The Vegas Golden Knights ended their five-game road trip on a high note Monday night, beating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in their first ever visit to the Wells Fargo Center.
While the win was obviously huge for the Golden Knights, it was even more momentous for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who picked up his 400th career win in the interconference matchup. Fleury is now the 13th goalie to ever reach the 400-win mark, and, for what it’s worth, only Henrik Lundqvist (727 games) reached that milestone faster than Flower (728 games).
Earning win No. 400 wouldn’t come easy for Fleury, though, as the 33-year-old backstop faced 40 shots from the Flyers, stopping 38 of them (16 in the second period) to give Vegas its 45th win of the season.
Vegas opened the scoring just 6:17 into the contest when Erik Haula had an attempted cross-ice pass deflect off of Petr Mrazek’s stick and into the net. Great luck for the Finnish center, but he’ll take it.
Both teams finished the opening period with nine shots apiece, but the Flyers had no issues moving the puck into the Vegas zone. And that continued in the middle third.
Early in the second, Claude Giroux beat Fleury with a wicked wrister from the left faceoff circle to tie the game up at one apiece. A Shea Theodore turnover in the defensive zone got it all started for the Flyers.
The Flyers had Vegas pinned in its own end for much of the middle period. Had it not been for Fleury standing on his head, the Golden Knights very well could have been trailing after 40 minutes.
Vegas finally got things going in the final third, though. After a high sticking penalty to Flyers rookie defenseman Travis Sanheim, William Karlsson scored his 36th goal of the season to give Vegas the 2-1 lead.
Vegas’ lead would be brief, however. A little over a minute after Wild Bill’s tally, Wayne Simmonds scored his 21st goal of the season to even the score once again.
Philadelphia had all the momentum on its side for much of the remainder of the period, but Vegas, led by Fleury, kept them at bay and took the lead one final time with just 2:40 to play. Ryan Carpenter picked up the goal, which now gives him eight on the year.
And guess who set up the goal? You guessed it! Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who was making his homecoming after being claimed by Vegas in the expansion draft.
Needless to say, the Golden Knights were pretty excited for Fleury after the win.
With this win, the Golden Knights picked up eight of a possible 10 points on their five-game road trip, giving them a 14-point lead over the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead.
The Golden Knights return to Vegas Wednesday to square off against the New Jersey Devils, whom they defeated just last week in Newark. Vegas’ game against the Devils will be its first of a four-game homestand.