Kessel, Smith score in 1st, Golden Knights beat Canucks 4-3

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- — Phil Kessel and Reilly Smith scored in the first period, and the Vegas Golden Knights held on to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 Tuesday night for their fifth straight road win.

Teddy Blueger and Pavel Dorofeyev also scored, and William Karlsson had two assists to help Vegas win for the ninth time in 11 games. Jonathan Quick had 31 saves — including 26 over the final two periods — as the Golden Knights moved two points ahead of Los Angeles for first place in the Pacific Division.

“We were ready, for sure,” Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “And we made some plays and capitalized and we scored goals on the forecheck, we created offence off the rush. We took what was there.”

Quick got his 375th regular-season win, breaking a tie with John Vanbiesbrouck for second place in league history for U.S.-born goalies. Ryan Miller leads with 391.

“You think about some of the guys that are at the top of that list and being in a category with them, it’s just an honor,” Quick said. “And obviously you think about all the guys that kind of helped me get a bunch of those wins and the work they put in and you are just very appreciative of everything.”

J.T. Miller had two goals and an assist, and Phillip Di Giuseppe also scored for the Canucks, who had won two straight and seven of eight. Quinn Hughes had two assists and Thatcher Demko finished with 23 saves.

“You’re playing against one of the better teams and you’ve got to be prepared to play,” Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. “And I don’t care who you are. We can’t afford to have three or four guys not ready for that type of game.”

The Canucks pulled to 4-3 with 8:17 left in the third. Hughes fired a point shot that Quick stopped and puck went off Miller's stick to Di Giuseppe, who skated to the right and put it in before the goalie could dive over. It was his fourth of the season.

“We kind of fixed up our game plan going into the third and tried to keep things more simple,” Vancouver’s Ethan Bear said. “At the end of the day, simple is what works in this league. … It’s a learning experience. It just shows us what works and what doesn’t.”

The Canucks pulled Demko for an extra skater with nearly three minutes left on the game clock, but failed to get the equalizer.

Kessel got the Golden Knights on the scoreboard first 3:01 into the game as he took advantage of a Vancouver turnover in the Canucks' zone, skated in and put the puck past a sprawled Demko from the right side for his 13th.

Smith made it 2-0 with 7:49 left in the first. Karlsson got the puck after Vancouver turned it over behind its own goal and sent a centering pass from the corner to Smith, who fired a one-timer past Demko for his 24th. Karlsson got his 300th point with Vegas on the play and Smith extended his point streak to nine games (four goals, seven assists).

Miller scored on a penalty shot after he was slashed by Vegas' Shea Theodore on a short-handed breakaway at 7:57 of the second. Miller skate up the left side and crossed in front of Quick before putting a backhander past the goalie from the right side.

Blueger beat Demko from a sharp angle from the left side to restore Vegas' two-goal lead just past the midpoint of the period.

Miller pulled the Canucks back within one with his second of the night and 28th of the season as he got a pass from Quinn on a 4-on-3 power play above the left circle and skated up and fired a shot past Quick with 7:18 remaining in the middle period.

Dorofeyev made it 4-2 with 3:41 left in the second as he redirected Alex Pietrangelo's shot up and over Demko's left shoulder from the right doorstep.


Vegas improved to 22-7-5 away from home, matching the franchise record for road wins set in 2017-18.


Vegas G Logan Thompson returned to the lineup as Quick’s backup. The 26-year-old has not played since suffering a lower-body injury in a win over Minnesota on Feb. 9.


Golden Knights: At Calgary on Thursday night in the second of a three-game trip.

Canucks: Host San Jose on Thursday night in the finale of a two-game homestand.


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