R1, Gm2: Golden Knights @ Stars Recap

DALLAS -- Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault each had a goal and an assist for the Vegas Golden Knights, who extended their lead in the Western Conference First Round with a 3-1 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 2 at American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

“I think we expected them to come out and push hard that first 5-10 minutes, and they did,” Eichel said. “They were physical, played hard, they had some chances. [Logan Thompson] made some big stops for us. That’s a very desperate hockey team and a very good one. They gave us all we could handle.”

Noah Hanifin also scored for Vegas, which is the second wild card from the West. Logan Thompson made 20 saves.

“The veteran group we have, losing [Nicolas Hague] was unfortunate but we can just plug [Alec Martinez] back in there, just shows we know how to win,” Thompson said. “We’ve done it all year. We did it last year. That’s just the experience of our group coming through. Just shutting them down and keeping them to the outside, making my life a lot easier.”

Jason Robertson scored, and Jake Oettinger made 23 saves for Dallas, which is the No. 1 seed from the Central Division.

“They’re the Stanley Cup champions, they’ve got everyone figured out. They figured out everyone last year too, so we’re not alone in that boat,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. “I thought Game 1 we probably deserved better, but you have to find a way to win that game. Tonight, the margin is [thin], it’s a 1-1 game most of the game. They found a way to win both those games.”

VGK@DAL R1, Gm2: Marchessault, Eichel combine for a goal in 1st

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series is at Vegas on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; TBS, truTV, MAX, BSSW, SCRIPPS).

“I’ll go back to as recently as last year they were down 3-0 [in the series] and made it 3-2 in a hurry. I don’t think they’re going anywhere,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Our focus is more we’re going to talk about ourselves and not worry about how Dallas may or may not respond. They’re a good team, they’ll come ready to play. They’re a great road team. They may have the best road record in the NHL. If not, they’re right there. There’s going to be no gimmies in that regard, so it doesn’t matter where we play. We’re getting a strong opponent. We’ve just got to keep building our game.”

Robertson gave Dallas a 1-0 lead at 16:47 of the first period on a shot from the top of the left face-off circle on the power play.

Marchessault tied it 1-1 at 18:09. Ivan Barbashev sprung Eichel on a breakaway with a stretch pass. Eichel drove down the slot to draw Oettinger out then backhanded a pass to Marchessault on his right for the shot into the open net.

“They’re the defending Cup champs for a reason. They know how to squeeze it out and finish a game off,” Robertson said. “It’s going to be a grind [to come back in the series], but everyone in here is going to be confident and ready to go.”

Hanifin gave Vegas a 2-1 lead at 18:53 in the second period when he corralled a rebound and shot it from the left face-off dot. It was Hanifin’s first career playoff goal.

“We didn’t sit back and let them control the play,” Hanifin said. “We checked really well, especially off the rush, we had really good gaps, good back pressure from our forwards. That’s where they’re dangerous is off the rush, and we kind of eliminated those chances. We were still trying to make plays and score goals [in the third], that’s what you want to do when you’ve got a lead.”

VGK@DAL R1, Gm2: Hanifin gives the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead in 2nd

Eichel scored into the empty net at 19:26 for the 3-1 final.

“You’ve got to start with one. They played some good road games and we’ve been a good road team all year, and we’ve got to do it again,” Dallas forward Tyler Seguin said. “Maybe we’re almost being frustrated by last year, knowing how good of a team we are, especially at 5-on-5. We’ll take the day tomorrow, reset, and get excited for this challenge ahead of us.”

NOTES: Hague is day to day with an undisclosed injury. He did not play in Game 2. … Dallas forwards Mason Marchment and Radek Faksa each was injured between the six- and eight-minute mark in the third period. DeBoer did not have an update on either after the game.