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Brewin Flames

VGK 2018/19 Season Chatter

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Game # 21

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Marchessault scores twice, Golden Knights beat Oilers 6-3

Jonathan Marchessault scores twice to put the Golden Knights' lead out of reach in a 6-3 win over the Oilers.

EDMONTON, Alberta -- It took just over two minutes for the Vegas Golden Knights to leave the Edmonton Oilers behind.

Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and an assist and the Golden Knights scored three goals in a 2:12 second span early in the second period in a 6-3 victory Sundat night.

"We need to build off this," Marchessault said. "We had a tough first 20 games and everybody knows that. We need to catch up from our slow start. There is no magic, we just have to play fast. If we play fast, we're giving options to each other quick and we're playing our best and that's what we did tonight."

William Karlsson, Cody Eakin, Max Pacioretty and Reilly Smith also scored, Smith tacked on two assists and Colin Miller had three. The Golden Knights have won two of their last three to improve to 9-11-1.

Connor McDavid, Alex Chiasson and Leon Draisaitl scored for Edmonton. The Oilers are 9-10-1 after dropping six of seven.

"Obviously it is frustrating, there is no other way to say it," McDavid said. "Especially because we have shown we can be a good team. We had that 8-1-1 stretch where we looked really good and now we have wavered and find ourselves dipping a bit. We just have to get back to that brand of hockey that we know we can play."

Eakin began the second-period burst, tying it at 2 with a short-handed goal at 2:21. Pacioretty struck at 3:53, and Marchessault added a power-play goal at 4:33.

"We came out strong in the second, one thing led to another and we had a few in the back of the net, that's what we needed," Eakin said. "It's been a little inconsistent and hopefully we can build a little momentum here and play the way we need to be successful."

Vegas added to its lead 34 seconds into the third on a redirect by Marchessault, his 10th, and piled on with another goal by Smith three minutes later. Edmonton got one back from Draisaitl shortly after that.

Edmonton scored 52 seconds into the game on its first shot when McDavid tipped Matt Benning's shot that had goalie Marc-Andre Fleury completely going in the opposite direction. McDavid has 12 goals this season.

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Game # 22

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Flames race to seven-goal lead, defeat Golden Knights 7-2

The Flames score five times in the 1st period, including two goals from Sean Monahan, as Calgary pounds the Golden Knights 7-2.

CALGARY, Alberta -- Johnny Gaudreau matched a career-high with four points, all in the first period, and found a spot in the Calgary Flames' record book.

Gaudreau's goal and three assists, along with Matthew Tkachuk's two goals and two assists, helped the Flames take over top spot in the Pacific Division with a 7-2 rout of the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.

Calgary is even in points with the San Jose Sharks, but have one more regulation/overtime win.

"He's a dynamic player and he's a very creative player and he sees it," Flames coach Bill Peters said of Gaudreau. "There's not a whole bunch of them that have the ability to slow the game down and buy time for guys to get open and he's got it."

Calgary blew the game open early, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first period. Gaudreau became the 10th player in franchise history, and first since Olli Jokinen on Feb. 14, 2011, to register four points in a period.

Gaudreau's handiwork began 2:36 into the game when he set up Tkachuk, who also matched his career best in points. Tkachuk whipped a 20-foot wrist shot past Malcolm Subban for a power-play goal.

Gaudreau made it 2-0 at 6:49, ripping a shot over Subban's glove to complete a tic-tac-to passing sequence with linemates Elias Lindholm and Monahan.

"Smart play by a smart player," said Gaudreau, describing Lindholm's play that began the sequence. "He's 20 to 30 feet ahead of us and he has a one-on-two, pulls up, finds (Monahan), next thing you know it's a two-on-two then I'm coming in the play and it's a three-on-two. For him to have that awareness, he's pretty smart."

Gaudreau pounced on a turnover in the Vegas slot and set up Monahan's one-timer for a 3-0 lead at 10:59, then capped off his record-tying period by setting up Monahan's second of the period and team-leading 12th goal.

"He's a big-time threat to take the puck to the net and then when he pulls up and delays, you've got guys with good timing coming late, that's when you see all those seam passes and East-West passes," Peters said. "All of a sudden, the goaltender is out playing the shooter and it's a long lateral pass and he can't get across."

TJ Brodie and Sam Bennett rounded out the scoring for Calgary (12-8-1), which plays Vegas again on Friday.

Nick Holden and Max Pacioretty scored third-period goals for the Golden Knights, who were coming off a 6-3 win in Edmonton on Sunday

"It's hard to believe that this happened tonight, the way we played last night but that's hockey," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "It's pretty disappointing and I hope they're disappointed because they didn't show up."

For the Flames, who lead the league with six third-period comebacks, Monahan says it was nice to play from in front for a change.

"It's fun, obviously, when you're putting the puck in the net and you're winning like that. That's the best part of hockey," said Monahan. "This is a team, I think we needed a win like that."

Second-year Czech goaltender David Rittich made 20 saves to improve to 7-1-0. It was the second start in a row for the 26-year-old Rittich, who is getting more playing time with veteran Mike Smith struggling.

Subban went the distance for Vegas, finishing with 25 stops. After going 13-4-2 as a rookie last season, Subban has lost all four starts this season.

"I don't have any answers for you right now, but we're supposed to be a fast team and it's probably the slowest we played all year," Vegas winger Reilly Smith said.

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Game # 23

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Pacioretty's OT goal leads Golden Knights past Coyotes 3-2

Max Pacioretty scores two goals, including the game winner in overtime as Las Vegas edges Arizona 3-2.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Vegas Golden Knights couldn't put away the Arizona Coyotes in regulation time, but they dominated overtime and picked up an important divisional win.

Max Pacioretty stuffed in a rebound at 3:36 of overtime, and the Golden Knights beat the Coyotes 3-2 Wednesday night.

The goal was the second of the night for Pacioretty, who also scored in the second period. Tomas Nosek also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury had 19 saves for Vegas.

Vegas had five shots in the extra period; Arizona had none.

"We know how many divisional games we have here coming up," Pacioretty said. "They're all important. To be able to stick with it, kill that penalty at the end, was huge."

Derek Stepan scored twice for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper had 22 saves. Both teams have picked up points in three of their last five games.

Stepan scored at 19:08 of the first period and with 6:49 left in the third period. His second goal tied the game at 2-all. On the power play, Alex Galchenyuk fed Stepan, who had plenty of open net.

The Coyotes got another power play with 1:55 to play, but couldn't convert before the end of regulation.

"There's some positives to take out of the power play scoring a big goal for us," Stepan said. "We scored a big goal to give our team a chance to win the hockey game. ... We go forward with that."

Vegas lost a chance for a two-goal lead early in the third period. Cody Eakin's apparent goal was reviewed and overturned when teammate Alex Tuch was ruled offside.

The first period saw some hard hitting by both teams and a brief tussle between Coyotes center Brad Richardson and Golden Knights center William Karlsson. Arizona's Christian Fischer had a shot bounce off the post late in the period.

Stepan scored his fifth goal of the season with 52 seconds left in the first, when he redirected Jakob Chychrun's shot past Fleury for a 1-0 Coyotes lead.

Chychrun, playing in just his second game of the season, recorded his first point.

Nosek took a pass from Reilly Smith and beat Kuemper with a shot over his glove at 5:50 of the second period, tying the game.

The Coyotes just missed regaining the lead at the 11:32 mark of the second when Clayton Keller broke away with a long pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and hit the post with his shot.

Pacioretty started the play that led to his goal late in the second period. He passed to Tuch, who sent the puck to Eakin, who crossed it back to Pacioretty, who netted a wrist shot.

"`Patch' is one of those guys when he gets the puck in the net, he gets confident," Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant said. "It couldn't happen to a better player."

The Coyotes' NHL-best penalty kill was 2 for 2 on Friday, and has allowed just five goals on 62 opponent power plays this season. Defenseman Alex Goligoski also returned from injury, playing for the first time since Nov. 8.

"We need some individuals to play better," Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said. "It's too hard of a game for us. We don't have the team to outscore teams all the time. We have to play a good, diligent game defensively."

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Game # 24

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Tuch, Fleury help Golden Knights beat Flames 2-0

Alex Tuch deflects a deep shot into the goal in the 1st period and the Golden Knights cruise to a 2-0 win over the Flames.

LAS VEGAS -- Alex Tuch and the Vegas Golden Knights made the most of their chance to atone for an ugly loss.

Tuch had a goal and an assist in his 100th career game, and Vegas beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Friday.

The Golden Knights avenged a 7-2 loss at Calgary on Monday, when the Flames opened up a 5-0 lead after just one period. The visit to Vegas marked the first time Calgary has been shut out this season.

Colin Miller scored his first goal of the season, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves in his fourth shutout of the season. It also was the 52nd shutout of his career, moving him into sole possession of 24th place on the NHL list, one shy of Nashville's Pekka Rinne.

"It was a good slap in the face in Calgary," said Fleury, who earned his 415th career victory. "It's good that we got to face them quickly in front of our crowd and got the win."

Fleury also started Wednesday at Arizona and made 19 saves in a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes.

