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FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Penguins – Game 41 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Vegas Golden Knights (27-12-2)  | Pittsburgh Penguins (19-13-6)

 

Jack Eichel and Paul Cotter return to the ice as the Golden Knights defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2.

 

Golden Knights vs Penguins
Photo Credit: Ellen Schmidt/AP

After defeating the Colorado Avalanche on the road to kick off 2023, the Vegas Golden Knights returned to The Fortress for their first home game of the new year as they hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at T-Mobile Arena

The Knights were back home, but more importantly, it was the return of their star forward Jack Eichel coming back from his injury on December 9th. Also, Paul Cotter returned to the lineup as well. 

Almost two minutes into the second period, Phil Kessel fired a wrist shot after a feed pass from Paul Cotter to put the Knights on the board first, 1-0.  

But seconds later, it looked like the Penguins had scored to tie the game, but the goal was called off due to an icing call.

It was a good way for Vegas to strike first early in the first period, but also good for Cotter to set the tone with an assist in his first game back.

Things got better for the Knights almost midway in the first period, when Jack Eichel scored after shooting a wrist-shot from the right face-off circle to extend the lead for Vegas 2-0.

 

It just starts your game; you get a little confidence,” Eichel said. “Get that one out of the way and just go out there and play.”

 

Golden Knights vs Penguins
Photo Credit: Ellen Schmidt/AP

Still, with a lot of game time left on the clock in the first, the Knights got on the power play after Jake Guentzel got called for slashing.

With the Knights now on the power play, Vegas capitalized on that opportunity by scoring a power play goal after Chandler Stephenson shot a one-timer shot from the slot to extend the lead to 3-0.

The first ended with Vegas in the lead 3-0, and the Knights in all phases dominated the first period. They were playing with high energy, forcing turnovers that would lead to shots and lead goals for the Golden Knights.

 

The few days of rest between games for the Knights helped in a way which is why their offense was on a quick start in the first period. 

 

Golden Knights vs Penguins
Photo Credit: Ellen Schmidt/AP

The second period of play was pretty quiet between both teams, the Penguins got on the power play midway in the second due to a tripping call on Phil Kessel, but the Vegas penalty kill unit was successful in the end.

Just over a minute left in the second period, Mark Stone scored after redirecting Brayden McNabb’s shot to extend the lead now 4-0.

At the beginning of the third period, the Penguins finally got on the board after Ty Smith scored through traffic to make the score 4-1. But the Knights were not done with scoring either when Paul Cotter scored a one-timer shot to make it 5-1 in favor of Vegas.

The night’s final goal would be in the hands of the Penguins, with Sidney Crosby scoring with 1:30 left in the third to make it 5-2. But the last would not matter nor take away from Adin Hill’s 38 saves as the Knights cruised to a victory over the Penguins 5-2.

The in the past four home games, the Golden Knights have now scored at least four goals. They scored just 11 goals here in the seven games before that stretch when they went 1-6-0.

“We’ve played better at home recently,” Bruce Cassidy said. “We went through that funk where we couldn’t score in this building to save our lives. … All of a sudden, we’re getting some bounces. That gives you energy as well. I put that more on our guys just being excited to be back here and winning in front of our fans. I think that gives us a little bit of juice.”

 

Key Takeaway

 

Logan Thompson did not play, but before the puck drop, he was named to the Pacific Division team for the All-Star Game. Jack Eichel ended the night with three points in his return (1 goal, two assists).

 

On Saturday, the Golden Knights play against their Pacific Division rival, Los Angeles Kings, at T-Mobile Arena. They are scheduled to drop the puck at 7:00 pm. The game can be seen on  AT&T SportsNet (channel 313 on Cox Cable) or heard on 98.9 FM, FOX Sports Las Vegas 1340 AM.

 

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– Jonathan Randall – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonnyquest1991

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