MONTREAL (AP)Reilly Smith scored two goals and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 on Saturday night for their seventh straight win.
Jonathan Marchessault and Keegan Kolesar each had a goal and an assist, and Nicolas Hague and Nicolas Roy also scored for the Golden Knights, who have won 11 of 13 to open the season. Adin Hill had 27 saves to improve to 5-0-0.
”We are excited to go to the rink and spend days with each other and I think that goes a long way especially when you’re playing 82 games and you’re travelling a lot,” Smith said. ”So we’re having a lot of fun right now, winning definitely adds to that.”
Nick Suzuki had two goals, and Cole Caufield and Juraj Slakovsky also scored for the Canadiens. Kirby Dach had three assists and Kaiden Guhle added two. Jake Allen finished with 36 saves.
”I think we played a really good first period,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. ”In the second we had good intentions, we had options but we weren’t able to execute our plays, they had a lot of offense on the other end and it didn’t allow our defensemen to change.”
With the score tied 2-2 early in the third period and Vegas on a power play, Allen mishandled a shot from Phil Kessel with his glove and Smith pounced on the puck for his second of the night and fifth of the season.
”We had a good push at the end of the second to start the third but we weren’t able to kill the penalty that gave them the advantage,” St. Louis said. ”I liked our fight but we shot ourselves in the foot a few times tonight.”
The Golden Knights then pulled away with two goals in a 21-second span. Kolesar deflected a shot from the point to grab his second of the season and then assisted on Roy’s third to give Vegas a 5-2 lead.
Suzuki got his second of the night and eight of the season when he stunned Hill with a shot from the left faceoff circle just past the midpoint of the period to pull Montreal within two.
However, Marchessault scored on a one-timer off a pass from Jack Eichel for his sixth to make it 6-3 with 6:44 remaining.
”We cannot take (winning) for granted,” Marchessault said. ”I think winning in that league is pretty hard. We got a reality check last year but I think we’ve got to have more of that mentality of just working hard and taking it one game at a time and if we keep that mentality, I think we’ll be fine this year.”
Slafkovsky closed the seven-goal third period a little more than two minutes later.
Montreal matched Vegas’s level in the first period but served up an easy scoring chance for the Golden Knights when defenseman Joel Edmundsson’s clearing attempt went straight to Hague in the high slot and he quickly beat Allen with 6:35 left.
The Canadiens tied it just 51 seconds later when Caufield fired one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Dach past Hill for his eighth.
Smith scored on a 2-on-1 with William Karlsson at 2:24 of the second to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead.
Suzuki tied it again 56 seconds into the third when he converted on a give-and-go with Dach.
Marchessault’s assist on Smith’s first goal gave him his 300th point with the Golden Knights, becoming the first player in franchise history to reach the mark.
”It’s always nice,” Marchessault said. ”Obviously, I have been here since the first game and it’s a good achievement but I mean it’s nothing like the Ironman (streak) or anything.”
Marchessault referenced teammate Phil Kessel, who beat the NHL’s Ironman streak with a 990th consecutive game on Oct. 25.
Vegas: At Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
Montreal: At Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
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