Vegas Golden Knights scores three points for third-place Vancouver Canucks to lead series 3-1

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EDMONTON – Max Pacioretty scored twice and added an assist, and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for three goals in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 in the NHL playoffs on Sunday.The Golden Knights lead the best of seven series 3-1. With a win in Game 5 on Tuesday, they can eliminate the last Canadian team of the 2020 postseason.

William Karlsson, Nate Schmidt, and Chandler Stephenson also scored for Vegas. Goalie Marc-André Fleury made 27 saves for his third playoff win.

Shea Theodore added two assists, giving him four goals and 10 playoff assists.

Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, and Tyler Toffoli answered for Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom, on his 14th start, made 28 saves for loss.

It was a game that saw two changes of head after there was no change of head in the first three games of the series.

The Golden Knights led 2-1 after the first period, but trailed 3-2 after the second.

They squeezed the Canucks early in the third and equalized when Schmidt threw a slap from the blue line past Markstrom at 2:52.

Pacioretty then scored the winner at 7:02 on a back and forth with Schmidt, with the return pass from his skate blade to the gate and behind Markstrom.

Pacioretty then set up the insurance scorer 87 seconds later, feeding Karlsson from behind the net for a 5-3 lead.

The veteran winger has scored four goals in the series and five in the last five games.

It was Fleury’s third post-season departure, replacing Robin Lehner. The change was expected as Lehner played 24 hours earlier, and head coach Peter DeBoer had said the plan was to play both goaltenders in the playoffs.

Lehner, acquired by the trade deadline, got the heavy lifting in the postseason and is 7-2.

Fleury had been the starter until Lehner’s arrival and Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh didn’t like it well. When the Vancouver series began, Walsh tweeted a meme of his client, in full uniform on the ice, taking a broadsword behind his back. The name DeBoer was written on the blade.

For Vancouver, Toffoli has scored two goals and four points in the last three games since returning to the Canucks roster after missing a long stretch with a suspected foot injury.

Pettersson has scored six goals and 17 points in the postseason. JT Miller recorded three assists, giving him five goals and nine assists in the return-to-play tournament.

Horvat has nine goals.

All Western Conference games are played at Rogers Place. Players isolate themselves between games to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Canuck Defender Tyler Myers returned to the roster after missing seven games. The lanky 6-foot-8 Texas hadn’t played since being hit by the Saint-Louis forward Brayden Schenn and awkwardly fell into the boards of Game 2 of the Blues series.

Vegas Defender Jon Merrill recorded an assist in his first playoff action, replacing Nick Holden in programming.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 30, 2020.



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