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GAME STORY: Golden Knights 4, Devils 3

A natural hat trick by Jonathan Marchessault in the third period propelled the visitors to a comeback win

by Marc Ciampa / NewJerseyDevils.com

NEWARK, NJ - Jonathan Marchessault scored a natural hat trick in an 8:35 span in the third period to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. 

Nico Hischier, Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt got the goals for the Devils. 

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Marchessault's first goal came 1:05 into period three. A backhand from the right circle by William Karlsson was redirected off the skate of the Vegas forward to tie the game at 2-2.

Four minutes later, Marchessault tipped a wrist shot from the right point by Deryk Engelland to give the Golden Knights their first lead of the game at 3-2. Four minutes after that, Marchessault completed the natural hat trick, banging in his own rebound for the power play goal.

The Devils quickly drew back within a goal at 4-3 after Taylor Hall fed Hischier on the rush and he quickly wristed it from the left circle past Golden Knights netminder Malcolm Subban 20 seconds later. 

"The effort was there. We had a lead going into the third. We knew they'd have a push. They're a good team over there," said Kyle Palmieri. 

It was a difficult game to play for the Devils who only found out hours before that head coach John Hynes had been relieved of his duties, replaced by assistant coach Alain Nasreddine who will be assuming the role on an interim basis.

"It's been a crazy four or five hours. I had no idea a coaching game could be coming. John's done a lot for me personally in my career. You'll see him head coaching again in the NHL sometime soon," said Hall. 

"I have a pretty cool trophy at home that I think he had a part in and certainly helped me get to that. Him and I always had a great relationship right to the very end today and I don't think that'll change."

Nasreddine talked about the whirlwind day. 

"There was a lot of emotions all day long. I liked the energy by the team. I really liked our first 40 minutes. Third period it was like we ran out of gas a bit. It doesn't take much in this League for the other team to make you pay for it and that's what happened tonight."

The Golden Knights had some chances early in the game. A blast from the high slot rang off the post behind Mackenzie Blackwood less than two minutes in and Andy Greene held the stick of Alex Tuch at the 3:33 mark with the Golden Knights pressuring to give the game's first power play to Vegas. 

Blackwood made a big save in-close on a backhand from William Karlsson nearly nine minutes into the first but after that, the Devils took over the period. 

The best chance before the Devils goal came when Taylor Hall broke in alone and fired a shot that was stopped by Vegas netminder Malcolm Subban.

Just over a minute later, Damon Severson sprung Kyle Palmieri with a stretch pass through the neutral zone. Palmieri made no mistake, splitting the Vegas defense and roofing the puck to make it 1-0

After one period, shots on goal were 17-7 for the Devils. 

Vegas tied the game past the five-minute mark of period two. Chandler Stephenson quickly one-timed a feed by Alex Tuch from the bottom of the left circle to knot it at 1-1.

Blackwood had another big stop past the period's midway point, snagging a blast from the high point by Jonathan Marchessault. 

With 5:43 to play in the second, Damon Severson fed Jesper Bratt with a cross-ice pass and Bratt ripped it by Subban to put the Devils up 2-1. 

The Golden Knights argued that Hall interfered with Subban in the crease. It was ruled a good goal and the Devils received a power play for the failed coach's challenge.

Shots in the second period were 11-10 for the Devils and 28-17 overall in the game for New Jersey.

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