CALGARY — Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson each had a goal and two assists for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 5-1 win over the host Calgary Flames on Thursday.
With seven games left in their regular season, the Golden Knights (41-29-5) were two points back of the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators holding down the Western Conference’s wild-card berths with 89 points apiece.
The Stars eked a point out of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild, while the Preds were blanked 4-0 by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
The Flames (45-20-9) needed a single point to clinch an NHL playoff spot and be the second club in the West to do so following the Colorado Avalanche on April 6.
But the Golden Knights rattled off six unanswered goals, including four in the second period at the Saddledome.
Jack Eichel, Evgeni Dadonov, Michal Amadio and Nicolas Roy were the Knights’ other goal scorers. Mattias Janmark had two assists.
Calgary native Logan Thompson stopped 35 of 36 shots for the win in his 12th career start for the Knights.
Flames starter Jacob Markstrom was pulled at 9:04 of the second period for Dan Vladar after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Vladar turned away six of eight shots in relief.
Dillon Dube scored Calgary’s lone goal.
Karlsson beat Vladar’s glove with a low wrist shot at 18:19 of the third period. Roy provided a screen and tipped in a Shea Theodore shot from the point for a power-play goal at 17:36 of the second.
A pair of Flames turnovers gave Vegas a 4-1 lead by 9:04. Janmark corralled the puck in the neutral zone and drove the wing to feed Marchessault, who chipped the puck upstairs on Markstrom for his 39th of the season.
Amadio caged a Matthew Tkachuk turnover in the offensive zone and then converted the rebound on Karlsson’s initial shot off the rush.
Vegas led 2-1 on Dadonov’s goal at 4:46. A loose puck squirted to the Russian parked on Markstrom’s left and he lifted the puck over the goaltender’s outstretched pad.
Eichel drew the Knights even 1-1 at 13:09 of the first period one-timing a Marchessault pass from the faceoff circle by Markstrom.
The hosts led 1-0 on Dube’s power-play goal at 10:17. Tyler Toffoli with the puck at the goal-line drew the Knights’ attention to him and he dished to Dube in the slot.
Knights defenceman Brayden McNabb blew a skate blade blocking a shot and couldn’t get on his feet in the first period.
After he dove to block another shot, teammate Chandler Stephenson grabbed McNabb’s stick and towed him to within range of the bench for McNabb to scramble through the gate.
Keegan Kolesar’s illegal hit to the head of Flames defenceman Chris Tanev garnered a minor, but a coincidental Blake Coleman hooking penalty followed by a Rasmus Andersson holding penalty gave the visitors a four-on-three they didn’t cash into a late first-period goal.
The Flames are at home to the Arizona Coyotes and the Knights face the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2022.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism