Jack Eichel nets a pair as Golden Knights sink Kraken 5-2
SEATTLE (AP) — Jack Eichel getting hot and continued solid play in net from Logan Thompson could be the perfect combination for the Vegas Golden Knights in their push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Eichel scored twice in his first multigoal game since being traded to Vegas, Thompson made 26 saves in winning his fourth straight game, and the Golden Knights beat the Seattle Kraken 5-2 on Friday night.
The Golden Knights, the previous NHL expansion team, swept the season series against the newest expansion team. Vegas beat Seattle in the season opener in October and shut out the Kraken 3-0 on Wednesday night.
“Every game is competitive in this league. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” Eichel said. “They got a lot of good players over there. … You just got to take care of business every night. And like I said before, we know the position that we’re in, but we can only control so much and just get two points every night.”
Eichel scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season in his 22nd game for the Golden Knights. Shea Theodore scored his 10th of the season midway through the second period.
Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson added empty-net goals in the final 2 1/2 minutes for Vegas. Marchessault’s was his 27th of the season and Karlsson’s his 10th.
The victory pushed Vegas back into a playoff spot in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Dallas for the second wild-card spot.
“It was just a matter of time time with Jack Eichel,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “We sat and looked at some tape on the off day yesterday. He could have had two or three last game, too. So he’s getting great looks, he’s working for good looks, he’s playing a good 200-foot game for us. And now they’re going in.”
Evgenii Dadonov added two assists and has seven points for Vegas since the NHL voided the attempted trade by the Golden Knights that would have sent Dadonov to Anaheim at the trade deadline last month.
Alex Wennberg pulled Seattle within 3-1 at 10:44 of the third period with his ninth goal of the season off a great pass from Jared McCann. Kole Lind scored his first career NHL goal with 1:38 left following Marchessault’s empty-net goal.
McCann also found himself in a fight in the second period, just the sixth of his career.
“Frustration is the easiest way to put it. Things haven’t really been going our way this year with bounces or anything like that,” McCann said. “I just feel like it kind of boiled over tonight. Obviously I don’t do that very often.”
Making his eighth straight start, Thompson was terrific when called upon, but great scoring chances were rare for the Kraken. Karson Kuhlman had two excellent chances for Seattle, missing the net open in front of the net in the first period and hitting the crossbar in the second period.
Thompson has started eight straight games for the Golden Knights and is 6-2 during that span.
“I’m kind of like a broken record. I just keep getting confident every day,” Thompson said. “Like I said, Pete’s letting me run with it. And I’m just having a lot of fun and guys are playing really well.”
Eichel’s first came at 10:28 of the first after a bad defensive rotation allowed Alec Martinez to skate in and feed Eichel in front of net.
Just seconds after Kuhlman hit the crossbar in the second, Eichel scored his second of the game, finding himself alone in front of the net off a pass from Dadonov. Later in the second, Theodore was left unmarked racing down the center of the ice and beat Grubauer on the blocker side.
Eichel’s last multigoal game came more than two years ago while still with Buffalo in February 2020 against Pittsburgh. Eichel has four goals in his past four.
NOTES: McCann got the better of Vegas’ Michael Amadio in their fight. McCann had 12 penalty minutes on the season entering the night. Seattle’s Yanni Gourde and Vegas’ Ben Hutton also had fighting majors. … Vegas F Keegan Kolesar was scratched. Kolesar was in a fight with Seattle D Jamie Oleksiak in Wednesday’s game. DeBoer said Kolesar was day-to-day. … Seattle scratched D Haydn Fleury (upper body) and F Jaden Schwartz (upper body). Both missed their fourth straight game.
Golden Knights: at Vancouver on Sunday.
Kraken: Host Dallas on Sunday.
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