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Marchessault's Hat Trick Propels Vegas To 7-3 Win

Forward notches third hat trick in Golden Knights history

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Jonathan Marchessault notched the third hat trick in franchise history as the Vegas Golden Knights stormed past the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 7-3 victory Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.

HOW IT WENT DOWN
The game's scoring got going early as Phil Kessel notched the opening goal at 3:51 of the first period. Unphased by the early deficit, the Golden Knights rattled off three straight goals to grab a 3-1 lead at the end of the period. Shea Theodore tallied the first with a slapshot on the power play at 6:09 before Max Pacioretty and Oscar Lindberg scored just 47 seconds apart.

Pittsburgh regrouped quickly in the second period as Dominik Simon and Sidney Crosby scored early goals to tie score, 3-3. At 12:26 of the second, Marchessault caught Casey DeSmith out of position to score his first goal of the night. He buried his second of the evening 3:50 later and Vegas skated into the second intermission with a 5-3 advantage. William Karlsson deflected home a Colin Miller shot to increase the edge to 6-3. With DeSmith pulled in the final minute of the game, Pacioretty fed Marchessault in the neutral zone and he deposited a shot into the empty net to complete the second hat trick of his career.

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Players And Fans Enjoy Knight To Remember Event

The Golden Knights hosted fans and celebrities to benefit VGK Foundation

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights hosted the Knight To Remember event on Thursday night at World Market Pavilions to benefit the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation.

The event kicked off with a VIP reception where guests arrived in style and walked the carpet. Photos were taken with the Vegas Belles presented by The Flamingo before casual meet-and-greet opportunities with the players and coaching staff.

"From start to finish, everything felt like family," said guest Jay Bryant-Chavez. "The players are so down to earth and humble."

The respect the fans in attendance had for the players was mirrored by the Golden Knights as they enjoyed spending some time away from the ice with fans.

"The city stands behind this team so much," said forward Ryan Reaves. "For us to spend some time with them, take some pictures and shake some hands, it's always fun."

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Morning Skate Report: January 19, 2019

Vegas and Pittsburgh collide at T-Mobile Arena

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins to open a three-game homestand at 7 p.m. Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. Tune in to AT&T SportsNet, FOX Sports Radio 98.9/1340 and ESPN Deportes 1460 for the action.

NOTES
Saturday's game is the first of three straight home games for Vegas. After the three-game stretch, the Golden Knights head into the All-Star break and bye week. They will not play again until Feb. 1 at Carolina.

In their only meeting at T-Mobile Arena last season, Vegas skated to a 2-1 win against Pittsburgh.

LAST TIME OUT
The Golden Knights are four days removed from a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets. Vegas' 44 shots on goal were not enough to beat Laurent Brossoit and the Jets. Brandon Pirri scored the only goal for Vegas, his eighth of the season.

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By The Numbers: Golden Knights vs. Penguins

Vegas and Pittsburgh both putting together impressive seasons

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights host the Pittsburgh Penguins for their final meeting of the season Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. Pittsburgh pulled off a 4-2 victory when the teams met on Oct. 11 when the Golden Knights were enduring a tough start to the season.

Each team has put up impressive numbers this season and there are some similarities in the respective stats that the Golden Knights and Penguins have put up.

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Jr. Golden Knights Peewee AA To Compete In Quebec Intl Peewee Tournament

Vegas Golden Knights partner Cirque du Soleil to help support the team's travel and participation expenses for the tournament

by Vegas Golden Knights @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

VEGAS (January 18, 2019) - Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced today, January 18, that the Vegas Jr. Golden Knights Pee-Wee AA team will participate in the prestigious Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament from February 13-24, 2019 in Quebec, Canada. This will mark the first time a Vegas Jr. Golden Knights club will travel to and play in the tournament.

The Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament is widely considered the preeminent competition for 11-12 year olds in the world. After almost 50 years of existence, more than 1200 NHL players have participated in the annual tournament, including current Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury , William Carrier , Paul Stastny , Jonathan Marchessault , Max Lagace, Ryan Reaves , Alex Tuch , Jon Merrill and Max Pacioretty . In addition, hockey legends Guy Lafleur, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy and Brad Park, as well as current NHL stars such as Patrice Bergeron, Connor McDavid, Johnny Gaudreau, Auston Matthews, Torey Krug, Steven Stamkos, and Anze Kopitar have also competed.

"We are proud to represent the Vegas Golden Knights - and all of Las Vegas youth hockey - in the Quebec International Pee-Wee tournament," said Vegas Golden Knights Director of Hockey Operations Misha Donskov. "The Quebec International Pee-Wee tournament is world class - there is not another youth hockey competition around like it. The number of NHL players who have played in the tournament is impressive and we hope to one day see Jr. Golden Knights names listed alongside these current and former NHL stars. We are grateful for Cirque du Soleil's support in helping make this trip possible."

Thanks to the partnership with Cirque du Soleil, the club's travel and tournament expenses will be significantly reduced.

