LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Good start, acceptable finish. That’s how the Golden Knights evaluated their performance Thursday night in a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena.

“It’s always better to play with a lead,” said center Jack Eichel, who scored twice in a four-goal first period. “It’s something Coach has been harping at.”

The coach, Bruce Cassidy, agreed. “We had our legs,” he said. “I thought we were playing the right way. … I liked that, and you finish around the net. All in all, I liked our energy. I thought we did approach the game the right way with our start.”

Eichel scored the first and fourth goals in the first-period outburst. His second came after goaltender David Rittich misplayed a clearing attempt in front, and Eichel took the loose puck, spun quickly and fired a wrister into the corner.

“To be able to spin around like that, trust me, that’s a high-end skill to be able to raise it and shoot it that hard,” Cassidy said of Eichel’s finish. “After that, he’s got to work on his empty-net skills, but the other two sure looked good.”

Cassidy’s empty-net reference was a light-hearted prod at Eichel’s third-period miss, after the Jets had pulled Rittich with a little less than three minutes left and trailing 4-2.

For Eichel, the two-goal effort continues his recovery from neck surgery last season. He played in the Knights’ final 34 games after being acquired in a trade with Buffalo. And with the surgery and the time away from the ice, he’s still searching a bit for a comfort level.

“There are some parts of the game I’m happy with right now, and there’s definitely some areas I want to clean up personally,” said Eichel, who has three goals and two assists in five games. “It’s the same with our team. This is a work in progress. … We just want to keep getting better.”

When told postgame that he seemed to be shooting the puck better, Eichel joked: “I missed an empty net, so obviously I’m not shooting it that good.”

William Karlsson and Chandler Stephenson also scored in the first for the Knights, and Jonathan Marchessault got the final goal, into an empty net.

Knights goaltender Adin Hill scrambles to make a save in the first period of Thursday’s 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena. (AP Photo/John Locher)

After leading 4-0 entering the second period, Cassidy thought the Knights responsibly handled a push-back from Winnipeg. Such a rally from an opponent is common, he said, and the goal was to limit the Jets’ odd-man rushes, protect the puck and the area in front of goaltender Adin Hill.

The Jets, in the second game of a back to back after winning 4-3 in overtime Wednesday at Colorado, got a second-period goal from Pierre-Luc Dubois and another midway through the third from Neal Pionk to make it 4-2.

But for the most part, Hill was sharp, finishing with 26 saves, including 10 in the final period, and his teammates were steady defensively.

“The guys did a really good job playing in front of me in the games that I’ve played, so it’s nice to get two wins under the belt,” Hill said. “Keep it goin’ “

The triumph pushed the Knights (4-1) into the lead in the Pacific Division. The loss for Winnipeg (2-2) was its second on a three-game road swing that ended in Las Vegas.

“We had self-inflicted wounds all over the rink,” said defenseman Nate Schmidt, the ex-Golden Knight now playing for the Jets. “If we’re going to take anything out of it, it’s understanding the consistency you’ve got to have early.”