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Neal gives Golden Knights another win with OT goal against Coyotes

Schmidt scores late in third period to tie game; Fleury allows one goal

by Craig Morgan / NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- James Neal scored 3:46 into overtime to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 2-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

The Golden Knights are the third NHL expansion team to start 2-0-0, joining the 1967-68 Oakland Seals and Los Angeles Kings. They defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Friday.

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Coyotes highlights]

 

With goalie Marc-Andre Fleury pulled, Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt scored on the rebound of a Neal shot to tie the game 1-1 with 1:12 left in the third period.

"Yesterday was honestly one of the best feelings I've had in hockey, and we said we wanted to follow it up again today and get a big win and go home a happy team," Neal said. "We were pushing. We were right there, I thought. From the second period on, I thought we were taking the play to them."

Neal scored his third goal when he skated out in front from behind the net after receiving a pass from David Perron. Schmidt had the second assist.

Antti Raanta made 42 saves in his Arizona debut, 19 in the second period, including a breakaway against Jonathan Marchessault and a post-to-post stop on Erik Haula.

"He was great," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "He kept us in the game for some stretches in the second. I don't think they had a ton of [Grade A chances], but I know when they did, Antti was superb."

Tobias Rieder scored at 5:52 of the first period to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. Arizona (0-1-1) cycled the puck deep in the Vegas zone before pushing it back to Luke Schenn at the point. Schenn moved laterally at the blue line to get the puck through to the slot, and forward Jordan Martinook swept it to Rieder at the far post for an easy tap-in.

Video: VGK@ARI: Rieder sends home rebound to open scoring

Fleury made 27 saves starting his second game in as many nights. He had 45 saves against Dallas.

"I wasn't as busy so I was trying to stay calm and ready for when they came down," Fleury said. "I feel happy with the way we battled to win tonight."

The Coyotes blew a third-period lead each of their first two games. They lost 5-4 in their season opener at Anaheim on Thursday despite leading 4-1 in the second period and 4-3 entering the third.

"I think the third period was way better than the third period in Anaheim, but we've still got to find a way to play like that for 60 minutes," Rieder said.

 

Goal of the game

Perron did most of the work on the overtime goal, carrying the puck from the right circle to the goal line with two Coyotes all over him, before banking a pass off the end boards to Neal, who skated out front on the far side of the net and slipped a forehand shot under Raanta's right pad.

Video: VGK@ARI: Neal nets game-winning goal in overtime

 

Save of the game

With the Coyotes leading 1-0, Haula got around Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton on the right wing. Raanta moved laterally across the crease to get his outstretched right pad on Haula's shot at the far post at 11:50 of the second period.

Video: VGK@ARI: Raanta denies Haula with a strong pad save

 

Highlight of the game

The Coyotes were closing in on their first win of the season when Neal shot from the high slot. Raanta made the initial save, but when Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson tried to clear the rebound, he pushed it to Schmidt at the far post. Schmidt snapped the puck under defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and into the net with 1:12 left in the third.

Video: VGK@ARI: Schmidt nets loose puck to tie the game late

 

They said it

"We found a way again. I thought we played a [heck] of a game tonight. We had a lot of shots and we competed and we battled hard and now we get rewarded at the end of it." -- Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant

"There's 1:12 between two points and that. It's tough." -- Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta

 

Need to know

The Golden Knights won 18 of 21 face-offs (85.7 percent) in the first period. 

 

What's next

Golden Knights: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Neal, Schmidt lead Golden Knights past Coyotes in OT

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