Sch­midt’s two late goals carry Knights past Caps

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

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 Oc­to­ber 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 and 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.

Mean­while Roberto Luongo re­turned from the in­jured list and earned a shutout, and Mike Hoff­man scored two goals as the host Flor­ida Pan­thers routed the Bos­ton Bru­ins 5-0 on Tues­day night.

Flor­ida winger Jonathan Hu­berdeau ex­tended his streak to six straight multi-point games. He had one goal and two as­sists on Tues­day and has three goals and 11 as­sists dur­ing his streak. He can tie Pavel Bure’s fran­chise record with a multi-point game in his next out­ing. Mike Math­e­son and Ev­genii Dadonov had Flor­ida’s other goals. Alek­sander Barkov had three as­sists, and Keith Yan­dle had two. This was Luongo’s first game since Nov 23, but he looked sharp, mak­ing 33 saves. He missed the pre­vi­ous five games with his sec­ond lower-body in­jury of the sea­son. He played just nine of Flor­ida’s first 25 games due to in­juries, and the Pan­thers lost his past four starts be­fore ev­ery­thing changed against the Bru­ins.

(Getty Im­ages/AFP)

Ve­gas Golden Knights’ Nate Sch­midt skates on the ice after be­ing named the first star of the game fol­low­ing the team’s 5-3 vic­tory over the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals at T-Mo­bile Arena in Las Ve­gas.

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