Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made another piece of NHL history on Friday when his 45-save performance helped the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Dallas Stars 2-1 in their first regular-season game.
Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Pittsburgh Penguins before being taken by Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft on June 21, made the most saves by a goaltender in an expansion team's first win (since 1967), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous mark of 37 was set by Hank Bassen of the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 13, 1967 and matched by Goran Hogosta of the Quebec Nordiques in a 5-2 win against the Colorado Rockies on Oct. 18, 1979.
Video: VGK@DAL: Fleury dazzles with 45 saves in opener
Forward James Neal scored each of the Golden Knights' goals in the third period, including the game-winner with 2:44 remaining. According to Elias, Neal is the seventh player to score two or more goals for an expansion franchise in the team's first NHL game. The only two players to score more than two goals for an expansion franchise in its NHL debut are center Chris Kontos, who scored four for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 7-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 7, 1992, and forward Real Cloutier, who had three for the Nordiques in a 5-3 loss against the Atlanta Flames on Oct. 10, 1979.
The victory by the Golden Knights gives expansion teams a 7-16-3 record in their first NHL games, including 3-8-2 in road games.