Canucks fall to Golden Knights in possible playoff preview

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and two assists and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 on Tuesday night.

The defending Stanley Cup champions have won three straight and six of seven since a 6-10-1 slide that dropped them into the second slot in the wild-card race.

The victory inched Vegas (92 points) closer to second-place Edmonton (95) in the Pacific Division. The Canucks sit atop the division.

Anthony Mantha, Jack Eichel, Noah Hanifin, William Karlsson and Brett Howden also scored for Vegas, while Logan Thompson stopped 27 shots to win his sixth straight start in his 99th career game.

Quinn Hughes scored twice and Nils Hoglander added one goal for the Canucks. Casey DeSmith made 24 saves.

Mantha started the five-goal first period when he grabbed a loose puck DeSmith slid from beneath his pads and into the crease and deposited it into a wide-open net.

Marchessault made it 2-0 when he took a backhand cross-ice pass from Ivan Barbashev, carried it across the blue line, and fired it past DeSmith for his team-high 41st goal.

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Moments after Hoglander punched home a loose puck near the crease and cut Vegas’ lead in half, Eichel was positioned perfectly in the slot to one-time Marchessault’s pass from beneath the goal line.

Hanifan pushed the lead to three goals when his blast from the centre of the blue line gave Vegas its first power-play goal in five games.

With a game misconduct on Vancouver’s Nikita Zadorov carrying over into the second period, the Golden Knights didn’t waste any time taking advantage of the extra skater. Alex Pietrangelo’s initial attempt at the doorstep was stymied by DeSmith, but Karlsson was there to give Vegas a 5-1 lead.

Hughes’ power-play stroke between the top of the circles cut the deficit to three goals. His second goal came less than two minutes into the third period to cut Vegas’ lead to two.

Vegas answered 24 seconds later when Howden tapped home Keegan Kolesar’s feed during a two-on-one break. 

UP NEXT

Canucks: Visit Arizona on Wednesday night.

Golden Knights: Visit Arizona on Friday night.

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