Knights edge Hurricanes, take Pacific Division lead

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Reilly Smith scored the go-ahead goal with 3:42 remaining and Jack Eichel scored two goals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Smith took a crossing pass from Michael Amadio near the left post and fired a shot under the right arm of Carolina goaltender Frederik Andersen for the game-winner and his 20th goal of the season.

Adin Hill made 24 saves for the Golden Knights, who broke a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with idle Los Angeles and also moved one point ahead of Dallas for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Jordan Staal and Martin Necas scored goals for Carolina, which took its second straight loss. The Hurricanes, who lost in regulation for just the fifth time in 29 road games (18-5-6), saw their lead in the Metropolitan Division shrink to one point over New Jersey, which was a 7-5 winner at Colorado earlier Wednesday night. Andersen finished with 17 saves.

Vegas, coming off a 3-0 loss at Colorado on Monday, heard some boos during a scoreless first period when they managed just six shots on goal, with none on a power play. That dropped the Golden Knights to 2-for-38 on the power play over the last 18 games.

Early in the second period, Eichel gave Vegas a 1-0 lead when he snapped a wrist shot from the high slot over Andersen’s glove.

Necas tied it at the 13:02 mark of the second period with an end-to-end rush, cutting inside William Karlsson and Alex Pietrangelo at the top of the left circle and then firing a wrist shot from the high slot past Hill’s glove side for his 24th goal of the season.

Eichel made it 2-1 with 1:09 to go in the period with a breakaway goal off pass from Ivan Barbashev. Eichel beat Andersen with a wrist shot on his glove side for his team-leading 22nd goal of the season. It was Barbashev’s first point with the Golden Knights after being acquired from the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

Staal tied it 2-2 with 7:16 left in the third period when he redirected a Brent Burns shot from the right point past Hill’s blocker side and inside the left post for his 16th goal of the season.

–Field Level Media

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