Brandon Pirri scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period as the Vegas Golden Knights snapped a two-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 shots to pick up his league-leading 21st victory.
Paul Stastny added a goal and an assist for Vegas, which came into the contest off back-to-back 4-3 overtimes losses. Fleury, who ranks ninth on the NHL’s all-time wins list with 425, garnered his 50th victory in a Golden Knights uniform.
J.T. Compher scored the lone goal for Colorado, which lost for the seventh time in nine games (2-6-1). Philipp Grubauer, making his fourth straight start for the Avalanche, finished with 41 saves.
Compher gave Colorado a 1-0 lead midway through the first period with a power-play goal just six seconds after Ryan Reaves was penalized for interference for a mid-ice hit on Samuel Girard. Mikko Rantanen fired a shot from the high slot that Compher redirected inside the left post for his 10th goal of the season.
Stastny, celebrating his 33rd birthday, tied it two minutes later with his third goal of the season, backhanding in a rebound of his own shot inside the right post.
Pirri then gave Vegas a 2-1 lead at 10:11 of the third period with his fourth goal in four games this season. Pirri fired a shot from the top of the left circle past Alex Tuch stationed in front of the goal. The puck clanged off the far post and ricocheted into the net for what turned out to be the game-winner.
Colorado had two power-play chances to tie it in the final six minutes but failed to penetrate Fleury. Grubauer was then pulled for an extra attacker with 1:25 remaining, but the Avalanche didn’t manage a shot on goal.
Pirri was called up from the Chicago Wolves, with whom he led the AHL in points (41) and assists (24), when the Golden Knights placed Max Pacioretty on injured reserve with a lower-body injury sustained Dec. 17 against Columbus. The 27-year-old center has now scored seven goals in six career games with the Golden Knights.
—Field Level Media