A tough road trip marches on.
Jack Eichel scored his fourth career hat trick to lead the Vegas Golden Knights over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 7-2, at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday in Las Vegas.
Phil Kessel and Pavel Dorofeyev each had a goal and an assist. Zach Whitecloud and Paul Cotter also scored for Vegas.
Alex Pietrangelo picked up four assists. Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, Brett Howden, Shea Theodore, Chandler Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, and Brayden McNabb also had assists. Smith is on an eight-game point streak (three goals, seven assists).
Kirill Marchenko had two points with a goal and an assist and Liam Foudy scored for the Blue Jackets. Patrik Laine had two assists. Erik Gudbranson picked up an assist.
Jiri Patera made his second career start and earned his second career win making 35 stops.
Daniil Tarasov made 24 saves on 29 shots. Michael Hutchinson made 10 saves on 12 shots in relief.
Head coach Brad Larsen did not coach today as he was away from the team due to a death in the family. Associate head coach Pascal Vincent served as the acting head coach. The Golden Knights take the season series 2-0.
Center Of Attention
Laine played center for the first time in his career today with Johnny Gaudreau and Kirill Marchenko on the wings.
With Brad Larsen out today, Pascal Vincent announced that he will play Patrik Laine at the center position for the first time in his career.#CBJ pic.twitter.com/YWwTwmOFN6— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) March 19, 2023
The trickle-down effect included Boone Jenner centering the second line with Kent Johnson and Jack Roslovic. Laine did pick up two assists, had four shots, and was +1 with a blocked shot but was 3-for-17 in the face-off circle in 17:32.
Gaudreau had four shots in 17:17. Marencko had a goal and was +1 on three shots with a blocked shot and a hit in 18:17.
|Gaudreau - Laine - Marchenko||TOI||CF||CA||FF||FA||SF||SA||GF||GA||xGF||xGA|
|Natural Stat Trick|
Marchenko Chasing History
Marchenko's second-period goal at 0:37 tied the game at one, providing the rookie with his 18th goal, and with that tying tally, passed Rick Nash for the second-most goals by a Blue Jackets rookie. He's also now two goals behind Wyatt Johnston of the Dallas Stars for the rookie lead and tied with Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators.
18 for Marchenko. He passes Rick Nash for second among rookie goal-scorers in franchise history. Two behind Pierre-Luc Dubois. Assists to Gudbranson and Laine. #CBJ pic.twitter.com/yIaCbuSAZm— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) March 19, 2023
There's plenty of time for more.
With 13 games remaining, he only needs two more goals to tie Pierre-Luc Dubois for the Blue Jackets franchise rookie record for an individual season.
Per Hockey Reference, No #CBJ player in team history has ever had at least 15 goals and less than 10 assists in a season.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) March 19, 2023
Kirill Marchenko now is 18-2. Incredible Cy Young numbers.
The penalty-killing unit came into Sunday's contest having killed off seven-straight penalties, and seven of eight overall for the road trip. Which started off on the wrong side on Tuesday when the first goal of the game by the San Jose Sharks came on the power play.
For March, Columbus came into the day 16th (4-for-18) on the kill but Vegas knocked both chances past Tarasov on the afternoon.
After Marchenko's tying goal in the second period, Vegas cashed in on four goals in the frame. On Friday, the Anaheim Ducks scored four third-period goals, with two of those coming via the empty net, and Columbus allowed all four goals in the second period to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
Hutchinson picked up another appearance, already his sixth for the Blue Jackets, since the trade with the Golden Knights on Mar. 2. He also finished Thursday's game in Los Angeles and started Friday's game against the Ducks.
For the west coast portion of the trip, Columbus was outscored 23-12.
One More For The Road
The Blue Jackets finish up their season-long five-game road trip with a trip back east to Capital One Arena to battle the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Mar. 21 at 7:00 pm ET. The Blue Jackets are 0-2-1 against the Capitals this season.