Watch Now:

After a stretch that saw them play eight of nine games on the road, the Vegas Golden Knights open a brief two-game homestand Saturday night against the Washington Capitals.

The Golden Knights lead the league with 34 points, although they won just three games of those nine games. They saved their best performance for last, a dominating 4-1 victory at Vancouver on Thursday with first place on the line in the Pacific Division.

Jack Eichel, playing in his 500th NHL game, led the win with a goal and two assists, while Ivan Barbashev had a goal and an assist and Alex Pietrangelo added two assists. The Golden Knights, who outshot Vancouver 44-22, jumped out to a 2-0 late in the first period and expanded the gap to 4-0 early in the third.

"That was probably one of our best games of the year," Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. "The way we checked, made Vancouver's top players really work to get space, converted our chances, special teams were good. We just had no weaknesses tonight."

Pietrangelo echoed his coach.

"Eight of nine on the road, to finish with probably the best game we've played in a long time, to finish that way and go home for a couple days, that's a good feeling for us," he told

The Golden Knights are 8-2-1 on home ice this season, tied for the most home wins in the league. They also host the St. Louis Blues Monday before going back on the road for games against the Blues and Dallas.

Washington will be playing the fourth game of a five-game western road trip that began with a 2-1 loss at San Jose followed by a Southern California back-to-back sweep of Los Angeles (2-1) on Wednesday and Anaheim (5-4) on Thursday.

Against the Ducks, Tom Wilson scored his first career hat trick in his 700th NHL game, while Alex Ovechkin added two assists to close to within one point of 1,500 for his career.

The Capitals won for the seventh time in the past nine games and are in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 26 points.

Wilson tied it 2-2 with a breakaway goal after leaving the penalty box and then scored twice on the power play, the second with 5:38 to go in the third period to make it 5-3. A number of Washington fans in Anaheim then showered the ice with hats.

"It's obviously a pretty special night," Wilson said. "A lot of pretty special memories on this journey -- a lot of great people, great teammates, family, friends, the city of D.C., and everyone supporting me for a long time.

"It's an honor to play 700. You can't take it for granted in this league. And to get a team win, a big win, and a good night. It's awesome."

Wilson's first power-play goal snapped a drought with the extra man for the Capitals dating to Oct. 27.

"We grinded," Washington coach Spencer Carbery said. "Back-to-back, tough situation with Anaheim rested. They're a good team. They've got some speed and skill, and you can see the young prospects in their organization are a handful. ... Just another character win."

"It's a good start to the trip," Wilson added. "We've got to keep it going."

This is the second of two meetings this season between the Capitals and Golden Knights. Behind 35 saves by Charlie Lindgren, Washington won the first one 3-0 Nov. 14 in Washington.

- Field Level Media

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.