March 29, 2018 / 5:08 AM / 6 months ago

Coyotes complete impressive double with win at Vegas

Kevin Connauton scored two goals and Antti Raanta made 27 saves to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Richard Panik also scored for the Coyotes, who have earned back-to-back wins over the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights. Arizona improved to 3-2-0 on a season-high, six-game, 5,862-mile road trip that ends on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Alex Tuch and Erik Haula scored Vegas, which lost for the first time in five games against Arizona. It was just the fourth regulation loss in 25 games against Pacific Division opponents (18-4-3) for the Golden Knights, who still hold a five-point lead in the division with five games to go.

Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots but was denied his 404th career victory, which would have moved him past Grant Fuhr into sole possession of 11th place on the all-time wins list.

Connauton gave Arizona a 1-0 lead at the 6:22 mark of the first period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s shot from the top of the right circle deflected off the stick of Christian Dvorak behind Fleury to the left of the net where Connauton tapped it into an open cage.

Vegas tied it five minutes later when Haula one-timed a pass from James Neal through Raanta’s pads from the high slot for his 29th goal of the season.

Panik gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead at 17:09 of the first period when he slid a backhand past Fleury’s left pad off a pass from Clayton Keller.

Vegas, outshot 15-5 in the first period, tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 14:44 of the second, when Tuch deflected in Jonathan Marchessault’s shot from the point.

The Coyotes regained the lead just 59 seconds later. The Golden Knights turned it over in their own zone and Connaution picked up the puck and fired a wrist shot through traffic and past a surprised Fleury for the first two-goal game of his NHL career.

Vegas hit four goalposts in the contest, including two by Neal in the third period, in falling to 27-10-2 at home this season. Only the Winnipeg Jets (30) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (28) have more home wins than the Golden Knights.

—Field Level Media

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