Knights win 5th straight with 2nd-period outburst
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A two-minute burst of offense was enough for another win for the Vegas Golden Knights.
The expansion team that doesn’t play like one strengthened its grip on first place in the Pacific Division with a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
Tomas Nosek, William Karlsson and Erik Haula scored in a 1:42 span of the second period, providing just enough offense.
Jonathan Marchessault added an empty-net goal right before the buzzer and an earlier pair of assists for the Knights, now 3-0 against Arizona.
Vegas has three wins in four nights.
“That’s six points we were talking about against division rivals, too,” Karlsson said. “Yeah, six huge points and hopefully we’ll continue like this.”
Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brendan Perlini scored in a third-period Coyotes comeback. Perlini’s spectacular goal through traffic and past goalie Malcolm Subban cut the lead to 3-2 with 9:25 remaining.
“Yeah, that is a highlight real goal and, that is a very talented player,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “Outside speed, cut in, top shelf, and in the net. We need other players to start to have that mentality of taking that puck wide and taking it to the net instead of looking for a pass in the middle and hitting a skate. We have to have more of that mentality.”
The Coyotes, who had won four of their previous five, killed a four-minute, double-minor penalty by Jason Demers for high-sticking and had 3:24 left when play returned to five-on-five. But they couldn’t penetrate the Knights’ defense.
Both teams were playing a day after tough overtime wins.
“No, it wasn’t a perfect game,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “Like I said, it’s back to back, three games in four nights with a couple days of traveling, we had some jump at times but again it wasn’t a solid effort.”
It was, however, good enough for a win.
“We made some key saves, got a great penalty kill and, when the game got real tight, we still played really well,” Gallant said.
The Knights’ first two goals came just 31 seconds apart.
Ekman-Larsson lost control of the puck and Nosek took it away. Nosek skated unchecked down the ice and knocked it past goalie Scott Wedgewood for a short-handed goal to make it 1-0 with at 7:23 of the second period. Seconds later, Vegas won the ensuing face-off and William Karlsson’s one-timer put the Knights up 2-0 at the 7:54 mark.
Slightly more than a minute passed before the finale of the scoring barrage. Erik Haula knocked in the rebound after Marchessault’s shot was blocked by Wedgewood and the Golden Knights led 3-0.
Wedgewood was replaced by Marek Langhamer.
Subban, in his first start in more than a month due to injury, had 23 saves.
The Coyotes appeared to strike first with 10:29 left in the first period when, on an Arizona power play, Jason Demers’ slap shot found the back of the net. But the goal was waived off on a call of goaltender interference against Arizona’s Derek Stepan, who appeared to bump Subban as the shot approached.
Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet challenged the ruling but the no-goal call was upheld.
NOTES: Knights are 15-6-1 in their inaugural season. ... Both teams were coming off overtime victories the previous night — Vegas 5-4 at home over San Jose, Arizona 3-2 at home over the Los Angeles Kings. ... Perlini scored for the fourth straight game. ... Subban appeared in 127 games for AHL’s Providence Bruins but this was only his seventh career NHL game. Five have been with Vegas this season. ... Knights were 1-5 on power plays, Arizona 0-5, including 1:29 with a two-man advantage.
Golden Knights: Hosts Dallas on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: At Edmonton on Tuesday night.
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