The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of their second-round series to reach the Western Conference Finals. The Golden Knights have reached the Western Conference Finals four times in their brief six-year history.
Jonathan Marchessault was the star of Game 6, scoring three goals in the 5-2 triumph. It was the second career postseason hat trick for Marchessault. Despite the team’s accomplishment, Marchessault indicated that the team is only halfway done to their goal. He said the ultimate goal as an organization is to win the Stanley Cup, and reaching the conference finals is just a step in that process.
Goalie Adin Hill stifled Edmonton, saving 39 shots in his third career playoff start. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith added goals in the win.
Vegas will take on either the Dallas Stars or the Seattle Kraken, who enter a do-or-die Game 7.
The Golden Knights should be the favorites in the next round. They have six players remaining from the team that made an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season, back in 2017-18.
The game didn’t start well for Vegas, as Edmonton went up 2-1 barely three minutes into the game. However, goalie Stuart Skinner allowed four goals through the first two periods before being pulled for Jack Campbell.
Vegas got out to a 1-0 lead 24 seconds into the game but lost the lead after 31 seconds on a goal by McDavid. Then Foegele put the Oilers ahead just 2:43 into the contest.
Marchessault evened the score at 2-2 about four and a half minutes into the second period and put Vegas in front to stay three minutes later on a tap-in at the net. He notched his third goal with 1:24 left in the second period on a wrist shot from above the hash marks.
The Oilers pulled Campbell for an extra attacker down 4-2 with three minutes remaining. Vegas remained strong defensively and sealed the deal with Karlsson’s empty net goal.
Campbell was pulled for an extra attacker with over three minutes to play in the third, but Hill and the Golden Knights stood firm. Karlsson sealed the win with an empty netter in the final minute.
The Golden Knights were stellar defensively the entire season. The Oilers, who were the most powerful offensive team during the regular season, were held to only ten goals in the final four games.
Vegas went 51-22-9 in the regular season, winning the Pacific Division by ten points. They took down the Winnipeg Jets in the opening round of the playoffs in five games. Jack Eichel leads the Golden Knights in postseason goals with 6, in assists with 8, and in total points with 14. Marchessault leads in plus/minus at +9, and Keegan Kolesar leads in penalty minutes with 38. In the net, Hill is 3-1 with a 2.19 goals against average, and Laurent Brossoit is 5-2 with a 3.18 goals against average. Vegas has outscored their opponents this postseason, 41-33.
As the Vegas Golden Knights return to the Western Conference finals, the Heat continue their improbable playoff run.