Stanley Cup Playoffs Day 49: Marchessault, Howden both score twice for Golden Knights in 7-2 blowout in Game 2

      A 4-0 lead early in the second period gave the Golden Knights all the runway they needed to take a 2-0 series lead.

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      The Vegas Golden Knights found plenty of momentum in the third period of Game 1 to win, and it looks like that momentum never left them. They stormed to a 4-0 lead before the halfway mark of the game, and never looked back as they blew out the Florida Panthers in a 7-2 win in Game 2.

      The Golden Knights carrying their momentum was quite evident early on, as they were dominating play and eventually drew a power play for themselves. It took all of 26 seconds of that power play to take the lead, with Jonathan Marchessault walking in from the blueline and sniping one past Sergei Bobrovsky top shelf.

      They added to that lead with a few minutes left in the period, as Alec Martinez scored in similar fashion, walking down from the blueline and receiving a pass from Ivan Barbashev to snipe one top shelf himself from the slot. That gave Vegas the 2-0 lead, along with his first goal of the playoffs.

      The second period was where it really got carried away. Nicolas Roy scored three minutes into the frame with another top shelf snipe from behind the net, and then four minutes later Brett Howden put the game into blowout territory with a great rush chance for Vegas. That pulled Bobrovsky out of the game, as he allowed 4 goals on 13 shots, with Alex Lyon came in to take his place in relief.

      But where it really got out of hand was in the final minutes of the period, when Matthew Tkachuk blew up Jack Eichel with a hit to the head. Eichel seemed to have slipped a bit and was falling down anyways, so it likely wasn’t as dirty as it initially seemed, but it still caused a stir amongst the Golden Knights’ players. Eichel left to the locker room after the hit, but returned to the game for the third.

      Anton Lundell attempted to start off a comeback for the Cats in the third with a goal just 14 seconds in, but Marchessault squandered any chance of that just 1:56 later, and Amadio made the margin even larger with the 6-2 goal off of a William Karlsson drop pass. Tkachuk and Howden exchanged garbage time goals in the back half of the third, but nothing to make the game interesting, and the Golden Knights took Game 2 with a 7-2 blowout win.

      Only Marchessault came out of the game with three points thanks to his two goals and one assist, while Howden, Amadio, Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, and William Carrier got two points each, and Adin Hill had 28 saves on 30 shots in the win. The series heads back to Sunrise, Florida where the Panthers hope that they can utilize home ice advantage and get themselves back in the series.

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