Marchessault scores 19 seconds in, Hill has 20 saves, Golden Knights beat Coyotes 3-2
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored 19 seconds into the game, Adin Hill made 20 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night.
Marchessault, Nicolas Hague and Chandler Stephenson had goals in the first 6:17 for the Golden Knights, who have won seven of nine and have points in eight of those.
“We understand as a team where we are at this time of the year,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It’s part three of the season, and the teams that expect to be playing deep into the spring, they get their game in order. I can see it with our guys. We know we have to play winning hockey.”
Jason Zucker and Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes, who were playing for the first time since Jan. 27. They have lost four in a row.
Hill is 4-0 and has given up seven goals since returning from a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 17. He has won seven of his last eight starts and the other was an overtime loss. He had 19 wins in 49 games with the Coyotes from 2018-21.
“The guys have a certain level of comfort” in Hill, Cassidy said. “He’s calm. He’s relaxed. So that allows everyone else to be calm and relaxed. The coach. The players. Et cetera. We just feel that with Adin, especially after the run through the playoffs last year. Everyone can relax and play, knowing that he has their back.”
Connor Ingram allowed the Knights’ three goals and was replaced by Karel Vejmelka, who stopped 28 shots.
Keller beat Hill on the blocker side on a breakaway at 3:40 of the third period to pull the Coyotes within 3-2. but they did not get another good chance despite pulling Vejmelka for a sixth attacker with 1:34 remaining.
“We didn’t panic,” Hague said. “We weren’t worried. We just want to start to build some consistency into our game.”
Each team scored on its first shot, although the Coyotes trailed 2-0 by the time they got a shot off. Marchessault scored from the right circle after Nicolas Roy won a puck battle along the side boards and fed Ivan Barbashev, whose cross-ice pass found Marchessault.(backslash)
Hague made it 2-0 at 1:17 of the first period when his wrist shot from between the circles bounced off a Coyotes defender and floated over Ingram’s glove.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights were coming off a 3-1 win Tuesday over Edmonton that snapped the Oilers’ 16-game winning streak.
“We felt great, especially after a high-energy game against Edmonton,” Barbashev said. “We scored three goals really quick, and that probably won us the game. It’s nice to score on the first shift. It gets the team going.”
Zucker scored on the Coyotes’ first shot at 4:07 of the first, when tipped in Juuso Valimaki’s slapper from from the blue line. Stephenson made it 3-1 at 6:17 when he skated in alone on Ingram and scored from the left circle, springing free after a backhanded pass from Mark Stone at the blue line.
William Karlsson appeared to give the Golden Knights a 4-1 lead at 12:20 of the first period, but a review determined that the puck was batted in with a glove before getting past Ingram. Vejmelka replaced Ingram during the review.
“Wwe played a good game,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “The first five minutes … they played two days ago, and you could see they had an edge. When we got our legs under ourselves, we were more of a team.”
Ingram, who shut out Vegas in the teams’ only previous meeting this season, made three saves.
The long break helped the Coyotes regain their health. Forward Barrett Hayton returned after missing 32 games with a hand injury, and defenseman Matt Dumba was back after missing the last three.
Golden Knights: Host Minnesota on Monday.
Coyotes: At Nashville on Saturday.
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