"I thought we bounced back good in Arizona, we got the win there, it was a close game, too," Fleury said. "Sometimes things have to go right to get a shutout. Most of the night I could see the puck right, our guys in front played good, too."

James Neal, who scored the first two goals in Golden Knights history, made his first trip back to T-Mobile Arena as a member of the Flames. He received a warm reception from the crowd of 18,206 and finished with three shots on goal and four hits.

"The fans are unbelievable, I loved playing here again," Neal said. "Just great memories here, it's one of those things that you never forget. It was a quite a run that we had, a special bond with the guys. It's an emotional comeback for sure."

Calgary goaltender David Rittich made 26 saves after entering with a six-start win streak and an 8-1-0 mark on the year.

Tuch put the Golden Knights in front 16 minutes into the second period when he deflected Cody Eakin's wrist shot from the point. Miller extended the lead early in the third period when he launched a blistering slap shot from the blue line that beat Rittich on the stick side.

Since opening the season 0 for 16 and ranking last in the NHL on the power play, the Golden Knights have scored 14 goals in their last 60 chances with the man advantage.

"It's nice to build momentum off a good divisional win against Arizona, but a slap in the face on Monday will really get you going," Tuch said. "It feels weird (to play) 100 games, but you know what, I'm just really happy to get the win."

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Game # 25

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Fleury posts second straight shutout, Vegas beats Sharks 6-0

Max Pacioretty scores back-to-back goals in the first period to extend the Golden Knights' lead 4-0 in an eventual 6-0 win over the Sharks.

LAS VEGAS -- Marc-Andre Fleury is finally having fun this season.

Fleury, a 15-year veteran, stopped 33 shots to earn his league-leading fifth shutout of the season as Vegas defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-0 Saturday night.

It was the second shutout in as many nights for Fleury and marked the first time in his career that he recorded back-to-back shutouts since the 2014-15 season, when he blanked Calgary (Feb. 4) and Edmonton (Feb. 6).

"It's good to get two games in two nights against division rivals and games that mean a lot right now as we're trying to climb back in the standings," said Fleury, who stopped 29 shots on Friday against Calgary. "It's fun, two games at home, get a couple wins -- it's nice."

It was the 53rd shutout of Fleury's career, and moved him into a tie for 23rd all-time with Nashville's Pekka Rinne.

The Sharks came into the game having scored 75 goals this season, tied for sixth in the league. But San Jose couldn't find the back of the net.

The Golden Knights, who started the week near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, have won three straight and are now tied for third with Anaheim in the Pacific Division, both with 25 points.

"We're playing with a lot of pace right now, and that seems to frustrate teams," said Reilly Smith, who registered two assists and is now riding a five-game point streak (1 goal, 7 assists). "I don't think we're really running around doing anything special, but I think it's just frustration's growing on other teams because we're loading quickly and making it tough on them."

Max Pacioretty scored twice and William Karlsson, Colin Miller, William Carrier and Alex Tuch also scored for Vegas.

"You obviously want to contribute, but most important thing is the wins," said Pacioretty, who has at least one point in four of his last five games. "When we were losing from lack of scoring and the puck wasn't going in for me, you obviously take that on your shoulders. But nights like tonight it's definitely a group effort."

San Jose netminder Aaron Dell, who registered shutouts in his previous two starts, made 30 saves in the loss.

"We weren't good tonight," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "Two of our last three games were shutouts, we're 4-1-1 in our last home games, so you know what, we had a bad night. It happens."

Karlsson got the Golden Knights on the board moments after the puck drop, scoring the fastest goal in franchise history, just 14 seconds into the game. Miller, who also had an assist, ripped a slap shot from the circle to make it 2-0 shortly thereafter.

Pacioretty scored the team's next two goals, later in the period. The four goals in the first period were the most in any period by the Golden Knights this season.

Carrier got the lone goal in the second period when he backhanded the puck just under Dell's pads to make it 5-0, and Tuch continued his impressive season with his seventh goal of the season in the third period.

"We played our game tonight, it was great," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "We played a real good hockey team over there and we played the type of game that we're used to playing. It was a fast game, it was a quick game, but we were real competitive tonight."

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Game # 26

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Golden Knights pound Blackhawks 8-3 for 4th straight win

Corey Crawford turns it over in his own zone, and Alex Tuch makes him pay with a wicket wrist shot to make it 2-0 Golden Knights.

CHICAGO -- These Vegas Golden Knights are beginning to look like the old Vegas Golden Knights.

Well, like the Golden Knights of last season, at least.

Cody Eakin and Shea Theodore each had two goals and an assist, and Vegas beat the Chicago Blackhawks 8-3 on Tuesday night for its season-high fourth consecutive victory.

"I think everyone's putting in the work," Eakin said. "I think it's just a matter of finding that chemistry with new guys. Our D are playing the right way. Our forwards are getting open for them. We're doing the right things and we're starting to see some positive outcomes from it."

Alex Tuch added a goal and an assist as Vegas continued its resurgence in the opener of a three-game trip. William Karlsson, Ryan Reaves and Daniel Carr also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves for his sixth win in his last seven starts.

The Golden Knights (13-12-1), who made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season as an expansion team, improved to 4-0 against the Blackhawks since entering the league.

"We've been trying to concentrate on our defensive part. Getting pucks out and simplifying has really helped," Tuch said. "I know we have a lot of offensive weapons in this room, but if we concentrate on the team first, things are working out for us."

Dylan Strome had a goal and an assist in his Chicago debut, but the sliding Blackhawks lost for the third time in four games. Defensemen Gustav Forsling and Erik Gustafsson also scored.

Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 30 shots before he was replaced by Cam Ward for the third period. Ward finished with 11 saves.

"If you don't defend hard enough then you don't give yourself a chance to win," coach Jeremy Colliton said.

Strome and Brendan Perlini were acquired in a trade with Arizona on Sunday night for Nick Schmaltz in a swap of former first-round draft picks. Strome, who went No. 3 overall in 2015, looked quite comfortable while centering a line with former junior hockey teammate Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane.

But that was about the only bright spot for Chicago (9-11-5), which got off to another slow start and committed a couple of ugly errors in its worst defensive performance of the season.

"We're giving up way too much," captain Jonathan Toews said. "Getting behind the 8-ball early in games and tonight, we start pressing, trying to create offense, and we just open things up way more, and just make mistakes."

Carr, Tuch and Eakin scored in the first as Vegas jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Carr got his first of the season at 2:10, Tuch picked off Crawford's errant pass and extended his goal streak to three games at 12:14, and Eakin converted a slick backhand in front at 16:14.

The Blackhawks have been outscored 11-1 in the first period over their last four games.

Fleury lost a shutout streak of 150 minutes, 54 seconds when Forsling's shot ricocheted off Karlsson and into the net 29 seconds into the second. Karlsson responded with a power-play goal at 6:27.

"I felt we controlled the game in the second and third," Fleury said. "I thought we had the puck and we didn't give them many shots."

Theodore and Reaves also scored in the second to extend the Golden Knights' lead to 6-2 going into the third. Eakin was credited for his 10th of the season when his shot went off Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith all alone in front and into the net midway through the final period.

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Game # 27

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Pacioretty scores twice as Golden Knights beat Canucks 4-3

William Karlsson scores the go-ahead goal to defeat the Canucks 4-3 and push the Golden Knights' win streak to 5 games.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Marc-Andre Fleury turned 34 this week and was happy to be asked after Thursday night's win whether he's getting quicker with age.

"Thank you, I'll take that," the Vegas goaltender said. "They keep calling me `old man.' I don't know, I just try to get in front of the puck as quick as I can."

Fleury made 33 saves and Max Pacioretty scored twice to lead the Golden Knights past the struggling Vancouver Canucks 4-3 for their fifth straight victory.

William Karlsson's short-handed goal with 6:25 remaining snapped a 3-all tie. William Carrier also scored for Vegas.

"That never-quit attitude has been there for our team, has been there during this streak, and we've seen how well we can play when we play the right way," Pacioretty said.

The former Montreal Canadiens captain has eight goals in his last seven games.

"It's been a lot of fun but we have to keep going," he said.

Brock Boeser had two goals for Vancouver, which has lost 10 of 11, and defenseman Alex Edler scored his first of the season. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots.

"You're playing a team that went to the Stanley Cup finals last year. I thought that was a very well-played game by our team and a lot of compete," Canucks coach Travis Green said.

"It's disheartening to lose right now, but I know when we go back and watch the tape, that's one of the games that you played well and lost."

Vegas had yet to register a single shot when the Canucks opened the scoring nearly 10 minutes in.

Vancouver rookie Elias Pettersson picked the pocket of Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt in front of the Golden Knights net, then sent a no-look pass to Boeser from his knees.

Boeser got the puck in the slot and hammered a quick wrist shot past Fleury.

"I don't know. It's tremendous," Boeser said, trailing off. "He told me on the bench that he heard me yelling, he didn't know where I was. It's a great play. I'm not surprised, though."

Pettersson said he hadn't heard his teammate calling and that the pass was "a good guess."

