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game recap

Golden Knights edge Flames, move into first in Pacific

Theodore breaks tie late in third for Vegas, which has won 10 of its past 12 games

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

Theodore's late go-ahead goal

VGK@CGY: Theodore pots late goal for Golden Knights

Shea Theodore fires a sharp-angle shot that deflects up and over David Rittich, putting the Golden Knights ahead late in the 3rd period

  • 00:43 •

CALGARY -- Shea Theodore broke a tie with 1:10 remaining in regulation, and the Vegas Golden Knights moved into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division with a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Theodore scored from near the left wall when his shot redirected off Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane's stick and over David Rittich's shoulder.

"Points are so tight this time of year, I think getting some confidence from tonight and building off that is going to be key going down the stretch," Theodore said.


[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Flames highlights]


Nick Holden had a goal and an assist, and Robin Lehner made 19 saves for the Golden Knights (38-24-8), who are 10-2-0 in their past 12 games and lead the Pacific by two points over the Edmonton Oilers, who they play on Monday in the second of a back-to-back.

"It's fun that we're playing these teams right now because the games are really important," Holden said. "We'll have to reset and make sure we're focused for tomorrow."

Video: VGK@CGY: Holden scores on odd-man rush

Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist, and Rittich made 27 saves for the Flames (36-27-7), who had won three straight and lead the Vancouver Canucks by three points for third place in the Pacific.

"At this time of year, you can't dwell on anything," Lucic said. "What happens here tonight stays tonight. You have to take it like playoff mentality -- control what you can -- and we still control our own destiny."

Max Pacioretty gave Vegas a 3-0 lead with a power-play goal at 3:39 of the second period, but Lucic beat Lehner five-hole on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-1 at 8:23.

Video: VGK@CGY: Pacioretty strikes on power play

Dillon Dube cut it to 3-2 at 16:32 when he shot under Lehner's arm on the power play, and Matthew Tkachuk tied it 3-3 at 17:00 of the third period with a backhand into an open net after receiving a cross-slot pass from Mangiapane.

"It's tough," Mangiapane said. "We tied it back up and then I just tried to put a stick there and it ramped off it and went in. Maybe another night it goes out of play or goes in the corner or whatnot. It just happened to go in and it's tough, but we've got to move on from it."


After Theodore gave the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead, Jonathan Marchessault scored into an empty net at 19:42 for the 5-3 final.

"Obviously not something you want to do, give up the lead that late, but I thought we did a good job scoring late ourselves and then get an [empty-net goal] to make sure we sealed it," Holden said.

Tomas Nosek made it 1-0 at 5:24 of the first period on a rebound of Ryan Reaves' initial shot, and Holden pushed it to 2-0 at 11:49 with a one-timer on a 2-on-1.

Mikael Backlund appeared to score for Calgary at 15:50, but Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer challenged for goaltender interference, and the call was reversed after a video review.


They said it

"We know what we have, and we knew we were playing a strong hockey game. We didn't give them much. We gave them that Grade A and they were able to capitalize, but we were still creating chances. A lot of good saves by their goaltender. It takes a bounce for us to go up in that game, but it felt like the hard work made us deserve that bounce." -- Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty

"That's the tough part, right? It's one of those things that we have to learn from and just try not to let that happen again. It's great that we battled back, and you have to look at the positives like that. You have to think, 'OK, maybe a better start and maybe we win that game,' and that doesn't even matter. You just have to look at the positives, look at how we played in the second and third. That's our game. That's how we have to play." -- Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane


Need to know

Lehner is 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals against average, a .940 save percentage and one shutout in three starts with Vegas, which acquired him in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 24. … Marchessault's goal was his first in 11 games. … Pacioretty has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in his past 15 games. … Golden Knights forward William Karlsson had two assists and has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past seven games. … Tkachuk has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past three games. … Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin left the game after sustaining an upper-body injury in the first period.


What's next

Golden Knights: At the Edmonton Oilers on Monday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Theodore's late goal lifts Golden Knights past Flames

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