weather icon Partly Cloudy
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

3 takeaways from Golden Knights’ win: Players hit milestones

Updated December 13, 2022 - 9:26 pm

Mark Stone high-fived defenseman Nic Hague. He hugged center Chandler Stephenson. He jumped off the ice — twice — when right wing Jonathan Marchessault scored.

The Golden Knights’ expressive captain had a lot of reasons to celebrate during a 6-5 win over the Jets Tuesday night at Winnipeg’s Canada Life Centre.

Stone, playing in his hometown, scored twice to reach 500 career points. Defenseman Daniil Miromanov got his first NHL goal and first three-point game. Stephenson tied his career high with four points.

The circumstances made the milestones all the more impressive.

The Knights, coming off a poor offensive homestand and missing several key players, lit up one of the NHL’s best defensive teams in the Jets and a Vezina Trophy winner in goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Their league-leading 13th road win pushed them atop the Western Conference standings in points percentage (.694).

“Everyone kind of just battled,” Stone said to AT&T SportsNet. “It wasn’t a Picasso, but you need those points, you need those games. Hopefully now we can put our offensive game and our defensive game together, and we’ll be a pretty well-oiled machine.”

The Knights (21-9-1) faced a steep challenge.

They faced the Jets (18-9-1) without leading scorer Jack Eichel and their top three right-side defensemen in Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore and Zach Whitecloud. They were coming off a 1-2 homestand in which they scored four goals. They were playing in a building in which they had never won in regulation.

But the Knights captured one of their best wins of the season.

They traded blows with Winnipeg all night. Center Mark Scheifele opened the scoring 9:22 into the first period, but Miromanov responded 2:08 later. Stone’s first goal gave the Knights a 2-1 lead with two seconds left before intermission.

The teams were tied 3-3 after two periods. Left wing Morgan Barron’s and right wing Sam Gagner’s goals were sandwiched around Stone’s second.

Scheifele gave the Jets a 4-3 lead on the power play 41 seconds into the third. Marchessault fired back with two power-play goals that came from 14 feet apart.

His first from above the left circle tied the game 9:38 into the third period. His second from near the left dot put the Knights ahead 5-4 with 2:16 remaining.

Center William Karlsson sealed the win with an empty-net goal 52 seconds later. Scheifele finished his sixth hat trick with two seconds left to complete the scoring.

The win gave the Knights a sweep of their three-game season series with the Jets. It was their third time scoring at least six goals in a game. The six goals allowed tied Winnipeg’s season high.

“It takes you back to a bit of maybe your junior days when it’s back and forth like that,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “ At the end of the day, you have to play the game in front of you, and we needed some goals to overcome some mistakes.”

Here are three takeaways from the win:

1. Injury updates

The Knights probably won’t be back to full strength for a while. Cassidy said that Eichel (lower-body) is day to day. He is on injured reserve, and the earliest he can return is Saturday against the New York Islanders. Cassidy also said Theodore is week to week after colliding with Philadelphia defenseman Travis Sanheim in the neutral zone Dec. 9. Whitecloud is month to month after Boston left wing Taylor Hall crashed into his right leg Sunday.

Defenseman Brayden Pachal made his season debut against the Jets with Theodore and Whitecloud hurt and Pietrangelo (personal reasons) away from the team indefinitely.

2. Stone’s milestone

Stone told AT&T SportsNet before the game that his parents and his former billet family with the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings were in the building.

They got to witness a special accomplishment.

Stone’s second two-goal game of the season got him to 500 points in his 572nd NHL game. Stone, the 178th pick in the 2010 draft, became the seventh member of the class to hit that mark. He said the puck he scored with will stay with his parents.

”I thought he had more juice tonight,” Cassidy said. “Saw his folks last night, so probably gave him a pep talk and off he went.”

3. Power-play success

The Jets had the NHL’s fourth-best penalty kill, but the Knights scored twice on three power-play opportunities. The team is heating up on the man advantage. The Knights have seven power-play goals in their past seven games. “We were just seeing what was open and were able to cash in there,” Marchessault said. “Sometimes you need a good power play to win us games, and tonight it did.”

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

Don't miss the latest VGK news. Like our Golden Edge page