LAS VEGAS (AP) — Keegan Kolesar scored off a rebound with 1:20 left to put Vegas ahead for good in a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night, strengthening the defending champion Golden Knights' hold on a playoff spot.

Jack Eichel and Chandler Stephenson also scored, Brayden McNabb had two assists and Logan Thompson made 20 saves. It was the second victory in a row for Thompson, who stopped 40 shots and may have given the Knights' recent shaky play at goalie some encouragement.

“No team wins without timely saves,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We're trying to limit how many they have to have. We were too loose before and relying too much on that. Now I think we've done a good job as a team. Now it's their job to make sure they do their part at the right times.”

Vegas Golden Knights v Seattle Kraken
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Jaden Schwartz scored for the Kraken, and Philipp Grubauer stopped 34 shots.

The Knights are four points in front of St. Louis for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vegas has won four of six games, and the Kraken are 0-5-1 over their past six.

Kolesar's goal, a rebound off Brett Howden's shot, broke a 1-1 tie. The Kraken challenged the goal for offside.

“You never know with the ref nowadays," Kolesar of the video review. “Sometimes I feel the longer it takes, the more inconclusive it can be. The call on the ice was the right call.”

Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said he thought the play should've been ruled offside.

“Obviously, it's a really close, tight play at the line,” Hakstol said. “I feel a responsibility (to challenge) because of how hard our guys fought. It was a judgement call, and I would make that call again.”

After the call was upheld, the Knights went on a power play and Stephenson scored an empty-netter.

Those goals were quite an answer after the Kraken tied the game with 6:31 left in regulation. Schwartz redirected Ryker Evans’ shot from the point for a power-play goal.

“That's something we were good at last year, that short-term memory,” Stephenson said. “That resiliency was there last year, and we're starting to find it here a little bit more now.”

Both teams wore the uniforms from the NHL Winter Classic game at Seattle's T-Mobile Park on New Year's Day.

Vegas Golden Knights v Seattle Kraken
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Jonathan Marchessault passed from behind the net to Eichel, who pushed in the puck to put the Knights up 1-0 8:14 into the first period. That assist gave Marchessault his 60th point the season, the third time he has accomplished that.

Vegas outshot Seattle 12-6 that period, but failed to build on the early lead, and the score remained the same through the second period as well. The Kraken did have a chance late in the second to pull even, but Thompson stopped a breakaway short-handed opportunity by Seattle's Jared McCann.

The Knights continued to struggle with their power play, going 0 for 4. They are in a 6-for-49 rut.

Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo missed his second game in a row because of an illness.


Kraken: At Arizona on Friday night.

Golden Knights: Host Columbus on Saturday night.

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