DALLAS (AP) — Ryan Reaves was in the right place at the right time for his first goal in 26 games.
Reaves scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 Friday night.
Reaves put a wrist shot inside the left goal post at 2:37 of the third. He took the rebound of a shot by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare off Anton Khudobin’s save and the deflection off a defender’s skate. It was Reaves’ ninth of the season.
“(Bellemare) just got a good shot through and the goalie made a save,” Reaves said, “and he tied up the guy in front and then it trickled to me.”
Max Pacioretty scored in the opening minute of the game for Vegas, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 40 shots — including 16 in the third period — for his 35th win. The Golden Knights have won seven of eight to remain third in the Pacific Division.
Roope Hintz scored for Dallas and Anton Khudobin finished with 35 saves and also stopped a penalty shot by William Karlsson in the second period. The Stars lost for just the second time in eight games but fell from third in the Central Division behind St. Louis. Each team has 79 points, but the Blues have a game in hand.
Khudobin was more upset by Pacioretty’s goal that put Vegas ahead just 18 seconds into the game. Pacioretty scored on a snap shot from between the faceoff circles.
“I gotta stop that,” Khudobin said. “Bottom line. First minute of the game, maybe I was sleepy. It went by my five-hole,”
Hintz tied it at 4:04 as he stole the puck from Derek Engelland in the Vegas zone, skated to the right of the goal and put in a backhander.
Fleury stopped Dallas’ late-game flurry.
“It’s busy back there. (Alexander) Radulov’s always there in front of me and (Jamie) Benn. Big dudes. I’m just trying to find the puck around them. But I’ve played with my D-men for a while now and I know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from me.”
Stars coach Jim Montgomery said his team had their opportunities, including 13 shots on power plays.
“I thought our chances were good,” he said. “I thought the first power play was excellent. I thought it built a lot of momentum. The last power play I thought was really good.
“Fleury was excellent.”
Khudobin made a pad save on Karlsson’s penalty shot at 1:37 of the second period. Esa Lindell was called for holding on a breakaway.
“It’s a little bit different approach than shootouts after a game,” Khudobin said. “Just preparing to stop and trying to take away his options.”
Vegas coach Gerald Gallant recognized a Dallas defense that has the second-fewest goals against this season and only six goals allowed in the last seven games.
“That’s the way they’ve played all year. They’re one of the best defensive teams in the league. I thought it was a tight game, there wasn’t a whole lot either way.”
NOTES: The Stars finished 0 for 5 on the power play, falling to 1 for 15 over the last six games. . Vegas has allowed just one power-play goal in 13 chances over the last six games. … Hintz has four goals in the past three games after scoring only five in his first 44. … Khudobin started in place of Ben Bishop, who left Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury. Each Dallas goalie has stopped a penalty shot this season without allowing a goal. … Vegas is 1 for 3 on penalty shots. . The Golden Knights swept the three-game season series.
Golden Knights: Host Edmonton on Sunday.
Stars: At Vancouver on Sunday in the second of a five-game homestand.