Connect with us



Hill is back for VGK

Frank Franklin II / Associated Press

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Adin Hill protects the net during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Elmont, N.Y.

In the one-and-a-half seasons Bruce Cassidy has been in Vegas, it’s possible he’s never been as angry as he was 24 hours ago.

His group must have heard his words loud and clear, because the Golden Knights followed a drastic letdown in New Jersey with a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders at UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y., on Tuesday.

Cassidy didn’t mince words after the Golden Knights lost 6-5 to the Devils on Monday at Prudential Center, saying Vegas “basically played a beer league game out there. We thought it was preseason, I guess.”

“We competed harder to keep the puck out of our net, which was basically the ask after yesterday,” Cassidy said. “I didn’t think we did as good a job last night doing that.”

Being the veteran group they tout themselves as, the Golden Knights didn’t take that message from Cassidy to heart.

“That’s his point of view,” forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “We’re disappointed with our game. We don’t need a coach to tell us if we play bad or well. I think everyone’s a pretty smart hockey player. For us, it was a new day and a new challenge ahead of us. Tonight, we executed.”

Turnovers in the neutral zone and defensive lapses were the theme. It didn’t seem that what the Golden Knights accomplished during their three-game winning streak stuck..

But it likely helped to have their No. 1 goalie back in the fold.

Adin Hill made his full-game return after missing the past two months with a lower-body injury. He attempted a comeback on Dec. 17 against Ottawa, but lasted less than seven minutes after re-aggravating the injury.

Hill was set to return Jan. 10 at Colorado, but didn’t feel comfortable getting back to game action.

He looked comfortable on Tuesday.

Hill made 40 saves, 32 in the final 40 minutes, for his 11th win of the season and to extend the Golden Knights’ (28-14-6) point streak to five games (4-0-1). Nic Roy followed a three-point game in New Jersey with a goal and an assist on Long Island, and Sheldon Rempal scored his first NHL goal.

Vegas also ended its seven-game road losing streak dating back to Dec. 9 at Dallas.

“It was fun to get back into game action and go battle with my teammates,” Hill said. “I felt pretty good. I thought our guys played a pretty good game.”

Ivan Barbashev opened the scoring at 11:52 of the first period when he deflected a shot from Alex Pietrangelo. Just like Monday, the Golden Knights scored first. Only this time, they didn’t melt down at the end of each period.

Though Brock Nelson tied it 1-1 on a delayed penalty 3:35 in the second, the Golden Knights had the answer.

Rempal, who returned to the lineup in place of prospect Brendan Brisson, scored on the power play at 7:18 to restore the lead, then Roy made it 3-1 1:49 later.

It’s the third time in Roy’s NHL career he’s recorded consecutive multi-point games. Since being elevated to a top-six center role in place of the injured Jack Eichel, Roy has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the past five games.

Barbashev, his linemate, extended his point streak to four games (four goals, three assists) while Marchessault had a four-game goal streak end but recorded an assist to reach five straight games with a point.

“A lot of good,” Cassidy said of Roy. “He’s still playing his game without trying to be something he’s not.”

Cassidy said finding a consistent defensive game is still a work in progress. Part of that has to do with the younger forwards currently playing. Brisson, who scored his first NHL goal on Saturday, got the night off after playing Monday. Cassidy added that Pavel Dorofeyev, who has played his way to a top-six role, struggled at times.

But the Golden Knights got back to their game, albeit for a night, after a rough 24 hours.

“Our game last night in Jersey needed fixing and we didn’t have a chance to practice. We didn’t want to jam the video on them this morning, so we did a little bit of our team, how we wanted to play,” Cassidy said. “So, it kind of worked out for us.”

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on X at

Article written by #LasVegasSun