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game recap

Fleury makes 19 saves, Golden Knights shut out Predators

Stephenson scores for Vegas, which wins each game of back-to-back

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

Stephenson scores on breakaway

VGK@NSH: Stephenson scores in 2nd period

Chandler Stephenson receives a pass, skates into the zone on a breakaway and snaps a shot past Pekka Rinne for a 1-0 lead in the 2nd

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NASHVILLE -- Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 3-0 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

It was the third shutout of the season for Fleury, who returned to the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for skipping the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

"We played amazing from start to finish," said Fleury, who tied Evgeni Nabokov for 18th in NHL history with his 59th shutout. "I think the biggest thing was our penalty kill. We had a lot of penalties (five), but we didn't give them too many shots or too many scoring chances either. At the end was another big one. We had a lot of blocked shots. I thought it was sometimes a little long back there by myself, but the guys were playing so good so it was fun to watch."


[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Predators highlights]


Chandler Stephenson scored for the Golden Knights (27-20-7), who were coming off a 4-3 win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

Pekka Rinne made 36 saves for the Predators (24-20-7), who had won two straight.

Video: VGK@NSH: Rinne stops Tuch's one-timer from the circle

"Right now, the biggest thing is every game for us is the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]," Rinne said. "We're battling for our lives and we've got to realize that. It's not going to be easy, but these games are just massive. That's a team we're battling with. I guess it just makes you wonder at this point."

Stephenson gave Vegas a 1-0 lead at 5:14 of the second period on a breakaway.

Nicolas Roy scored to make it 2-0 on a rebound at 11:16 of the third period, and Reilly Smith pushed the lead to 3-0 with an empty-net goal with 1:02 remaining in regulation.

"I think it was a really good team effort from everybody," Roy said. "We were good defensively, hard on the forecheck for a full 60 minutes. It was a really good game."

Video: VGK@NSH: Roy chips shot past Rinne from the doorstep

Nashville went 0-for-5 on the power play. Vegas was 0-for-4.

"There was not a lot of time and space, and we didn't fight for our time and space," Predators coach John Hynes said. "I think it came down to when we did get out of our own zone and went through the neutral zone and got in the offensive zone, our puck pressure wasn't what it needed to be as a five-man unit."

Video: Lundqvist, Fleury earn Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutouts


They said it

"We fed off that. I thought it gave us some momentum. You don't want to do that. You wear guys out and you're playing with fire, but I thought our [penalty kill], how successful we were, how aggressive we were, really gave us some momentum on those kills." -- Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer

"Vegas is a good team and they played well tonight, but we're a good team, too. There's going to be times where another team is going to come out and you're going to get outplayed, you're going to get outplayed in the first period. It's a tough League. … But what's going to be the response in the second period? After that happens you regroup, you make some slight adjustments, you've got to mentally refocus, and you've got to come out and do the right things. When we came out in the second period, there wasn't much difference in our mindset and how we were going to play and how we needed to play to be able to get ourselves back in the game." -- Predators coach John Hynes


Need to know

Fleury had been 1-3-1 in his previous five starts. … Nashville has not won three consecutive games since winning four straight from Oct. 22-29.


What's next

Golden Knights: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TVAS, SUN, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Predators: At the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Fleury, Golden Knights shut out Predators

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