Knights win 7-4
RJ’s three stars
■ 3. Knights winger Jonathan Marchessault — He notched a goal and an assist for his sixth multipoint game since March 24. Marchessault finished as the team leader with 30 goals and 66 points.
■ 2. Blues center Ryan O’Reilly — The guy from the car warranty commercials scored twice to reach the 20-goal mark for the seventh time in his career and added an assist.
■ 1. Knights center Jack Eichel — His critics will scoff at the timing, but this was Eichel’s first three-point game since Jan. 18, 2021, against Philadelphia. He had two goals to finish with 14 in 34 games.
Marchessault’s 30th goal.
He fired a laser in the first minute of the third period that went off the crossbar. Instead, it was the ugly shot went in. That’s hockey.
Marchessault swiped at a high pop fly after it landed near the slot, and the puck slipped through Blues goalie Ville Husso to put the Knights ahead 5-3. Afterward, Marchessault received a celebratory face wash from linemate William Karlsson.
The goal matched Marchessault’s career high set in 2016-17 with Florida and proved to be the game winner.
94 — Points accumulated by the Golden Knights this season, the second-most in team history.
DeBoer wants another shot
Pete DeBoer hopes to return for his fourth season as coach.
The Knights missed the playoffs and finished 43-31-8 (94 points) despite a high-priced roster that entered as one of the favorites for the Stanley Cup.
DeBoer said he hasn’t spoken to general manager Kelly McCrimmon or president of hockey operations George McPhee about his future.
“I’d love the opportunity to have a chance to work with a healthy group here and see what we can accomplish. But that’s for other people to decide,” DeBoer said after Friday’s morning skate. “At the end of a season, there’s an evaluation of everybody, and decisions are made. You’re either part of the problem or you’re part of the solution. We’ll see what those results come out as.”
The Knights were hit hard by injuries, with captain Mark Stone and top goal scorer Max Pacioretty hurt in the second game of the season. The hits kept coming with the team losing more than 500 man-games to injury.
But DeBoer was never able to fix the ailing power play, and the penalty kill took a large step back after leading the NHL last season.
The Knights stumbled to a 16-15-5 finish after sitting first in the Pacific Division at the All-Star break, and DeBoer’s handling of the goaltenders in the final two weeks was curious.
The terms of DeBoer’s contract have not been disclosed, but according to Sportsnet, he has one year remaining.
Since taking over for Gerard Gallant on Jan. 15, 2020, DeBoer is 98-50-12 with two trips to the final four of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“This year’s been even more trying obviously just because we saw the potential of what we thought we were capable of doing,” DeBoer said. “I didn’t feel we ever had the opportunity to really get that and build on that. That’s the frustrating part. That’s hockey. Sometimes those are the cards you’re dealt.”
The Knights lost three straight shootouts to crush their playoff hopes, going 0-for-17 in the process. They are one of six clubs in NHL history to have a shootout drought of 17 or more.
But that’s well short of the all-time record of 27 straight unsuccessful shootout attempts (five games) set by the Boston Bruins during the 2014-15 season.
In fact, it’s not even the longest skid this season. Philadelphia went 0-for-18 in five shootouts.
Los Angeles had a streak of 22 straight shootout misses (six games) in 2014-15, and Washington went 0-for-19 (four games) in 2013-14.
David Schoen Review-Journal