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Golden Knights top Ducks to spoil Greg Cronin’s coaching debut

Chandler Stephenson had a goal and two assists, and Adin Hill made 22 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights spoiled Greg Cronin’s NHL coaching debut with a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore each had a goal and an assist and Jonas Rondbjerg also scored for Vegas, which improved to 3-0 to start a season for the fourth time in the team’s seven-year history. The Golden Knights also improved to 23-4-1 all time against Anaheim, their most wins against any opponent.

Mason McTavish scored for Anaheim, and John Gibson finished with 34 saves in the season opener for the Ducks, who were playing their first game under Cronin. Cronin replaced Dallas Eakins after a 58-point season. Gibson fell to 4-17-5 all time against the Golden Knights.

Ducks center Sam Carrick, who finished with 12 penalty minutes, was whistled for a five-minute major for elbowing Brayden McNabb near the end of the first period. Vegas capitalized by scoring its first power-play goal of the season. Eichel scored it after taking the puck in the neutral zone and weaving through Anaheim defenders before wrapping a shot around Gibson’s left pad for his second goal of the season.

Stephenson made it 2-0 at the 15:03 mark of the second period with his second goal of the season when he finished a give-and-go on a rush with Paul Cotter with a backhanded tip-in into an open net.

Theodore extended the lead to 3-0 early in the third period with a one-timer from the top of the left circle into the top far corner. McTavish answered just 29 seconds later with a rebound shot from the slot of a Jamie Drysdale point shot to break up Hill’s shutout bid.

Rondbjerg finished the scoring with an empty-netter with 2:28 remaining, the third goal of his NHL career.

Hill improved to 2-0 this season and has stopped 54 of 56 shots faced.

–Field Level Media

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