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Jan 27, 2024 7:54 am

Knights look to close road trip with points against Wings

The Vegas Golden Knights will finish a four-game road trip with their final contest before a nine-day break when they take on the Detroit Red Wings in the second half of a back-to-back on Saturday night.

One could argue the timing of the break and the All-Star Game couldn’t be coming at worse time for the defending Stanley Cup champions, especially reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Marchessault.

The Golden Knights improved to 5-0-1 over their last six games with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday with Marchessault leading the way with his fifth career hat trick and second of the season.

Marchessault has scored eight goals to go with three assists during the team’s six-game point streak. This comes on the heels of a nine-game goal drought from Dec. 23 to Jan. 13 that saw him register just three assists.

“Sometimes (the puck) goes in and sometimes it doesn’t,” Marchessault said on Friday after scoring goals Nos. 23, 24 and 25 for the season. “When you’re hot, you try to stay as hot as you can.”

Marchessault, who tied Leon Draisaitl with 13 goals for most in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, downplayed his fourth career hat trick with Vegas, a franchise record.

“I know I had three goals on the scoresheet but I don’t think I played that amazing,” he said. “I didn’t do much out there really. (Ivan) Barbashev shot the first one off my foot, the other one took a perfect bounce to me alone on the backdoor, and the other is an empty net.”

Adin Hill, making his second straight start after missing 22 of 23 games with a lower-body injury, finished with 36 saves to improve to 12-2-2 on the season. Hill made 40 saves in his first start after the injury on Tuesday, a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. He has stopped 76 of 80 shots since his return.

“It’s been fun being back in there,” Hill said. “It’s nice to get two points and a good overall start to the road trip. Hopefully we can finish it off tomorrow.”

The Red Wings perhaps have been overshadowed a little bit in the Motor City by the playoff run by the Detroit Lions to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. The NHL team is 8-2-1 over its past 11 games and currently occupies the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit comes in off a 3-0 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. Alex Lyon made 30 saves for his third career shutout while captain Dylan Larkin, Andrew Copp and defenseman Moritz Seider each scored during a three-goal second period.

“This is an unbelievable time in Detroit,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “I’m glad we’re pitching in a little bit, playing at a really high level. But how can you not be energized? This is flat out amazing, goose bump amazing. It’s awesome.”

Lalonde especially was happy with his team’s defensive performance after allowing four goals in the second period of a 5-4 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

“These games are becoming increasingly bigger as we get towards the second half, especially these teams that we’re neck and neck with,” Lalonde said. “Love the fact that we pitched a shutout here. It felt like a good team shutout.”

–Field Level Media

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