Golden Knights defeat Red Wings 4-1 but lose Eichel to injury
The Vegas Golden Knights delivered a sound 60-minute performance when they handed the Detroit Red Wings a 4-1 defeat Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.
The win improved Vegas’ record to 2-1-0 on this four-game road trip and 18-7-1 in 2022-23.
However, the Golden Knights sustained a potentially massive blow as Jack Eichel left the game during the third period and did not return. He appeared to have injured his left leg and was in visible pain before heading down the tunnel to the locker room.
Bruce Cassidy did not have a specific update on Eichel following the game but said he is still being evaluated.
That would be a significant loss for the Golden Knights, who have been fortunate on the injury front so far this season.
Aside from that troubling development, it was a strong all-around effort by the Golden Knights, who were able to bounce back from a 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh.
Adin Hill got his first win in nearly a month after losing three straight starts; he stopped 24 of 25 shots for a .960 save percentage and is now 6-2-1 this season.
For the third time during this road trip, the Golden Knights were the first on the board.
Eichel gave Vegas an early 1-0 lead with his 13th of the year. Chandler Stephenson won a race to the puck in the corner and sent a sharp spin-around feed to Eichel in front to open the scoring.
Though Vegas was outshot 9-6 and trailed 21-13 in shot attempts in the opening frame, the Golden Knights carried that 1-0 lead to the second period, where the two clubs combined for three goals.
In addition to scoring first, the Golden Knights also took a 2-0 lead for the third time on this road trip.
Jonathan Marchessault scored on the power play just under eight minutes into the second period on a pretty passing play with Mark Stone and Shea Theodore, who picked up the assists on Marchessault’s ninth of the year.
However, the Golden Knights proceeded to take back-to-back penalties, which led to a power-play goal by noted Golden Knights killer Oskar Sundqvist.
Sundqvist was left alone in front, and he jammed home the rebound after Hill made the stop on the initial redirect.
Right after the Golden Knights killed off the second penalty, Nicolas Roy found Phil Kessel right out of the box, springing the NHL ironman on a breakaway. Kessel made no mistake, firing a laser past Detroit netminder Ville Husso to restore Vegas’ two-goal lead at 16:32 of the period.
It was a critical moment in a tight game and ultimately helped Vegas come out on top.
Vegas shut the door the rest of the way, and Reilly Smith hit the empty net with three minutes left in the third period to seal the 4-1 win. Kessel and Brayden McNabb picked up the assists on the play, giving both two points on the night.
Alex Pietrangelo missed his third straight game as he continues to tend to a personal matter. Daniil Miromanov made his season debut in his place, skating with Nicolas Hague on the Golden Knights’ third pairing.
Miromanov had a solid outing and was noticeable on both sides of the puck. He finished the contest with one shot and two blocks in 16:34 and finished tied with Eichel for the team lead in individual Corsi (five) at 5-on-5, per NaturalStatTrick.
The Golden Knights will wrap up this four-game road trip Monday night against the Bruins as Cassidy makes his return to Boston. Vegas is 11-2-1 on the road this season, but Boston has won 15 straight on home ice.