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game recap

Pacioretty scores in return for Golden Knights in victory against Ducks

Breaks tie in second period to help send Anaheim to seventh straight loss

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

Pacioretty scores in return

VGK@ANA: Pacioretty, Stastny combine for nice goal

Max Pacioretty gets a perfect feed from Paul Stastny on the rush and beats John Gibson to score in his return from injury for a 3-2 lead

  • 00:50 •

ANAHEIM -- Max Pacioretty scored in his return from injury, and the Vegas Golden Knights handed the Anaheim Ducks their seventh straight loss, 3-2 at Honda Center on Friday.

Tomas Nosek had a goal and an assist, Nate Schmidt scored in his 300th NHL game, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for the Golden Knights (25-15-4), who have won five in a row to match their season-long win streak (Nov. 21-29).

"We made life hard on their [defensemen]," Pacioretty said. "You could see times when they were just doing whatever they could to get the puck out of their end. Ultimately, I think that wore them down and helped us win the game."

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Ducks highlights]

 

Daniel Sprong and Carter Rowney scored, and John Gibson made 39 saves for the Ducks (19-16-7), who have lost seven straight (0-5-2) to match their longest losing streak of the season. They also lost seven in a row (0-5-2) from Oct. 20-Nov. 1.

"We just haven't found any rhythm," Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf said. "We have to find it as a group to play consistently throughout a whole hockey game."

Video: VGK@ANA: Schmidt rips home slapper on delayed penalty

The Ducks scored 18 seconds apart in the second period to take a 2-1 lead, but Vegas scored 31 seconds apart, also in the second period, to move back ahead 3-2.

"We scored a couple goals and we get everything going our way," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We're feeling pretty good about ourselves and then we start turning the puck over."   

Nosek tied the score 2-2 at 10:15.

The puck came out to Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb along the wall and he sent it toward the Anaheim net. Gibson made the save, but the puck popped in the air and landed next to him in the crease. Nosek spotted it first and pushed it across the goal line with one hand on his stick.

Pacioretty gave the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead at 10:46 in his first game after missing seven with a lower-body injury.

The Ducks lost possession at the Vegas blue line and Alex Tuch passed the puck ahead to Paul Stastny coming through the neutral zone. Stastny kept possession until he got to the right face-off dot and then slid it to Pacioretty, who shot into an open net.

"He made that an easy lay-up for me," Pacioretty said.

The Golden Knights were on their power play for 4 1/2 consecutive minutes in the third period, including 90 seconds with a 5-on-3, but could not add to their lead.

Vegas was on a delayed penalty when Schmidt scored on a point shot through traffic for a 1-0 lead at 6:52 of the first period.

The Ducks nearly tied the score when a centering pass went off Ducks forward Brian Gibbons as he battled for position in front of the net. The puck hit the cross bar and came down on the goal line, but Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland was able to sweep it away.

"The first period was one where we watched them do the things that they're very good at, and we really didn't get involved in the game physically," Carlyle said. "For whatever reason, they were quicker, faster, executed at a higher level than us."  

The Ducks went on their first power play at 1:22 of the second period, and Sprong scored on a wrist shot from above the right circle to tie it 1-1 at 1:57.

Rowney finished off a feed from defenseman Hampus Lindholm for a 2-1 lead at 2:15.

"They came out the shift after [Rowney's goal] and really pushed us back," Lindholm said. "We need to feed our energy when we score goals, keep going. One-goal hockey game in this league doesn't matter much, especially when you have that much hockey left to play."

Video: VGK@ANA: Nosek shovels rebound past Gibson

 

They said it

"We had a couple lapses tonight, obviously, but we played outstanding hockey most of the game, a lot of shots on net tonight. Gibson and Fleury were both real good in the net, so I'm happy with the two points." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant

 

"Our finish has got to improve, especially in these tight games. Difference-makers have to make the difference for us." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle  

 

Need to know

Fleury is 6-0-2 in his past eight starts. He has allowed three goals on 74 shots in three wins against the Ducks this season. … Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore missed his first game of the season (illness). … The Golden Knights sent forward Brandon Pirri to Chicago of the American Hockey League to make room on the roster for Pacioretty. … Vegas forward Cody Eakin played his 500th NHL game. … Tuch has six points (two goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. ... Ducks forward Adam Henrique assisted on Sprong's goal to give him three points (one goal, two assists) in the past three games. … Gibson has an NHL-leading 197 shorthanded saves this season.

 

What's next

Golden Knights: Host the New Jersey Devils on Sunday (4 p.m. ET; SN, ATTSN-RM, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Ducks: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; SN, SN360, PRIME, NHL.TV)

Video: Pacioretty returns to help Golden Knights down Ducks

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