"I tried to go around the defender. I got tripped. Then I had a feeling that one of my teammates would be around that area so I just gave it a shot and it just went right on the tape," he said.

The 20-year-old has 22 points in his first 22 NHL games. But his said this one was frustrating because the Canucks did enough to win.

"Of course I think we played really well," Pettersson said. "Sometimes you lose games when you should have won and sometimes it's the vice versa. I think we played one of our better games this year."

The Golden Knights tied it before the end of the first period following a flurry in front of the Canucks net. Markstrom made a save but couldn't smother the rebound, and the puck popped off Carrier's skate and in.

Pacioretty scored a power-play goal early in the second after Canucks defenseman Troy Stecher was called for high-sticking. He put another past Markstrom 1:13 into the third, rocketing a one-timer over the goalie's shoulder.

Edler brought the Canucks within one less than a minute later, putting in a rebound of Bo Horvat's shot for his first goal this season.

Boeser knotted the score again midway through the third, sneaking around the side of the Vegas net and putting in a wrister past Fleury. The right wing's sixth goal came after he missed 11 games this month with a lower-body injury.

Karlsson netted the winner after Reilly Smith found him down low on a Canucks power play.

"We've been scoring a lot of goals and that helps a lot, always," Fleury said. "I think we have been playing consistently throughout the game, and game to game. I think we have been better at it and it's been paying off."

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Game # 28

Spooner scores first goal with Oilers in 2-1 win over Vegas

Jujhar Khaira feeds a pass in front to Ryan Spooner, who puts it in the back of the net to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead early in the 3rd period.

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers took a gamble on goalie Mikko Koskinen and it's paying off.

Koskinen stopped 31 shots and Ryan Spooner scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, lifting the Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.

Koskinen, now 8-2-1 on the season, was a bit of a question mark coming into the season as a 30-year-old free-agent signing who had only played four games for the New York Islanders in 2010-2011 before moving on to the KHL. But he is now 5-0-0 in home games for the Oilers and has a 2.15 goals-against average in 12 appearances.

"He has been great, really solid for us for us for a long time," said Connor McDavid, who also scored for Edmonton. "And now we are starting to find ways to get wins for him.

"We are winning games. It's not always pretty, but we are getting it done and that is all that matters."

On the go-ahead goal, Ty Rattie forced a turnover behind the Vegas net and the puck popped in front to Spooner, who put it in at 5:50 of the final period. It was his first goal in eight games since coming to Edmonton in a trade with the New York Rangers.

"It feels great. I just want to go out there and help out," Spooner said. "It has been kind of a rough start for me here and it's been getting into my head a little bit. I just have to go out there and play and help out, that's the most important thing."

The Oilers won their third straight and improved to 4-1-1 under new coach Ken Hitchcock. Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 shots.

William Karlsson scored for the Golden Knights, who snapped a season-high five-game winning streak.

"We're not looking for moral victories, we dug a hole for ourselves earlier this year, so we have to keep winning games," Vegas forward Max Pacioretty said. "If we play like that we'll win some more, but there are areas to clean up and I think we have to address that."

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 32 saves.

"It was a close game," he said. "There were a couple of breaks here and there on their part for their goals, but other than that, I thought it was a pretty solid game."

Vegas was all over Edmonton with an 8-2 edge in shots early, but the Oilers struck first when McDavid sped on a partial breakaway and beat Fleury for his 14th of the season at 6:11 of the first.

The Golden Knights tied it with 7:43 left in the second as Karlsson picked up a rebound in front and tucked it past Koskinen for his fourth goal in his last four games.

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Game # 29

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Schmidt scores twice to lift Vegas past Capitals 5-3

Nate Schmidt skates past a defender and flicks in a wrist-shot goal, putting the Golden Knights ahead of the Capitals in a 5-3 win.

LAS VEGAS -- Vegas' Nate Schmidt has acknowledged there are times that playing hockey isn't fun, including losing to the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup finals.

The defenseman erased some of that pain on Tuesday night.

Schmidt scored twice in the final two minutes to lift the Golden Knights over the Capitals 5-3.

It was the first time Washington skated at T-Mobile Arena since winning and hoisting Stanley Cup in June.

"(Coach Gerard Gallant) really came in here in the second period, and hasn't done it much, and challenged our group to go out and have a better third period," Schmidt said. "And I think up and down our lineup our guys responded, and I think that's the important part about tonight's game."

With the game tied 3-3, Schmidt burst through the neutral zone and beat goalie Braden Holtby with a tiebreaking wrist shot with 1:24 left for his first goal of the season. The former Capitals player added an empty-netter moments later.

"It was an emotional game, it was a big win and I like the way our team responded to a challenge," Schmidt said. "That's the reason you play hockey, is games like that. You had the lead changes, you had swings, you had them buzzing and we were going. It was just a great hockey game. Those are the types of things you want to be a part of. Over 82 games, you've got to find some things to get yourself up for, and that was one of them."

Ryan Reaves, Pierre Edouard-Bellemare and Cody Eakin also scored for the Golden Knights, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves.

Jakub Vrana had two goals and Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington. Holtby also stopped 23 shots.

Reaves and Washington's oft-suspended Tom Wilson renewed their fierce rivalry, with several brutal hits that ignited the crowd, including a vicious shoulder-to-shoulder connection that ended Wilson's night in the second period. After trading shots and verbal jabs throughout the first two periods, Reaves leveled Wilson, who was helped from the ice. Reaves was ejected and given a game misconduct penalty.

"That was a man's game out there. . I thought he was just looking at his pass, and he ran into a lion in the jungle," said Reaves, who added he didn't believe the hit was ejection-worthy. "If he sees me, I know he's gonna try and lay me out and I'm not gonna let that happen. I thought it was shoulder to shoulder and I didn't think it was that late."

Said Gallant: "I think we all seen the hit and video, it's a clean hit, there's nothing wrong with the hit. Unfortunate a player got hurt, but it was a clean hit."

Washington coach Todd Reirden said Wilson would be re-evaluated Wednesday.

"That was something that he targeted him," Reirden said. "Reaves targeted him the entire game. You could hear it on every faceoff, you could hear the things that were being said and it's a blindside hit where an unsuspecting player hits his head on the ice. That's disappointing. You can put two and two together but he targeted him the entire game."

As a result of Reaves' ejection, the Golden Knights were forced to kill a five-minute penalty that stretched from the end of the second period to the start of the third. The Golden Knights rank third in the league with a penalty kill percentage of 84.9 percent. Vegas killed all four of Washington's power play opportunities.

Reaves also notched his sixth goal of the season, one shy of his career high, when he took a feed from Eakin 2:30 in. Vrana tied the game late in the period, and Ovechkin's backhand gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead during the second period. Bellemare's redirect early in the third tied the game, and 16 seconds later, Eakin scored his team-leading 11th goal. Vrana's second goal of the game tied the game at 3-all.

"I can't lie, this is a good feeling; in front of our crowd, it was loud, it was so much fun and Nate to score the game-winner, that was awesome," Fleury said. "A little story book, just a few months too late. But we'll still take it."

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Game # 30

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Marchessault, Tuch lift Golden Knights over Blackhawks 4-3

Max Pacioretty gets the puck to the front of the net, where Alex Tuch is able to put it past Corey Crawford and give the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead.

LAS VEGAS -- Two days after beating the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals for their biggest win of the season, the Vegas Golden Knights weren't about to let themselves slip up against slumping Chicago.

But they came awfully close.

Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch scored 12 seconds apart in the third period to send the surging Golden Knights past the Blackhawks 4-3 on Thursday night.

"Every game is big, every win is big. It's two points," Tuch said. "Especially at home. I thought our crowd showed up and did a really good job of keeping us in there."

Playing in front of 18,494 fans -- the second-largest crowd in the two-year history of the franchise -- Vegas won for the seventh time in eight games and moved into a third-place tie with San Jose in the Pacific Division.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, dropped their sixth straight and have been outscored 30-17 during the skid.

After allowing the Blackhawks to score three consecutive goals for a 3-2 lead in the third, the defending Western Conference champions responded. Marchessault fired a shot past goalie Corey Crawford to tie the game, and 12 seconds later it was Tuch punching one in to put Vegas back on top.

Vegas' game-winning goal didn't come without controversy, though, as Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton challenged for goaltender interference. A video review determined Max Pacioretty was forced into Crawford by Blackhawks defenseman Brandon Manning while he backhanded the puck to Tuch, who slipped it through Crawford's legs.

"I thought it was (a goal) when I saw the replay," Tuch said. "Then I was like, `I don't know what's going to happen.' But you know what? They called it a goal and when you think about it after that you're just really happy. I just wanted to get it to the net so I made a quick little give-and-go play ... then I just tried to get it on the net and found a hole."

Reilly Smith had a goal and two assists and Deryk Engelland scored his first goal of the season for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 32 shots.

Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome and Artem Anisimov scored for Chicago. Crawford made 32 saves.

