LAS VEGAS (AP) – Mikko Koskinen stopped 36 shots and achieved his 11th victory when the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Saturday evening.
Koskinen’s overall win is the best in the NHL this season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman and Jesse Puljujarvi scored for the Oilers.
Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith scored for Vegas while Robin Lehner made 27 saves.
Edmonton extended their lead to three goals when Evan Bouchard sent an ice-rink pass on the offensive, where Puljujarvi broke into a breakaway group and beat Lehner to score an eight-game goal drought on his seventh of the season.
Stephenson responded with his third goal in three games, whipping past two defenders and finding a leak between Koskinen and the post. Vegas came within a goal when a loose puck was pounded in front of Koskinen from the reps that seemed to show Jonathan Marchessault connecting with a backhand, but Smith was credited for his ninth goal of the season – tied for the team lead.
But Vegas couldn’t score anymore.
The game started with a brilliant performance from both goalkeepers in the first 17 1/2 minutes, but two Golden Knights turnovers did Lehner a disservice in a lapse of 1:54 towards the end of the period.
First it was Nugent-Hopkins, who held the puck in a 2-on-1 rush and beat Lehner for his second goal of the season and his 498th career point.
Then, 16 seconds behind in the first, Hyman battled Vegas’ Mark Stone as they entered the zone, beating Lehner with a backhand to put Edmonton in the lead by two goals and scoring his ninth goal of the season and 200th career point.
It was the eighth game in a row in which the Golden Knights were at least 2-0 up or down.
Edmonton: hosted Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
Vegas: Visit Anaheim on Wednesday.