Vegas Golden Knights score season-best 7 goals, top Coyotes

Jan 24, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save against Arizona Coyotes right wing Christian Fischer (36) during the third period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Reilly Smith scored two goals, Jonathan Marchessault, Chandler Stephenson and Max Pacioretty each had a goal and an assist and the Vegas Golden Knights built a five-goal lead before holding on for a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday in Las Vegas.

Vegas led 4-0 after the first period and 5-0 at the game’s midpoint before the Coyotes rallied. The seven goals were a season high for the Golden Knights.

Marchessault, William Carrier, Keegan Kolesar and Smith all scored in a 5:41 span in the opening period. William Karlsson added two assists for Vegas, which remained four points behind the first-place Colorado Avalanche in the West Division.

Robin Lehner made 22 saves for the Golden Knights to improve to 8-0-2 in his past 10 home starts.

Nick Schmaltz had a goal and an assist and Clayton Keller, Dryden Hunt and Michael Bunting also scored for Arizona. Phil Kessel, playing in his 885th consecutive game to break a tie with Steve Larmer for the fifth-longest ironman streak in NHL history, had three assists.

Adin Hill stopped 27 of 32 shots before being replaced by Ivan Prosvetov at the start of the third period. Prosvetov finished with three saves.

Vegas, which fired 51 shots on goal in a 3-1 loss at St. Louis on Wednesday, got off to a hot start Friday.

Marchessault started the scoring with a power-play goal at the 3:03 mark, and Carrier followed with a rebound goal 98 seconds later, forcing Arizona coach Rick Tocchet to call a timeout to try to regroup his team. It didn’t work as Kolesar made it 3-0 two minutes later and Smith followed with a short-handed goal at the 8:44 mark.

Stephenson extended the Vegas lead to 5-0 early in the second period with a breakaway goal. Schmaltz got the Coyotes on the board just before the end of the middle period with a power-play.

Arizona cut it to 5-3 early in the third period when Hunt and Keller scored 58 seconds apart. Smith upped the lead to 6-3 midway through the period for the 19th two-goal game of his career, but Bunting answered just 15 seconds later.

Pacioretty ended the scoring with an empty-net goal with 54.3 seconds left.

–Field Level Media