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Jan 15, 2024 9:01 pm

Mark Stone gets hat trick as Knights outwork Predators

Mark Stone recorded the first regular-season hat trick of his career to help lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Monday in Las Vegas.

Jonathan Marchessault also scored a goal, Chandler Stephenson and Pavel Dorofeyev each added two assists and Logan Thompson made 34 saves for Vegas, which improved to 16-5-2 at home.

It marked the first time in 628 career regular-season games that Stone, who also has 26 two-goal games, registered a hat trick. However, Stone twice has had hat tricks in the playoffs, including one in Game 5 of last season’s Stanley Cup Final against Florida.

Luke Evangelista scored for Nashville. Juuse Saros finished with 26 saves for the Predators, who had a seven-game road point streak (6-0-1) come to an end.

Nashville dominated early on, and Vegas didn’t get a shot on goal until 14:51 had passed in the first period.

Despite the slow start, the Golden Knights still took a 1-0 lead at 15:25 of the first when Stone snapped in a rebound of a Dorofeyev shot.

The Golden Knights extended the lead to 2-0 early in the second period. Dorofeyev won a battle for the puck along the left boards and passed to Stephenson, who then found Stone cutting in alone down the slot. Stone then fired a wrist shot five-hole on Saros at the 1:11 mark.

Nashville cut it to 2-1 at the 17:22 mark when Evangelista, stationed in front of the net, redirected Alexandre Carrier’s point shot into the top right corner for his ninth goal of the season.

Stone made it 3-1 with 24 seconds left in the period when he took a drop pass from Stephenson in the right circle on an odd-man rush and snapped a wrist shot past Saros’ blocker to complete the hat trick with his 15th goal of the season.

Nashville pulled Saros for an extra attacker with 3:27 remaining and Marchessault, playing in his 600th career game, added an empty-netter with 19 seconds left to snap a nine-game goal-scoring drought.

–Field Level Media

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