Haula gets winner as Golden Knights beat Canucks 5-2
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Two nights after finally looking like an expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights got back to what’s made them successful early in their first season – outworking opponents.
Erik Haula scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and the Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday night.
Haula, David Perron, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson each had a goal and an assist, and Reilly Smith added an empty-netter. Vegas improved to 11-6-1 in its debut season.
Maxime Lagace made his ninth straight start and had 19 saves after giving up seven goals on 29 shots in Tuesday’s 8-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
”You let up eight goals … you can’t pin that on the goalie,” Haula said. ”Our goalies have been great.”
Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom made 25 stops.
”We looked a step behind,” Canucks coach Travis Green said. ”They looked a little quicker than us.
”Our team looked a little tired.”
The teams were sent to the locker rooms with under a minute left in the second period when a fan seated in one of the corners was hit in the head by an errant puck. One of the officials on the ice threw towels to nearby spectators to help with the bleeding, and the fan was eventually taken away on a stretcher.
There was no immediate update from the Canucks on the fan’s status.
The teams played the final 59.7 seconds of the period on a fresh sheet of ice before switching ends for the third.
After blowing a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Golden Knights went back in front at 6:27 of the third when James Neal stripped Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson behind the net and passed to Perron, who quickly fed Haula across the top of the crease for his sixth goal of the season.
Perron has two goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak, while Haula has four goals and four assists in his last six contests.
”Big game for us,” Perron said. ”It was a big two points and we can keep building on our season, we don’t want to let it slip away.”
Vancouver didn’t offer much in the way of an attack for the majority of the night. The Canucks had a chance off Boeser’s stick with under seven minutes to go that Lagace got a pad on.
”It’s part of my job to come back after a performance where you probably wanted to have two or three goals back,” Lagace said. ”The guys played awesome in front of me.”
Marchessault put the game out of reach with 3:05 left when he jumped on Derrick Pouliot’s turnover before beating Markstrom low for his fifth.
Down 2-0 after a sluggish first period, Green shook up his lines in the second, and got some immediate results.
Boeser scored his sixth of the year at 12:04 after Vegas center Oscar Lindberg’s pass in the slot went right to the rookie winger, who made no mistake past a surprised Lagace.
The Canucks evened things with 2:42 left in the period when Thomas Vanek’s partially blocked shot dribbled toward the Golden Knights’ crease. Vancouver forward Sam Gagner kicked the puck to Horvat, and he slid his eighth past Lagace.
NOTES: Vegas G Malcolm Subban practiced Wednesday and is close to returning.
Golden Knights: Host Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Canucks: Host St. Louis on Saturday night.
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