NHL

Golden Knights roll to blowout of Senators following trade for Eichel

The Vegas Golden Knights won on and off the ice Thursday when they capped the day with a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Jonathan Marchessault leads Vegas to victory with pair of goals

Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner makes a save on Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk during the first period of the Golden Knights' 5-1 win over the Senators on Thursday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa Senators head coach D.J. Smith couldn't hide his frustration following Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights because it was the third straight game the Sens gave up five goals.

Smith felt Vegas played a more mature, disciplined game than his team.

"We had an entire line change and leave two [defencemen] out there and it ends up in the back of the net," said Smith. "You're not going to win in the National Hockey League if you can't get on and off the ice.

"That's a mature team that just played north, south, nothing fancy, and you can win games like that in this league."

The Golden Knights (5-5-0) won on and off the ice Thursday when the team acquired Jack Eichel in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres.

Jonathan Marchessault led Vegas with a pair of goals, including an empty-netter. William Carrier, Janmark, Brett Howden and Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Knights.

Goalie Robin Lehner didn't make things easy for his former club with 38 saves to improve his record to 9-0-3.

WATCH | Golden Knights crush Sens:

Golden Knights down the Senators 5-1

1 year ago
Duration 0:50
Jonathan Marchessault had a pair of goals for the Vegas Golden Knights as they defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-1 Thursday night.

Brady Tkachuk scored the lone goal for the Senators (3-6-1). Ottawa starter Filip Gustavsson stopped 35 shots in the loss.

When Eichel will join the Knights is unclear as the 25-year-old will undergo artificial disk replacement surgery soon.

"I played with Jack and obviously I've been talking to him quite a bit the last few months here," Lehner said. "First and foremost, I'm just happy for him. He gets to go and take care of his body his way. I think that's a big step for all of us players in the league, that we respect his choice.

"I wish him the best in recovery and as for him as a player, he's a world class player. I've played with him for a few years and I've seen what he can do and he's up there when he's healthy and he's on his game. He's up there with anyone."

WATCH | Winners and losers from the Eichel trade:

Who won the Jack Eichel trade?

1 year ago
Duration 5:47
Rob Pizzo and Justin Emerson from the Las Vegas Sun break down the trade that was a very long time in the making.

The Senators had a solid first period, but just couldn't find a way to beat Lehner and then found themselves chasing the rest of the night.

"That's when we needed him the most, in the first period, or that game could have gone sideways quickly," Knights coach Peter DeBoer said of Lehner's play.

"It's a different game if you're chasing all night. He was our best player in the first and that allowed us to kind of get our feet under us and I really liked our second period and our third period."

Smith had a different opinion about the last two periods, but agreed Lehner was the difference.

"We get all kinds of chances," said Smith. "If you're playing a weaker goalie we probably score five, but you can't give up five. The chances against are blatant mistakes."

Vegas opened the scoring when Carrier seemed to whiff a bit on his shot, which threw Gustavsson's timing off, and gave Vegas a 1-0 lead at 4:31.

Vegas made it 2-0 at 11:21 on a tip-in by Howden for his first of the season.

Poor defensive play left Marchessault all alone at the side of the net to backhand the puck past Gustavsson at 12:25.

Defensive breakdowns continued to be an issue for the Senators, and Thursday's game was filled with errors.

"We just didn't do the little things good enough," Tkachuk said. "The little details on forecheck.

"The way we want to play is we're a fast, physical team and we kind of slowed the game down and made life tough on ourselves so we're going to take this opportunity to learn, but we just can't make those mistakes again."

WATCH | CBC Sports' Rob Pizzo projects Canadian Olympic hockey roster:

Canadian Olympic men's hockey power rankings: Ep. 3

1 year ago
Duration 3:25
With most NHL teams hitting or approaching the 10-game mark, Rob Pizzo makes a significant change to his Olympic roster.

Tkachuk scored his second of the season as he tipped in Artem Zub's point shot at 15:50.

Pietrangelo made it 4-1 late in the third and Marchessault capped the evening with an empty-net goal.

Ottawa winger Connor Brown admitted his team was likely guilty of allowing frustration to creep into their game.

"That's the immaturity," said Brown. "I mean you've got to just be patient. If you're getting chances you're doing the right thing so just keep with the recipe that gets you opportunities to score.

"Sometimes you're going to score, sometimes you're not going to. It's just about what you're doing to get those chances, create chances and if you force it against a highly skilled team they'll make you pay."

Impressive saves at both ends of the ice resulted in a goal-free first period.

Lehner made a nice save on Nick Paul early in the game and Gustavsson was tested a couple times by former Senator Evgeni Dadonov.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now