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Golden Knights raise Stanley Cup banner, beat Kraken 4-1 in opener

LAS VEGAS — Jonathan Marchessault scored, Adin Hill made 23 saves and the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights beat the Seattle Kraken 4-1 on Tuesday night after a banner-raising ceremony.

Conn Smythe winner Marchessault scored in the first game of the season for the fourth straight year and the fifth time in seven seasons with Vegas.

Chandler Stephenson, Ivan Barbashev and Jack Eichel also scored for the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights improved to 6-1-0 in home openers, their only loss coming in 2018 to Philadelphia. Vegas has outscored their visitors 26-14 in those games.

Jared McCann scored Seattle’s lone goal. Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves.

Vegas got the scoring going early in the first period when Mark Stone, Brett Howden and Stephenson played tic-tac-toe in the offensive zone. As they crossed the blue line, Stone went cross-ice with a pass to Howden, who sent the puck to the crease where Stephenson was there for the finish.

The Golden Knights made it 2-0 when Seattle’s Brandon Tanev went to clear the puck past the goal, but Marchessault nicked it off course and past Grubauer.

Barbashev connected on a breakaway snapper 1:20 into the second period to make it 3-0. Seattle answered midway through the period when McCann’s wrist shot from the slot sailed past Hill.

The Kraken had an ample opportunity midway into the third, when Howden was called for a match penalty when he delivered a shot to Tanev’s head. But just as he did in standing tall during the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run, Hill was outstanding in making six saves during the penalty kill.

“I thought our penalty kill did an excellent job,” Hill said. “It was kind of an area of emphasis during camp, just trying to work on it and kind of be aggressive and err on the side of aggression. I thought we did that tonight and I thought our penalty kill was outstanding. Of course they’re going to get a couple looks, but yeah, we did a good job limiting it.”

Eichel scored into an empty net with a little more than a minute remaining.

“We had enough scoring chances,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “Early in the hockey game, we could execute a little bit better on a couple of them, we had a couple of missed nets on a couple of real good opportunities that we executed the play really well, we didn’t finish. All of a sudden in a (first) period where we’ve done a lot of pretty good things, we’re down 2-0. Now you’re now you’re digging out of a deep hole. Ultimately, we didn’t capitalize when we had the good opportunities, whether it be 5 on 5, or on the power play.”

Meanwhile, Xfinity customers in Western Washington found out on Tuesday that Root Sports, which broadcasts the majority of the Kraken’s regular season games, was moved to a higher-priced package.

Customers can still get Root Sports, but only if they upgrade to Xfinity’s “Ultimate” package.

Root Sports sent KIRO 7 a statement that reads, in part:

“We are disappointed that Xfinity has moved ROOT SPORTS to the Ultimate package. The timing is less than ideal.”

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