"We had the lead in the third and found a way to give it up again," Toews said. "Whatever happens early on, we're finding ways to stay in games and give ourselves a chance to win. Just (stinks) we couldn't hang on to it. ... Anytime you're in a slump, whether it's as a player or as a team, it's hard to get out of it. It's a mental thing. You've just got to find a way to relax and stay with your process when things are going well and when you're in control of the game."

The Golden Knights continued to dominate with their penalty kill, as they've gone seven games without allowing a power-play goal. Since Nov. 23, Vegas has denied 20 consecutive power-play opportunities by opponents, including four against Chicago.

"We're just going out there as a unit, whoever is out there, and working together and doing our job," Engelland said. "And with (Fleury) back there bailing us out whenever we need him."

Vegas took an early lead when Smith tipped the puck to himself over Crawford, then dove across the crease while shooting it into the net.

Engelland scored when his wrist shot from the point sailed over Crawford's glove.

Toews inched closer to his 700th career point when he slammed a carom off the end boards past Fleury and cut Vegas' lead in half four minutes into the second.

Later in the period it was Strome gathering Alex DeBrincat's rebound and firing a shot from a wicked angle to tie it at 2.

Anisimov gave Chicago its third straight goal when he streaked in to intercept Nick Holden's pass and beat Fleury on a breakaway with a backhand seven minutes into the third.

And while Vegas coach Gerard Gallant was happy with the win, he was critical of his team's execution.

"We scored two goals and won the game, but I thought it was a pretty even third period," Gallant said. "I don't think we're really happy with our game again tonight. I thought Chicago played a great game. They came in here and worked hard. ... I just didn't think we were at the level we were supposed to be. We got a win, and it's always great to get the two points, but I thought Chicago came in here and deserved a little better."

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Game # 31

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Kings tie season high in goals with 5-1 victory over Vegas

The Kings' Jeff Carter gets the puck and somehow scores a goal from behind the net.

LOS ANGELES -- Lack of scoring and being ineffective on special teams are a huge reason why Los Angeles is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. But the Kings broke out of their offensive malaise on Saturday, tying a season high in goals as they defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 5-1.

"It's probably one of our more dominant wins and we actually played a good team here in Vegas, very good team. It was a full 60 minutes," said defenseman Drew Doughty, who had an assist. "When your team does that, you're going to win more hockey games and hopefully we realized that tonight because we need to win more."

The Kings scored their most goals since a 5-2 victory over Edmonton on Nov. 25. It was only the sixth time in 30 games that they have scored four or more goals. Los Angeles, which has two wins in its last five games, has a league-low 23 points and with 66 goals is last in the league in scoring.

Oscar Lindberg scored for Vegas less than five minutes into the game before Los Angeles got goals from Nikita Scherbak, Matt Luff, Jeff Carter, Derek Forbort and Nate Thompson. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves.

Forbort also had an assist for his second multipoint game of the season, and Jake Muzzin added two assists.

Kings coach Willie Desjardins was pleased with how the team started, but what made him happier was the performance of his specialty teams. They got their first power-play goal in five games and killed all three of Vegas' opportunities. Los Angeles had allowed a power-play goal in five of its last six games coming into Saturday.

The Kings came into the game with the third-worst power play in the league, while the Golden Knights were second in penalty killing.

"I thought our leaders did a great job today. They talked about the power play and penalty killing and we responded with a great effort on the kill today," Desjardins said.

Lindberg opened the scoring four minutes into the game when he took a pass from Tomas Nosek in front of the net and slipped it through Quick's legs. Scherbak evened it four minutes later on the power play when his snap shot from just beyond the right faceoff circle beat Marc-Andre Fleury. Scherbak -- who scored on his fourth shift with the team -- was claimed on waivers from Montreal on Sunday, but his debut was delayed due to work visa problems.

"That's probably one of those moments that is going to stick to my memory for a while, definitely. And that's a great win. We deserved it," Scherbak said.

The game was tied at 1 after the first period when the Kings took control with a pair of goals in the second. Luff scored a power-play goal on a one-timer from Brendan Leipsic with less than eight minutes to go. Four minutes later, Carter was credited with his sixth goal of the season on a shot he played off the boards that bounced off the right skate of Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt and went into the net.

Forbort's shot from near the blue line while Fleury was being screened put the Kings up by three less than three minutes into the third, then Muzzin fed Thompson for a one-timer with less than two minutes remaining.

Fleury stopped 20 shots for the Golden Knights, who had won seven of their last eight.

"You can't turn pucks over to them," Schmidt said. "You can't get into that style game, because that's what they want. They want you to turn a few pucks over coming into the zone and counter. And I thought we fed their attack."

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Game # 32

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Tuch's game-winner lifts Vegas past Dallas, 4-2

Alex Tuch cleans up Colin Miller's deflected shot and scores in goal through the 5-hole in traffic.

LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights know the importance of winning at home.

Last season they went 29-10-2 on home ice during the regular season, en route to their remarkable run to the Stanley Cup Final.

This year, once again, the defending Western Conference champions are taking advantage of the atmosphere inside T-Mobile Arena.

Alex Tuch got his 10th goal of the season and the Golden Knights won their fifth straight at home, beating the Dallas Stars 4-2 Sunday night. Vegas improved to 10-3-1 at home.

"It doesn't feel common because it's so loud and the building is unbelievable and I've never seen nothing like this," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "I've been in the NHL quite a long time -- this is incredible. Every game we play the crowd just gets behind us and they really lift our hockey team."

Ryan Carpenter, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith also scored, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 22 shots.

Tuch became the fifth Golden Knights player to reach double figures in goals just before the end of the second period, when he chopped a loose puck just past defenseman Miro Heiskanen's skate and through goaltender Ben Bishop's five-hole to give the Golden Knights a 3-1 lead.

"It's a 20-man effort, 20-man win, we need it every night for 60 full minutes and I thought we had it tonight," Tuch said. "Everyone is working hard and if you made a mistake -- I made plenty out there tonight -- but you know what, you forget about it, you go out and give a better shift the next time around. That's what (Gallant) is all about and that's what this organization is all about. And I thought all 20 guys played hard and had a lot of heart tonight."

The Golden Knights and Dallas have two of the best penalty kills in the NHL, both coming into the game ranked in the top five.

For the second time in four games the Golden Knights were faced with killing an extended penalty, as Shea Theodore was sent to the box for high sticking with Vegas leading 3-2. Fleury stopped all three shots during the four-minute double-minor, while Nate Schmidt had two takeaways and Brayden McNabb blocked another shot.

"That was the game," Gallant said. "We were up by a goal with a double-minor to kill late in the hockey game and I don't know if they really got a chance, maybe one or two, but I thought our PK was outstanding when it had to be. Sure, they got two (power play) goals earlier in the game but when they really had to step up, they did an unbelievable job and that was real key for us winning."

The Stars, who came into the game ranked 21st on the power play, were 2 for 4 with an extra man.

Martin Hanzal and Esa Lindell scored for Dallas, and Bishop made 24 saves. The Stars snapped a four-game winning streak.

"In this league you need a top-notch effort to have a chance in this league every night," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. "I thought that they outcompeted us tonight."

After Hanzal gave Dallas a 1-0 lead early in the first period, Vegas tied the game when Carpenter gathered the loose puck from a rebound and fired it into the open net near the end of the first. It was the second straight game the Golden Knights' often-quiet third line scored, providing balance to a team that ranks 17th in the league with 2.97 goals per game.

The Golden Knights scored a pair of even-strength goals immediately following power-play opportunities in the second period.

Karlsson lasered the puck through Bishop's pads 3 seconds after the Stars killed off an interference penalty on Hanzal, and Tuch's game-winner came nine seconds after Brett Ritchie left the box for roughing. Smith's empty-net goal with 28 seconds left provided the final margin.

The Golden Knights now take an 8-2 win streak on the road for a four-game road trip through New York, New Jersey and Columbus.

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Game # 33

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Nosek's goal in 3rd helps Golden Knights beat Islanders 3-2

The Golden Knights go on the power play just seconds into the game, and Tomas Nosek capitalizes with a wrist shot to give Las Vegas the early lead.

NEW YORK -- Tomas Nosek jumped on a loose puck to help the Vegas Golden Knights' open their trip with a victory.

Nosek scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the surging Golden Knights beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Wednesday night for their ninth win in 11 games.

Oscar Lindberg's shot from the top of the left circle was stopped by goalie Robin Lehner. However, as the puck lay at the right side, neither Lehner nor defenseman Thomas Hickey immediately went for it, and Nosek put it in for his third 3:32 into the third.

"I saw the puck was loose so I just tried to go under (Hickey's) stick, and I think I hit that and the post and then put it in." Nosek said. "It's great to have a win like that on the road."

The play started with a turnover by defensemen Ryan Pulock in the corner and Vegas' Ryan Carpenter got the puck to Lindberg.

"It was a quick turnover and Lindy did a good job getting open and he got a good, quick shot, maybe surprised the goalie," Carpenter said. "And then Nosek did a good job outworking that guy and winning the battle in front."

Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson also scored for the Golden Knights, who are 10-3-1 at home but improved to 8-11-0 on the road in the opener of a four-game trip. Marc-Andre Fleury, who made his 11th straight start, stopped 23 shots to take over the NHL victory lead with 18.

Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech scored for New York. The Islanders have lost six of eight (2-4-2). Robin Lehner finished with 14 saves to fall to 0-4-2 in his last seven appearances.

"We played well in so many areas of the game but we gave them things that were a little bit unforced," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "Turnovers cost us."

On Nosek's go-ahead goal, Hickey said there was miscommunication between him and Lehner.

"It's on the both of us to communicate and get it out of harm or recover it," he said.

Pelech nearly tied it about three minutes later, but his shot rang off the goalpost.

New York pulled Lehner for an extra skater with a little more than a minute remaining, but couldn't get the equalizer.

Vegas' 17 shots on goal was a season-low, eclipsing the 21 they had in a 1-0 win at Philadelphia on Oct. 13.

"We didn't have a ton of shots," Carpenter said. "Fleury made some big saves for us, we capitalized on some chances. Starting the road trip like this definitely feels good and gives us some confidence."

The Islanders failed to score on their lone power-play chance to fall to 1 for 28 over the last 12 games.

Fleury made successive stops on Mathew Barzal in front about 6 1/2 minutes into the second period to keep the score tied 1-1.

New York then went ahead when Barzal brought the puck up the left side on a rush, stopped and sent the puck to Pelech at the center point and the defenseman fired it in for his third with 8:41 left. Barzal got his second assist of the game and team-leading 22nd of the season.

After a giveaway by Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy, Karlsson tied it 2-2 with a shot from the right circle for his 11th with 3:29 left in the middle period.

Vegas went on the power play just 19 seconds into the game when the Islanders' Casey Cizikas was whistled for cross-checking. The Golden Knights took advantage just 15 seconds later as Marchessault got a pass from defenseman Colin Miller in the right circle and beat Lehner up high from the dot for his 12th.

Beauvillier tied it less than three minutes later. He took a pass from Johnny Boychuk in front and beat Fleury through the five-hole at 3:17 for his ninth.

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Game # 34

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Devils rally from 3 goals down, beat Golden Knights in OT

Nico Hischier narrowly sneaks in the game-winning goal for the Devils in overtime against the Golden Knights.

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils were tired of the pointed questions. Tired of the team meetings. Tired of not feeling like their work had accomplished a tangible result.

So they went out and did something about it.

Nico Hischier scored 41 seconds into overtime to cap New Jersey's comeback from three goals down as the Devils beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 Friday night.

"It's time to go out and execute," Brian Boyle said. "It's time to go out and make some plays. We're working plenty hard enough. It's time to put it to work on the ice and make the plays."

Travis Zajac, Miles Wood, Kyle Palmieri and Brett Sevey also scored for the Devils, who trailed 3-0 after one period, and 4-1 in the second before rallying for their second win in five games.

Cory Schneider gave up three goals on seven shots over the first 9:22 before he was pulled. Keith Kinkaid came on finished with 14 saves.

"It's not easy for a goalie coming into a game," Hischier said of Kinkaid. "He did a great job and made some huge saves."

William Karlsson had two goals, and Alex Tuch and William Carrier also scored for Vegas, which lost for just the third time in their last 12 games. Marc-Andre Fleury had 37 saves and remained one win from tying Hall of Famer Tony Esposito for ninth all-time for goaltender wins.

"We played a real good first 10 minutes of the hockey game and that was it," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "New Jersey took over after that. They played real well and real hard and battled back. We weren't prepared for that, I guess."

Zajac pulled the Devils to 3-1 with a power play goal at 2:59 of the second, but Karlsson's second of the game and 13th of the season 58 seconds later restored the Golden Knights' three-goal lead.

Wood got his third of the season with 9:39 left in the middle period to pull New Jersey back within two.

Palmieri's unassisted goal at 6:24 of the third made it 4-3 with his team leading 17th. Seney tied it with 5:05 left as a Vegas player kicked the puck into his own goal.

The Devils outshot the Golden Knights 42-22, including 30-12 after the first period.

"The end of the second was a huge part of the game," Boyle said. "Most aspects of our game was really good because we stuck with it."

Tuch got Vegas on the scoreboard first just 1:19 into the game. Karlsson doubled the lead at 7:45 and Carrier made it 3-0 less than two minutes later. That prompted Devils coach John Hynes to pull Schneider, who came in 0-5-1 with a 4.29 goals-against average in his previous eight games.

"We obviously have him here so this is what we think is best," Hynes said when asked if the Devils wanted Schneider to continue working with goaltending coach Roland Melanson, or if the organization would consider sending him to AHL Binghamton on a rehabilitation stint.

"Cory is a big part of our team. He's going through some things and right now we'll all continue to work through it."

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Game # 35

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Tuch scores OT game-winner, Golden Knights top Rangers 4-3

Colin Miller sets up Alex Tuch's 12th goal of the season in the Golden Knights' 4-3 win.

NEW YORK -- The Golden Knights needed overtime to earn two points after squandering a third-period lead for the second straight game.

Alex Tuch buried a sharp-angled shot just over two minutes into OT, giving the Golden Knights a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.

"It's great to score in front of friends and family," said Tuch, from Syracuse, New York. "I know what Madison Square Garden is, what it means to the city. It's pretty cool to not only score the overtime winner, but to score in this building."

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots in his 423rd career victory, which moved him into a tie with Tony Esposito for ninth on the NHL's wins list.

"Since the day we got him in the expansion draft, he is the leader of our group," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said of Fleury. "He gives us a chance to win every night."

Paul Stastny, Reilly Smith and William Carrier scored for Vegas, which extended its points streak to four straight games. The Golden Knights blew a three-goal lead in an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Chris Kreider, Brady Skjei and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, and Kevin Hayes had three assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves as New York dropped its third consecutive home game, all after regulation.

"It was embarrassing," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "You can't come out and play hockey like that."

The Rangers dropped the previous two games at Madison Square Garden in stunning fashion, letting three-goal leads slip away against the Jets and Coyotes.

"This game is so much about the mind and how you recharge after wins and losses," Lundqvist said.

Kreider tied the game at 3 when his wrist shot sailed past Fleury's glove at 3:29 of the third period. It was Kreider's team-leading 15th of the season.

Carrier gave Vegas a 3-2 lead at 13:12 of the second period. The 23-year-old took the puck from Rangers forward Lias Anderrson in the neutral zone to spark a 2-on-1 opportunity. Tomas Nosek assisted on Carrier's seventh of the season.

Just over a minute earlier, Zibanejad had tied the game at 2 with a one-time blast from the point. Hayes earned the assist and has four consecutive multiple-point games.

Skjei found the net on the Rangers' first shot of the game 1:13 into the opening period. Hayes played a puck off the boards to spring Pavel Buchnevich and Skjei on an odd-man rush.

"You can't lose your focus like we did," Lundqvist said. "In the end, you got a point. It's one thing to lose when you're ready and prepared and play hard. The first two periods, that's not the way you want to play, not at home in front of the fans. You want to work harder."

Smith evened the game when Colin Miller's shot from the point caromed off the glass and back over the net. Jonathan Marchessault assisted.

Stastny tallied his first of the season at 6:09 of the second period. The center returned to the lineup after missing the previous 30 games with a knee injury that he suffered early in the season against Buffalo. Stastny signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract as free agent in July.
Edited by Brewin Flames

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Game # 36

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Foligno, Bobrovsky lift Blue Jackets over Golden Knights 1-0

Seth Jones sends a shot on net and it bounces off the goalie, but Nick Foligno sends the rebound into the net in the Blue Jackets' win.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Nick Foligno had a feeling one goal might be enough.

Foligno scored 40 seconds into the third period, Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0 on Monday night.

Foligno found the rebound after Seth Jones' shot and knocked it past goalie Malcolm Subban for the only goal in a tight, high-energy game.

"I had a way better chance earlier in that shift and (Subban) made a heck of save, so I was really happy to be able to get a second opportunity," said Foligno, who snapped a five-game goal drought. "Jonesey made a nice play to put it on net, and I was able to bang it home. It feels good to be able to help the boys."

Bobrovsky got his first shutout of the season and 25th of his career. He repelled a late attack after Subban was pulled for an extra skater with a minute left.

"It's got a little scary there in the second part of the third period," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "I thought that's where Bob was outstanding. He made some great saves where the first two periods, he barely had work. We're involved in these close games, and I think we've handled ourselves pretty well. Tonight we found a way to get the result."

Subban performed well starting in place of Marc-Andre Fleury in the second game of a back-to-back. He finished with 30 saves.

"It's a tough way to lose," Subban said.

The Golden Knights ended a four-game point streak that included three victories. They finished this trip 2-1-1.

"We didn't have a whole lot of chances in the first two periods, but I thought we started to play well when we got behind 1-0, to be honest with you," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "We started having some chances, and Bobrovsky made some big saves late. It's too bad we couldn't finish this road trip off on a better note. The guys played hard but they didn't have a whole lot in the tank tonight."

Columbus is 2-2-1 in the last five games, including a 2-1 overtime loss to Anaheim on Saturday.

"I was so proud of the guys, the way we answered tonight," Foligno said. "It was just a solid game again. It's a credit to everyone in the room who understands where we're trying to move this thing."

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Game # 37

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Vegas' Fleury now 8th all-time after 4-2 win over Islanders

William Karlsson wrists in the game-tying goal early on in the third period and Paul Stastny scores shortly after that for the go-ahead goal.

LAS VEGAS -- In four games back after missing 30 with an injury, Paul Stastny has made his presence known for the Vegas Golden Knights.

William Karlsson and Stastny scored 1:03 apart in the third period, and Marc-Andre Fleury got his 424th career win as Vegas rallied for a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

It marked the Golden Knights' sixth straight win at home.

Just over a minute after Karlsson skated down the left wing and fired one over Thomas Greiss' shoulder for his team-leading 14th goal at 6:22 to tie the score at 2-all, Reilly Smith -- moved down from the top line to the second midway through the second period -- fed Stastny, who put it in the open net with his second goal of the season to put Vegas ahead 3-2.

"He's easy to play with, he holds on to the puck, buys you that extra second to get open," said Stastny, who has two goals and an assist in the last three games. "When you play with good players it doesn't matter. I think a good coach will do a good job of switching two guys that will give a spark to two lines."

Defenseman Nate Schmidt had an empty-net goal and two assists and Brandon Pirri, also on the second line, scored as Vegas came back from two goals down near the midpoint of the second period. Fleury, who made 19 saves, picked up his league-leading 20th win of the season. He also broke a tie with Tony Esposito to take sole possession of ninth place on the career list, moving 13 victories behind Jacques Plante (437).

"The second period we knew they were going to have a push," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "I would say we weren't as committed as we were in the first, and their commitment level got raised and they got a lot of momentum."

Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each scored for New York, while Greiss stopped 43 shots.

Smith, who leads the team with 18 assists, said he was fine with coach Gerard Gallant's line move, especially since he's played with Pirri since their childhood days in Toronto, and skated with Stastny during training camp.

"Two easy guys to play with," Smith said. "Stas is a smart player and he'll find openings and make a lot of nifty plays out there. I've been playing with Pirri since I was 8 years old, so there's a lot of chemistry between us two. It's nice, if you're shuffling lines, to be able to play with somebody you're so familiar with. I think we played with a lot of energy and created a lot of offense."

The Golden Knights, who completed a season series sweep of the Islanders after losing both matchups last year, are 6-3-1 in December and hold the top wild card spot in the Western Conference with 42 points.

"I liked our game; we kind of fell asleep for a minute and a half late in the first period and it cost us two goals, and we were disappointed with that," Gallant said. "But I thought overall we played a real good solid game and lots of scoring opportunities. The second period was real good for us."

Trailing 2-0 after one period, the Golden Knights cut the deficit in half near the midpoint of the second. Pirri, who was called up from Chicago of the AHL on Wednesday, cleaned up a rebound in the crease with backhand over Greiss' pads at 8:48. In three career games with the Golden Knights, Pirri has four goals.

"I got to witness some playoff games last year and this building is pretty electric," Pirri said. "So when you get this opportunity you want to make the most of it. After I scored it was pretty loud, so it was pretty fun."

Schmidt's empty-net goal with 15 seconds left provided the final margin.

The Golden Knights had a goal negated when Trotz challenged that Alex Tuch skated offsides prior to New York's Ryan Pulock sliding into Greiss and the net while bringing the puck with him.

Barzal gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead with 1:30 left in the first period, and Nelson doubled it just 1:08 later.

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Game # 38

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Danault scores 3, Byron in OT to lift Habs over Vegas

Paul Byron finds Marc-Andre Fleury's five-hole in overtime as the Canadiens win a big game in Vegas 4-3.

LAS VEGAS -- Phillip Danault was 10 years old when Marc-Andre Fleury made his NHL debut.

After getting his first career three-goal game against the 15-year veteran goaltender, it's understandable why the 25-year-old center for the Montreal Canadiens became uneasy referring to Fleury by his nickname: "Flower."

Danault completed a hat trick late in the third period, Paul Byron scored in overtime and the Canadiens beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Saturday.

"I call him Flower, I mean, I just hear that's his name; but Marc-Andre, I think he's a great goalie, but it was just my time tonight," said Danault, draped in a fur-lined trench coat after the game. "Obviously he made some big saves, too. It's a great win for the team overall, too."

Danault entered the game with two goals this season. His third of the game came with 1:25 left in the third period, setting up Byron's backhand goal 1:59 into OT.

"We've talked to him about getting a little bit more involved around the net and creating some scoring chances for himself and he did that tonight. It's gonna be good for his confidence," Montreal coach Claude Julien said about Danault. "He was mad because the second goal, even the first one against us, he felt he could have done a better job, and what you like about a player like that is his reaction. He didn't lose focus, he kept plugging away to get us back in the game. I thought it was a real character game for him as far as being able to chase those challenges that he had tonight."

Carey Price made 23 saves, and the Canadiens swept the season series against Vegas.

Well aware of the "Vegas Flu" teams suffered from when visiting the entertainment capital of the world last season, Julien said he gave his team a day off to enjoy Las Vegas' bright lights after playing in Arizona on Thursday, in order to prepare for the fast-skating Golden Knights.

"We needed to be well-rested for today," Julien said. "I have to show confidence in my players and let them know I know they can handle themselves as well. Hopefully they enjoyed the day in Vegas yesterday. It was a (game) that was important and when you looked at the way we played today, you know they did the right thing yesterday and were ready to play this afternoon."

Montreal, which will play three straight on the road after winter break, is riding a 6-3-2 win streak away from home.

"It was probably the best team I've seen this year come into our building," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "They played great, they were quick and fast. I didn't mind our team's game tonight, but they were a step ahead of us all over the ice."

Vegas ended its six-game home winning streak and dropped to 11-4-1 inside T-Mobile Arena.

Brandon Pirri scored twice and Jonathan Marchessault also scored for Vegas. William Karlsson, who leads Vegas with 29 points, had two assists. Fleury, one win shy of his 50th as a Golden Knight, made 43 saves.

Pirri has three goals in two games since being recalled from the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves on Dec. 19. The 27-year-old leads Chicago with 29 goals in the AHL and has six goals in four games with the Golden Knights dating to last season.

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Game # 39

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Toffoli scores in overtime to lift Kings past Vegas 4-3

Tyler Toffoli gets on a breakaway in overtime and wrists the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Kings a 4-3 win over the Golden Knights.

LAS VEGAS -- Tyler Toffoli sent the Los Angeles Kings into their holiday break with a little extra hope for the New Year.

Toffoli scored 1:40 into overtime to lift Los Angeles past the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 on Sunday night, marking the second straight night the Kings won in overtime after beating San Jose on Saturday.

It was Los Angeles' third straight win overall, while it collected a point for the fifth time in six games. Los Angeles is trying to climb out of last place in the Pacific Division.

After Kings goalie Calvin Petersen made a series of spectacular saves to start overtime, Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt turned his back on a streaking Toffoli, who caught the Golden Knights on a shift change. He took Oscar Fantenberg's stretch pass and beat Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway with a wrist shot.

"I have no clue what their D-man was doing, but you know what, I'm not mad," Toffoli said of Schmidt. "I've been getting some really good opportunities. Yeah, I wasn't scoring but I thought my game was really in a good place. To score that, hopefully (we can) go on a little streak here and keep winning games, which is huge for us right now."

Michael Amadio, Alex Iafallo and Jeff Carter also scored for the Kings, and Petersen stopped 22 shots.

After opening the season 4-8-1, Los Angeles fired coach John Stevens. Under interim coach Willie Desjardins, the Kings are 10-12-2 and eight points back of the second wild-card spot, albeit still in last place in the league with 31 points, tied with Chicago.

The Kings were swept by Vegas in the opening round of last season's playoffs but are 2-0-0 against the Golden Knights this season.

"They had a tough series here last year in the playoffs and they wanted to find a way to win tonight," Desjardins said. "Vegas has a good team, they play hard. It was nice for us to find a way to win though."

It also marked the second consecutive night Vegas fell in overtime after losing at home to Montreal.

Fleury started for the second straight night and made 28 saves, facing 79 shots in the two games. The 15-year veteran, who swung and broke his stick on the side of the goal immediately after Toffoli scored, debunked the notion he may have been fatigued in playing on consecutive nights.

"I felt decent actually, it wasn't too bad," Fleury said. "It's a grind sometimes, but we've done it throughout the season, throughout this year, and that's no reason for losing the game. It's frustrating. I want to make a difference. I want to make those saves to give our team a chance to win games, and I haven't."

Fleury leads all goalies with 34 games played and 2,019 minutes. The next closest goalie is Toronto's Frederik Andersen, who has been in net 1,779 minutes.

Tomas Nosek, Reilly Smith and Ryan Reaves scored for Vegas, which dropped to 11-4-2 at home.

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Game # 40

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Pirri's goal in 3rd lifts Golden Knights over Avalanche, 2-1

Paul Stastny ties the game in the first period and passes to Brandon Pirri who nets the go-ahead goal in the third.

