T-Mobile Arena hasn’t been all that kind to the Vegas Golden Knights this season, but tonight the team rolled over the Pittsburgh Penguins to improve their home record to 12-9-0. Vegas deployed some new lines with the return of Jack Eichel and Paul Cotter, and it was one of the best games from start to finish that the team’s played in a long while.
Phil Kessel got the team off an running early with his 7th goal of the season just 1:52 into the game, with assists being record by Cotter and William Karlsson.
A few minutes later Eichel celebrated his return to action with a goal of his own to make it 2-0. The goal was Eichel’s 14th of the season, and would be the 1st of the 3 points he’d tally during the game.
Shortly after that Chandler Stephenson stayed hot by adding his 11th goal of the season, and after 20 minutes of play the Golden Knights had a respectable 3-0 lead.
Things calmed offensively in the 2nd period for the Golden Knights, and it seemed as if the score would remain the same as time went on. It was a very busy period of play, as the Penguins peppered Adin Hill with 20 shots on net, while the Golden Knights had 12. Mark Stone ultimately found the back of the net at 19:49 of the period to capture his 17th tally of the 2022-23 campaign after deflecting a shot from Brayden McNabb.
At this point shutout watch for Hill was becoming a thing, and unfortunately Ty Smith broke it up with his 1st goal of the season at 4:04 of the period. Later on in the period Cotter found the back of the net off a feed from Kessel to make it 5-1, and it was his 2nd point of the night in his 1st game back from injury.
Sidney Crosby tallied the Penguins final goal of the game at 18:30 of the period, and when time expired the Golden Knights emerged with a 5-2 victory.
Vegas excelled in multiple areas of this game, including special teams. The power play went 1 for 1, and the penalty kill went 3 for 3. Hill had another strong outing, and he finished the game with 38 saves on 40 shots. The Golden Knights out shot Pittsburgh 13 to 9 in the first period, but were subsequently out shot 31 to 18 over the final 40 minutes of play, and 40 to 31 overall.
The Golden Knights are next in action on Saturday vs. the Los Angeles Kings, and they’ll look to keep their win streak going as they attempt to solidify their spot atop the Western Conference standings.