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Golden Knights move into tie for 1st place in division

Updated April 18, 2021 - 6:20 pm

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The entertainment during the first intermission at Honda Center featured a lip-sync battle to the 1980s hit “Take on Me” between two sets of Anaheim Ducks fans on the video scoreboard.

The announced crowd of 1,717 cheered wildly when one of the participants pretended to hit the high note from the song’s chorus, which also was the peak of excitement Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Knights outclassed Anaheim for the second straight game and finished a sweep of their Southern California road trip with a routine 5-2 victory over the Ducks.

“It was a full team effort again,” center Nicolas Roy said. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence. It’s not many games now until the playoffs, so we have to keep going in the same way.”

The Knights won their sixth straight, matching their longest streak of the season, and earned their league-best 31st victory. They also moved into a tie for first place in the West Division with idle Colorado based on points.

Roy continued his recent hot streak and finished with a goal and an assist, as did Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone.

The Knights were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, including two crucial efforts in the third period, and improved to 15-7-0 on the road. Only Winnipeg (16) has more victories away from home.

“A big part of this is that we can put a fresh goalie in there every night, especially with the condensed schedule,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “And then our group takes a lot of pride in the detail in our game, particularly defensively. That usually gives you a chance to win on the road when you’re getting good goaltending.”

Marc-Andre Fleury reached 20 wins for the 13th time in his career and is three victories from tying Roberto Luongo (489 wins) for third on the all-time list.

He stopped 33 of 35 shots and also was credited with an assist on Stone’s breakaway goal late in the second period that put the Knights ahead 4-2.

“Finally, geez, been awhile,” Fleury said of his first point since Jan. 19, 2019. “It’s nice to hear my name once we get a goal there. But it was an awesome pass from (Shea Theodore), and Mark did an awesome move on the breakaway, too.”

The Knights scored on consecutive shots 11:21 apart in the first period and tallied three goals on their first seven shots against Ducks goalie John Gibson.

Pacioretty tipped in his team-leading 22nd goal at 3:25 of the first, and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo made up for a mistake on the tying goal by burying a shot from the top of the left circle for a 2-1 advantage at 14:46 of the first period.

“We never played from behind,” Stone said. “That was the key these last games. We’re getting leads, and we’re sticking to them. When we get the lead, we’re not looking back.”

Stone reached the 50-point mark and matched his career high with his fourth straight multipoint game. The franchise record is five games set by William Karlsson in 2017-18.

Roy scored his third goal in the past four games to stake the Knights to a 3-1 lead in the second, and they clamped down on the Ducks after Danton Heinen scored at 14:06 of the second.

Defenseman Alec Martinez led the way for the Knights with seven blocked shots and a team-high four hits to go with two assists.

Alex Tuch added an empty-net goal.

The Knights are 6-1 against the Ducks with the final game in the season series scheduled for Saturday at Honda Center.

“We’re trying to hunt down Colorado and stay in the mix and make sure we’re relevant in that race,” DeBoer said. “We needed to win all these games in order to do that, and the guys knew that coming out and getting the job done.”

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

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