Jason Franson / Canadian Press via AP
Monday, May 8, 2023 | 8:30 p.m.
The question was posed to Bruce Cassidy on Saturday. Could it be beneficial for the Golden Knights to get this depth scoring, knowing Jonathan Marchessault hadn’t found the back of the net yet in the playoffs?
Vegas’ leading scorer didn’t score in that Game 2 loss at home. He made up for it in Game 3.
Marchessault scored twice, his first goals this postseason, and the Golden Knights responded with a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Monday to take a 2-1 lead in this second-round series.
Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists, and Vegas overcame losing goalie Laurent Brossoit in the first period to a noncontact lower-body injury.
Adin Hill stopped all 25 shots he faced in relief of Brossoit in his first action since March.
Chandler Stephenson scored his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs, and Zach Whitecloud added his first playoff goal in 20 games in what was a much-needed response for the Golden Knights.
Vegas, after winning 6-4 in Game 1, fell behind early thanks to a four-goal first period by the Oilers in Game 2 and lost 5-1.
Edmonton went 3 for 6 on the power play in Game 2 after going 2 for 3 in Game 1. The Oilers had a record-setting 32.4% power play during the regular season.
Not only did the Oilers go 0 for 3 on the power play on Monday, but neither of the first two attempts came with a full two minutes.
Edmonton’s final power play with five minutes remaining was the only instance where the Oilers got a full two minutes, which the Golden Knights successfully killed off.
The Golden Knights kept the game to 5-on-5, and it paid off with thanks to Marchessault.
Vegas’ leading goal scorer during the regular season (28) scored 1:59 after Warren Foegele opened the scoring for Edmonton (2:45) to tie it 1-1. Eichel found Marchessault for his second goal at 19:09 of the first for a 2-1 Vegas lead that the road team wouldn’t relinquish.
Whitecloud increased the lead to two at 7:25 of the second when his shot hit the top right corner of the net, over Edmonton’s Stuart Skinner’s shoulder. It was Whitecloud’s first playoff goal in almost nearly two years to the day (Game 7 vs. Minnesota, May 28, 2021).
Eichel made it 4-1 less than five minutes later after evading defenseman Evan Bouchard in the neutral zone and beat Skinner on a 2-on-1. That goal ended Skinner’s night with the Calder Trophy finalist giving up four goals on 23 shots.
Stephenson scored at 17:13 of the second, deflecting a shot past Jack Campbell for the 5-1 lead.
Going into Monday, the Golden Knights had eight different goal scorers through seven playoff games. All of them were forwards, and none of them were Marchessault, or even from a defenseman.
Whitecloud’s goal was the first from a defenseman this postseason.
But Cassidy said Marchessault — and to that extent, Reilly Smith (also without a goal this postseason) — was going to find his opportunities to score. He got his best chance in a rebounding effort.
Game 4 is Wednesday. Goalie? Unknown. Outcome? Unknown. But the Golden Knights stole back home-ice advantage in their own emphatic way.
This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.