Pacioretty’s OT goal leads Golden Knights past Coyotes 3-2
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights couldn’t put away the Arizona Coyotes in regulation time, but they dominated overtime and picked up an important divisional win.
Max Pacioretty stuffed in a rebound at 3:36 of overtime, and the Golden Knights beat the Coyotes 3-2 Wednesday night.
The goal was the second of the night for Pacioretty, who also scored in the second period. Tomas Nosek also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury had 19 saves for Vegas.
Vegas had five shots in the extra period; Arizona had none.
“We know how many divisional games we have here coming up,” Pacioretty said. “They’re all important. To be able to stick with it, kill that penalty at the end, was huge.”
Derek Stepan scored twice for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper had 22 saves. Both teams have picked up points in three of their last five games.
Stepan scored at 19:08 of the first period and with 6:49 left in the third period. His second goal tied the game at 2-all. On the power play, Alex Galchenyuk fed Stepan, who had plenty of open net.
The Coyotes got another power play with 1:55 to play, but couldn’t convert before the end of regulation.
“There’s some positives to take out of the power play scoring a big goal for us,” Stepan said. “We scored a big goal to give our team a chance to win the hockey game. ... We go forward with that.”
Vegas lost a chance for a two-goal lead early in the third period. Cody Eakin’s apparent goal was reviewed and overturned when teammate Alex Tuch was ruled offside.
The first period saw some hard hitting by both teams and a brief tussle between Coyotes center Brad Richardson and Golden Knights center William Karlsson. Arizona’s Christian Fischer had a shot bounce off the post late in the period.
Stepan scored his fifth goal of the season with 52 seconds left in the first, when he redirected Jakob Chychrun’s shot past Fleury for a 1-0 Coyotes lead.
Chychrun, playing in just his second game of the season, recorded his first point.
Nosek took a pass from Reilly Smith and beat Kuemper with a shot over his glove at 5:50 of the second period, tying the game.
The Coyotes just missed regaining the lead at the 11:32 mark of the second when Clayton Keller broke away with a long pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and hit the post with his shot.
Pacioretty started the play that led to his goal late in the second period. He passed to Tuch, who sent the puck to Eakin, who crossed it back to Pacioretty, who netted a wrist shot.
″‘Patch’ is one of those guys when he gets the puck in the net, he gets confident,” Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant said. “It couldn’t happen to a better player.”
The Coyotes’ NHL-best penalty kill was 2 for 2 on Friday, and has allowed just five goals on 62 opponent power plays this season. Defenseman Alex Goligoski also returned from injury, playing for the first time since Nov. 8.
“We need some individuals to play better,” Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said. “It’s too hard of a game for us. We don’t have the team to outscore teams all the time. We have to play a good, diligent game defensively.”
NOTES: The game was the first of four meetings between the desert rivals. ... Golden Knights F Tomas Hyka returned to action after being scratched from Monday’s game. ... Kuemper started his eighth straight game with No. 1 goaltender Antti Raanta still out with a lower body injury. ... F Josh Archibald served the second of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head from last week. ... D Dakota Mermis was sent back to AHL Tucson after playing in one game for the Coyotes last weekend.
Vegas: Hosts the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
Arizona: Hosts the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.
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