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Golden Knights feed off good vibe, dismantle Ducks, 5-2

Updated October 27, 2019 - 9:47 pm

Mark Stone always shows emotion after scoring a goal, usually in the form of a fist pump.

But as he skated toward the Golden Knights bench in the first period Sunday to accept handshakes and high-fives from teammates, Stone’s celebration had a little extra oomph to it.

“We could tell,” center Paul Stastny said. “We fed off that, and all of a sudden when (Nicolas Roy) and (Ryan Reaves) scored, we really feed off those.”

Stone finished with a goal and an assist and helped inspire the Knights to a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at T-Mobile Arena.

Roy scored in his debut, while Stastny and William Karlsson added goals for the Knights, who bounced back from Friday’s 6-1 thrashing by Colorado.

After being pulled Friday, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 13 saves to pick up his league-leading eighth victory.

The Knights finished with more than three times as many shots on goal as Anaheim (49-15) and held a 94-36 advantage in shot attempts.

“We were off the other night, and we were ready to play tonight,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We won all those tough battles in the blue paint and won more than our share of the board battles.

“That’s more the team I remember the way we play our game. It was excellent tonight.”

Here’s what stood out in the Knights’ win:

1. Clamping down on D.

Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf scored on his team’s second shot of the game after Fleury whiffed on an attempted poke-check and Max Comtois tracked down the puck behind the net. It was the fourth straight game the Knights have fallen behind in the first period.

But the Knights’ defense, which saw Nic Hague replace Jake Bischoff in the lineup, was stellar the rest of the way, eliminating many of the Ducks’ rushes in the neutral zone before they could get started.

“That good gap, that good push back and killing plays early allowed us to transition quicker,” left wing Max Pacioretty said. “At the end of the day, we played a faster game because we don’t have to stop in our end.”

Anaheim’s 15 shots on goal is a franchise record for fewest shots allowed by the Knights. The previous low was 17 set on two occasions last season.

The lone negative was a minor lower-body injury to Deryk Engelland, who didn’t play in the third period.

”As (defensemen) we were getting back to the pucks quicker,” Shea Theodore said. “We were using our bumps and using our D-zone exits real easy, and I thought it paid off.”

2. Fourth line provides a spark.

The addition of Roy ignited the fourth line, which combined for two goals and one assist in the first period. Roy had plenty of jump early and posted four of his team-high five hits in the opening 20 minutes.

Reaves cashed in after a sweet feed from William Carrier, who fought through a hook to create the chance.

It was Reaves’ seventh career goal against the Ducks, which is the most by any Knights player against Anaheim.

“I would believe that, actually. Somebody told me that a couple of years ago,” Reaves said. “I don’t know what it is. I played a lot of ‘Duck (Hunt)’ when I was young.”

3. Power source.

The Knights had been 0-for-12 on the power play dating back to Monday at Philadelphia but connected for two power-play goals against Ducks.

Karlsson’s goal put the Knights up 4-1 in the second period and was his second in as many games. Stastny added his team-best fourth power-play goal in the third.

“It just seemed like everything bounced our way today,” Pacioretty said, “and we were able to gain some momentum from that and play a strong game.”

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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