LAS VEGAS -- Brandon Pirri has played in only six games for the Vegas Golden Knights, four this season.

And all he does is score.

Pirri got his fourth goal of the campaign midway through the third period Thursday night, sending Vegas to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

"I'm just trying to contribute every way I can. It's a great opportunity for me, I really don't want to waste it," said Pirri, who has at least one point in every game he's played for Vegas. "The team's playing well. I thought we played three solid periods tonight. We played a complete 60 tonight and it showed."

Pirri, recalled from the AHL's Chicago Wolves earlier in the day, blistered a shot from the point past goaltender Philipp Grubauer with 9:49 left. In his six games with the Golden Knights, Pirri has seven goals and one assist.

Vegas, with the eighth-best penalty kill in the NHL, staved off back-to-back power plays for Colorado in the final six minutes. The Golden Knights have the fourth-best home penalty kill, stopping opponents on 48 of 55 opportunities (87.3 percent).

"I think it gives you a lot of energy when you have your guys go out there and kill a penalty," Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "It kind of deflates you for a second `cause you've got to go right back into it, but guys take that pride in knowing they're going out there and got to stop the power play, otherwise you're possibly heading into overtime."

Overtime was the last thing the Golden Knights wanted after losing consecutive games in OT at home on Saturday and Sunday against Montreal and Los Angeles, respectively, by identical scores of 4-3.

"That was make or break right there. Last (two) games the other teams beat us at the end of the game and I didn't want that to happen again," said Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 31 saves to improve to 21-10-4. "I thought our guys did a great job in front of me, defending and taking space away from them. Our D-men have been great. I didn't have too much action at some times, but at the end I knew I had to make a couple of saves to keep it there."

Paul Stastny celebrated his 33rd birthday with a goal for the Golden Knights, who remained in third place in the Pacific Division with 46 points -- one back of San Jose.

Grubauer (8-4-3) made 41 saves and J.T. Compher scored for the Avalanche, third in the Central Division with 44 points -- two behind second-place Nashville.

Colorado, which ranks fourth in the NHL in goals (130) and sixth in goals per game (3.42), was held to one or none for the sixth time this season. The Avalanche lead the league in third-period goals (54) but were shut out late by Fleury, who made 13 saves in the final frame.

"I think we've gone through some stretches where we've had some trouble with our breakouts here, which we've never really had before," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "I think, in our zone, we're too selective on our shots. I'd like to see us move it, shoot it a little more. I thought they did a really nice job early. It doesn't have to be a fancy, highlight-reel play. It's just got to get to the net and make sure we have numbers."

Compher found the net when he camped out to the right of Fleury and tipped in Mikko Rantanen's shot to give the Avalanche an early 1-0 lead. Rantanen has 60 points (16 goals, 44 assists), including at least one in 19 of his last 22 games.

Vegas tied it later in the first period when Stastny -- drafted 44th overall by Colorado in 2005 -- took the puck to the net and was denied by Grubauer before punching in his own rebound with a backhand.

Stastny, who played his first eight NHL seasons with the Avs and ranks ninth on their career scoring list with 458 points, has three goals for the Golden Knights -- all in the last six games.

Vegas improved to 3-0-1 against the Avalanche since joining the league last season and has outscored them by a combined 14-4.

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Game # 41

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Golden Knights get 4-1 win to end Kings' streak

William Karlsson gets free and drills a breakaway goal in the Knights' 4-1 win over the Kings.

LOS ANGELES -- Backup goaltender Malcolm Subban got just six goals from the Vegas Golden Knights while going 0-5-0 to start the season.

The offense came through against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, and Subban delivered another solid performance to keep the surging Knights rolling.

Subban stopped 30 shots to help the Golden Knights beat Los Angeles 4-1, ending the Kings' four-game winning streak.

"Come the end of the game, I could tell the guys around the bench were happy for him," Vegas center Paul Stastny said. "Made some big stops early in the game, and I think we just kept kind of digging into them. Even the goal they scored was our fault, we kind of let him down a little bit."

Stastny and Alex Tuch each had a goal and an assist, and William Carrier and William Karlsson also scored as the Golden Knights improved to 6-1-3 in their last 10 games.

Vegas also defeated Los Angeles for the first time this season after losing the first two games of the five-game series.

"They were on a heater lately, so we wanted to show we could come in here and beat them," Subban said. "Obviously last year we did pretty well against them, including the playoffs. Being down 0-2 we felt like we needed to finally get a win against them, and we're glad to get it sooner than later."

Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings, and Jonathan Quick finished with 27 saves.

Tuch put the Golden Knights up 2-1 with 7:34 left in the second period. Matt Luff turned it over in his own zone, and Stastny found Tuch for the one-timer from the right circle.

"We just didn't play enough in the second," Kings coach Willie Desjardins said. "Wasn't that I didn't think the effort was there, we just made plays that we shouldn't have made. Our work is cut out for us."

The Golden Knights went up 1-0 at 4:55 when Carrier when he redirected Cody Eakin's shot past Quick, but the Kings tied it at with 5 seconds left in the opening period when Kopitar tapped in Sean Walker's shot between Subban's legs.

Subban was able to immediately move past allowing the late goal, saying he treated it as a brand new game was about to start. Stastny said that attitude is what has made Subban so effective working behind starter Marc-Andre Fleury, even if it hasn't resulted in wins.

"He's been patient," Stastny said. "He's had a positive attitude, and he knows it's going to come."

Tuch's 13th goal of the season would end up being all the support Subban needed, but Karlsson scored on a breakaway off a stretch pass by Nate Schmidt to extend the lead to 3-1 at 3:20 of the third.

Stastny added an empty-netter with 2:32 remaining, giving him four goals and three assists in eight games since returning from a lower-body injury that caused him to miss 30 games.

The Kings had their longest winning streak of the season ended, along with a season-best stretch of five straight games earning at least one point.

"The big thing is now we can't let this one (loss) turn into two and three and four," Kopitar said.

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Game # 42

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Pirri, Stastny help Golden Knights beat Coyotes 5-1

Paul Stastny pokes the puck into the net in the first period and Reilly Smtih one-times a goal in the second of Vegas' 5-1 win over Arizona.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon Pirri has had a late December to remember for the Vegas Golden Knights.

The journeyman forward had a goal and assist in the Golden Knights' 5-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday night, and has five goals as part of his seven points in the six games he's played for Vegas this season.

Pirri failed to register a point in only one of those games. He's been a regular since Dec. 20.

"It's a lot of fun playing here because everyone's contributing," Pirri said. "Things are going good. I've always believed in myself and I'm getting the opportunity. When you get the opportunity you have to reward the people that put you in this spot and at the same time I have to reward myself. I put in a lot of work."

Paul Stastny also had a goal and an assist and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots for Vegas. Reilly Smith, Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter also scored to help Vegas win its third straight and extend its points streak to six games.

The Golden Knights have won five of six games against Arizona since Vegas entered the NHL last season.

"We played hard, we played quick. We were good with the forecheck, we were good with the puck and we didn't make a lot of mistakes," forward Jonathan Marchessault said.

A large following of Golden Knights fans made plenty of noise for the visiting team in the most recent installment of the fledgling rivalry, and saw their team take control with three goals in the third period.

The third was a short-handed goal from Carpenter, his second goal of the season.

Just when the Golden Knights' first power play ended, Pirri got a rebound behind the net and backhanded the puck back toward the crease, where Stastny was waiting to stuff it in at 3:35 of the first.

Arizona's Nick Schmaltz appeared to tie at 1 with 8:54 left in the second period, but the goal was reviewed on a coaches' challenge and overturned for offside.

Vegas made it 2-0 with 3:57 to play in the second. Brad Hunt tipped a loose puck in front, and Smith got to it first for a shot that zipped past Darcy Kuemper.

Kuemper finished with 33 saves.

The Coyotes took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play with two Golden Knights in the penalty box to get their lone goal at the 2:58 mark of the second. Alex Galchenyuk scored, with Oliver Ekman-Larsson getting the assist.

Ekman-Larsson reached 312 career points, passing Keith Yandle for the most points in franchise history for a defenseman.

Galchenyuk ran his points streak to five games, in which he has totaled seven points.

Eakin edged the puck over the goal line at 4:21 of the third for his 12th goal of the season, and Pirri scored on a breakaway less than three minutes later.

"I liked the way we played all night, not just the third period," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said.

Arizona started the third period on a power play -- one of six on the night -- but couldn't produce and fell further behind.

A frustrated Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet called his team's effort an implosion less than 24 hours after Arizona got an overtime win at Anaheim.

"Just very casual from a lot of key guys," Tocchet said. "I just saw a team go totally south on us. You want to be a good NHL hockey team or a player, you've got to be consistent. ... So maybe we have some players here that just can't do it regularly and we're going to have to find some players that will."

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Game # 43

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Fleury gets sixth shutout, Golden Knights top Kings 2-0

Brandon Pirri scores on the power play and Alex Tuch adds an empty netter in the final minute of the Golden Knights' 2-0 win.

