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Golden Knights recap: Adin Hill settles down after shaky start

Updated May 14, 2023 - 10:28 pm

At a glance

Knights win series 4-2

Game 1 — Knights 6, Oilers 4

Game 2 — Oilers 5, Knights 1

Game 3 — Knights 5, Oilers 1

Game 4 — Oilers 4, Knights 1

Game 5 — Knights 4, Oilers 3

Game 6 — Knights 5, Oilers 2

RJ’s three stars

3. Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel— Known for his immense skill on offense, Eichel shined on the defensive end throughout the series.

He was particularly good Sunday. Eichel had an active stick, always seemed to be in the right place defensively and sacrificed his body several times to break up opportunities.

Eichel, in his first playoff series, added an assist and was a plus-4 in the game.

2. Knights goaltender Adin Hill — It wasn’t pretty early for Hill, who gave up two goals and created some tense moments.

Then he settled in and locked things down on the back end for the Knights.

Hill was pivotal on a penalty kill in the second period before making huge saves early in the third when the Oilers put together a push to try to get back into the game.

He made 38 saves in the series-clinching victory.

1. Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault— An original member of the Knights, Marchessault continued his hot streak with three goals, all in the second period.

The natural hat trick took the Knights from a 2-1 deficit to a 4-2 lead over the course of 14:10 of game time.

On the first goal, which tied the game at the 4:26 mark, Marchessault found himself alone skating toward the far post as a tip from Ivan Barbashev dropped right to him. The second goal was also a puck that deflected in the air and found him in the right place at the right time for a tip-in goal.

His third was a pretty wrist shot that ripped the back of the net.

Marchessault has eight points in his past three games.

Key play

Penalty kill after William Carrier’s second-period holding call

There has been so much made of the Oilers’ power play, and with good reason.

It might be the best unit the NHL has ever seen.

But the Knights’ penalty kill came up with a huge response after the first call of the game when Carrier went off for holding deep in the offensive zone at the 11:49 mark of the second period.

Edmonton had a golden opportunity to tie the game minutes after the Knights had taken the lead only to get shut down. Even though the Oilers spent nearly the entire two minutes in the offensive zone, the Knights killed it off and maintained the momentum at a point when it seemed as if nearly everyone in the building not wearing a road jersey believed an equalizing goal was inevitable.

Key stat

48-1 — While the Knights have shown an ability to succeed in all types of games, they do seem to have a magic number in their winning games.

Sunday’s victory improved their record to 48-1 in games when they score at least four goals, including the postseason.

The exception was a 7-4 home loss to the Oilers in March at T-Mobile Arena.

Four also could represent the number of times the Knights have reached at least the conference semifinal round in their six-year history. They are again one of the final four teams standing as they search for their first Stanley Cup.

Knights quotable

“I’m just trying to make my teammates better out there and give them a chance to win. The beauty of our team is our depth, and we just keep it rolling.”

— Marchessault, on his hot streak

Oilers quotable

“It hurts. It’s tough to find words right now. Obviously, when you start a season, you’re in it to win it, and we’re at the stage where if you don’t complete that, it feels like a failure or a wasted year almost.”

— Forward Leon Draisaitl, on the pain of being eliminated

Adam Hill Las Vegas Review-Journal

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