LAS VEGAS — Max Pacioretty had two goals and two assists to help the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 Sunday night.
Nick Holden, Valentin Zykov, Jonathan Marchessault and Mark Stone also scored for the Golden Knights. It was the fifth time this season Vegas had five different goal scorers in a game.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 26 shots to improve to 12-2-1 in his career against the Canucks. The last time Fleury lost to Vancouver in regulation was 2006. Fleury also got career win No. 452, two shy of Curtis Joseph for sixth all-time.
The Golden Knights, who recently lost of 10 of 13, are now alone in second place in the Pacific Division, just one point behind Arizona.
Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Jake Virtanen scored for the Canucks. Jacob Markstrom made 34 saves to fall to 1-6-1 in his career against the Golden Knights. Michael DePietro replaced Markstrom late in the third period, allowed one goal on seven shots.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 16, 2019
Holden gave Vegas a 1-0 lead when he lasered a shot from the top, through traffic and past Markstrom 2:22 into the game. Paul Stastny was credited with the assist, just his second in 25 games.
It wouldn’t take long for Vancouver to answer, as Pettersson’s face-first, sprawling swipe at a rebound found its way into the open net to tie it at 4:03.
Zykov, playing in his fourth game since returning from a 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program, notched his first goal of the season when he lifted a backhand at the doorstep to give Vegas a 2-1 lead midway through the first.
The Golden Knights put the pressure on in the second period, outshooting Vancouver 19-5, including a 5-1 edge with high-danger chances.
Vegas’ top line showed off its superior passing skills early in the stanza, when William Karlsson gathered a loose puck and delivered a fantastic backhand pass to Reilly Smith, who then set up Marchessault at the side of the net for his 100th career goal at 4:46 to make it 3-1.
Stone extended the lead to 4-1 when he took a pass from Max Pacioretty during an odd-man rush and rifled a wrist shot past Markstrom near the midpoint of the period.
Boeser continued his torrid pace of late when he popped a loose puck in front of the crease top shelf to beat Fleury to cut Vegas’ lead in half at 5:02 of the third. Boeser has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last 14 games.
Pacioretty tied his second-longest goal-scoring streak in the third period, when he scored for the fourth consecutive game. After getting Markstrom to bite on a forehand fake, Pacioretty easily tapped a backhand into the net with 9:11 left to chase Markstrom for the night. Pacioretty’s longest goal-scoring streak is six games.
Virtanen’s power-play goal over Fleury’s shoulder to the far side with 2:36 remaining pulled the Canucks within two again, but Pacioretty’s second goal of the game and team-leading 15th of the season provided the final margin.
NOTES: The Golden Knights played their 200th all-time regular-season game. … Vegas owns the second-best record (111-69-19) in NHL history by a franchise through its first 200 games, trailing only the original Ottawa Senators. … The Canucks made several transactions earlier in the day, placing forward Sven Baertschi on waivers, reassigning forward Zack MacEwen to the Utica Comets, and activating forward Tyler Motte from injured reserve. … Fleury played in his 821st game and passed Sean Burke for 14th place in NHL history. … The 11 goals the Golden Knights have scored in their last two home games are the most they’ve scored in two straight home games this season.
Canucks: Host Montreal on Tuesday night to open a five-game homestand.
Golden Knights: Host Minnesota on Tuesday night to conclude a two-game homestand.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS