NASHVILLE — Little brother was the big winner in Subban vs. Subban.
Malcolm Subban made a career-high 41 saves — including one against his older sibling — and then denied all six shootout attempts Friday night to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 victory over star defenceman P.K. Subban and the Nashville Predators.
It was the first time the Subbans faced each other in an NHL game. According to the league, they became the 10th set of brothers to play against one another with one a skater and the other a goaltender.
"It was definitely fun to play against him, and thankfully we got the better of them tonight," Malcolm Subban said.
Reilly Smith scored the only goal of a six-round shootout for the Golden Knights. William Karlsson, James Neal and Erik Haula scored in regulation to help Vegas win its third straight game.
Nate Schmidt had two assists, and Haula forced overtime when he scored with 40 seconds left in the third period after the Golden Knights pulled their 23-year-old goalie for an extra attacker.
"We played a really good team over there and Subby played a great game and gave us a chance to come back and tie that up late," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "To get that shootout win is outstanding for our group."
Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Nick Bonino had the goals for Nashville, which had won three in a row.
P.K. Subban, 28, was not one of Nashville’s shooters in the tiebreaker. His brother made saves on Filip Forsberg and Bonino, and forced misses from Kyle Turris, Kevin Fiala and Arvidsson. Craig Smith’s attempt hit the right post.
"I try to be as patient as I can and not to bite on the first move," Malcolm Subban said.
Karlsson scored the game’s first goal at 6:55 of the opening period on a power play.
At the Nashville blue line, Alex Tuch split Bonino and Colton Sissons and drove through the right faceoff circle. From there, he slid a pass to an unchecked Karlsson in the low slot and he beat goalie Pekka Rinne between the pads.
Neal made it 2-0 at 14:37 of the second against his former team.
Luca Sbisa’s shot attempt from the top of the left circle ricocheted off the skate of Arvidsson and across the ice to the right circle, where a perfectly positioned Neal beat Rinne with a one-timer.
"Right spot, right time — that’s how you score goals," Neal said.
Vegas selected Neal from the Predators in the expansion draft, with the defending Western Conference champions electing to protect Jarnkrok instead. Neal spent three seasons in Nashville, scoring 77 goals in 219 regular-season games.
Jarnkrok got Nashville on the scoreboard 1:03 later.
Just inside the Golden Knights blue line on the left side, Forsberg slid a backhand pass to Pontus Aberg in the high slot. Aberg passed to Jarnkrok at the left of the Vegas net before he stickhandled in front, slid to the right and faked out the Vegas goalie, depositing the puck into the open net.
Arvidsson tied it 2-all at 8:04 of the third.
Malcolm Subban stopped Fiala’s shot from the top of the left circle, but Arvidsson was in front and was able to put in the rebound while being upended by Golden Knights defenceman Colin Miller.
Vegas challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was allowed to stand.
"I think we played a good game and we fought hard," Arvidsson said. "It was a tight game. I think we can clean up the end of the periods by just being a little more patient and hanging onto pucks a little bit more."
Nashville took its first lead at 14:56 of the third.
Arvidsson forced a turnover behind the Vegas net and found Bonino in front for his sixth of the season.
Haula forced overtime when he scored at 19:20. With Malcolm Subban off for the extra attacker, Haula’s one-timer from the right circle glanced off the skate of Nashville captain Roman Josi and by Rinne.
"That’s why you sling the puck at the net — you never know what’s going to happen," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "They capitalized on a couple of those bounces. It’s unfortunate, you are holding a 3-2 lead late with a minute to go on the clock, you want to be able to close that off."
NOTES: Rinne made 36 saves. … The Golden Knights have not allowed a power-play goal in six consecutive games. … Tuch has points in four straight games. … Nashville is 5-5-2 when its opponent scores first.
Golden Knights: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
Predators: At the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.