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game recap

Fleury returns, helps Golden Knights to win against Blackhawks

Makes 28 saves on 29 shots in first game since father died

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Pacioretty taps in Stone's feed

CHI@VGK: Pacioretty, Stone connect on the rush

Max Pacioretty speeds toward net on the odd-man rush and taps in Mark Stone's feed to extend the lead to 4-0 in the 3rd period

  • 00:35 •

LAS VEGAS -- Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in his first game since his father died, helping the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday.

"I don't know if I thought about it (throughout the game) or not. I don't know how that works," Fleury said. "He's been in my thoughts, for sure."

Andre Fleury died Nov. 27 at the age of 63.

 

[WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights highlights]

 

Fleury was the backup to Malcolm Subban the previous two games after he was away from the Golden Knights on personal leave for five straight.

"I wasn't shaking nervous, but I felt it a little bit," said Fleury, who had not played since Nov. 23, when he made 27 saves in a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. "It's been a little while since I played, and I felt maybe the last couple of practices and warmups, I was thinking, 'Man, I should've stopped that one, or that one,' instead of just relaxing a bit. I think that's what happens when you miss a little while."

He lost the shutout when Dominik Kubalik scored on the power play with 27 seconds remaining to make it 5-1.

"That was what we were fighting for at the end," Vegas forward William Karlsson said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't stop it. I think we feel pretty bad, but we won at least."

Reilly Smith had a goal and an assist for the Golden Knights (16-12-5), who were coming off a 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday but are 5-1-1 in their past seven games.

Video: CHI@VGK: Smith puts Vegas on the board first with PPG

Corey Crawford made 32 saves for the Blackhawks (12-13-6), who had their three-game point streak end (2-0-1). Crawford has lost three of his past four starts, allowing 15 goals in that stretch.

Smith scored on the power play at 7:27 of the second period off the rebound of Nate Schmidt's shot from the point to give Vegas a 1-0 lead.

Deryk Engelland scored his first goal of the season with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 11:24 to make it 2-0.

Karlsson scored off a pass from Smith on a shorthanded 2-on-1 to make it 3-0 at 19:16. It was his first goal in 11 games; he scored twice in a 6-0 win against the Calgary Flames on Nov. 17.

Video: CHI@VGK: Karlsson finishes Smith's pass for a SHG

After finishing the first period tied 12-12 in shots on goal, Vegas outshot Chicago 16-8 in the second.

"It's just unbelievable what our goalies have had to deal with all year with some of these games," defenseman Connor Murphy said. "We hang them out to dry. It's nice to see [Crawford's emotion] because it's a wake-up call for us players to play better in front of them."

Max Pacioretty made it 4-0 at 3:17 of the third period, and Ryan Reaves scored his first goal in 20 games at 12:59 to make it 5-0.

Video: CHI@VGK: Engelland wires wrister upstairs

 

They said it

"Not happy with our performance. I thought we got worn down as the game went on. Whether it's just managing the puck or being sharp in transition, they were better than us tonight. We have got to regroup, get some rest tomorrow, and have a better effort." -- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton

"Every win is huge, but with what he's been through the past little while, you want to battle for him. Getting back and seeing him do his thing, he came up huge a few times for us tonight. He's back in fine form, and we're happy to get him back." -- Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland on Marc-Andre Fleury's return after his father's death

 

Need to know

It was Fleury's 451st NHL win, moving him within three of Curtis Joseph for sixth in League history. He is one game from tying Sean Burke for 14th among goalies in games played in NHL history (820). … The Golden Knights are 8-1-0 against the Blackhawks. … Chicago defenseman Calvin de Haan left the game at 17:46 of the first period with a right-shoulder injury. He will return to Chicago for further evaluation, Colliton said. … Kubalik has scored in consecutive games since being moved to the top line. ... Vegas forward Valentin Zykov had two shots on goal and was a plus-1 in 15:35 in his first game since he was suspended 20 games Oct. 17 for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program on Oct. 17. He played on the third line with Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Golden Knights: At the St. Louis Blues on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-MW, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Video: Vegas explodes for five goals in win over Chicago

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