LAS VEGAS -- During his two-game stint with the Vegas Golden Knights last year, Brandon Pirri recognized the key to the team's success in its inaugural season was each player sticking to his role.

In the seven games he's played this season since being called up from the AHL, Pirri has had one role: to score goals.

Pirri got his sixth goal in the third period Tuesday night and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 17 shots to lead the Golden Knights to a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

"I think that's why they signed me, whether I was in Chicago or here," said Pirri, who also had an assist. "I gotta stick to my strengths. "(Coach Gerard Gallant) put me in a fantastic position to succeed where I'm playing with two really skilled guys and it's working right now."

The 27-year-old is on the second line with Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny and the trio has a combined 12 goals and 10 assists since Pirri's arrival.

On the other end of the ice, Fleury didn't make it easy on anyone among the 18,318 in attendance who have New Year's fitness resolutions, as he got his league-leading sixth shutout.

With proof of a ticket to the game, local Krispy Kreme outlets offer one dozen free donuts the day after Fleury gets a shutout.

"They're so tasty too," said a grinning Fleury, who improved to 7-0-3 in his last 10 appearances dating to Dec. 9. "I think it's gonna test everybody's will. Maybe they can start (their resolutions) on the third."

Fleury earned his 23rd win in his 37th start -- both league-bests -- and Alex Tuch added an empty-netter in the final minute.

The Golden Knights, who are 8-1-3 in their last 12 games, beat the Kings for the second time in four days after winning in Los Angeles on Saturday.

Boosted by a four-game win streak after a three-day Christmas break, the Golden Knights have 52 points to tie Calgary atop the Pacific Division, and both are even with Winnipeg in the West. However, the Flames have played three fewer games than Vegas, and Jets have four games in hand.

"Since the Christmas break, we've played great hockey," Gallant said. "It feels like we've got a lot more energy in our step and the guys are playing well and working hard. So, I love the way we played the last four games."

The Golden Knights have also improved defensively during the four-game streak, allowing just two power-play goals in 14 opportunities (85.7 percent), while Fleury and Malcolm Subban have stopped 106 of 109 shots (97.2 save percentage).

"Right now, I think we're clicking in a lot of different areas, we're working hard, we're going to the net putting pucks there and playing the percentages," said Cody Eakin, who assisted on Pirri's goal. "Defensively we're doing pretty good and I think that's been throughout the whole lineup."

Los Angeles goalie Jack Campbell, who was reactivated on Monday, had a career-high 46 saves. While it's normally Fleury who is diving between the pipes making flashy saves, Campbell's biggest save came during a Golden Knights power play. Vegas' Jonathan Marchessault fired a one-timer at a wide open net, but Campbell came flying from the right post to the left to block the shot and keep the game scoreless.

"It felt kind of brutal in the first period, I was kind of like excited nervous in a good way," said Campbell, whose first NHL win was inside T-Mobile, where he made 41 saves in a 4-1 win over the Golden Knights last February. "It took me 20 minutes to get kind of settled in and I felt like I found my game after that. I just needed one more save."

The Kings have gone on a 5-2-1 tear in their last eight games to move out of last place in the West, one point ahead of St. Louis, which has 34.

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Game # 44

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Golden Knights take down Ducks 3-2 for 5th straight win

Max Pacioretty scores the go-ahead goal for the Golden Knights to defeat the Ducks 3-2 and push their win streak to 5 games.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt is familiar with the ebbs and flows of the NHL.

Schmidt and the Golden Knights continued their surge on Friday night while keeping the Anaheim Ducks in a funk.

Max Pacioretty scored in his return to the Vegas lineup and the Golden Knights extended their winning streak to five games, beating the Ducks 3-2 Friday night.

The Golden Knights fell behind in the second period when the Ducks scored two goals 18 seconds apart. But Vegas retook the lead with two goals in a 31-second span to improve to 6-0-2 in their last eight games.

"We sure tested ourselves a few times early in the second period. But, again, we found a way to win and we're never going to apologize for that," said Schmidt, who scored for Vegas. "As the year goes on, you are going to have your surges and a couple times when you're not playing that well, but I thought our guys, even when we're down in the game or we're not playing that well, we find ways to get ourselves back in."

Tomas Nosek had a goal and an assist, Marc Andre-Fleury made 25 saves, and Vegas secured the first three games of the teams' four-game season series.

Nosek tied it at 2-all at 10:15 of the second period. He reached around John Gibson and backhanded in a rebound of a shot by Brayden McNabb. Pacioretty put Vegas back in front 3-2 at 10:46.

Playing for the first time since Dec. 17 and missing seven games because of an undisclosed injury, Pacioretty got behind two Ducks in transition and scored off a pass from Paul Stastny.

It was the seventh time Pacioretty and Stastny have played together this season, as both have dealt with injuries. But chemistry displayed on Pacioretty's 11th goal showed why Vegas signed Stastny as a free agent in July, traded for Pacioretty in September and signed him to a contract extension.

"It's been a start to the season that no one drew up with injuries and playing through them and sitting out for both of us," Pacioretty said. "To be able to come in now and feel pretty good and kind of start from scratch and put together a good win as a line is a good step."

Daniel Sprong and Carter Rowney scored for the Ducks, who dropped to 0-5-2 in their last seven games. Gibson made 39 saves.

Sprong scored on the power play at 1:57 to tie the game at 1. Rowney then put the Ducks ahead 2-1 at 2:15 by catching the Golden Knights on an odd-man rush.

"If we can put the good minutes we had this night, if we can put them over like more of 50, 60 minutes, we're going to be successful," Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm said.

The Golden Knights took a 1-0 lead at 6:52 on the first period when Schmidt scored on a slap shot from the blue line through traffic during a delayed penalty. Gibson made a save and paddled the puck away during the buildup to Schmidt's fourth goal, but the officials did not stop play.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said he never receiver an explanation why there was not a whistle, and refused to elaborate on the sequence.

"I've been fined once before, so my wife doesn't like me writing big checks to the league," Carlyle said.

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Game # 45

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Pacioretty, Subban help Golden Knights beat Devils 3-2

The Golden Knights scores three unanswered goals, come back from 2-0 deficit to beat Devils 3-2.

LAS VEGAS -- The last 48 hours have been a whirlwind for Max Pacioretty.

After missing seven games because of a lower-body injury, the Vegas Golden Knights forward scored the winner Friday night in his return at Anaheim, then rushed back to Las Vegas in time to see son Michael born at 2 a.m. Saturday.

Sunday it was back to business, with the former Montreal star breaking a tie with 4:14 left in the second period to help Vegas beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2.

"It (was) a lucky bounce off my pant; I thought that our line generated a lot tonight, I think we were leaned on defensively as well, and that's the type of line we want to be," said Pacioretty, who redirected Shea Theodore's shot from the point past goalie Keith Kincaid for his second straight game-winner. "It's just a weekend to remember. I'm happy that he is here finally and happy that everyone is home, happy and healthy."

Malcolm Subban made 36 saves, and Vegas overcame a 2-0 deficit to improve to 17-3-3 since Nov. 21.

"We were definitely the better team most of the game so I think we deserved this one," Subban said. "It was a tough start there, with a couple of goals, but the boys were right back and persevered and I didn't get too much the rest of the game."

Not until the third period, when he made 20 of his saves, including six during back-to-back New Jersey power play opportunities over the final 3:22 of the game.

"He was outstanding tonight, played a real good solid game for us, it was good," Gallant said. "He hadn't played in this building in quite a while, so it was good to see him play today. ... It was two (penalty kills) back-to-back, and the goalie pulled at the end of it too, so I think they did an outstanding job. Subby made some real key saves. There was traffic in front of the net, and there was a couple of rebounds there so he stood tall and stood strong in there. It was an excellent job to win a hockey game."

Subban, who said he found out a couple of days prior he'd be in net for his first home start since March 30, has won his last two starts and allowed just four goals in his last three after giving up 18 in his first four starts.

"I was excited to get back in front of the fans ... anytime you can get in front of your home fans here it's unbelievable," Subban said. "It's the best building in the league. It's a lot of fun for sure."

Ryan Reaves added his career-high eighth goal, and Brayden McNabb scored his first goal of the season.

The defending Western Conference champions moved into a first-place tie in the West and Pacific Division with Calgary, each with 56 points. The Flames have two games in hand.

"We just want to keep getting points cause everybody else is winning in our conference, so you got to keep winning and playing hard," Gallant said. "I like what we're doing. I didn't like a whole lot about some of the parts of the game tonight, but we played well enough to win. Tonight, we only gave up two goals, and Subby had a chance to play and played real well so that's a big thing for our team.

Nico Hischier and Ben Lovejoy scored for New Jersey, and Kincaid made 25 saves.

With the loss, New Jersey is now 27-11-16 in one-goal games. The Devils have 39 points and are 11 points back in the wild-card race, behind the New York Islanders and Buffalo, who have 50 points each.

"Some of our puck management early in the (second) period wasn't very good. That allowed them to get up and get going," Devils coach John Hynes said. "Consistency, that's the biggest thing this year. We understand what our game it is ... we know what our identity is and what it needs to be and now it needs to be more consistent to give us a better chance to win more games."

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