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3 takeaways from Knights’ win: Resurgence continues vs. Capitals

Updated December 2, 2023 - 10:22 pm

Logan Thompson was on the verge of his first shutout of the season when Tom Wilson spoiled the moment with a goal for the Capitals with 3:14 to play in the third period.

It was about the only thing that went wrong for the Golden Knights in another outstanding performance as they earned their second consecutive victory with a 4-1 win over Washington at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.

Thompson, who made 21 saves, took the disappointment in stride.

“I don’t get shutouts,” he laughed. “That’s always been my Achilles’ heel. So I’m just happy for the two points.”

They secured those and improved to 16-5-4 on the season with another clean performance. They skated well, checked well and stayed disciplined.

They also put the puck in the net, something the Knights are finally doing again after a prolonged scoring slump the last few weeks.

Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists for the second consecutive game, and Jonathan Marchessault scored twice, including an empty-net goal in the final minutes.

“We’re a veteran group, and we know how to win hockey games,” Marchessault said. “It was a good overall game again.”

The Knights started to turn the corner in the third period of an overtime loss to Edmonton on Tuesday, then seized on the momentum with two of their best 60-minute performances of the season the last two times they took the ice.

The Knights allowed just nine shots through two periods Saturday and have now scored four goals in three consecutive games, earning at least one point in four straight contests.

They also remained perfect in the six regular-season meetings against Washington (12-7-2) at T-Mobile Arena.

Here are three takeaways from the win:

1. Breaking out

The goal by Marchessault broke a streak of six games without a goal for the talented winger.

It was his most consecutive games without a goal this season and his longest regular-season drought since a 13-game run that spanned late January and early February last season.

“It had been awhile, so it was kind of nice to get on the board,” Marchessault said. “With a guy like me, it’s only a matter of time. I don’t know anything other than hard work, and if you do that, it’s going to pay off at some point. So yeah, I was happy about that.”

2. Run support

Thompson was tremendous in net, but he also got some help from his offense for the first time in a while.

He entered the game having lost his last five starts, largely because the Knights had been shut out twice in those games and had only scored nine total goals.

Thompson didn’t need much help Saturday night.

He made several pretty glove saves on point-blank shots and moved around very well in net to keep the Capitals off-balance for most of the night.

Thompson also picked up his second assist of the season on the opening goal, moving him to a tie at the top of the NHL goalie leaderboard with two points on the year.

3. Injury update

It was Thompson’s turn to start in net as the Knights continue their goaltending platoon, but Adin Hill was unavailable anyway.

He left Thursday’s 4-1 win over Vancouver after two shutout periods in what was deemed a precautionary measure because of a lower-body concern and was not in uniform Saturday night.

The Knights recalled Jiri Patera from Henderson on Saturday to serve as Thompson’s backup.

“(Hill) is day-to-day for now,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “He’s not going to dress tonight because Patera is out there, and we want to give him a full couple days here after leaving the game.”

Cassidy said more will be known about Hill’s situation in the coming days, and the coach was unsure if Hill would take his regular turn in net Monday night when the Knights host the Blues.

The Knights are still without two defensemen. Shea Theodore is on injured reserve and is considered week-to-week. Alec Martinez appears closer to a return, but was not on the ice with his teammates for Saturday’s morning skate.

“We’re right around 10 days now,” Cassidy said. “He’s still got a little ways to go.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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