Golden Knights down Devils 5-3 for third straight win

Dec 16, 2021, 5:02 AM | Updated: 8:48 pm

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) checks New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86...

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) checks New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) to the ice during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec.16, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Nicolas Roy scored the last of Vegas’ four straight goals, Robin Lehner made 23 saves and the Golden Knights beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3 Thursday night for their third straight win.

Dylan Coghlan, William Carrier, William Karlsson and Roy scored for the Golden Knights, who have won six of seven and improved to 5-1-1 all-time against the Devils. Jonathan Marchessault added an empty-net goal with 1:07 left.

“We did just enough to win. We take the two points and move on,” Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer said. “I liked our first, hated our second and we were opportunistic in the third.”

The Devils lost their fourth in a row and fell to 2-8-2 in their last 12 games. Jack Hughes, Tomas Tatar and Jimmy Vesey scored for New Jersey. Mackenzie Blackwood made 25 saves.

“Everything’s tough right now, we’re not scoring, we’re giving up goals,” Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton said. “Everything’s tough so … we’re all working, working through it. Trying to stay positive.”

Hughes opened the scoring 1:41 in with his fifth goal of the season. Hughes has three goals in his last seven games.

Coghlan, a last-minute addition to the starting lineup in place of late scratch Shea Theodore, tied it on the power play at 10:27 of the first with his second goal of the season.

“It’s a great win,” Coghlan said. “A good win on the road.”

Carrier put Vegas ahead at 3:47 of the second with his fourth goal this season. Karlsson got his third of the season at 7:27 of the third, and Roy made it 4-1 just 33 seconds later with his fifth goal.

Tatar scored on the power play at 10:03 of the third, his sixth goal, before Vesey narrowed the deficit to 4-3 with a short-handed goal at 12:29. The goal was Vesey’s fifth this season and his second short-handed.

“We were definitely making a push in the third period,” Vesey said. “We’ve lost more than we would have liked lately, but there are stretches of the games where we’re playing well, and I think we got to capitalize a little more, or bear down a little bit more defensively.”

The Devils were coming off a 6-1 road drubbing by the Flyers on Tuesday after a 4-2 road loss to the Islanders last Saturday.

“I thought for where we were at as a team, we gave it everything we had,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “We needed to play a tight game. We made a couple of mistakes that that hurt us but again, we battled hard to come back … I thought the effort gave us chance to win the game.”

New Jersey was hosting the Golden Knights for the first time since Dec. 3, 2019, a game won 4-3 by the visitors.

Their previous meeting in Las Vegas was a 3-0 Golden Knights win on March 3, 2020, just over a week before the pandemic ended the 2019-20 regular season. That game also marked Lehner’s first shutout as a Golden Knight.

Vegas was coming off a 4-1 win at Boston on Tuesday to start their four-game road trip. They will also visit the Rangers and Islanders this weekend.

Lehner will return to Long Island on Sunday for the first time as a visitor since his impactful single season with the team in 2018-19 during which he went public about his mental health woes.

“That fan base saved my life,” Lehner said. “It’s a very emotional countdown for me.”

The game ended with a fracas that involved Lehner and Devils defenseman Mason Geertsen. Both received 10-minute misconducts, as did Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

“Everyone started to grab each other,” said Lehner, whose mask came off during the skirmish. “I tried to grab the ones that were showing they were tough but they didn’t really accept it.”

NOTES: Devils D P.K. Subban was held out of the game as a precaution while C Jesper Boqvist was unavailable because he entered COVID-19 protocol. G Akira Schmid also was scratched as Devils newcomer Jon Gillies dressed as Blackwood’s backup. … Devils D Kevin Bahl played his second game of the season. … Vegas also scratched Fs Michael Amadio and Adam Brooks. … Vegas F Max Pacioretty had his seven-game goals streak snapped.


Devils: Visit Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.

Golden Knights: Visit Rangers on Friday night.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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