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Golden Knights beat Kraken to open Cup defense

Adin Hill stopped 32 of 33 shots and Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist as the Vegas Golden Knights opened defense of their Stanley Cup title with a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Jonathan Marchessault, Ivan Barbashev and Jack Eichel also scored goals and Mark Stone added two assists for Vegas, which raised its first Stanley Cup banner in T-Mobile Arena during a glitzy pregame ceremony that saw the banner emerge from a giant slot machine on the ice.

Jared McCann scored for Seattle, which is opening the season with a three-game road trip that continues on Thursday at Nashville. Philipp Grubauer finished with 24 saves.

Vegas took a 1-0 lead on its first shot of the season when Stephenson, cutting down the right wing, tapped Brett Howden’s saucer pass from the left circle inside the right post.

The Golden Knights increased their lead to 2-0 at the 14:57 mark of the first period when Kraken forward Brandon Tanev, trying to put the puck behind his own net, had his pass deflect off the blade of Marchessault’s stick and into the top left corner of the goal past a startled Grubauer. It marked the fourth straight year that Marchessault, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner in the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs, scored a goal in the season opener for Vegas.

Barbashev made it 3-0 at the 1:20 mark of the second period when he took a stretch pass from Brayden McNabb at the blue line, split a pair of Kraken defenders and then roofed a slap shot into the top right corner of the net.

Seattle cut it to 3-1 midway through the second period when McCann, coming off a 40-goal season, took a pass from Jordan Eberle in the low slot and quickly snapped a wrist shot past Hill’s glove side.

Howden received a five-minute major and a match penalty with 13:58 remaining in the third period for an illegal shoulder check to the head of Tanev in the neutral zone. But the Kraken were unable to capitalize on the ensuing five-minute power play with Hill turning away six shots.

Eichel then sealed the win for the Golden Knights with an empty-net goal with 1:15 remaining.

–Field Level Media

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