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William Karlsson nets hat trick as Fleury, Golden Knights blank Flames 4-0

After suffering a pair of debilitating losses to the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild, respectively, the Vegas Golden Knights returned to action Sunday afternoon and blanked the Calgary Flames 4-0 in front of a packed T-Mobile Arena.

William Karlsson picked up his second hat trick of the season, scoring three goals in the second period to bring his season total to 39 tallies on the year. Jonathan Marchessault also ended his seven-game pointless skid with an assist on Wild Bill’s second goal of the contest.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who allowed a total of seven goals in his last two starts, was sensational in net, stopping 42 shots (20 in the first period) and making an incredible no-look skate save to keep Calgary off the board.

While much of the credit will go to Karlsson for potting three goals in the second period, it was Colin Miller’s power play tally that got the party going for Vegas early in the second period. After a quick game of catch with David Perron, Miller unleashed a vicious slapper from the point that deflected off a Calgary defender and into the net.

From there, it was all Karlsson.

Less than a minute after Miller opened the scoring, Karlsson scored his first goal of the game off a perfect feed from James Neal on an odd-man rush.

A few minutes past the game’s midway point, Karlsson scored his second off a behind-the-net feed from Marchessault. Flames goaltender Mike Smith stopped a chunk of it, but not enough to keep it out of the net.

Not long after, Karlsson completed the hat trick off yet another odd-man rush, beating Smith with a wicked blocker side wrister from the near faceoff circle.

His third goal would conclude the day’s scoring, as Fleury stood on his head for the remainder contest to earn the Golden Knights their 46th win of the season.

This is just what the doctor ordered for Vegas. After two of the Knights’ most frustrating losses of the season, they rebounded in a huge way against a desperate division rival. The Golden Knights are now 3-0-0 against the Flames and face them again in their last game of the season in Scotiabank Saddledome April 7.

The Golden Knights return to action Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks before embarking on a brief two-game road trip, starting in San Jose and ending in Colorado. They will return home March 26 to take on Colorado again for the second half of their home-and-home series.