Golden Knights fall to Hurricanes at home, 3-1

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY
The Hurricanes got the better of the Golden Knights in Saturday's showdown of Stanley Cup favorites.

LAS VEGAS –The Golden Knights dropped their second game in a row on Saturday night, losing to the Hurricanes 3-1 in a battle between two of the leagues’ top preseason Cup favorites. The Hurricanes scored two goals in the third, including one short-handed, to send the 18,355 Medieval Maniacs in attendance home unhappy.

”Good teams take advantage of opportunities, right?,” Coach Bruce Cassidy told the media after the game. “I thought we were better early, and we should be. We’re at home, waiting for them. The second period they got to their game better. I also think they got another fortunate break, Martinez loses an edge (on Svechinkov’s goal) and they took advantage of it.”

“Once they got that, now they’re smelling blood a little bit. Did a good job the rest of the way keeping us at bay.”

How it happened

The Golden Knights struck first at the 10:15 mark in the opening period, when Jonathan Marchessault found the net after a couple of his teammates’ tries deflected off Hurricanes’ goalie Spencer Martin. The goal was Marchessault’s 28th of the season which extends his team lead. Nic Roy tallied the primary assist on the goal and Ivan Barbashev got credit for the secondary.

The Knights suffered a brief scare late in the period. Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb was shoved from behind by Hurricanes’ winger Martin Necas, causing McNabb to collide hard with the boards in a collision that was loud even from the press box. Necas was only given two minutes for the shove, but it’s possible he’ll hear from the league. McNabb was a bit hobbled, but able to continue without missing a shift.

It didn’t take long for the Hurricanes to answer after the intermission. 1:21 into the second period, Alec Martinez lost an edge to Andrei Svechnikov, allowing Svechnikov to waltz into position for an easy wrister to tie the game 1-1.

Svechnikov was also called for high stick to end the second period after his errant stick hit Golden Knights’ defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in the face. Svechikov was vindicated when the replay showed that Adin Hill actually dragged him down, causing the stick to flail. Still, the penalty was called and the Knights were given 1:50 of time to open the third period.

If only it mattered. Just twenty seconds into the third, Seth Jarvis scored a breakaway shorthanded goal for the Hurricanes after a frankly inexcusable turnover from the Knights. A few minutes later, Stefan Noesen extended the Hurricanes’ lead to 3-1 with a tip-in goal that probably would have been overturned had Bruce Cassidy decided to challenge. He didn’t, and the Knights went from tied and on the power play to start the period to down two goals and reeling before the midway point.

Noesen’s goal was the final tally of the game. There was a bit of chippiness in the final 10 minutes but the Hurricanes closed out relatively easily for a 3-1 victory.

Next game

The Golden Knights are set to face the Sharks in San Jose on Monday night. Puck drop at the SAP Center is slated for 1 p.m. local time. Keep in mind it’s a holiday.