LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights came into the season with one of the best top-six forward units in the NHL. In their latest win, they proved they have the potential to be a threat with all four lines.
Mark Stone and William Carrier each had a goal and an assist and Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves to lead the Golden Knights past the Calgary Flames 6-2 Saturday night.
Tomas Nosek, Paul Stastny, Ryan Reaves and rookie Cody Glass also scored to help Vegas remain undefeated at home against the Flames. All three forwards on the fourth line scored and 12 players had at least one point.
"When you get your team going like we had tonight, all four lines contributed, that’s a big part … you’re excited when you see that," said Vegas coach Gerard Gallant, who is now one win shy of his 250th. "Not too often our so-called fourth line are gonna get three goals in a game, but they went out there, they did their jobs, they kept the game simple, they worked really hard … they did their job and they got rewarded for it."
Since the Golden Knights joined the NHL in 2017, Calgary is winless in five visits to T-Mobile Arena while being outscored 21-6.
Fleury, who went 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and a .984 save percentage last season against the Flames, improved to 13-4-1 in his career against Calgary.
With regular backup Malcolm Subban nursing an undisclosed lower-body injury, Fleury figures to have a heavy workload ahead of him with Vegas playing six games over the next 10 days. Vegas recalled goaltender Oscar Dansk from Chicago of the AHL earlier Saturday.
The Golden Knights will endure their first back-to-back situation, as they travel to play in Los Angeles on Sunday, but Gallant said he would confer with goalie coach Dave Prior before deciding on his starting netminder against the Kings.
"We’re looking forward to it, it’s gonna be a tough game," Gallant said. "L.A. had a real good game today … they’ll be on a high tomorrow. We’ll go in there tonight, no morning skate tomorrow and get ready for a game tomorrow night and it should be a real good hockey game. They’re playing real well this year, doing a real good job."
Vegas found its offence at the right time, with back-to-back Pacific Division opponents on deck, after losing to Boston on Tuesday and at Arizona on Thursday.
"A little scrambly for us the last couple of games, so we had to just get back to playing simple hockey," Reaves said. "But being in position for each other and getting in on the puck and reloading and getting out of piles properly is something that we talked about and it definitely showed today."
Rasmus Andersson and Johnny Gaudreau scored for Calgary. David Rittich stopped 24 shots in his fifth straight start, and dropped to 2-4 with a 3.67 goals against average in six starts against Vegas.
Calgary coach Bill Peters wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort, as it was thoroughly outplayed after Andersson and Gaudreau gave the Flames a 2-1 lead early in the second period.
"We didn’t play hard enough," Peters said. "Until we start to play hard, and play hard for 60 minutes, it’s going to be up in the air all night long or you’re going to get blown out. … We’re disappointed the way we’ve played."
Meanwhile, Vegas has benefited from a well-balanced offence, including a fourth line that has eight points (six goals, two assists) in five games.
"We’re trying to be the best fourth line in the league," Carrier said. "Shift after shift, whatever the team needs — a big hit, tonight it was a goal, but it could be anything out there — we’re just trying to be the best fourth line out there."
NOTES: Calgary backup G Cam Talbot will make his Flames debut Sunday, when Calgary finishes up a three-game trip at San Jose. … Vegas D Brayden McNabb played in his 400th career game. … The game marked the first showdown between the Stone brothers, since Michael’s younger sibling, Mark, was traded to Vegas from Ottawa last season. … Oakland Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs cranked the opening-game siren. … Mark Stone has a point in four of Vegas’ first five games and is one assist shy of 200 in his career. … Gaudreau played in his 399th game and is expected to play in his 400th Sunday in San Jose. . Stastny’s registered his 26th career goal and 63rd point against Calgary — both career highs against an opponent.
Flames: At San Jose on Sunday.
Golden Knights: At Los Angeles on Sunday.