Jonathan Marchessault registered his fifth career hat trick and the visiting Vegas Golden Knights continued their surge with a 5-2 victory over the slumping New York Rangers on Friday night.
Vegas improved to 5-0-1 in its past six games following a 4-9-0 slide that saw them lose their lead in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights also beat the Rangers for the second time in nine days thanks to Marchessault.
Marchessault extended his points streak to six games and got his second hat trick of the season by finishing off the win with an empty-net tally to reach 25 goals for the third straight season.
Teammates Sheldon Rempal and Keegan Kolesar recorded goals before Marchessault scored his first two goals. Ivan Barbashev set up all three Marchessault goals, and Nicolas Roy collected assists on the first two Marchessault tallies.
Vegas goalie Adin Hill made 36 saves in his second start back from a lower-body injury. After making 40 stops on Wednesday in a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders, he stopped 14 shots in the opening period, including a glove save on a backhander by Alexis Lafreniere on a partial breakaway with about two minutes left in the period to preserve a 1-1 tie.
Blake Wheeler and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Rangers, who lost for the ninth time in 13 games (4-7-2) and fell to a pedestrian 11-12-2 over their past 25 games since getting off to an 18-4-1 start.
New York goalie Igor Shesterkin allowed four goals on 19 shots.
Rempel went to the right doorstep and made it 1-0 just 5:02 into the game by deflecting Paul Cotter’s pass from the left faceoff dot. Wheeler tied it 91 seconds later by blasting a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle over Hill’s left shoulder.
Kolesar finished off a breakaway 3:18 into the second by beating Shesterkin with a shot from the left circle after blocking a shot from Artemi Panarin near the blue line in the defensive zone.
Marchessault made it 3-1 just 46 seconds later by getting to the net and tipping a pass by Barbashev over Shesterkin. Roy had forced a turnover by New York defenseman Braden Schneider along the boards.
Marchessault scored again 2:11 into the third when he flew past New York defenseman K’Andre Miller and swept the loose puck into the vacated right side of the net after Barbashev’s shot was blocked and caromed off the end boards.