Fleury shuts out former team; Knights defeat Penguins

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Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29), Jon Merrill (15) and Nick Holden (22) scramble for the puck as Pittsburgh Penguins’ Teddy Blueger (53) and Zach Aston-Reese (46| watch it during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots against his former team, leading the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

Fleury recorded his 445th win, tying Terry Sawchuck for seventh on the NHL career list. Fleury, who made his second career start for Vegas against the Penguins in Pittsburgh, also registered his 57th career shutout.

The Golden Knights won for the fourth time in five games. Paul Stastny scored his fourth of the season, a power-play goal in the second period, and William Karlsson and Mark Stone added empty-netters in the final 90 seconds.

Fleury kept the puck out with a sliding cross-crease shoulder save on Juuso Riikola’s power-play chance in the third period. Pittsburgh had several quality chances during another third-period power play, but came up empty against Fleury. Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese hit the crossbar earlier in the period.

Tristan Jarry made 21 saves for Pittsburgh, which had won five in a row.

The Penguins played without six regulars, including five of their top nine forwards and a defenseman from their No. 1 pairing.

Jared McCann was held out after he scored in Friday’s home win against Dallas. He has missed two of the team’s last three games after also sitting out on Wednesday. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin was a late scratch after taking pregame warmups. Forwards Evgeni Malkin, Alex Galchenyuk, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust are all on injured reserve.

Fleury allowed five goals on 38 shots in a 5-4 loss against the Penguins in his initial return to Pittsburgh on Feb. 6, 2018. He didn’t start when Vegas last played in Pittsburgh on Oct. 11, 2018.

Fleury, the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, spent his first 13 seasons in Pittsburgh and helped the Penguins win three Stanley Cup titles before Vegas selected him in the 2017 expansion draft.

Fans gave Fleury a loud ovation as soon as he hit the ice for pregame warmups. Fleury chatted with several former teammates prior to the game, including starting goaltender Matt Murray, who had the night off. Fleury also playfully threw passes to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang during pregame warmups.

Fleury made a sharp first-period pad save on a Patric Hornqvist one-timer during a Pittsburgh power play. Letang hit the post on Fleury’s blocker side later in the period.

Vegas opened the scoring after Aston-Reese was whistled for goaltender interference on Fleury. Stastny one-timed a Cody Glass pass into a partially open net at 3:48 for his fourth goal in five games.

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