Marchessault keys late flurry as Knights stun Flames 4-2
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) With a flurry of quick goals in the waning moments, the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for a record-tying victory Tuesday night.
Jonathan Marchessault scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist as the Golden Knights scored three times in the final two minutes for a 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames.
Vegas’ 33rd victory tied the 1993-94 Florida Panthers and 1993-94 Anaheim Mighty Ducks for the most by a first-year expansion team. The Golden Knights still have 33 games remaining.
”We’re a good team and we deserve a lot of the things that we’ve gotten,” Erik Haula said. ”We try to play hard night after night and we have one of the best goalies in the league.”
Just 10 seconds after Haula tied it 2-all at 18:14 of the third period, Marchessault got around Mark Giordano and beat Calgary goalie Mike Smith.
David Perron scored into an empty net and Reilly Smith also had a goal for Western Conference-leading Vegas (33-12-4) in the opener of a six-game road trip.
Matthew Tkachuk got his seventh goal in the last eight games for the Flames (25-17-8), who lost in regulation for the first time in 12 games. They had gone 7-0-4 since last losing in regulation on Dec. 29.
Sam Bennett also scored for Calgary.
The tying goal was a bizarre one. Flames forward Michael Frolik got the puck in his own end and, in trying to pass it back to a defenseman, put the puck on Calgary’s net instead. Mike Smith stopped it with his pad but Haula knocked in the rebound, stunning the home crowd.
”My fault,” said Frolik, who was playing his first game after missing 12 with a broken jaw. ”Puck came to me and I panicked a little bit. I should have turned and cleared the puck from our zone, and I saw (TJ Brodie) there and I just tried to pass it to him, but I passed it to his backhand. You guys saw what happened. An awful play.”
Off the ensuing faceoff, Marchessault got the puck off the boards, darted around Giordano and beat Mike Smith over his glove.
”Like the rest of you, I’m a little bit in shock,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. ”It’s games like this. They sting. They hurt. They hurt every guy. They hurt everybody here. But it’s how you react to it, and the good teams can get back after a tough one like this, and that’s what we’re going to have to do.”
It was the first time in the last two seasons that Calgary lost in regulation when leading after two periods. The Flames had been 50-0-3 during that stretch.
”It’s tough to swallow,” said Bennett, who scored his seventh goal. ”We played a great game up until the last two minutes. It shows you what can happen if you take your foot off for a second.”
Calgary took a 2-1 lead at 18:43 of the second on a beautiful wraparound goal by Tkachuk.
The 20-year-old faked as though he was carrying the puck behind the net and spun back in the other direction. Not realizing that, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury left both feet to desperately dive headfirst toward the far post, only for Tkachuk to tuck the puck inside the near post.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, the Flames tied it 6:02 into the second when Bennett slid a puck under Fleury as he cut in off the wing.
Vegas opened the scoring at 16:03 of the first when its sizzling power play converted its first try of the night. As he skated through the slot, Reilly Smith deflected Marchessault’s point shot past Mike Smith.
Mike Smith responded right after that with perhaps his biggest stop of the night. Less than 20 seconds later, William Karlsson got behind the Calgary defense, but as he attempted a deke, Mike Smith smothered the shot with his trapper.
Mike Smith finished with 31 stops and fell to 20-14-6.
Fleury, tested 33 times, improved to 13-4-2.
NOTES: Frolik returned to his spot on a line with Mikael Backlund and Tkachuk. … It was the first of four matchups between the teams this season. … Haula and Perron extended their point streaks to six games.
Golden Knights: Play at Winnipeg on Thursday night.
Flames: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night.
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