LAS VEGAS (AP) — William Carrier scored his third goal in two games as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Ottawa Senators 4-1 Wednesday night.
Mark Stone, William Carlsson and Jack Eichel also scored goals for the Golden Knights. Logan Thompson stopped 38 shots for his 11th win, second in the NHL.
Jake Sanderson got his first career goal with Ottawa in the presence of his father, and Cam Talbot made 32 saves.
Carrier scored his seventh goal of the season—a career high of nine—when he skated across the neutral zone, forced his way past two Senators in the offensive zone and fired a lopsided wrist shot wide to give Vegas a 2-1 lead at 16:23 of the period. the second.
Not that the seventh-year veteran can remember any of it.
“A little bit of a blackout. But I was hot in the moment, so the confidence is high and we’re playing well,” Carrier said with a smile. … But Carly had to steal the highlight in there with the highlight on, so I might not get the clips here tonight.”
To Carrier’s view, Carlson made it 3-1 when the Lasers used a sweet backhand hit with Talbot from a left point spinning motion for his fifth of the season at 2:39 of the third.
“I think I’ve seen Carly do special things like that. But Will, he plays great,” said Vegas fullback Brayden McNabb. “He was a rock star to us. It’s very difficult to play against him, even in training, and now he’s showing it in matches. I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Eichel’s backhand from the red line into an empty net with 1:41 left provided the final margin.
The Golden Knights cemented their place at the top of the Western Conference standings with 33 points heading into Thanksgiving, a benchmark for NHL teams overall. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 76% of the teams in the playoffs on Thanksgiving made it to the postseason from 2005-06 through 2018-19, the last season unaffected by the pandemic.
“It’s important, because otherwise they wouldn’t bring it up every year,” said Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy. “I still think we have a lot of things to do better. But again tonight, one of the things we did really well was find ways to win.”
Vegas is looking to get back into the playoffs after missing out last season for the first time.
Stone opened the scoring on the power play when he latched onto Eichel’s unseen pass and fired a shot into the net. It was his ninth goal of the season and Eichel’s fifteenth assist.
Ottawa also got on the board with a man advantage, when Sanderson’s drive from the blue line deflected slightly off the stick of defenseman Alec Martinez in Vegas and passed Thompson to tie it.
“It just felt nice,” Sanderson said. “It took a while, but I’m glad I got it and I’m thankful for my dad to be there to watch it, so it’s so cool.”
Notes: Eichel has at least 1 point in 16 of the first 21 games in Vegas. … Playing in his 900th career game, Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had his team’s 18th assist of the season. … Sanderson became the first Montana-born skater in NHL history to score a goal. … With his assist on Sanderson’s goal, Tim Stötzl became Ottawa’s points leader by age 21 with 106.
Senators: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.
Golden Knights: Host the Seattle Kraken Club on Friday.
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