DETROIT — The Vegas Golden Knights will need great goaltending, a breadth of scoring options and road wins to make a run in the playoffs.
In a 4-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, the expansion team showed off all three.
Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch scored two goals apiece, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots and Vegas tied an expansion team record with its 19th win as a visitor.
Fleury earned his third shutout of the season and the 47th of his career, which was spent entirely with the Pittsburgh Penguins before they made him available in the expansion draft.
“We were never allowed to get any momentum,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “He did a good job for sure. “
The Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights had lost four of five, their worst stretch since losing five of six early on in their inaugural season
“When we have gone through a tough patch of the season, it’s good to know we don’t let that keep us down,” Fleury said. “You’re not going to be perfect the whole year. You’re going to have ups and downs, but we don’t’ stay down long.”
And with Reilly Smith and James Neal down with injuries, the 21-year-old Tuch scored twice for the first time in an NHL game and Eakin did it for the first time this season. They had scored 18 goals total this season.
“It’s great for them and good for the hockey team,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said.
Vegas, coming off a 4-1 loss at Columbus, went ahead 2:24 into the game when Tuch scored. The Golden Knights turned the game into a rout in the second after Eakin scored short-handed midway through the period. Eakin and Tuch had goals 50 second apart.
“There is too much poke and hope on a lot of players,” Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg said.
Jimmy Howard had 28 saves for the Red Wings, who have lost five straight games for the third time this season.
“This is the pain you endure at times when you’re asking some young guys to go,” Blashill said.
NOTES: Anaheim’s 1993-94 team also won 19 road games in its first season… Vegas scratched Smith with an upper-body injury, and Gallant said he is day to day. … Vegas forward Tomas Tatar, acquired Feb. 26 from Detroit, was welcomed back with cheers from the crowd after highlights were shown of him playing for the Red Wings. … Detroit F Evgeny Svechnikov was recalled from the AHL earlier in the day, and the 2015 first-round pick played for the Red Wings for the first time this season and third time in his career. … Knights D Nate Schmidt, who missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury, is expected to join the team in Buffalo. … Detroit was shut out for the second time this season. … Vegas signed former Bemidji State University defenceman Zach Whitecloud as a free agent. … The Red Wings won 6-3 in Vegas early in the season.
Golden Knights: Play at Buffalo on Saturday for the fourth of a five-game road trip.
Red Wings: Start a five-game road trip Friday night against the Blue Jackets.