David Perron scored his third overtime goal of the season to give the Vegas Golden Knights a record-breaking 3-2 victory over the host Winnipeg Jets in a battle of Western Conference division leaders on Thursday night at Bell MTS Place.
Pacific Division-leading Vegas improved to 34-12-4 through 50 games, breaking the NHL record for most victories by a team in an inaugural season. The old mark was set by both the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Florida Panthers in 84 games during the 1993-94 season.
The Golden Knights, who improved to 20-2-1 when leading after two periods, won it on Perron’s wrist shot from inside the right circle at 3:57 of overtime.
Reilly Smith and Erik Haula also scored goals for Vegas and Marc-Andre Fleury had 26 saves, including two game-savers in overtime, as the Golden Knights improved to 7-2 in OT this season.
Joel Armia and Kyle Connor scored goals for Central Division-leading Winnipeg, which had a seven-game home win streak snapped. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28 shots in net for the Jets.
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead in the first period, taking advantage of a rare mistake by Fleury. The Vegas goalie was trying to clear the puck along the boards behind his net when Jets defenseman Matt Hendricks stole it and then quickly passed to Armia, who tapped it into the open net for his 10th goal of the season.
Smith tied it at 1-1 with an unassisted short-handed goal at 12:10 of the second period. He knocked the puck away from Blake Wheeler inside the Jets’ blue line and then fired a shot over Hellebuyck’s glove hand.
Haula gave Vegas a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal when David Perron’s shot squirted between Hellebuyck’s pads and stopped inches short of the goal line. The Golden Knights left winger then quickly tapped it in at 18:30 of the second period for his 19th goal of the season and fourth in four games.
Connor tied it with just 2:36 to go in regulation, snapping a wrist shot from the right circle past Fleury’s glove for his 17th goal of the season.
—Field Level Media