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RECAP: Knights send Kings to fourth straight loss

Feb 7, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Ryan Reaves (75) shoots as Los Angeles Kings Olli Maatta (6) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Las Vegas. Mandatory Credit: Isaac Brekken/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler Stephenson scored two goals including the game-winner early in the third period and Robin Lehner had 29 saves as the Vegas Golden Knights moved into a tie for first place in the West Division with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.

It was the second career two-goal game for Stephenson. Reilly Smith and Zach Whitecloud also scored goals and Alex Tuch had two assists for Vegas, which improved to 6-0-1 at T-Mobile Arena, the best home start in team history. The Golden Knights also moved into a three-way tie for first place with idle Colorado and St. Louis with 15 points.

Anze Kopitar, Adrian Kempe and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored goals for Los Angeles, which lost its fourth straight game. Calvin Petersen had 29 saves.

The contest featured a wild start with five goals in the first 11:37 including two on the first two shots by Los Angeles.

Kopitar started the scoring at the 36-second mark with his second goal of the season by firing a wrist shot from the right circle past Lehner’s stick side. It marked just the second time in 11 games that Los Angeles scored the first goal of the game.

Vegas tied it a little over five minutes later when Smith took a spinning pass from Jonathan Marchessault in the neutral zone and broke in free on the left wing and beat Petersen on his glove side for his third goal of the season.

The teams then traded goals 26 seconds apart. Kempe got the first to make it 2-1 with a wrist shot that squeezed under Lehner’s left armpit for his fourth goal of the season. Whitecloud then tied it with his first career regular-season goal.

Stephenson then put Vegas in front, 3-2, with another transition goal, taking a backhand pass from Mark Stone and breaking in on the left wing and firing a shot past Petersen’s glove side.

The Kings tied it midway through the second period when Anderson-Dolan, left alone in the slot, one-timed a Trevor Moore pass from behind the net for his first career NHL goal.

Stephenson then put Vegas back in front, 4-3, with a power-play goal at the 1:38 mark of the third period when his cross-crease pass for Tuch deflected off the outstretched stick of Kings’ defenseman Kale Clague and went through Petersen’s pads.

Petersen was pulled for an extra attacker with 1:33 remaining but the Kings managed just a Dustin Brown wrist shot that Lehner turned away.

–Field Level Media