‘Snug’ Eichel will get his 1st Vegas aim in win

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Three video games into his Vegas Golden Knights profession, Jack Eichel on Sunday started to indicate glimpses of the various causes the Stanley Cup-hopeful crew acquired him.

Eichel, held out of the aim column in two losses for Vegas to open his season final week, scored his first aim as a Golden Knight, and added an help, as Vegas defeated the San Jose Sharks, 4-1. It was the Golden Knights’ tenth straight win over San Jose and snapped an uncharacteristic three-game dropping streak.

Eichel, delayed from making his Vegas debut as he recovered from synthetic disk substitute surgical procedure on his neck in November following his commerce from the Buffalo Sabres, completed off a nifty give-and-go with Chandler Stephenson to offer Vegas a 2-0 lead within the first interval. It was his first aim since Jan. 28, 2021, with Buffalo. The aim got here throughout four-on-four play, with gamers from each side within the penalty field.

“There was just a little little bit of aid,” Eichel stated on the sport broadcast. “You get the primary one out of the way in which, and simply hold enjoying hockey.”

Vegas acquired Eichel in a cope with the Sabres on Nov. 4 and he underwent the surgical procedure the next week. He started training with the Golden Knights final month and made his debut final Wednesday as a top-line heart.

“It is just a little little bit of strain off of him now. However I favored his recreation tonight,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer stated. “I feel that with each recreation, he is taken one other step, and tonight, he was that significantly better.”

Past the statistics, Eichel merely regarded extra relaxed vs. the Sharks, his skating strides had been lengthy and he was lively within the corners on puck battles. Within the third interval, he tried a wraparound, spinorama shot on San Jose goalie James Reimer that was deflected away. And within the first interval, he was stopped on a breakaway. Clearly, although, as the sport progressed, he regarded an increasing number of just like the Eichel that grew to become a celebrity in Buffalo. He completed with 18 shifts Sunday evening, overlaying 18:08 time on the ice.

“It is beginning to come,” Eichel stated. “I am simply attempting to get just a little extra aggressive. I really feel like I have been passing up probabilities to shoot the puck, and I really feel that generates quite a bit for my recreation, once I can simply be aggressive. So, I simply should hold getting pucks to the web and hold it from the opposite crew.”

DeBoer concurred.

“He is beginning to get extra comfy, he is utilizing his pace, and he is beginning to get his timing,” he stated. “These are good indicators.”

Goaltender Logan Thompson, up from the crew’s American Hockey League affiliate, picked up the win in his second profession NHL begin. Thompson, who misplaced his first begin final month in opposition to Nashville, made 35 saves, together with just a few memorable ones late, when the Sharks had Reimer pulled.

Keegan Kolesar and Max Pacioretty additionally scored, and Stephenson added an empty-netter because the Golden Knights maintained their dominance of what as soon as was a fierce rivalry. Eichel assisted on Pacioretty’s aim early within the second.

Vegas received all eight conferences in opposition to San Jose final season and hasn’t misplaced to the Sharks since Nov. 21, 2019, at residence. The Golden Knights additionally have not misplaced in San Jose since blowing a three-goal lead within the third interval of Recreation 7 within the first spherical of the 2019 playoffs.

Nick Bonino scored the lone aim for the Sharks, who’re winless of their final six video games. Reimer made 31 saves.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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