ANAHEIM - They may be new to the league, but the Vegas Golden Knights pulled off something teams have had a tough time doing for years - coming out of Honda Center with a win.
Despite the Ducks building a two-goal lead in the second period, Vegas came back with four in a row in a 4-2 victory that snapped Anaheim's three-game win streak. It was a notable accomplishment for the expansion team playing its first-ever regular season game in Anaheim, as the Golden Knights improved to 13-6-1 to lead the Pacific Division.
Vegas tied it 2-2 early in the third off the stick of Colin Miller, and they went in front with 8:42 left when team goal-scoring leader James Neal punched in a rebound.
The Golden Knights virtually put the game away with two minutes remaining on an incredible feed by Reilly Smith from near the wall on the left wing, which former Duck William Karlsson chipped in from the top of the crease.
Goalie John Gibson was again forced to grind in this one, seeing 49 shots and saving 45, as Anaheim -- playing their third game in four nights -- seemed to run out of gas down the stretch.
"They were taking it to us even in the beginning, but we found a way to get some goals," said Josh Manson, who tallied the first of the game. "Gibby was holding us in there for most of the game, but when you give up 50 shots, that's what is going to happen."
The Ducks are still missing the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Patrick Eaves and Ryan Miller, but they did get Cam Fowler back two nights ago in San Jose, and he was in the lineup again tonight.
Halfway into the first period, Anaheim went in front on the second pretty goal in the last three games for Manson. On the rush, the defenseman whiffed on a shot from the slot, but managed to hold onto the puck between a couple of Golden Knights before burying a forehand from in deep.
Video: VGK@ANA: Manson goes coast-to-coast for terrific goal
Anaheim bumped the lead to two goals on the power play six minutes into the second when a Hampus Lindholm point shot was tipped through off the stick shaft of Derek Grant. It bears repeating that after going the first 91 games of his NHL career without a goal, Grant has five in his last 15.
Video: VGK@ANA: Grant deflects Lindholm's shot past Lagace
Vegas struck with less than a minute left to get within a goal, on a power play one-timer from the left wing circle by Jonathan Marchessault, and they scored three more unanswered to pull away from Anaheim.
"Something needs to be figured out," Andrew Cogliano said. "The 2-0 lead wasn't really a true tale of the game. We just got lucky. The score should've been a lot more if we didn't have Gibby in there. We shouldn't kid ourselves. We weren't even close."
The Ducks play their annual day-after-Thanksgiving matinee on Friday afternoon against the Jets before launching into a six-game road trip that concludes December 5 in Vegas.
"We've got 24 hours to think about it," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We'll re-attack and reset and try to get this group ready tomorrow with some video and some work on the ice. We have Winnipeg on Friday afternoon and then we're off to LA. We're in a heavy part of our schedule. We know - and we believe - this team could play a lot better brand of hockey than what was played here tonight. That was my message."