DETROIT — Jack Eichel scored just over a minute into the game as the Golden Knights never relinquished the lead in a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist, while Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith also scored as the Knights won for the second time in five games. Adin Hill made 24 saves to record his first victory in his last four starts.
“I thought that was a real responsible, professional road game,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We managed the puck, took advantage of some opportunities, bent but didn’t break in some spots, got a timely power-play goal, had some good kills late and got a few big saves.”
Eichel left early in the third period with an undisclosed injury. The Golden Knights are hopeful he won’t miss any games.
“If there’s one guy who wants to play in Boston on Monday, it’s Jack,” Cassidy said of Eichel, a Massachusetts native.
Oskar Sundqvist scored his third goal in two games, while Ville Husso stopped 21 shots for Detroit. The Wings lost in regulation for just the second time in eight games (4-2-2).
“Our margin of error is very thin against anyone,” Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde said. “It’s even less against these top teams.”
Eichel scored his 13th goal when he slipped unchecked next to the goal post and Chandler Stephenson backhanded a pass to him for an easy tap-in at 1:04.
The Knights and Detroit are among the three least penalized teams in the league and the first penalty wasn’t called until 7:16 of the second period, when Wings defenseman Jordan Oesterle was whistled for tripping. Marchessault cashed in with his ninth goal, lifting the puck from the right circle over Husso’s shoulder off a pass from Shea Theodore at 7:50.
The Red Wings also scored on their first power play as Sundqvist converted on a rebound off a shot by Dominik Kubalik with 8:23 left.
After serving out the next penalty, Kessel came out of the box and scored on a breakaway with 3:28 remaining in the middle period for a 3-1 Vegas lead. Kessel’s goal was the 17th of his career against Detroit in 31 games.
“We were on a power play and they get out of the box and get a breakaway.,” Larkin said. “Kessel’s going to make us pay and he did. That one hurts because we’re trying to tie it up.”
Smith added an empty-netter with 3 minutes left. Vegas had given up a one-goal lead in the third period against Pittsburgh in a 4-3 loss on Thursday.
“This was a big game for us after losing in Pittsburgh,” Hill said. “The guys were great in front of me and the forwards did a good job of getting the puck behind their defensemen, so when they did get the puck, they had to come 200 feet against us.”