VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists in his 500th regular-season NHL game and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night.

Ivan Barbashev, William Karlsson and Brett Howden also scored to help the defending Stanley Cup champions stop a three-game slide in improving to 15-5-4. Vegas was playing on the road for the eighth time in nine games and had lost five of six overall.

“This was probably one of our best games of the year,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I thought overall the way we checked, kept Vancouver’s top players, made them really work to get space, converted our chances, special teams were good.

“We just had no weaknesses tonight and so as a coach those are the games you love.”

Adin Hill stopped all 16 shots he faced before leaving as a precaution for a lower-body injury. Logan Thompson took over in the third period, stopping five of six shots.

“Obviously Vegas losing three in a row, we knew they were going to come in here flexing their muscles,” Canucks coach Rick Tocchet said. “We’re a little disappointed in our play, but there was some pushes that were good. But not enough and that’s what it comes down to.”

Andrei Kuzmenko scored for Vancouver, and Thatcher Demko made 40 saves. The Canucks fell to 15-8-1.

“Of course it’s a measuring-stick game,” Vancouver captain Quinn Hughes said. “They’re first in the division and (were the) best team in the league last year. … They were better than us tonight and we’ve got the next 55 to 60 games to measure ourselves against them.”

Barbashev opened the scoring, slotting a shot between Demko’s legs at 4:46 of the first period. Eichel made it 2-0 with 3:42 left in the first. Nicolas Hague drove to the net and passed the puck to Barbashev, who then slid it across the slot to Eichel for his ninth of the season.

“Jack was good. On top of pucks, hanging onto pucks, challenging their (defense) at the blue line, good defensively,” Cassidy said.

Karlsson sniped one past Demko midway through the second to make it 3-0. Howden tipped in Alex Pietrangelo's point shot 16 seconds into the third period.

Kuzmenko scored at 4:01 of the third.

“His third period was the best I’ve seen this year,” Tocchet said.


Golden Knights: Host Washington on Saturday night.

Canucks: At Calgary on Saturday night.



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