The Vegas Golden Knights may have their most potent power-play unit yet thanks to two NHL Trade Deadline moves, adding another layer of EDGE stats to their Stanley Cup title defense.

The new-look first unit, featuring acquisitions in forward Tomas Hertl (from San Jose Sharks) and defenseman Noah Hanifin (from Calgary Flames) joining elite scorers Jack Eichel, Mark Stone and versatile forward Chandler Stephenson, has been on the ice together for the first time in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The early results speak for themselves.

The Golden Knights are 2-for-3 on the power play through two games in their series against the Dallas Stars and have the NHL’s top four players in terms of offensive zone time percentage with the man advantage: Stone (79.3) is first, followed by Hertl (78.7), Stephenson (78.4) and Hanifin (74.9). As a team, they rank second in power-play offensive zone time percentage (69.3) during the playoffs behind the Edmonton Oilers (73.1).

That robust skater group has helped Vegas surprise Dallas, which won the Western Conference in the regular season, with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series after winning the first two games on the road. Game 3 will be at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; SCRIPPS, MAX, truTV, TBS, BSSW, SN360, SN, TVAS).

Last year, when the Golden Knights defeated the Stars in six games during their Western Conference Final series, their even-strength dominance was the deciding factor; Vegas outscored Dallas 18-8 at 5-on-5. Now, Vegas is looking like a title contender again after withstanding many key absences during the regular season and sneaking into the postseason.

Hertl scored a high-danger power-play goal on a rebound in Game 1 and is taking on a net-front presence on that primary unit. During Hertl’s prior postseasons with San Jose, players like Joe Pavelski (now with Stars) and Timo Meier (now with New Jersey Devils) had net-front positioning and success. Hertl is now taking what he learned and running with it during his first trip back to the playoffs since 2019, when he scored 10 goals to lead the Sharks to the Western Conference Final.

In Game 1 against Dallas, Hanifin skated 3.50 miles (88th percentile this postseason); he is tied for second on Vegas in playoff points (three in two games) behind Eichel (four in two). Hanifin appears to be moving ahead of fellow defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore in the power-play mix, and, while it’s only been two playoff games, could help Vegas form its best unit of its first seven NHL seasons. The Golden Knights were tied for 20th in the NHL in power-play percentage (20.2) this regular season and rank 18th in the League in combined regular-season conversion rate (19.5) since their expansion year of 2017-18.

These new wrinkles, together with Eichel’s speed (11 bursts of 20-plus miles per hour; tied for ninth in NHL) and goalie Logan Thompson’s high-danger save percentage (.917; leads goalies who have played multiple playoff games), have the Golden Knights looking as dangerous as ever.