EditorsNote: updates third graf
Paul Stastny’s tiebreaking goal just under six minutes into the third period Thursday night snapped a tie and lifted the St. Louis Blues past the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, ending Vegas’ eight-game winning streak.
Stastny found the puck at the left post during a scramble around goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and poked it across the goal line before Fleury could find it. It was the eighth goal for Stastny this season and helped St. Louis up its record to 26-15-2.
It was the first regulation loss for the Golden Knights (27-10-2) since a 7-4 setback Dec. 1 in Winnipeg. Vegas still leads the Pacific Division by three points over Los Angeles. The Blues leaped over idle Winnipeg for first place in the Central Division.
St. Louis came out on the attack from the outset, netting the first goal at 9:35 of the first period. Alexander Steen’s wrister from the top of the right circle made its way through traffic and beat Fleury to the glove side for Steen’s fifth marker of the season. Brayden Schenn and Colton Parayko drew assists.
The Golden Knights equalized at 9:23 of the second period. After former Blue David Perron won a puck battle in the left corner, he passed to James Neal, who backhanded a feed to Erik Haula just above the left circle. Haula snapped a wrister past Carter Hutton for his 15th goal, tying his career high.
That was all that got past Hutton (8-3-0), who started and won his third straight game in place of starter Jake Allen. Hutton entered the game with a .944 save percentage and did nothing to hurt that, stopping 32 of 33 shots.
Fleury (8-2-1) didn’t exactly shame himself in defeat, making 37 saves and giving Vegas a chance to steal two points on a rare night when it didn’t carry the play.
The Golden Knights pulled Fleury for a sixth attacker with two minutes left, but Hutton stood tall. He stoned Neal on a point-blank chance at the right post in the final minute.
--Field Level Media