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Golden Knights recap: Adin Hill flawless in relief

At a glance

Golden Knights lead 2-1

Game 1 — Knights 6, Oilers 4

Game 2 — Oilers 5, Knights 1

Game 3 — Knights 5, Oilers 1

Game 4 — 7 p.m. Wednesday, Rogers Place (ESPN)

Game 5 — TBD Friday, T-Mobile Arena (TNT)

Game 6* — TBD Sunday, Rogers Place (TBA)

Game 7* — TBD May 16, T-Mobile Arena (TNT)

* If necessary

RJ’s three stars

3. Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault— He scored his first two goals of the postseason, both in the first period. Marchessault tied the game after the Oilers had taken the lead and then gave the Knights the lead for good a few minutes later. He finished with a team-high six shots on goal to give him 13 in his past two games.

2. Knights forward Jack Eichel— While Eichel forever will be linked to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid because he was the No. 2 pick behind the Oilers’ star in the 2015 draft, the Knights’ star shined brightest Monday. Eichel had two assists and a goal that saw him drop a defender with a deke before firing the puck just inside the far post that chased goalie Stuart Skinner from the game in the second period. He was also sound defensively.

1. Knights goaltender Adin Hill — In his most extensive action in more than two months, Hill stopped all 24 shots he saw in relief of Laurent Brossoit, who left the game with a lower-body injury in a 1-1 game with 8:16 left in the first period. Hill hadn’t played since March 7 before taking over for Brossoit in the third period of a Game 2 blowout loss. There were some adventurous moments in the crease Monday, but Hill’s performance could not have been any more important for the Knights.

Key play

Marchessault’s goal at 4:44 of the first period.

The Oilers continued the momentum from a dominant Game 2 and worked the rowdy crowd into a frenzy with an early goal.

Marchessault chased his own deflected shot to the corner and put the puck back to the center of the ice, where Eichel tried to fire it on net. Marchessault then fought through traffic to get himself to the front of the net and cash in the rebound.

The equalizer might have changed the direction of the game and, the Knights hope, the series.

Key stat

1 — The goal by Zach Whitecloud in the second period was the first by a Knights defenseman in the postseason.

It wasn’t the most pivotal tally in terms of Monday’s outcome, but it was a welcome contribution from a unit that is typically a major part of the team’s offensive success.

There’s too much firepower on the blue line to be held down for long, and if Whitecloud’s goal is the one that sparks offense from players such as Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore, it could prove beneficial for their hopes of making a long run.

With Whitecloud and Marchessault getting on the board, the Knights have goals from 10 players in the postseason.

Knights quotable

“Credit to the Edmonton fans for kind of giving him (an ovation) when he left the ice. If you’re in another city, they may have been throwing beer on him. They probably appreciated his efforts in the past is what I assume that was for. Sort of a caring round of applause, so I’m sure he appreciated that too,” Coach Bruce Cassidy, on the crowd’s reaction to the injury to Brossoit, who won a Western Hockey League title with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Oilers quotable

“I never like to say we got outworked. Everyone is always bringing their best effort. Sometimes that doesn’t always turn into results. That being said, if we win a few more battles here and there, it’s a closer game. But I don’t think that was it.” — Forward Connor McDavid, on if he thought the Knights worked harder than the Oilers.

Adam Hill Las Vegas Review-Journal

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