February 22, 2018 / 6:47 AM / a month ago

Knights rout Flames, set NHL mark for expansion points

Seven different Golden Knights scored goals as the Vegas broke the NHL record for most points by an expansion team in a season with a 7-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Golden Knights (40-16-4, 84 points) broke the mark of 83 points in a season set by the 1993-94 Panthers. Florida accomplished the feat in 80 games, finishing 33-34-17. Wednesday was just the 60th game for Vegas, which also won for 23rd time at home, breaking the previous expansion mark of 22 set by Gordie Howe and the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80.

Ryan Carpenter, William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Alex Tuch, Luca Sbisa, Erik Haula and Cody Eakin all had goals for the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves.

Vegas joined Eastern Conference leader Tampa Bay as the only NHL teams to hit the 40-win mark this season.

TJ Brodie, Dougie Hamilton, Matthew Tkachuk scored for Calgary, which lost for just the eighth time on the road in 30 road games (17-8-5) this season. David Rittich, making his fifth straight start in place of injured starter Mike Smith, finished with 19 saves.

The Golden Knights, coming in off a 2-0 loss to Anaheim on Monday night, scored on the first shot of the game. Carpenter, stationed in front of the net with his back to Rittich, intercepted a clearing attempt by Mark Jankowski and quickly backhanded the puck between his legs and through Rittich’s pads.

Brodie tied it with 3:15 left in the opening period when he deflected a shot from the right point by Travis Harmonic through Fleury’s pads for his fourth goal of the season.

Karlsson then put Vegas back in front with just 30.3 seconds left in the first period. He redirected a Reilly Smith shot past the glove of Rittich for his 31st goal of the season.

The teams traded scores in the first 1:18 of the second period. After Hamilton tied it 2-2 with a tough-angled shot from the right side that went over Fleury’s left shoulder, Smith answered 58 seconds later, tapping in a Colin Miller shot that fluttered over Rittich’s right shoulder.

Calgary tied it 3-3 when Tkachuk was credited with his 23rd goal of the season at 11:07 of the middle period. Hamilton’s crossing pass ricocheted off the skate of Vegas center Cody Eakin in front of the net and then hit the body of Tkachuk on the way past Fleury.

Tuch then gave Vegas the lead for good when he rifled a shot over Rittich’s left shoulder from inside the right circle at the 13:58 mark of the second period.

Sbisa, Haula and Eakin all scored in the third period as Vegas matched its season high for goals in a game also accomplished in a 7-0 win over Colorado on Oct. 27.

—Field Level Media

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