Golden Knights dominate Blue Jackets down stretch after slow start in 4-2 win

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY
The Golden Knights persevered on Saturday, beating the Blue Jackets 4-2 with dominant second and third periods after an uninspiring start.

The Golden Knights flipped the script after a lackluster period to dominate the remainder of the game, beating the lowly Blue Jackets 4-2 at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.

Goalie Adin Hill was replaced by Logan Thompson in the third period after he appeared to suffer an injury on a save attempt. There were no further updates on his status after the game, and Bruce Cassidy did not commit to him making the upcoming road trip with the team.

After entering the first intermission down 1-0 and having been outshot by the league’s laughingstock, the Knights managed to flip the script and outshoot the Jackets 39 to 12 for the remainder of the contest. It was 37 to five at one point toward the end of the third period before a late flurry of shots by CBJ.

“I didn’t dislike the first run through of lines. I thought we were trying to establish a forecheck game but then as the period went on, they got better. Not us,” said Bruce Cassidy. “That’s where you want to take advantage.”

“I’ve said this (about) a lot second periods, if you get on the right side of that battle, and they’re getting it out and changing, it’s tough on a team that’s stuck on their own and so that worked in our favor. (We) finished a few. I thought their goalie kept them in the second period and that it could have been a lot bigger lead for us, but I liked that part,” Cassidy continued.

“The third I thought we played good, winning hockey for the most part. Again, a couple of situations we needed a save and got it. Unfortunately (Hill) left but we stuck with it and scored another.”


4:32 (15:28) 1P | COLUMBUS GOAL | 1-0 Blue Jackets

Erik Gudbranson fires a shot toward the net that bounces off Brayden McNabb and past Adin Hill to open the scoring for the Jackets. It looked like bad puck luck for Hill and the Knights there at first, but it turns out Hill completely missed the puck with his blocker on his idea of a save attempt.

That’s another inexcusable goal for Hill to give up and now another game the team is left reeling because they started a lame duck netminder.

Simply a nightmare start for a team that needs all it can get in the playoff race.

18:13 (1:47) 1P | Quarrel | 1-0 Blue Jackets

Jonathan Marchessault takes exception to a hit after the whistle by Carson Meyer and responds by getting physical with the Jackets’ winger. The stripes break things up before any gloves actually drop and no one gets sent the box, although both parties probably deserved it.

FIRST INTERMISSION: Blue Jackets 1, Golden Knights 0


0:41 (19:19) 2P | Penalty | 1-0 Blue Jackets

Keegan Kolesar heads to the box for two minutes after hitting Alex Nylander with a hard elbow in the jaw. Jackets do nothing on the ensuing powerplay.

3:31 (16:29) 2P | VEGAS GOAL | Tied 1-1

Ivan Barbashev puts the Knights on the board with a beauty of a snipe that goes past Daniil Tarasov’s outstretched glove. Can’t understate just how huge of a goal that is for the Golden Knights at this juncture. They looked like a dead team walking at times early in the game and now they’re back even just like that.

Bruce Cassidy looked like he was ready to go off the grid at points in the first period. Coach is probably a little happier with the way his team came out to start the second.

4:57 (5:03) 2P | VEGAS GOAL | 2-1 Golden Knights

Jack Eichel collects the rebound after Tarasov deflects a Whitecloud shot from long distance. The Knights have turned this game on its head to start the second period and this is a sign that they needed to show. They needed to prove they could flip the switch in a dire moment, and this certainly qualifies as doing so.

The goal is good for Jack Eichel’s 500th career point. 356 of those points came during his stint with the Sabres, while 144 have come in just 151 games with the Golden Knights since his trade to Vegas in Fall of 2021.

It is Eichel’s 203rd career goal to go along with 397 career assists. According to VGK Communications, Eichel becomes the fifth-fastest US born skater to reach the 500 point plateau.

SECOND INTERMISSION: Golden Knights 2, Blue Jackets 1

Golden Knights had several more opportunities to add even more goals in the second period, but were unable to capitalize. Still, it was a much different story for both teams during the middle stanza.

To put it simply, the difference in talent became apparent in this period. Ideally, it wouldn’t take this long and you’d get a bigger cushion out of it, but a lead is a lead. Especially after the atrocity that was the first period.


3:03 (16:57) 3P | VEGAS GOAL | 3-1 Golden Knights

Pavel Dorofeyev, talk to me nice. Shea Theodore fires a beauty of a pass to the 23-year-old winger who dances around Tarasov with grace and maneuvered the puck into the net to give the Golden Knights a 3-1 cushion.

Goalie Adin Hill left the game shortly after the goal before being led down the tunnel by trainers. Logan Thompson will finish the game for the Knights.

17:18 (2:43) 3P | VEGAS GOAL | 4-1 Golden Knights

Jack Eichel fires a wonder of a wrister right past Tarasov for some added VGK insurance late. The goal is of course good for Eichel’s second of the night and punctuates a second and third period from the Golden Knights that can only be described as dominant.

19:49 (0:11) 3P | COLUMBUS GOAL | 4-2 Golden Knights

Garbage time goal by Carson Meyer in the game’s waning moments settles the final score at 4-2.


The Golden Knights now head out for crucial road trip, with their next four games coming against the Blues, Predators, Jets and Wild. The Predators hold the first Western Conference wild card spot over the Golden Knights, while the Blues and Wild are directly behind them for the second and final wild card spot. The Jets are comfortably the third playoff team out of the Central Division and sit fourth in the conference.

“I don’t think you ever want to put the title of ‘defining the season’ (on two games),” Jack Eichel said. “But we understand the importance. We’re ready to play on the road.”