Golden Knights win OT thriller against Kraken in Seattle

Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY
Jonathan Marchessault tied the game with 16 seconds left and Jack Eichel won it in overtime to give the Golden Knights a necessary win in Seattle on Tuesday night.

Twelve minutes into Tuesday’s third period in Seattle, it looked like we were on the brink of another unforgivable Golden Knights loss.

Entering the period with a 2-1 lead, the Knights gave up three goals through eleven minutes to open up the final stanza and were left reeling once again down 4-2 in a game they had no reasonable excuse to give up. It was a position that probably would have been insurmountable for this team as recently as a few weeks ago.

“Obviously we weren’t ready to play coming out of the second intermission, which is disappointing as a coach,” said Bruce Cassidy. “On the flip side of that, now the urgency comes into your game, which was lacking at times tonight. The guys kind of see what they can do when they start working together and supporting one another and winning pucks.”

While they’re still nowhere near the team that lifted the Stanley Cup last June, they’re also not in as dire of a position as they were ten or so days ago when a single win felt like a pipe dream. Plus, when you have a threesome on your roster like William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Jack Eichel, you’ll find a rabbit in the hat once in a while.

And that’s exactly what the Golden Knights’ core did on on Tuesday night in Seattle. With a little over 7:30 remaining, William Karlsson brought the Knights back to within 4-3 with a one-timed snipe off the feed from Brayden McNabb for his 23rd goal of the year.

“We need that line to be good. And to be quite honest, I didn’t think they were tonight till the end,” said Cassidy. “But that’s why it’s 60 or 65 minutes sometimes, right? They find their game late. They did execute a good play on the power play. So don’t get me wrong there, but five on five, I thought they were fighting it a little for some plays, not making the plays they typically do.”

The real magic trick came with 16 seconds left, when Marchessault fired his 20th goal in 22 games into the net with 16.3 seconds left and the Knights net open on the other end. It was a moment of pure pandemonium thanks to arguably the most beloved Golden Knight.

“Great play by (McNabb), finding him and getting us back within one. And then obviously the goaltender out, we’re able to find a goal,” Eichel said. “(Stephenson) makes an incredible pass to (Marchessault) and he’s been so clutch for us all year. It’s a huge goal by him.”

The tricks continued in overtime when Eichel buried the game winner off a ridiculous lob pass by Alex Pietrangelo from the defensive end with two minutes remaining in OT, giving the Knights an improbable 5-4 win they so desperately needed.

“Obviously being able to get the extra point in overtime was big,” Eichel continued. It’s a good effort. There’s definitely some things we want to clean up as a team, but, you know, you have to be happy that we got two points.”

“We stuck with it and the desperation was for sure there. That’s what our team needs, you know, for the remainder of our year. We need to be desperate every night and points are the premium. So it was important to get to tonight.  And, you know, like I said, credit to the guys all the way through the lineup.”

The Golden Knights will attempt to gain two more crucially needed points against the Flames in Calgary. It will be a fast return to the Saddledome for Noah Hanifin, who was traded from the Flames to the Knights ahead of last week’s trade deadline. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. PDT.