The Vegas Golden Knights were outplayed all night but still came away with two points thanks to a sensational performance by Adin Hill, who led the Golden Knights to a 4-3 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils Friday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The Devils held a 96-57 edge in shot attempts in all situations, forcing Hill to stop 47 of 50 shots for a .940 save percentage. Hill also stopped all four of New Jersey’s shootout attempts.
It was all New Jersey early and often in this one, as the Devils controlled play all night.
However, it was the Golden Knights who opened the scoring when Jonathan Marchessault scored 7:48 into the first period.
HE WENT AIRBORNE pic.twitter.com/ybDyGnGSfb— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 4, 2023
But the Devils scored the next two to take a 2-1 lead into intermission.
First, Jesper Bratt scored on New Jersey’s first power play of the night; then, the red-hot Dawson Mercer put the Devils ahead by one with 28 seconds left in the period.
Jack Hughes with the feed ➡️ Jesper Bratt with the finish pic.twitter.com/978dwOW94I— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 4, 2023
EIGHT STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A GOAL FOR DAWSON MERCER#NJDevils pic.twitter.com/GHEQb9qZ1E— Devils Red Alert (@DevilsRedAlert) March 4, 2023
Marchessault scored the lone goal of the second period at the 12:50 mark to knot things up at 2-2. Ivan Barbashev assisted on both of Marchessault’s goals, giving him his first multi-point game as a member of the Golden Knights. He has three assists in his last two games.
Jonathan Marchessault ties this one up 2-2! pic.twitter.com/uG2rH2DLMh— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM West (@ATTSportsNetRMW) March 4, 2023
Jack Eichel scored just under four minutes into the third period to put Vegas back on top.
EICHEL EICHEL MOTORCYCLE pic.twitter.com/KUwaFfNMEQ— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 4, 2023
But the Devils continued to surge and eventually stuffed another one past Hill to even things up at 3-3 at 12:53 of the third. There were countless chances that nearly resulted in the Devils pulling ahead in regulation, but Hill put the team on his back until the very end, forcing extra time.
Miles Wood jams home Boqvist's fantastic setup, tying it up for New Jersey in the third!#NJDevils pic.twitter.com/Uor533lnvU— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) March 4, 2023
The Devils were completely dominant in overtime, outshooting Vegas 9-0 and forcing Hill to come up with save after save.
But it was Hill’s night, and he made every stop he needed to in order to help the Golden Knights reach a shootout.
There, he went 4-for-4 to give Shea Theodore enough time to pot the game-winner in the fourth round to lift Vegas to victory.
Our shootout heroes ⛰ pic.twitter.com/tjdEwV3HYH— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 4, 2023
It was the Golden Knights’ second straight win this month and improved their post-All-Star break record to 8-1-2.
It wasn’t pretty, though, and that was true from the start.
“Tonight was a game that we just weren’t prepared to play,” Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “But Adin sure was.”
But for Hill, this would have been an absolute blowout.
The Devils finished the game with a 63.2 percent Corsi share and 73.59 percent expected goal share at 5-on-5 and led 38-22 in shots, 54-22 in scoring chances and 27-11 in high-danger shot attempts.
In all situations, the Devils held a 67-28 advantage in scoring chances and out-attempted Vegas 96-57.
Needless to say, the Devils were swarming and the Golden Knights were scrambling.
Enter Adin Hill.
Hill likely put together the best performance of his career and one of the most compelling games by any netminder this season.
According to MoneyPuck, Hill saved 4.06 goals above expected. In one game.
He was so good, in fact, that even New Jersey had to tip its cap.
Lol. This goalie. What the heck.— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) March 4, 2023
The Golden Knights had no business even being in this game.
But they were, and they won, thanks to Hill’s 47-save effort, a career high.
Adin Hill- “I felt like I had a good game.”— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) March 4, 2023
Of course, Hill needed goal support to get the two points, and Vegas’ top line delivered. The trio of Marchessault, Eichel and Barbashev was responsible for all three goals and combined for seven points in the contest.
Barbashev had another solid game and complemented multiple units when Cassidy was forced to shuffle his lines. That was done partly to counter New Jersey’s dominance — as evidenced by the fact that the defensive pairings were shuffled as well — but also due to the injury and departure of William Carrier.
Cassidy did not have an update on Carrier following the game but said the team should know more tomorrow depending on his availability at practice. Carrier suffered a lower-body injury after playing just 5:08.
Cassidy said that Paul Cotter, who was the odd man out tonight, would re-join the lineup if Carrier is forced to miss time.
That would be very costly for Vegas, who passed on adding additional forwards ahead of Friday’s trade deadline.
The Golden Knights will host the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday afternoon to wrap up this three-game homestand.