GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Defending Champion Golden Knights Beat Stars 3-1 To Take 2-0 Series Lead Home To Vegas

Apr 25, 2024, 9:52 PM

Vegas Golden Knights Dallas Stars NHL playoffs...

DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 24: Jack Eichel #9 of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrates scoring a goal in the third period against the Dallas Stars in Game Two of the First Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the American Airlines Center on April 24, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

DALLAS (AP) — Jack Eichel and the defending champion Vegas Golden Knights got exactly what they anticipated, and withstood that early hard push in Game 2 by the desperate Dallas Stars.

The Golden Knights didn’t settle for a split while starting the first-round series on the road.

“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 assisted on the tying goal by Jonathan Marchessault late in the first period before adding an empty-netter late, Noah Hanifin scored the tiebreaker with unassisted goal late in the second period and the Knights won 3-1 on Wednesday night for a 2-0 series lead.

Game 3 is 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 trade-deadline acquisitions for the Knights, the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Marchessault’s second goal of the series was his franchise-record 36th in the postseason while appearing in all 90 of Vegas’ playoff games. Logan Thompson had 20 saves in his second career playoff start, though Dallas didn’t get a shot to him in the final 5:37 of the game.

In the Western Conference Final last May, the Knights were the top seed when winning the first three games against Dallas and eventually taking the series in six games.

After falling 4-3 in the opener of this first-round series, the Stars came out intent on setting a hard-hitting tone before the series shifted West.

Mason Marchment took defenseman Zach Whitecloud off his skates with a jarring hit behind the Vegas net only 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Knights captain Mark Stone ended up on the ice midway through the first period when it appeared that he was going to take a shot at Jason Robertson, who instead bowed up and delivered a body blow instead.

In the end, Dallas still couldn’t take down the Knights.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.

“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. 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’s go-ahead goal with 1:07 left in the second period came after defenseman Esa Lindell blocked two shots in a row.

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

After Eichel’s shot went in the empty net late, Robertson broke his stick when he slammed it against the post.

The goal by Robertson came soon after Marchment whiffed at a loose puck that had popped off Thompson’s glove, and another scramble in front of the goalie when Roope Hintz was denied twice.

The Knights got even with 1:51 left in the first period on a charge when Eichel made a move that Jake Oettinger bit on. The goalie slipped down and Marchessault had an open side of the net after getting a nifty pass.

“We settled in eventually. You don’t want 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 had 23 saves, including a sequence in the second period when he knocked away three successive shots by Shea Theodore.

After his first shot was blocked, Theodore gathered the loose puck and tried a backhander on which Oettinger made a sprawling save, lunging to knock away the puck with his extended glove. The Knights defenseman got the puck again, skated around a couple of Stars and his third shot went off the goalie who was still laying on the ice at the edge of the crease.

That was during a 4-on-4 period after a scuffle in front of Oettinger when his teammate Ryan Suter threw Anthony Mantha down and both got roughing penalties.

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

Want more coverage of the Vegas Golden Knights and the NHL Playoffs? Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Golden Knights

Wyatt-Johnston-Dallas-Stars-NHL...

W.G. Ramirez, AP

Wyatt Johnston Scores In OT, Stars Beat Golden Knights To Cut Series Deficit

Wyatt Johnston gave the Dallas Stars a 3-2 victory over Vegas on Saturday night, cutting the defending champion's series lead to 2-1.

2 months ago

Jonathan Marchessault Las Vegas Golden Knights contract talks...

MARK ANDERSON AP Sports Writer

Marchessault’s Agent Confirms Contract Talks, Likely No Decision Until Season Ends

Jonathan Marchessault is in the final season of his contract, giving the Golden Knights a major decision to make after the season.

3 months ago

NHL-Frozen-Fury-2021-Kings-Golden-Knights...

Kyle Ireland

Frozen Fury Returns To Delta Center With Kings-Golden Knights Exhibition

The NHL preseason series "Frozen Fury" returns to Salt Lake City's Delta Center in 2024 with a matchup between the Kings and Golden Knights.

4 months ago

New-Jersey-Devils-Vegas-Golden-Knights-NHL...

Allan Kreda, AP

Toffoli Caps 2nd Hat Trick Of Season In OT As Devils Beat Golden Knights

Tyler Toffoli scored in overtime to complete his second hat trick of the season as the New Jersey Devils rallied to beat the Golden Knights.

5 months ago

Vegas-Golden-Knights-NHL...

Stephen Whyno, AP

Avalanche, Bruins, Golden Knights Mark 1st Time In NHL History 3 Teams Open Season 6-0-0

The defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights have picked up where they left off to start the 2023-24 NHL season.

8 months ago

Golden Knights opener...

W.G. RAMIREZ Associated Press

Golden Knights Raise Stanley Cup Banner, Beat Kraken 4-1 In Opener

The Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights beat Seattle, 4-1, in the season opener on Tuesday night after a banner-raising ceremony.

8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption...

Hans & Scotty’s Day Of Adoption

Join the KSL Sports Zone for Hans & Scotty's Day of Adoption, in partnership with the Humane Society of Utah, on June 25th, 2024!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Defending Champion Golden Knights Beat Stars 3-1 To Take 2-0 Series Lead Home To Vegas