EditorsNote: Edit 1: Deleted extra word in fifth graf.
Nate Schmidt scored his first two goals of the season, including the game-winner on a power play with 1:25 remaining, and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Washington Capitals 5-3 on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
Schmidt fired a wrist shot from the top of the slot past the glove hand of Washington goalie Braden Holtby to break a 3-3 tie, then added an empty-net goal with 6.9 seconds left to seal the victory.
It was the first meeting between the teams at T-Mobile Arena since Washington clinched its first Stanley Cup with a 4-3 victory in Game 5 on June 7. The teams had met in D.C. on Oct. 10 when Washington scored a 5-2 victory.
Cody Eakin had a goal and an assist and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Reaves also scored goals for Vegas, which won for the sixth time in seven games. Oscar Lindberg finished with two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves to pick up his 15th win of the season.
Jakub Vrana scored two goals and Alex Ovechkin also scored for Washington, which had a four-game road winning streak snapped. Brett Connolly added two assists, and Holtby finished with 23 saves.
Ovechkin became the sixth player in NHL history to score at least 20 goals in each of his first 14 seasons in the league. The record is 17, held by Marcel Dionne, Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr. Mike Gartner (15) and Michel Goulet (14) also accomplished the feat.
Reaves gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead just 2:30 into the game with a power-play goal. He fired a pass from Eakin from the front of the goalmouth into the upper right corner of the net for his sixth goal of the season, just one off his career high.
Washington tied it 13 minutes later on Vrana’s first goal of the night. The tally snapped a home shutout streak of 158:21 by Fleury, who had blanked Calgary and San Jose in his two previous home starts.
Ovechkin made it 2-1 midway through the second period. Connolly’s blast from the right point ricocheted off the boards behind the net right to Ovechkin standing alone by the left side of the net, where he backhanded a shot past Fleury.
The Golden Knights scored two goals just 16 seconds apart early in the third period to take a 3-2 lead. Bellemare scored the first on a deflection of a Brayden McNabb shot from the left point. Eakin followed with a rebound of a Lindberg shot for his team-leading 11th goal of the season and his 200th career point.
Vrana tied it 3-3 with his second goal of the game and eighth of the season, slapping a shot from the top of the slot past Fleury at 11:40. Nic Dowd then picked up a double minor penalty for high-sticking McNabb and drawing blood at 14:46, setting the stage for Schmidt’s game-winner.
—Field Level Media