Florida Panthers, Marc-Andre Fleury, Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights

Stone, Fleury Lift Golden Knights Over Panthers 7-2

SUNRISE, Fla. — Mark Stone scored two goals and had three assists, Marc-Andre Fleury recorded the 460th win of his career and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Florida Panthers 7-2 on Thursday night.

Max Pacioretty scored two goals and had an assist, Nate Schmidt scored a goal and had an assist, and Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault each also scored goals. Fleury stopped 23 shots to pass the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist for sole possession of fifth place on the NHL all-time list for victories.

Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist and Mike Hoffman also scored for the Panthers. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed six goals on 29 shots before being relieved by Sam Montembeault with 11:07 left in the third. Montembeault made nine saves. Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists.

Leading 3-2, the Golden Knights put the game away with four goals in the third.

They stretched their lead to 4-2 when Schmidt’s shot from the blue line bounced off Bobrovsky and went into the net 17 seconds in.

Vegas Golden Knights Nate Schmidt
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Theodore scored a short-handed goal at 4:11 to make the score 5-2. Marchessault’s goal at 8:53 made the score 6-2 and chased Bobrovsky. Pacioretty’s second goal with 4:44 left made it 7-2.

With the score tied at 1, Stone’s second goal gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead. Stone used some slick stickwork in the slot and put the puck high into the net at 1:49 of the second.

Trocheck tied it at 2 on his wraparound goal at 11:52 of the second when he came from behind the net and tucked the puck just inside the post during a power-play.

Vegas answered 26 seconds later on Pacioretty’s goal. Pacioretty grabbed the puck in the slot and pounded it against Bobrovsky’s pads until it trickled through to make it 3-2.

Stone gave Vegas a 1-0 lead 2:15 when he grabbed a rebound in the low slot and poked the puck past Bobrovsky.

Vegas Golden Knights Mark Stone
Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Hoffman tied it at 1 on his power-play goal. Trocheck passed from in front of the crease out to Hoffman in the right circle and his shot beat Fleury at 16:22 of the first. Vegas challenged for goalie interference by Trocheck, but the goal stood.

Florida’s Brett Connolly missed a penalty shot at 6:40 of the second. Fleury became the second goaltender to make at least 20 penalty shot saves, joining Roberto Luongo (29).

NOTES

Panthers C Aleksander Barkov missed his third game with a lower-body injury. … D MacKenzie Weegar missed the game with an illness. … C Brian Boyle missed his third game with an upper-body injury. … The Golden Knights have purchased an American Hockey League franchise membership from Spurs Sports & Entertainment (which currently operates the San Antonio Rampage in San Antonio, TX) and are applying for relocation of the franchise to Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada.

UP NEXT:

Golden Knights: host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

Panthers: host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

___

More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

Paul Gereffi, The Associated Press

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