NEWARK, N.J. — The new guys finally delivered.
Tomas Tatar and Ryan Reaves registered their first points as members of the Golden Knights in Sunday’s 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Tatar scored the game-winner late in the second period and Reaves assisted on Deryk Engelland’s second-period goal, which had given the Knights a 2-1 lead.
“It feels good to contribute and get the monkey off the back,” said Tatar, who played his third game for the Knights after being acquired last Monday in a trade with Detroit. He banged home a rebound of David Perron’s shot with 2:17 to play in the second past Cory Schneider for his 17th of the year.
“I’m trying to learn as much as fast as I can and it was a good win for us,” Tatar said.
Reaves, who was acquired from Pittsburgh on Feb. 23, played his best game in four appearances for the Knights. He skated well, forechecked hard, played smart and worked well with Tomas Nosek and Ryan Carpenter on the fourth line.
“It’s nice not to just be in the penalty box,” Reaves said. “I’m playing a lot more here than I was with Pittsburgh, and when you play more, it helps your confidence.
“I thought we got out of our end pretty well and our support was really good. We got it deep every shift and we created some chances for ourselves.”
Hall’s streak continues
Taylor Hall extended his league-high points streak to 18 with an assist on Sami Vatanen’s second-period power-play goal. Hall, who also scored late in the second, has 30 goals and has registered at least one point in 25 straight games, but the NHL only recognizes 18 of those games, as Hall missed three in late January with a right thumb injury.
No train for Merrill
Jon Merrill didn’t have to wait for a train to get him to Prudential Center on Sunday, because the Golden Knights defenseman was on the team bus.
Merrill, who was a second-round pick of New Jersey in 2010 and played for the Devils from 2013-17, used to commute to games and practices, taking the train to Newark Penn Station and then walking four blocks to the arena.
“It was easy,” said Merrill, who lived in Jersey City and took the PATH commuter train a few miles to Newark. “It was right by my house and I didn’t have to drive, which was nice. Never had any problems.”
Duke debuts with Wolves
Forward Reid Duke made his long-awaited pro debut Saturday with the Chicago Wolves.
Duke, who was the first player signed by the Knights back on March 6, 2017, had been injured during rookie camp in mid-September and had shoulder surgery, keeping him out of action for more than five months. He had a two-minute penalty for charging in the second period and did not take a shot in the Wolves’ 4-1 win over the Texas Stars.