Jonathan Marchessault nets hat trick as Knights oust Oilers

Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Marchessault’s natural hat trick in the second period sparked the Golden Knights to a 5-2 victory over the host Edmonton Oilers on Sunday to send Vegas to the Western Conference finals.

Reilly Smith and William Karlsson also scored for the Golden Knights, who won the best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series 4-2. Ivan Barbashev collected two assists and goaltender Adin Hill made 38 saves, including 12 in the third period.

Connor McDavid and Warren Foegele each scored one goal for the Oilers. Goalie Stuart Skinner stopped 13 of the 17 shots he faced before being pulled after two periods. Jack Campbell made four saves in relief.

The Golden Knights, who have been one of the final four teams in the playoffs for the fourth time in their six seasons of existence, will face either the Seattle Kraken or Dallas Stars in the next round. The Kraken and Stars meet Monday in Dallas for Game 7 of their series.

“The first year here, it was unbelievable. We were a good team and had great chemistry, but this year, I’ve got to say, it’s been really special – the chemistry we have off the ice,” Marchessault told ESPN. “We have a good team on the ice, but the fun that we have off the ice is unbelievable. We have a good thing going and we’re just halfway to our goal.”

With his team trailing 2-1, Marchessault began his team’s comeback when he pounced on a loose puck after a deflected point shot didn’t get through to the net at 4:26 of the second period.

Marchessault notched the go-ahead goal just over three minutes later. Alec Martinez’s point shot ricocheted off Skinner’s shoulder before landing behind the goalie, and Marchessault pushed the open puck into the cage.

Marchessault completed his second career playoff hat trick at 18:36 of the middle period. Just after his team’s four-on-three power-play finished, Marchessault fired a shot from the left faceoff dot for his fifth goal of the playoff run.

Hill held the lead while the Oilers frantically pushed in the third period before Karlsson iced the game with an empty-net goal with 39 seconds left.

“It hurts. It’s tough to find words right now,” Edmonton forward Leon Draisaitl said. “When you start a season, you’re in it to win it, and we’re at that stage if you don’t complete it, it feels like a failure or a wasted year. Almost. Yeah, it hurts.”

The game kicked off in wild fashion, beginning with first-shot goals for both teams. Smith took advantage of a fortunate bounce only 24 seconds into the clash for his second goal of the playoffs.

However, McDavid replied 31 seconds later when he rifled a screened shot from the right circle while on a rush for his eighth goal of the playoffs.

Foegele put the hosts ahead 2-1 at the 2:43 mark of the first period, tallying his second goal of the postseason.

–Field Level Media

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