On a night where the Vegas Golden Knights unveiled the first glow in the dark game worn uniforms in professional sports history with the reverse retro jersey reveal, the team would have a contest against the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena. Jack Eichel fired off two first period goals.
First Period Breakdown – Goals are like Halloween candy
The Golden Knights got off to a good start early in the period when Reilly Smith found Jack Eichel on a three-on-one attack to take an early 1-0 lead with 15:37 to go, Then less than two minutes later off a pass from Michael Amadio, William Karlsson grabbed his second goal of the season. Keeping the puck in the offensive zone seemed to be a common theme early on in the period, With 11 minutes to go in the opening period, the Knights outshot the Jets 8-3.
As the period reached the halfway point, the Golden Knights found the scoreboard again with a Chandler Stephenson goal off a pass from Shea Theodore. With 5:14 left Adin Hill was called for interference giving the Jets their first power play of the game, but that last just two seconds with Pierre-Luc Dubois getting an interference call against Reilly Smith. Right off the first few seconds of the four-on-four, Eichel would find the net for his second goal of the game giving Vegas a 4-0 first period lead. The Golden Knights outshot Winnipeg 13-7 in the opening frame
Score after one period of play: Golden Knights 4, Jets 0
Overall impressions of the first period of play:
– Eichel is a man on a mission. Two goals in the first period is about as good as you can hope for when it comes to their man offensive weapon.
– Hill looks impressive after his start in Seattle. Goaltending is becoming a strength for this team and its a welcome surprise.
– Balanced offensive threat. Three of the first period goals are off three different lines. This has been a common theme this season..
First Period Grades
Offense: A+ | Defense: A+ | Special Teams: B | Goaltending: A+
Second Period Breakdown – Staying out of the kitty litter box is key
After a back and forth start between two team early in the second, Blake Wheeler was called for tripping on Keegan Kolesar giving the Golden Knights their third power play of the game. Eichel, who was already on hat trick watch, fired off a shot that stung David Rittich. After the power play was over, Dubois got a clutch goal that went under Hill’s pads to give the Jets their first goal of the game with 12:37 left in the period.
A smaller Jonathan Marchessault laid a massive hit on Brenden Dillion and it was a very noteworthy hit with seven minutes remaining in the second. For much of the second period, the Golden Knights seemed to be slow and lazy on the ice, but the offense found some gas late in the period. Mostly an uneventful period.
Score after two periods of play: Golden Knights 4, Jets 1
Overall impressions of the second period of play:
– Offense got off to a good start but started to fizzle out into the crowd as the period started to wane on. This trend needs to rectify itself.
– Winnipeg wanted it more that period but the Golden Knights are just a better team with a better roster,
– Staying out of the kitty litter box was a good sign in the period. Maintain a healthy lead gives you hope for the third period with everyone’s eyes on Eichel.
Second Period Grades
Offense: B- | Defense: B- | Special Teams: B | Goaltending: A-
Third Period Breakdown: Finishing strong results in a win
The start of the third period looked like it was mostly in favor of the Jets. Eichel still playing like he is hungry for more. The offense seems to have some life but its mostly flat. Which is understandable. With 10:35 left, Neal Pionk scored a goal for the Jets to put the score to a two goal Golden Knight lead.
Brett Howden made a shot on goal with 7:10 remaining in the game. It would be the first shot on goal for the Golden Knights in nearly seven minutes of play. Hill made some decent saves throughout the period, keeping the Jets off the scoreboard for the most part. With 3:55 left, Winnipeg pulled Rittich for an extra attacker. Eichel missed an empty netter for a potential hat trick with 2:33 left. Hill also went after a goalie goal with the empty net. Marchessault was looking for Eichel under a minute left, but went ahead to score an empty net goal increase the score to a 5-2 lead.
Final Score – Golden Knights 5, Jets 2
Overall impressions of the third period of play:
– A tale of two halves in the period. Jets had the momentum in their favor for the first period of play and their efforts rewarded them with a Pionk goal.
– The Golden Knights were able to maintain control of the puck for the last part of the game and the Jets ended up pulling Rittich with just under four minutes left. Lots of work needs to be on the empty net situations despite the Marchessault empty-net to close out the game.
– Hill was fantastic in net for Vegas. Goaltender is becoming a major strength of this team.
Thiird Period Grades
Offense: B- | Defense: B- | Special Teams: B | Goaltending: A-
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Three Takes on Game Knight #5
1 – Another fast start for the Golden Knights
Getting some early goals are becoming crucial for the Golden Knights. Jack Eichel looked like a man on a mission and he was rewarded with two first period goals. The four first period goals gave them a big cushion as momentum slowly waned into Winnipeg’s favor throughout the game. That being said, the Golden Knights battled back to finish the game.
2 – Goaltender is becoming a strength
Adin Hill, much like in his Seattle start, was absolutely spectacular in net. Out of 28 shots, Hill saved 26 of them. Having two hungry goalies playing like they have something to prove each and every period. The key for Hill is to make sure he stays laser-focused. Cassidy at the moment appears to call the Thompson-Hill ticket as a 1A and 1B and it appears that is how it will be until Brossoit cones back.
3 – Another test coming for the Golden Knights
After losing a lead to the the Calgary Flames, the next big test will come on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche. Questions about this team is starting to take shape but the always dangerous Avalanche will peel off some of those answers. While we won’t likely get everything we want, the potential for the Golden Knights is there. The big key is staying healthy. As far as Winnipeg goes, they will still be a very scrappy team that could cause sone major havoc down the stretch.