BC-HKN--Golden Knights-Ducks,1st Ld-Writethru
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury has played more games than any other NHL goaltender this season. It hardly appears to be taking a toll.
The 34-year-old Fleury stopped 34 shots for his league-leading seventh shutout and the Vegas Golden Knights swept the season series from the Anaheim Ducks with a 3-0 victory Friday night.
“My teammates helped me out blocking shots and taking rebounds away. It was a good team win,” said Fleury, who has played 55 games and also leads the league with 31 wins.
It was Fleury’s 11th shutout for Vegas and the 55th of his career. Two have come against Anaheim, and 13 in March.
“We played good all night and Fleury was excellent,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “They didn’t have a whole lot of good chances but when they did he made some great saves.”
Fleury said he doesn’t feel tired despite playing in all but 11 games this season, but his workload over the final five weeks of the regular season might be watched more to make sure he is primed for the playoffs.
“I’m fine. Our schedule is less busy right now,” he said. “We’ll go with the flow and try to stay healthy.”
William Karlsson, Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin scored for Vegas, which won its third straight. The Golden Knights are on their longest streak since winning seven consecutive games in late December and early January but remain nine points behind San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division.
“The win is awesome but the amount of times he shuts a team out is phenomenal. It gives us energy,” Tuch said about Fleury. “He’s probably the biggest part of our team’s success right now.”
John Gibson made 31 saves for Anaheim in his first start since Feb. 7. Gibson had missed the last nine games due to a concussion and having his wisdom teeth removed.
The Ducks have lost five in a row and are 3-10 since the All-Star break.
“We’re out-chancing a lot of teams, so the stats say. We’re just not scoring, and other teams are scoring timely goals against us,” Ducks forward Nick Ritchie said.
Karlsson scored his 19th at 14:49 of the first period when he took a cross-ice pass from Mark Stone and caught Gibson out of position. It was Stone’s first point with the Golden Knights since he was acquired from Ottawa on Monday.
The Golden Knights had scored just twice in 28 power-play opportunities on the road coming into the game.
Tuch got his first goal in 15 games and 17th this season at 18:13 of the second when he put a backhand between Gibson’s legs. Jonathan Marchessault was able to grab an errant puck off the boards and fired a stretch pass to Tuch as the Ducks were in the middle of a line change.
“It’s been a little bit and I almost forgot the feeling,” Tuch said. “We’ve been playing real good hockey so far. We’ve got to clean up little bits and pieces and make sure we don’t let teams back in the game.”
Eakin added an empty-net goal at 19:40 of the third for his 16th this season.
NOTES: Anaheim RW Corey Perry tied team captain Ryan Getzlaf for most games played in franchise history at 971. Getzlaf has missed the past five games due to an upper-body injury. ... The Ducks were 0 for 2 on the power play and have not converted in eight chances over the past five games.
Golden Knights: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
Ducks: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
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