LAS VEGAS – Max Pacioretty scored twice, including the game winner in extra time, to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-4 win over Minnesota Wild on Monday night.
The Golden Knights removed a two-goal deficit in the third period to claim victory in a matchup between the top two teams in the West Division.
After Alex Tuch scored the decisive goal by 42 seconds, it was Pacioretty who knocked the game winner home after Vegas captain Mark Stone fed him his fifth primary support of the game.
“It was a heavy bias and coming back like this is a big push for us,” said Stone.
Cody Glass and Nic Hague also scored goals for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury, who started for the ninth time in a row, made 26 saves and improved to 10-3-0 after scoring four goals this season. Fleury won both games and allowed four goals.
Marcus Foligno scored twice and Jordan Greenway and Nick Bonino for Minnesota. Cam Talbot made 34 saves, falling 4-3-0 that season.
The Golden Knights were 4-2 behind when Hague reached them in the middle of the third half with a one-timer from above, which Talbot couldn’t stop.
“It was a strange game,” said Peter DeBoer, Golden Knights coach. “A few strange jumps in the network and suddenly you’re down. It took us a bit to regroup. … We messed up the lines a bit (for the third period) and went back to some combinations that the guys are more familiar with. I thought it would take a couple of shifts to find a spark. When they started it was impressive pressure we put on in the last 10 minutes. ”
– FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) March 2, 2021
The Golden Knights welcomed 2,605 fans in the T-Mobile Arena. For the first time in 363 days, spectators were allowed to watch the team play.
“You could feel the energy during the warm-up,” said Stone. “I think (the energy of the fans) definitely goes into the way I play the game.”
Pacioretty added, “I think we all felt like you know you are going to come back to this game and use that energy to at least retain it … and a big reason for that is the energy we’re getting from received by our fans. ”
In Minnesota, the NHL best winning streak came to a standstill in six games when they lost for the first time in overtime in eight games last season. It was the 14th time in 19 games this season that Minnesota has scored three or more goals. The Wild are 12-1-1 in these games. At 6-0-1 since February 18, the Wild have beaten their opponents 31-14 during the course.
Glass opened the scoring in the second half when he steered Stone’s perfectly placed pass into the net for his third goal of the season. All three of Glass’s goals were the power game.
The lead didn’t last long when Greenway followed his own shot and buried a ricochet Fleury couldn’t freeze in time.
A little more than a minute later, Foligno crashed into the crease, where he steered Jonas Brodin’s centering pass from his right skate onto his left knee and into the net. It was Foligno’s sixth point in his last seven games.
Vegas scored its second power play goal of the night as Chandler Stephenson, Stone and Pacioretty played tic-tac-toe with an impressive display of Talbot’s passing game. Pacioretty camped to Talbot’s left, burying Stone’s pass with the equalizer.
Minnesota took over two goals with two points 19 seconds apart.
At first it was Bonino who took advantage of Vegas’ inability to clear the puck when he grabbed the loose puck in front of Fleury and stepped onto the top shelf. Foligno scored his second goal when walking alone on the left and slapping Fleury over his glove on the other side.
“They’re obviously a good team, they’ve clearly worked hard,” said Minnesota coach Dean Evason. “We’re a little on our heels and the momentum has shifted. We didn’t sit back; It wasn’t like we were just defending. We were still trying to push and they played some good games. ”
– FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) March 2, 2021
Minnesota’s second four-goal period marked the first time the Golden Knights allowed four goals in a period this season. It was only the fourth time that the Wild defeated an opponent in the second period.
Fleury, who is now 5-10-0 in 15 starts against Minnesota, played in his 860th game, joining him with Gump Worsley for the 12th time ever.
Minnesota has played its first game since Edmonton goalkeeper Alex Stalock was dismissed. Stalock posted a career high in NHL stakes at 38 for the Wild last season and ended with a 20-11-4 record, 2.67 goals against the average and a saving of 0.910 percent.
The Golden Knights won their first victory with their new shiny golden helmets after losing the first two games they wore them in.
Minnesota and Vegas end their set with two games on Wednesday night.