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Stone's first regular-season hat trick propels Golden Knights to win over Predators.

Chandler Stephenson Mark Stone Vegas Golden Knights Chandler Stephenson Mark Stone - The Canadian Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Mark Stone had his first regular-season hat trick and Logan Thompson made 34 saves to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Monday.

Stone's other hat trick was in the clinching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in which the Knights beat the Florida Panthers 9-3.

His offensive outburst was especially timely given the number of Knights out with injuries, such as Jack Eichel, William Karlsson and Shea Theodore. Stone, though, said it was important he didn't try to do too much.

“You can't,” Stone said. “I'm not going to be Jack Eichel. There's not going to be Shea Theodore. Just got to be the best version of yourself and play a team game."

The Knights wrapped up the scoring when Jonathan Marchessault added an empty-net goal with 17.9 seconds left off a long pass from Alex Pietrangelo for his 18th goal this season. Chandler Stephenson and Pavel Dorofeyev each had two assists for the Knights.

Luke Evangelista scored for the Panthers, and Juuse Saros made 26 stops.

Vegas has won two of its past three games and three of five after losing six of its previous seven.

“It's no secret we haven't been playing the way we know how or the way we wanted to,” Knights defenseman Nicolas Hague said. “We're not going to quit on each other here. We know what kind of team we have, and tonight was a great step in moving forward. We're missing some big guys now. So everyone needs to collectively be a little bit better and have different guys step up. Tonight was a huge game for us.”

Nashville entered this game have won three of four, and the Predators had the chance to take control early.

The Knights didn't have a shot on goal until Pietrangelo's blast from the right point with 5:08 left in the first period.

“I think it was the first timeout, I looked up and we didn't have a shot and they had six or whatever it was, but I didn't feel we were being dominated,” Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It did feel like we were not getting puck possession going into their end, but I didn't feel we were under water in terms of the play. We just had to win a few more battles.”

Only 33 seconds after Pietrangelo's shot, Stone put Vegas ahead 1-0 by scoring off a rebound from the slot. That ended a seven-game goal drought for Stone, who last scored Dec. 27 at Anaheim.

Stone's goal also ended a three-game stretch in which the Knights didn't score over the first two periods.

He then scored again 1:11 into the second, netting the puck from the right circle off the rush.

Evangelista tipped in Alexandre Carrier's shot with 2:28 left in the second to put the Predators on the board. But the Knights answered two minutes later on 3-on-1 breakaway when Stone buried Stephenson's drop pass for the 4-on-4 goal to put Vegas ahead 3-1.

“The third goal I think sunk us a little bit,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said. “A push in the third, but chasing the game is hard in this league.”


Brendan Brisson, selected 29th overall by the Knights in the 2020 draft, made his NHL debut. He's the club's third first-rounder in its seven-year history to make his debut, and the 22-year-old center had one shot on goal in 11:08 of ice time.

“All the boys were great to me, and I felt comfortable right away,” Brisson said. “I came out there for warmups and was looking around and was like, ‘Oh, geez.’ After the first shift, it felt like a hockey game.”


Marchessault played in his 600th career game. He is the Knights' career leader in games played (476), points (377), goals (168) and assists (210). Marchessault won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP after leading the Knights to their first Stanley Cup championship.


Predators: At Los Angeles on Thursday.

Golden Knights: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday.