Thu, 02 Jul 2020

Smith, Knights top Panthers late

Field Level Media
23 Feb 2020, 16:19 GMT+10

Reilly Smith scored two third-period goals, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights won their fifth straight game, 5-3, over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Tomas Nosek had a goal and an assist, and Max Pacioretty and William Carrier and also scored goals for Vegas, which increased its Pacific Division lead to two points over Vancouver. The Golden Knights, who also got two assists from Paul Stastny, improved to 8-2-1 since their bye week break and 9-3-2 under head coach Peter DeBoer.

Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and an assist, and Aleksi Saarela also scored a goal for Florida. Sam Montembeault finished with 34 saves.

Florida took a 1-0 lead at the 3:28 mark in the first period when Hoffman kicked a loose puck in front of the net to his stick and then fired it into the open left side of the net for his 24th goal of the season.

Vegas tied it midway through the period when Nosek picked up a loose puck inside the blue line and beat Montembeault with a wrist shot for his first goal in 14 games and seventh of the season.

The Panthers regained the lead 42 seconds into the second period on a power-play goal by Dadonov. He tapped in Aleksander Barkov's cross-crease pass for his 25th goal of the season.

Carrier tied it 2-2 with his seventh goal at 12:39, chipping the puck off the boards to himself and then rushing in on the left wing. He ripped a shot that hit Montembeault's glove and then went into the net.

Pacioretty then gave Vegas its first lead with 52 seconds left in the period when he finished a two-on-none rush with Shea Theodore with a shot from the left circle. The shot hit Montembeault's right arm and trickled into the net for Pacioretty's 29th goal of the season.

Smith made it 4-2 just 19 seconds into the third period when he one-timed a Jonathan Marchessault pass from the right circle. Saarela cut it to 4-3 five minutes later with his second goal of the season.

Florida pulled Montembeault for an extra attacker with 1:50 left, and Smith sealed it with an empty-netter, his 25th of the season.

--Field Level Media

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