Erik Haula’s shootout goal gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 win over the host Min­nesota Wild on Sat­ur­day.

Pa­cioretty ties Wild late; Haula wins it in shootout

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By David Schoen

ST. PAUL, Minn. — When Paul Stastny whiffed on a re­bound at­tempt with an open net dur­ing the open­ing minute of the sec­ond pe­riod, all signs pointed to a frus­trat­ing evening for the Golden Knights.

When Stastny was turned away by Min­nesota goal­tender De­van Dub­nyk from Fol­low at re­viewjour­ Gold­enKnights and @Hock­ey­inVe­gas on Twit­ter.

point-blank range at the end of a pretty pass­ing se­quence late in the sec­ond, they ap­peared to be snakebit.

But the Knights kept plug­ging away and were fi­nally re­warded with a 2-1 shootout vic­tory over the Wild on Sat­ur­day be­fore an an­nounced crowd of 19,077 at Xcel En­ergy Cen­ter.

Max Pa­cioretty tied the game with 1:31 re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion, and Erik Haula scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Knights a much-needed two points to open their five-game road trip.

“Some­times re­sults don’t hap­pen there, but they were

play­ing well and they kept push­ing it and push­ing it, and it paid off,” Knights coach Ger­ard Gal­lant said. “The hockey gods come through late in the game when we played real good. The guys stuck with it. They played hard, and they played our game.”

The Knights, who lost all three matchups with Min­nesota last sea­son, had a 47-23 ad­van­tage in shot at­tempts through two pe­ri­ods but trailed 1-0 on de­fense­man Matt Dumba’s goal in the first pe­riod.

Af­ter the Knights pulled goal­tender Marc-An­dre Fleury for an ex­tra at­tacker and called a time­out with 1:40 left in the third, Jonathan Marches­sault found Pa­cioretty in the slot.

Pa­cioretty one-timed the pass past Dub­nyk for his first goal with the Knights af­ter be­ing ac­quired from Mon­treal last month.

“We re­ally liked our game,” Pa­cioretty said. “We liked our close sup­port, we liked how we were fast on pucks. We were cre­at­ing turnovers and get­ting chances, hit some posts, missed some open chances. We knew even­tu­ally it would come. That’s just the way it works.”

Fleury made a key stop on Zach Parise early in the over­time and caught a break when Mikko Koivu hit the post a short time af­ter.

Fleury stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and fin­ished with 29 saves. It was his first vic­tory at Xcel En­ergy Cen­ter, and he im­proved to 3-8 life­time against the Wild.

“There wasn’t much ac­tion, so some­times you’re stand­ing there on your head,” Fleury said. “I think it’s just try­ing to stay fo­cused, try­ing to stay in the game and keep it at 1-0 so the game doesn’t get out of hand.”

In the shootout, Wil­liam Karls­son and Marches­sault were de­nied by Dub­nyk be­fore Haula’s shot through the five­hole trick­led past his for­mer team­mate with the Wild.

Dub­nyk stopped 41 of 42 shots.

“Of course it feels good, not go­ing to lie,” Haula said. “But over­all win­ning here, a lot of the guys say that it’s re­ally hard to win here and they don’t know if they’ve done it a lot. Go­ing 0-3 last year and get­ting a win to start the road trip, it’s nice.”

The Knights dom­i­nated the first pe­riod, gen­er­at­ing 10 scor­ing chances to two for the Wild, but couldn’t solve Dub­nyk.

Stastny was de­nied from in tight and Haula put the re­bound off the post with 9:08 left in the pe­riod.

Min­nesota’s break­through came mid­way through the first when Dumba took a pass from Char­lie Coyle and ripped a shot through traf­fic that slipped by Fleury.

“We played real good, and if we would have lost the game 1-noth­ing, it would have been tough to lose it,” Gal­lant said. “But again, we played our game tonight. We played fast, we played hard and we had lots of chances.”

Craig Lass­ing The As­so­ci­ated Press

Knights left wing Erik Haula (56) cel­e­brates with cen­ter Ryan Car­pen­ter af­ter Haula’s gamewin­ning shootout goal Sat­ur­day against the Wild in St. Paul, Minn.

Craig Las­sig The As­so­ci­ated Press

Knights left wing Erik Haula (56) and Wild left wing Jor­dan Green­way bat­tle for the puck in the third pe­riod Sat­ur­day in St. Paul, Minn. The Knights beat the Wild 2-1 in a shootout.

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