gave Vegas time to settle in.
The Golden Knights were better in the second, ultimately outshooting the Kraken 14-9 to give them a 20-16 edge through 40 minutes (Vegas outshot Seattle 30-22 for the game).
Vegas opened the scoring when Shea Theodore collected a pass just as he was exiting the penalty box; he scored on the ensuing breakaway, using his go-to forehand-backhand move to beat Chris Driedger top-shelf at 7:38 of the middle frame.
Shea did his shootout move but during actual play— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 31, 2022
it was like a crossover episode pic.twitter.com/oX2ZXzRpgm
Theodore had some shaky moments earlier in the game, especially on a drop-pass turnover right in front of his own net. He also took the Golden Knights’ lone minor penalty of the evening, though he made up for it with his ninth of the year.
Jonas Rondbjerg recorded his third assist of the season on the play.
It was the Golden Knights’ first goal scored on the road in 15 days and first in 158:07.
Vegas gave up a breakaway early in the third period, but a strong defensive stick play by Ben Hutton broke up the chance to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Nearly a full period after Theodore’s tally, the Golden Knights doubled their lead when Michael Amadio’s shot bounced into the net off the skate of Seattle defenseman Adam Larsson.
Despite the fortunate finish, it was a fantastic all-around play by Amadio, who deked around the defender, followed the play and sent a backhand shot five-hole while falling down.
22 makes it 2-0 pic.twitter.com/JDrzj9M6rp— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 31, 2022
Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson were credited with assists on the play.
Though it appeared as though Jordan Eberle had snapped Thompson’s shutout bid, the goal was promptly overturned as it was clearly offside.
Marchessault scored on the empty net for his 26th goal of the season and second point of the game to seal the win with 27 seconds remaining.
It was another uninspired start for the Golden Knights, who were not ready for the game and did not look like the team in desperate need of two points.
However, Vegas got key saves and capitalized on prime scoring chances.
The power play was a train wreck all night, finishing 0-for-3 when all was said and done. Seattle’s penalty kill was aggressive, and it gave Vegas fits. That’s something the Golden Knights will need to shake off moving forward if they want to compete.
The Golden Knights and Kraken will go head-to-head once again on Friday to kick off the final month of the regular season; it will be the first of Vegas’ 13 remaining games as the Golden Knights make their final push for a playoff berth.