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Eichel nets winner in OT as Golden Knights top Kraken 5-4

Mar 12, 2024, 10:40 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 1:08 am

Seattle Kraken Philipp Grubauer...

Philipp Grubauer of the Seattle Kraken reacts after giving up the game-tying goal to Vegas. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — On the verge of a fifth loss in six games, the Vegas Golden Knights put together a late rally that may have ended the hopes of the Seattle Kraken getting back into the Western Conference playoff race.

Vegas Golden Knights 5, Seattle Kraken 4 (OT): Box score

Jonathan Marchessault scored his second goal of the game with 16 seconds left to force overtime, Jack Eichel scored 3:01 into the extra session and the Golden Knights beat the Kraken 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Vegas rallied from a 4-2 deficit midway through the third period, picked up a big two points in the standings and moved nine points clear of Seattle in the chase for one of the wild-card spots in the Western Conference. Vegas is also six points clear of Minnesota and eight points in front of St. Louis, but the victory could knock Seattle from the viable list of teams trying to chase down the Golden Knights.

“The desperation was for sure there and that’s what our team needs for the remainder of our year,” Eichel said. “We need to be desperate every night and points are at a premium. It was important to get two (points) tonight.”

Marchessault’s tying goal came with the Vegas net empty. A shot from Eichel bounced off the stick of Chandler Stevenson and fell to Marchessault with an open net.

Marchessault also scored on the power play in the second period and has 37 goals this season, including five in his past two games.

But the turning point for Vegas was William Karlsson’s 23rd goal with 7:37 remaining to pull the Golden Knights within 4-3. It came less than a minute after Oliver Bjorkstrand gave the Kraken a two-goal lead.

“We’re aware of the standings and they’re behind us, chasing us, so to get away with the win was huge,” Karlsson said.

In overtime, both Vegas goalie Adin Hill and Seattle’s Philipp Grubauer made big stops, but Eichel was sprung free on a breakaway and scored his 20th of the season to give the Golden Knights their second straight victory. It was also Eichel’s 200th career goal.

Seattle trailed 2-1 going to the third period, but staged a three-goal rally to take a 4-2 lead and seemed on the verge of a crucial two points to try and narrow the gap in the playoff chase.

Matty Beniers scored 1:55 into the third period to pull Seattle even, redirecting Will Borgen’s shot from the blue line. It was Beniers’ ninth goal of the season and first since Feb. 15 in Boston.

Brandon Tanev gave Seattle the lead a few minutes later getting a tip on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s shot and Bjorkstrand capped Seattle’s rally getting sprung free by Eeli Tolvanen on a breakaway that gave Seattle a 4-2 lead.

Andre Burakovsky also scored for Seattle in the second period.

“I liked everything until we scored that fourth goal. I felt like at that point we somehow cut off the system a little bit, we got off the plan and from that point we were on our heels instead of being on the attack,” Bellemare said.

Hill finished with 26 saves. Grubauer stopped 29 shots.

Seattle’s Jordan Eberle skated in his 1,000th game becoming the fifth player from the 2010 draft class to reach the milestone joining Drew Doughty, Steven Stamkos, Josh Bailey and Alex Pietrangelo. Eberle played 507 games with Edmonton, 272 with the New York Islanders, and Tuesday was his 221st with Seattle.

Eberle signed a two-year contract extension with the Kraken last week that will keep him with the team through the 2025-26 season.

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