The defending champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, defeat the Dallas Stars 3-1, bringing a 2-0 series lead

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Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars

Jack Eichel and the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas team faced exactly what they expected: a tough start from the desperate Dallas Stars in Game 2.

The Golden Knights didn’t settle for a split in the first-round series while playing away.

“We expected them to come out and push hard that first five, 10 minutes, and they did,” Eichel said. “We responded. We were able to come in here after the first period, and it’s all tied. … They gave us all we could handle.”

Eichel helped set up the tying goal by Jonathan Marchessault late in the first period and scored an empty-netter later on. Noah Hanifin scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period, and the Knights won 3-1 on Wednesday night, taking a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 will be on Saturday night in Las Vegas. “We’re in a good spot, but there’s still a lot of hockey left to be played,” Hanifin said. “We’re happy to get back into our building and have that momentum on our side. … Just got to keep doing what we’re doing, chipping away at it and play our game.”

Hanifin was one of the three players acquired by the Knights at the trade deadline, as they aim for success as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars

Marchessault’s second goal in the series was his record-breaking 36th in the playoffs, making him the player with the most goals in franchise history while playing in all 90 of Vegas’ playoff games. Logan Thompson made 20 saves in his second playoff start, and Dallas didn’t get a shot at him in the final 5:37 of the game.

In last May’s Western Conference Final, the Knights were the top seed and won the first three games against Dallas before taking the series in six games.

After losing 4-3 in the series opener, the Stars came out determined to set a physical tone before heading West.

Mason Marchment delivered a big hit on defenseman Zach Whitecloud behind the Vegas net just 2 1/2 minutes into the game.

Knights captain Mark Stone found himself on the ice midway through the first period, appearing ready to confront Jason Robertson, but instead, Robertson stood his ground and delivered a body check.

Despite Dallas’ efforts, they couldn’t defeat the Knights.

“Loved our first period. We make one mistake at the end of the first, probably deserved to be up. That was probably a critical point in the game,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “Eichel, the wrong guy gets behind us at the wrong time.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars (Credits: Sportingnews)

And that’s what they do, they make you pay. So you come out of the first after playing a great period and you have nothing to show for it.”

Hanifin scored the go-ahead goal with 1:07 left in the second period after defenseman Esa Lindell blocked two shots.

Robertson scored his second goal of the series on a power play with 3:13 left in the first period, putting Dallas up 1-0. His 10th career playoff goal was his eighth against Vegas.

After Eichel’s empty-net goal late in the game, Robertson broke his stick by slamming it against the post.

Robertson’s goal came shortly after Marchment missed hitting a loose puck that had bounced off Thompson’s glove, and a scramble in front of the goalie where Roope Hintz was stopped twice.

The Knights tied the game with 1:51 left in the first period. Eichel made a move that fooled Jake Oettinger, causing the goalie to slip, leaving Marchessault an open side of the net after receiving a clever pass.

Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars (Credits: Reuters)

“We settled in eventually. You don’t want 1-0 to turn into 2-0, so we did a good job with that,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Go into the intermission 1-1, we haven’t been our best, but we got through it.”

Oettinger made 23 saves, including stopping three successive shots by Shea Theodore during a sequence in the second period.

After his initial shot was blocked, Theodore got the puck back and attempted a backhander, but Oettinger made a sprawling save. Theodore got the puck again and his third shot hit Oettinger, who was still down on the ice.

This occurred during a 4-on-4 period following a scuffle in front of Oettinger, where his teammate Ryan Suter got into a scuffle with Anthony Mantha, resulting in both players receiving roughing penalties.

Thomas made a couple of close-range saves right after that.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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