Fleury stops 36 shots in Knights 5-1 win over Wild

Golden Knights

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) blocks a shot by Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Jonathan Marchessault goal in the second period was the winner, Marc-Andre Fleury made 36 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Wednesday night.

Vegas swept the two-game set against Minnesota and remained atop the West Division, one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues.

Alex Tuch, Mark Stone, Chandler Stephenson, William Karlsson also scored for Vegas.

Fleury improved to 11-3-0. He has limited teams to two goals or fewer in 10 of his 14 appearances. His 11 wins rank third in the NHL, behind Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Toronto’s Frederik Andersen

Marcus Foligno scored for Minnesota, and Cam Talbot made 23 saves.

Vegas opened the scoring just a couple of minutes into the game when Cody Glass sent a backhand pass across the ice to Tuch, who buried his fifth goal in five games by beating Talbot over his glove with a wrist shot.

The Wild, who came into the game having outscored their opponents 22-10 in the first period this season, were shut out in the opening frame for the second straight game.

Seconds after failing to capitalize on their first power-play opportunity, and as Minnesota’s Ian Cole raced out of the penalty box and into Vegas’ offensive zone, Marchessault signaled to Tuch for the puck, gathered the pass, and beat Talbot with a high shot.

Fleury’s bid for his fourth shutout of the season ended when he couldn’t quite reach the puck as it crept under his pads after an initial save, and Foligno was there to punch it home. It was Foligno’s third goal in the two-game set, after scoring two Monday.

The Wild did everything possible offensively in the third period, outshooting the Golden Knight 14-3 through the first 11 minutes. But while Fleury continued to stymie Minnesota’s efforts, Stone continued his offensive tear.

Knights play their next 6 games on the road. They are at San Jose Friday and Saturday.

This story will be updated throughout the game

PREGAME: Marc-Andre Fleury in net for the Knights. Knights going with gold jerseys tonight. 2,600 fans allowed into T-Mobile Arena.

FIRST PERIOD: Knights Alex Tuch (9) scores his third goal this season against his former team early in the period. Assists to Cody Glass (6), Nicolas Hague (5). KNIGHTS 1, WILD 0, 2:02 into period.

KNIGHTS 1, WILD 0 after one period. SHOTS ON GOAL: Knights 12, Wild 10.

SECOND PERIOD: Jonathan Marchessault (7) scores for Knights just as a power play ends, assists Alex Tuch (7) William Karlsson (10). KNIGHTS 2, WILD 0.

Minnesota Wild’s Marcus Foligno (7) scores with assists to Ian Cole (2), Kevin Fiala (4) KNIGHTS 2, WILD 1 midway through period.

KNIGHTS 2, WILD 1 after 2 periods. Shots on goal: Knights 20, Wild 16.

THIRD PERIOD: Knights Captain Mark Stone (5) scores on his first shot of the game. Assist to Chandler Stephenson (6). KNIGHTS 3, WILD 1 midway through period.

Knights Chandler Stephenson (6) assists to Mark Stone (19) and Max Pacioretty (7) KNIGHTS 4, WILD 1.

Knights William Karlsson (6) with an empty-netter, assist Nicolas Hague (6). KNIGHTS 5, WILD 1 final. Shots on goal: Wild 37, Knights 28.

Minnesota Wild (12-6-1, third in the West Division) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (13-4-1, first in the West Division)

T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, Nevada; Wednesday, 7 p.m. PST

BOTTOM LINE: Vegas hosts the Minnesota Wild after Max Pacioretty scored two goals in the Golden Knights’ 5-4 overtime victory over the Wild.

The Golden Knights are 13-4-1 against the rest of their division. Vegas is eighth in the NHL averaging 5.6 assists per game, led by Mark Stone with 1.0.

The Wild are 12-6-1 against opponents in the West Division. Minnesota is 10th in the league averaging 3.2 goals per game, led by Joel Eriksson Ek with eight.

The teams meet for the second game in a row.

TOP PERFORMERS: Pacioretty leads the Golden Knights with 10 goals, adding six assists and collecting 16 points. Alex Tuch has five goals over the last 10 games for Vegas.

Kirill Kaprizov leads the Wild with 17 points, scoring six goals and collecting 11 assists. Mats Zuccarello has eight assists over the last 10 games for Minnesota.

LAST 10 GAMES: Golden Knights: 7-3-0, averaging 2.8 goals, five assists, 2.9 penalties and 7.4 penalty minutes while giving up 2.1 goals per game with a .929 save percentage.

Wild: 7-2-1, averaging 3.6 goals, six assists, 3.6 penalties and 7.8 penalty minutes while giving up 2.3 goals per game with a .920 save percentage.

INJURIES: Golden Knights: Robin Lehner: out (upper body).

Wild: Marcus Johansson: day to day (upper body).

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