Smith’s overtime goal lifts Vegas past Arizona, 3-2
LAS VEGAS (AP) Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant thinks 40-second shifts are long enough for players during 3-on-3 overtimes. Anything after that, and they just get winded.
Jonathan Marchessault found a nice exception Sunday night.
Marchessault set up Reilly Smith’s goal 3:50 into overtime, lifting Vegas over the Arizona Coyotes 3-2.
Marchessault made the winner possible after stealing Alex Goligoski’s pass and pushing the puck to himself off the boards before feeding Smith on a 2-on-1.
”Marchy made some great plays tonight,” Gallant said. ”He’s a guy that takes advantage of some opportunities. He found that second gear. He was out there late in the shift and once he found the open ice, he made a great play. To make that pass to Reilly Smith, and Reilly bury that, it was a big goal for us.”
Vegas snapped a three-game skid and is 3-0-1 against the Coyotes this season. Malcolm Subban stopped 31 shots.
”I thought we played a great game,” Gallant said. ”I thought the first two periods was outstanding hockey. They played back-to-back games, we had some fresh legs today and I thought the score shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but their goalie played a great game.
”It would have been disappointing to lose that game.”
Marchessault scored his 10th goal 18 seconds into the third period and has 13 points in his past seven games. Alex Tuch also scored for Vegas.
”I think it was just a good defensive play,” Marchessault said about the final sequence. ”That’s the strength of our line. We play good defense and we get rewarded. I know they were gassed out there, and I just wanted to pressure the puck. I was able to get a turnover and Smitty was able to bury it.”
Jakob Chychrun and Derek Stepan scored for Arizona, while Scott Wedgewood had 42 saves.
Arizona coach Rick Tocchet credited Wedgewood’s effort, saying if not for him, the Coyotes wouldn’t have earned a point in overtime.
”He was terrific, made some great saves, couple backdoor plays,” Tocchet said. ”The guys owe him. He was really good tonight for us, Vegas was the better team obviously.”
Stepan scored a tying power-play goal 8:50 into the third period when he punched a rebound past Subban.
The Golden Knights once again came out firing at home, but Wedgewood stopped 15 first-period shots to keep it scoreless.
Tuch scored early in the second. He took a cross-ice pass from Colin Miller and pushed it past Wedgewood for his sixth of the season 2:42 into the period.
Chychrun scored in his first game of the season with a shot from the left circle. He had been out after offseason knee surgery. Max Domi set up the goal for his 14th assist.
”We both had our chances … speed is definitely the key to overtime, you can counterattack quick,” Chychrun said. ”They play well together, they got a really good coach, they really use each other well. Lots of dump-ins and lots of pressure on their D. It’s a good atmosphere in here, they play well here.”
The Golden Knights improved to 10-2-0 at home in their inaugural season.
NOTES: After opening the season 2-15-3, the Coyotes are on a 5-3-2 run. … Arizona’s Zac Rinaldo played in his 300th career game. … Since Oct. 31, the Coyotes have killed off 44 of 49 penalties. … Vegas came into the game ranked fourth in the NHL with 3.48 goals per game. … Knights C William Karlsson leads the team with a career-high 14 goals. In his last 10 games, he has 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists). His 25 points for the season ties a career high.
Arizona: The Coyotes visit Boston on Thursday night.
Vegas: Hosts Anaheim on Tuesday night.
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