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game recap

Fleury makes 28 saves, Golden Knights defeat Rangers

Neal, Karlsson score in seventh straight home win for Vegas

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Correspondent

LAS VEGAS -- William Karlsson scored the go-ahead goal at 8:58 of the third period to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.

Karlsson snapped a one-timer from the right face-off dot past goalie Ondrej Pavelec off a pass from Reilly Smith from the bottom of the left circle.

"Reilly came in with a lot of speed, I went to the other side," Karlsson said of the play leading to his 22nd goal. "I was all alone, he found me, and I just had to pound it in."

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Golden Knights highlights]

 

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves, and James Neal scored for the Golden Knights (29-10-2), who have won seven games in a row at home. Vegas is 18-2-1 at T-Mobile Arena, where they last lost in regulation Nov. 28 against the Dallas Stars.

Fleury improved to 9-2-1. He is 6-1-1 and has allowed 11 goals since returning Dec. 12 after missing 25 games with a concussion.

"I think it goes to my teammates too, how they see the puck, taking rebounds away, not giving up too many scoring chances," Fleury said. "It's been a team effort, and it's been fun."

Video: NYR@VGK: Fleury denies Zibanejad, Skjei in front

Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers (22-15-5), who were coming off a 2-1 shootout win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Pavelec made 32 saves.

"It's a loud building. It was a great atmosphere," said Pavelec, who was making his first start since Dec. 27. "We knew they were going to be coming. I thought we handled it well in the first period. [Fleury] played an amazing game and made some good saves for them."

Zibanejad gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 13:05 of the first period when he beat Fleury with a wrist shot from the slot. It was his second goal in three games after he went eight without scoring dating to Nov. 22.

Neal tied it 1-1 at 17:23 of the first when he scored his 18th goal to end a seven-game drought dating to Dec. 19.

Each team played its final game before its mandated five-day break.

"It's a great thing. It's good for everybody to rest, recover a bit," Neal said. "It's good to take your mind off hockey for a bit. It's a grind and we've been doing a good job with that so far. For us to get some rest is good for us."

Rangers forward Kevin Hayes left the game with 2:37 left in the first period because of a lower-body injury. There was no update.

Video: NYR@VGK: Zibanejad nets long top-shelf wrister

 

Goal of the game

Karlsson's goal at 8:58 of the third period.

Video: NYR@VGK: Karlsson one-times Smith's feed past Pavelec

 

Save of the game

Fleury stopping Vinni Lettieri with his blocker with seven seconds left in the third period.

Video: NYR@VGK: Fleury knocks away Lettieri's late blast

 

Highlight of the game

Neal's goal at 17:23 of the first period.

Video: NYR@VGK: Neal capitalizes on turnover to beat Pavelec

 

They said it

"A little breakdown on their winning goal, sort of a bad change where we didn't pick up the wide lane. We had some looks before that to take the lead, and after that to tie it, and we didn't do it." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault

 

"It's been great so far. The real challenge is to keep it going. It's only half a season. We're really confident. We go into every game thinking we're going to win. When we have that mindset, we're going to be hard to beat." -- Golden Knights forward William Karlsson

 

Need to know

The Golden Knights tied the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues for fourth-most home wins in an inaugural NHL season. They trail the 1979-80 Hartford Whalers (22), the 1967-68 Los Angeles Kings (20) and the 2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets (19). ... Jonathan Marchessault got his Vegas-leading 40th point with an assist on Karlsson's goal. ... Fleury has allowed two goals or fewer in five straight starts and seven of eight. Karlsson and Marchessault each had a game-high five shots on goal. ... Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello remains one assist shy of his 200th in the NHL.

 

What's next

Rangers: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Golden Knights: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Neal, Karlsson power Golden Knights to 2-1 win

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