LAS VEGAS (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury got his 60th career shutout, Reilly Smith scored late in the second period, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the New York Islanders 1-0 on Saturday night.
Fleury finished with 19 saves for his fourth shutout this season to help Vegas keep pace with Edmonton for second in the Pacific Division with 68 points. However, the Oilers, who beat Florida 4-1 on Saturday, have two games in hand and face the Golden Knights three more times this season.
Vegas is now 6-3-2 since coach Pete DeBoer replaced the fired Gerard Gallant on Jan. 15.
Fleury improved to 26-11-6 with five shutouts in his career against the Islanders. The wins are the third-most against any opponents for Fleury, while the shutouts are tied for second-most.
Semyon Varlamov finished with 42 saves for the Islanders, who were shut out for the second straight game after being blanked in Nashville 5-0 on Thursday. New York is clinging to third place in the Metropolitan Division, just one point in front of Columbus and Philadelphia.
Until Smith’s goal with 34 seconds left in the second, the most exciting moment took place just 3 seconds into the game when fourth-line bruisers Ross Johnston and Ryan Reaves dropped gloves at the opening puck drop and sent the announced crowd of 18,444 into a frenzy before the first shot on goal.
Johnston and Reaves traded several haymakers to delight of a sold-out crowd that included British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury.
A scoreless and physical first period included two fights and a combined 25 hits.
The second period didn’t match the physicality, but did include a highlight save when Vegas’ Paul Stastny fired a backhand at what appeared to be a wide-open net, but his shot was stymied by Varlamov, who got his blade over in time to keep the game scoreless until Smith’s 22nd goal of the season gave Vegas momentum for the third period.
NOTES: Vegas rookie Cody Glass returned to the lineup after RW Alex Tuch was listed week-to-week with a lower-body injury. … Golden Knights C William Karlsson is one game shy of playing in the 400th of his career. … Vegas C Chandler Stephenson is one game away from the 200th of his career. … Fury, who will face Deontay Wilder in a rematch at the MGM Grand Garden next Saturday, cranked the pregame siren. … A random fan chosen from the crowd won $30,000 when he scored five goals from center ice. It was the first time since the Golden Knights joined the NHL a fan took home the top prize.
Islanders: At Arizona on Monday.
Golden Knights: Host Washington on Monday. ___
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