Phil Kessel helps Golden Knights beat Predators 5-1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Phil Kessel, William Carrier and Chandler Stephenson each had a goal and an assist, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Tuesday night.
Vegas had dropped four in a row and seven of eight overall. Michael Amadio and Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Golden Knights, and Adin Hill made 16 saves in the team’s first game since Jan. 28.
“It’s tight in the West so you’ve got to make these games count,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “There’s still a lot of hockey left. Let’s start taking care of business, playing the right way, building our game so that it’s really sound going toward the end of the year.”
Matt Duchene scored for Nashville in the first period. Juuse Saros, Nashville’s lone representative at the All-Star Game, made 25 saves.
The Predators had won three straight and five of six going into the All-Star break.
“We weren’t good in a lot of facets and there’s no excuses for it,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “The other team had a break too, and tonight it wasn’t good.”
Hill faced just four shots in the first and two in the second. Nashville’s previous low for shots in a game this season was 18, and Vegas’ previous season low for shots allowed was also 18.
“That game was kind of weird in the sense that it wasn’t like they had no zone time," Hill said. “There were pucks missing the net, hitting bodies in front, so I was able to stay in it pretty easily. It wasn’t like there were any long stretches of play where I didn’t have any action in my end.”
Duchene’s 15th goal put Nashville in front at 5:04, but Vegas responded with three goals in the first.
“We didn’t deserve to win tonight,” Duchene said. “We beat ourselves more than they beat us. That’s kind of the story.”
Amadio and Carrier scored 27 seconds apart, and Kessel made it 3-1 at 11:58.
“It was a good response to keep the game tight, and (we) came out of that first period with a 3-1 lead is good for us,” Carrier said.
Nashville narrowly avoided a couple of franchise records for fewest shots on goal. The two shots that made it through to Hill in the middle frame exceeded the Predators record for shots in a period by one. They registered just one shot on goal on four occasions, the most recent coming on Dec. 8, 2008.
The franchise record for fewest shots on goal during a game is nine, set Jan. 27, 2001.
SUCCESS AGAINST NASHVILLE
Stephenson has two goals and three assists in two games against Nashville this season. In 10 career games against the Predators, he has six goals and eight assists.
Vegas defenseman Zach Whitecloud returned to the lineup after missing 21 games due to a lower-body injury.
Predators: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Golden Knights: Visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
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