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game recap

Golden Knights rally to defeat Capitals

Fleury passes Hasek for 13th place on all-time wins list

by Brian McNally / NHL.com

WASHINGTON -- Marc-Andre Fleury moved into 13th place on the NHL all-time wins list when the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for a 4-3 victory against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Sunday.

Fleury, who made 20 saves, passed Dominik Hasek with his 390th career win.

Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch scored in the third period for Vegas (35-13-4). Tuch's goal broke a 3-3 tie at 14:48.

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Capitals highlights]

 

"It's big for our confidence and just a learning experience for our team too, knowing that we can win these games," Fleury said. "We're down by one, we're down twice, three times and we always played our way back. I was really confident about this game that our guys would play great from start to finish."

Nicklas Backstrom, Chandler Stephenson and Matt Niskanen scored for Washington (30-17-5), which has lost its past two games. Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves.

"Halfway through the third [period], we got a little passive," Backstrom said. "Let them back in the game and they won it. A tough one."

The Golden Knights have won five of seven games and are 20-4-3 since Dec. 3. They rebounded from a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday and are 3-1-0 thus far on their six-game road trip.

"It was a good bounce back game for us after our last game, a real tough loss," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "We didn't play that well. But today, everybody competed hard and everybody played the game that we're supposed to play. It's a huge win for us."

Capitals coach Barry Trotz challenged Tuch's goal for goalie interference, but the call stood after video review.

"Every time you turn the puck over, they come right back down your throat," Grubauer said.

Backstrom gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead 52 seconds into the third period.

Video: VGK@WSH: Backstrom pots Djoos' great pass

Fleury kept it a one-goal game 18 seconds later following his own turnover behind the net with a pad save on Andre Burakovsky, who was alone in front for a wrist shot.

"I thought we had the game," Trotz said. "It was 3-2, had a couple of open nets and missed those. That just came back and bit us. If we got it to 4-2, we'd have been in real good shape. We didn't."

Chandler Stephenson gave Washington a 1-0 lead at 7:22 of the first period. It was the first time in 10 games the Capitals have scored first. Stephenson has three goals in his past three games.

Ryan Carpenter tied it 1-1 at 16:06 with his first goal since Jan. 19, 2017.Niskanen scored at 8:38 of the second to give the Capitals a 2-1 lead. He had an assist on Stephenson's goal for his first two-point game since Dec. 14.

Video: VGK@WSH: Carpenter redirects home Bellemare's dish

Smith tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 18:53 of the second period before scoring again in the third to bring Vegas even at 3-3 with his 17th of the season.

"We were pretty relentless," Smith said. "I think our forecheck was good, a five-man unit, and we forced them to turn over a lot of pucks. … We kept a lot of pressure and had good pace."

 

Goal of the game

Tuch's goal at 14:46 of the third period.

Video: VGK@WSH: Tuch pots fortuitous goal in front

 

Save of the game

Fleury's save against Burakovsky at 1:10 of the third period.

Video: VGK@WSH: Fleury stones Burakovsky with pad save

 

Highlight of the game

Smith's power-play goal at 18:53 of the second period.

Video: VGK@WSH: Smith nets own rebound for PPG

 

They said it

"We had a lot more jump. That Minnesota game [on Friday], it seemed like we weren't getting much offensively and maybe a little bit of tired legs. It looked like we turned that around tonight, which was our goal." -- Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith

 

"That was one where we looked at it and I think to myself, 'He's got a stick there, but it's not a very obvious one.' It was a free timeout in a sense. You burn your timeout, but get everybody reset. That's why we looked at it. Just hoping the referee might see it a little different." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz on challenging Alex Tuch's go-ahead goal

 

Need to know

Golden Knights forward Will Carrier left the game because of an upper-body injury and is day to day. … Trotz passed Lindy Ruff for fifth place on the NHL's all-time list by coaching his 1,494th game.

 

What's next

Golden Knights: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN1, SNO, ATTSN-PT, AATSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Smith powers Golden Knights to 4-3 win against Caps

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