Pacioretty scores twice as Golden Knights beat Canucks 4-3
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — 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.”
NOTES: The injury-riddled Canucks could be down two more players. Left wing Antoine Roussel was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game with an upper-body injury, Green said. Vancouver defenseman Alex Edler went down hard late in the game after being hit by Vegas right wing Ryan Reaves. Green said after the game that he’s concerned about Edler.
Golden Knights: Play at Edmonton on Saturday night.
Canucks: Continue their five-game homestand Saturday afternoon against Dallas.