Fleury ties for 10th in NHL wins, Vegas tops Sabres 4-1
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By W.G. RAMIREZ
LAS VEGAS (AP) Jonathan Marchessault was 13 when goalie Marc-Andre Fleury got his first NHL win on Oct. 18, 2003.
Nearly 15 years later, Marchessault helped Fleury reach a major milestone with victory No. 407.
Marchessault scored twice and Fleury tied Glenn Hall for 10th place in NHL history as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 on Tuesday night.
"I feel really honored to be among these guys (in the top 10)," said Fleury, who made 26 saves for the defending Western Conference champions. "I just try to do my part, try to do my job stopping the puck. Tonight, I thought it was a great team effort, it wasn't just me. It was our best game by far this season."
Cody Eakin and William Karlsson also had goals for the Golden Knights, who scored more than two for the first time in seven games this season.
Vladimir Sobotka scored with 37 seconds left, spoiling Fleury's bid for his 50th career shutout.
For the second consecutive game, the 15-year veteran came up with clutch stops. Sobotka skated in alone in the third period and fired a wrist shot from the left side, but Fleury's glove was too quick. Not long after that, during a penalty kill, Fleury's glove nabbed Kyle Okposo's attempt from the right side.
Vegas stymied all six Sabres power plays and improved to 17 of 21 on the penalty kill this season. Buffalo, meanwhile, is 4 for 24 on the power play.
Sabres goalie Carter Hutton stopped 25 shots.
After starting the season with a 5-2 home loss to Philadelphia, the Golden Knights stumbled during a 2-3-0 road trip, as they couldn't quite find the magic that helped them open last season 8-1-0.
Tuesday, they played their most complete game of the young season, looking like the high-energy expansion team that made it to the Stanley Cup Final in June.
The victory avenged a loss in Buffalo, where the Sabres outskated, outhustled and outplayed the Golden Knights in a 4-2 win on Oct. 8.
"We played a real good, solid hockey game. I thought we were the better team most of the night and worked hard," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "I seen a lot of things we're going to have to do the rest of the year. Really happy with the performance. Too many penalties, but (the penalty kill) did a great job."
The Sabres have scored a power-play goal in each of their three wins, going 4 for 9 in those games, but are now 0 for 15 on man-advantage opportunities in their three losses.
"Special teams were the critical part of our game," coach Phil Housley said. "We focused on that before the game. We knew that they did not have a power-play goal up to this point and they probably were working on it. We missed an assignment on the (penalty kill) and our power play let us down."
Marchessault ended the Golden Knights' power-play drought with a minute left in the first period, taking a crisp pass from Karlsson and one-timing it over Hutton's glove.
Vegas, which was 4 for 29 on the power play through seven games last season, was 0 for 16 with the man advantage heading into the game. The Golden Knights finished the night 1 for 3.
Eakin scored his third of the season in the second period, when his short-handed goal gave Vegas a 2-0 lead two minutes in.
Karlsson, who led the team with 43 goals last season, scored his first of the campaign. It took Karlsson seven games to get his first goal last season, too.
Marchessault added an empty-net goal for the final margin.
NOTES: Buffalo's Patrik Berglund played in his 700th career game. ... The Sabres entered 6-0-1 in their previous seven road games against Pacific Division opponents. ... Through their first six games, the Golden Knights held a lead for 7:47. After Marchessault's first goal, they led the Sabres for 41:01.
Sabres: At the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
Golden Knights: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
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Updated October 17, 2018