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Prospect Kruse Nominated For Hobey Baker Award

2018 draft pick having strong season at Bowling Green

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brandon Kruse has been nominated for the 2019 Hobey Baker Memorial Award given annually to the most outstanding player in NCAA Division-I hockey.

Kruse leads the Bowling Green Falcons in scoring with 26 points (7G, 19A) in 23 games and has helped BGSU to a 15-5-3 record and the No. 9 ranking in the nation.

He was selected in the 5th round (135th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by Vegas after posting 33 points (8G, 21A) in 41 games as a freshman for the Falcons in 2017-18. Kruse attended development camp with the Golden Knights in June just days after the draft. He met fellow draft picks and prospects at development camp and said that he got his first taste of "what it takes to be a pro."

"I just tried to come in with an open mind and take in as much as I could," Kruse said at camp.

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McNabb Takes Pride In Shot-Blocking

Vegas defenseman lays body on the line to protect his net

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb ranks sixth in the NHL in blocked shots this season as of Jan. 11. In 49 games, he's got in the way of 96 shot attempts that otherwise would've challenged Vegas goalies Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban.

McNabb's prowess in the defensive zone is something he's been working on throughout his career. Blocked shots aren't a glamorous stat and McNabb said that he's just fine with that.

"It's not flashy, but it helps get the job done," McNabb said. "The more pucks you can get in the way of and deflect out of harm's way, the better."

McNabb credits the time he spends killing penalties for his high numbers in blocked shots. The Golden Knights have the seventh most efficient penalty kill in the NHL at 83.8 percent. Contributing to that success are players like McNabb positioning themselves in areas that keep shots from reaching the Vegas net.

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Perspective Gained In Loss vs. Winnipeg

Vegas Learned What Must Be Done To Top League's Best Clubs

by Gary Lawless @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Not in the lexicon of the Vegas Golden Knights. From the owner on down, the organization is about results and not excuses.

The Winnipeg Jets beat Vegas on Tuesday night because they scored more goals. Vegas may have controlled the game with a 70-44 edge in shot attempts but in the end the score was 4-1 for the Jets.

Vegas made crucial errors which resulted in breakaways against one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the NHL.

And they didn't finish on their own opportunies - getting just one shot past Winnipeg goalie Laurent Brossoit despite putting 44 on the Jets net.

A struggling power play, two puck management errors and Brossoit's brilliance in net were the difference in this game. Sometimes the power play isn't going to click, and some nights the goalie at the other end is going to be near unbeatable. Those areas are out of a team's control. The big time booboos? They can be eliminated. Take them out of Tuesday's game and Vegas likely gets to overtime and earns a point with the chance of a win in the coinflip of overtime or the shootout.

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Golden Knights Held Off By Jets, 4-1

Vegas outshout Winnipeg 44-26 in loss

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights outshot the Winnipeg Jets, 44-26, but ran into red-hot goaltender Laurent Brossoit and were defeated, 4-1, Tuesday night at MTS Centre.

HOW IT WENT DOWN
The Golden Knights and Jets concluded the first period without a goal and Vegas held a 10-9 advantage in shots on net. In the second period, goals from Kyle Connor and Mathieu Perreault lifted the Jets to a 2-0 lead despite the Golden Knights firing 26 shots at Brossoit in the period. Brandon Pirri scored his eighth goal of the season early in the third period, but Vegas couldn't find an equalizer and, two empty-net goals later, Winnipeg skated away with a 4-1 victory.

TURNING POINT
Vegas had multiple opportunities to create a turning point as they had six power plays during the game. Despite their frequent man advantages, the Golden Knights went 0-for-6 with the extra skater.

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Golden Knights To Meet Jets For First Time Since WCF

Vegas defeated Winnipeg in five games to go to Stanley Cup Final

by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

The Vegas Golden Knights have played 48 games so far in 2018-19 and have met 27 of the 30 other teams in the NHL.

From the Eastern Conference, the Golden Knights are yet to meet the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers. In the West, Vegas has faced every team except for the Winnipeg Jets whom they will play Tuesday night.

The last time the Golden Knights and Jets met was on May 20 at MTS Centre in Winnipeg for game five of the Western Conference Final. Vegas triumphed in that game to move on to the Stanley Cup Final. Before Vegas and Winnipeg finally meet again Tuesday night, their epic playoff series deserves another look.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Jonathan Marchessault led all players in scoring in the series with seven points (4G, 3A). All four of Marchessault's goals came at even strength. Blake Wheeler paced the Jets in scoring with six points (6A).
  • Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 151 of 161 shots that he faced during the series for a .938 save percentage. Connor Hellebuyck turned away 126 of 139 attempts for a .906 save percentage.
  • Paul Stastny posted one assist in five games for the Jets and later signed with the Golden Knights in the offseason.
  • Ryan Reaves scored the series-winning goal in game five on his only shot of the series.
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