Jack Eichel lifts Golden Knights to thrilling 2-1 OT win against Jets
The Vegas Golden Knights secured their eighth win of the season in exhilarating fashion with a 2-1 overtime victory against the Winnipeg Jets Sunday night at T-Mobile Arena.
In a game that Vegas dominated, the Golden Knights still found themselves seconds away from a shootout thanks to a phenomenal performance by Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck.
But Jack Eichel called game, skating around the offensive zone for the final 19 seconds of overtime before driving to the net, deking around Hellebuyck and slamming the puck into the yawning cage for the win.
Adin Hill had a quiet night through two periods but stepped up with 11 saves on 12 shots in the third. He made several critical saves in overtime, including a fantastic glove save on former Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt.
Hill, now 4-0-0 on the year, stopped 23 of 24 shots for a .958 save percentage.
Hellebuyck made 46 saves on 48 shots and was the star of the game for most of the night.
But it wasn’t enough to slow down the Golden Knights, who have now won four games in a row and sit atop the Western Conference with 16 points and an 8-2-0 record through 10 games.
The Golden Knights were absolutely dominant in the first two periods, outshooting Winnipeg 33-8 and leading 52-27 in shot attempts and 21-4 in high-danger chances (16-4 at 5-on-5).
But Hellebuyck thwarted countless opportunities, and the Golden Knights failed to capitalize on multiple wide-open looks.
The game was scoreless after 40 minutes.
Just 13 seconds into the third, however, the Jets scored on their 10th shot of the game, taking a stunning 1-0 lead.
Adam Lowry cleaned up a rebound in front off a shot by Neal Pionk.
Zach Whitecloud went down in the corner and was unable to get to the front of the net in time to tie up Lowry’s stick.
But exactly seven minutes later, the Golden Knights finally got one past Hellebuyck.
Mark Stone knocked his own rebound out of the air and into the net to even things up at 1-1.
The goal came immediately after Chandler Stephenson got away with a blatant trip in the corner.
But Winnipeg got its first power play of the game with 4:48 remaining in the third; the game was there for the taking, and the Jets recorded three shots, but Hill and the Golden Knights came up with a huge kill.
Vegas continued to push, winning board battle after board battle as they had all night.
The Golden Knights had a glorious chance in the final 30 seconds of regulation when Nicolas Roy found himself alone in front. He made a move on Hellebuyck, but Hellebuyck made his best stop of the night to force extra time.
The Golden Knights led 46-20 in shots but headed to overtime for the first time this season.
The Jets were the much better team in overtime, pinning the Golden Knights in their own end and generating multiple dangerous scoring chances. The Jets won three straight faceoffs in Vegas’ end to prolong the pressure, and they recorded the first four shots of the frame.
But Hill came through with several clutch saves, and in the end, the Golden Knights only needed one shot to get the job done.
In the final seconds of the period, Eichel carried the puck around the offensive zone, looped around at the blue line to lose a defender and then headed back towards the net. He drove hard to the net, skated across the crease with the puck on a string and ultimately made his way around Hellebuyck before potting his fourth goal of the season and Vegas’ first overtime game-winning tally in Year 6.
When all was said and done, Vegas led 48-24 in shots, 78-57 in shot attempts, 48-25 in scoring chances and 28-9 in high-danger chances. The Golden Knights had a 75.35 percent expected goal share at 5-on-5.
It was a 60-minute team-wide effort by Vegas, though it was the second straight game in which the Misfit Line shined. The trio had 19 shot attempts, 14 shots and six high-danger chances, finishing the game with a 70.37 percent Corsi share and 70.49 percent expected goal share.
All four Vegas lines finished with Corsi shares above 55 percent, including the third line of Roy, Phil Kessel and Brett Howden, which held a 15-8 advantage in shot attempts and led 8-3 in scoring chances.
The Golden Knights have not lost a game in which they have not surrendered a power-play goal.
Next up for Vegas is a five-game road trip starting Tuesday night in Washington.