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Big second period boosts the Vegas Golden Knights past Kings

Mar 29, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Moore (12) knocks Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) to the ice during the first period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Locher/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Reilly Smith, Tomas Nosek and Nicolas Hague scored second-period goals and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for a 4-1 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

Former Kings defenseman Alec Martinez scored a late goal for the Golden Knights while Jonathan Marchessault had two assists. Goaltender Robin Lehner made 23 saves as West Division-leading Vegas improved to 8-2-0 over the past 10 games and 4-1-0 against the Kings this season.

Matt Roy scored one minute into the game for the Kings, but Los Angeles struggled to create any offense from there. Jonathan Quick had 20 saves for the Kings, who lost their third game in a row.

The Golden Knights earned their 24th victory, matching the Tampa Bay Lightning for the most in the NHL.

Roy’s quick goal came from the deep slot after Gabriel Vilardi flipped him a backhanded pass from the right circle. It was just the second goal of the season for the defenseman.

Smith got the Golden Knights even on the power play at 4:04 of the second period. He pounced on a loose puck in front of the Kings’ goal and flipped it into the roof of the net with Quick sprawled out on the ice.

Las Vegas’ opening goal ended the Kings’ run of 20 consecutive successful penalty kills and was the seventh tally of the season for Smith.

The Golden Knights took the lead for good at 16:28 of the second period when Nosek scored off a rebound from the back boards following a wide shot by Zach Whitecloud. It was Nosek’s fourth of the season.

Just 1:26 after Nosek scored, Hague made it 3-1 when he scored on a feed from behind the goal from Marchessault. It was Hague’s fourth of the season.

Martinez added his fifth of the season at 12:35 of the third period, the first time he has scored a goal against the Kings. He played 11 seasons in Los Angeles before he was traded to Vegas in February 2020.

–Field Level Media