LAS VEGAS — Alex Tuch and Vadim Shipachyov made the most of their debuts with the Vegas Golden Knights, as they each scored a goal in a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.
It was just the seventh career game for Tuch, who played in six games with Minnesota last season, while Shipachyov was making his NHL debut. Both players were recalled from Chicago of the AHL to fill roster spots for the suddenly banged-up Golden Knights.
"I always want to make a statement. I gotta try to prove myself in this league. I understand the situation management was in. It wasn’t performance based so that made me feel a little bit better," said Tuch, who had four goals and an assist in three AHL games. "I tried to go down there and prove I was one of the high-end guys in the AHL, and now I’m trying to prove that I can make this league."
Also making his Vegas debut was goalie Malcolm Subban, who stopped 21 shots for the win against his former team.
"The biggest thing was just not thinking, staying focused, staying in the moment. It feels really good to get the first win in your first game," said Subban, who had started only two NHL games, both for Boston. "My first shot I got good control on it and that got me in the game a lot. You never know how the game is going to go in the NHL. It’s really technical. Sometimes you don’t get a lot of shots, so you gotta stay focused, and I felt I did that tonight."
Subban, who was claimed off waivers Oct. 3 from the Bruins, got the nod when No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day. He spent most of his time in Providence, where he played in 127 minor league games over four seasons. His best year statistically was the 2014-15 season, when he finished with a .921 save percentage. In his only two previous NHL starts, Subban had a .727 save percentage for the Bruins.
"We know Malcolm well. He’s a good first-shot goaltender. We wanted to put some stress on him, make him uncomfortable in those second ones, and I don’t think we did a very good job with that," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We obviously needed more urgency to create more offence, but they don’t make it easy. They smelled victory. They were the fresher team obviously. These aren’t excuses, I’m just saying what I saw out there was our guys ran out of gas, some of them ’cause they got overplayed to a certain extent earlier in the game."
The Golden Knights took a 1-0 lead with 5:21 left in the second period, when Tuch poked the puck away from Sean Kuraly, skated past Kevan Miller and beat Boston goalie Tuukka Rask with a shot in the upper left corner for his first NHL goal.
Three minutes later, after Rask stopped Tuch’s attempt and fell on his back with traffic around the net, Shipachyov slid the puck past the scrum in front to make it 2-0 with 2:14 left in the period.
Rask made 25 saves for the Bruins. With its goalie pulled for an extra skater, David Pastrnak scored Boston’s goal with 30 seconds left.
Golden Knights centre Oscar Lindberg added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds remaining.
The Bruins, who completed their first of 14 sets of back-to-back games after winning 6-2 in Arizona on Friday, were 4-8-2 in the second game of back-to-backs last season.
Boston now returns home for a four-game homestand after completing a 1-2 road trip.
NOTES: Four games into their inaugural season, the dinged-up Golden Knights also placed forward Erik Haula on injured reserve on Saturday. In addition to Tuch and Shipachyov, goalie Maxime Lagace was recalled from Chicago to fill the roster spots. … The Golden Knights continued to struggle with power-play opportunities, failing on four attempts in the game. They are 1 for 21 this season on the power play. … On the flip side, Vegas has killed 13 of 14 penalties, which ranks third in the league. … Golden Knights left wing James Neal had his four-game scoring streak brought to a halt, after scoring six goals in the franchise’s first four contests. … Three Bruins will celebrate milestones in their next game, with Patrice Bergeron approaching his 900th game played, Rask set to play the 400th of his career, and Tim Schaller one short of 100 in his career. … Boston centre Ryan Spooner and defenceman Adam McQuaid both left in the third period and did not return.
Bruins: Off until Thursday, when they host Vancouver.
Golden Knights: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.