The Vegas Golden Knights secured their spot in the Western Conference finals by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 in Game 6 of their second-round series. This marks the fourth time in the franchise’s six-year history that the Golden Knights have reached the semifinal round. Jonathan Marchessault was the standout player of the game, scoring three goals for his second career postseason hat trick. Reilly Smith and William Karlsson also scored for the Golden Knights, with Ivan Barbashev contributing two assists. Adin Hill made 39 saves in his third career playoff start.
Despite Edmonton taking an early lead with goals from Connor McDavid and Warren Foegele in the first period, Marchessault tied the score 2-2 in the second period. He then put Vegas ahead with two more goals, completing his hat trick with a wrist shot from just above the hash marks on a cross-ice feed from Alex Pietrangelo. Karlsson sealed the win with an empty-netter in the final minute of the game.
Vegas will now face the winner of the series between Dallas and Seattle, which heads to a Game 7 on Monday night. The Golden Knights still have six players from the team that reached the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18.
Marchessault credited the team’s experience and lack of panic as strengths that will help them in the future. Despite their success so far, he emphasized that the Golden Knights are “only halfway done to our goal here” and will continue working towards winning the ultimate goal.
The Oilers, who were hoping to return to the conference final for the second straight year, fell short after losing to eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado a year ago. Edmonton’s loss also extended the drought for a Canadian team winning the Cup to 30 years since Montreal won in 1993.
The Golden Knights held Edmonton’s power play to one scoreless chance in the second period and outscored the Oilers 17-10 even-strength throughout the series. The Oilers, the NHL’s highest-scoring team in the regular season, were held to 10 goals over the last four games of the series.
Hill, who made key saves throughout the game, expressed his excitement about being on a team that has a chance to “really do it all.” With their sights set on the ultimate goal, the Golden Knights will now prepare to face their next opponent in the Western Conference finals.
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