Tuch scores OT game-winner, Golden Knights top Rangers 4-3
By SCOTT CHARLES
NEW YORK (AP) The Golden Knights needed overtime to earn two points after squandering a third-period lead for the second straight game.
Alex Tuch buried a sharp-angled shot just over two minutes into OT, giving the Golden Knights a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday.
"It's great to score in front of friends and family," said Tuch, from Syracuse, New York. "I know what Madison Square Garden is, what it means to the city. It's pretty cool to not only score the overtime winner, but to score in this building."
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 shots in his 423rd career victory, which moved him into a tie with Tony Esposito for ninth on the NHL's wins list.
"Since the day we got him in the expansion draft, he is the leader of our group," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said of Fleury. "He gives us a chance to win every night."
Paul Stastny, Reilly Smith and William Carrier scored for Vegas, which extended its points streak to four straight games. The Golden Knights blew a three-goal lead in an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Chris Kreider, Brady Skjei and Mika Zibanejad scored for the Rangers, and Kevin Hayes had three assists. Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves as New York dropped its third consecutive home game, all after regulation.
"It was embarrassing," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "You can't come out and play hockey like that."
The Rangers dropped the previous two games at Madison Square Garden in stunning fashion, letting three-goal leads slip away against the Jets and Coyotes.
"This game is so much about the mind and how you recharge after wins and losses," Lundqvist said.
Kreider tied the game at 3 when his wrist shot sailed past Fleury's glove at 3:29 of the third period. It was Kreider's team-leading 15th of the season.
Carrier gave Vegas a 3-2 lead at 13:12 of the second period. The 23-year-old took the puck from Rangers forward Lias Anderrson in the neutral zone to spark a 2-on-1 opportunity. Tomas Nosek assisted on Carrier's seventh of the season.
Just over a minute earlier, Zibanejad had tied the game at 2 with a one-time blast from the point. Hayes earned the assist and has four consecutive multiple-point games.
Skjei found the net on the Rangers' first shot of the game 1:13 into the opening period. Hayes played a puck off the boards to spring Pavel Buchnevich and Skjei on an odd-man rush.
"You can't lose your focus like we did," Lundqvist said. "In the end, you got a point. It's one thing to lose when you're ready and prepared and play hard. The first two periods, that's not the way you want to play, not at home in front of the fans. You want to work harder."
Smith evened the game when Colin Miller's shot from the point caromed off the glass and back over the net. Jonathan Marchessault assisted.
Stastny tallied his first of the season at 6:09 of the second period. The center returned to the lineup after missing the previous 30 games with a knee injury that he suffered early in the season against Buffalo. Stastny signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract as free agent in July.
NOTES: Before the game, the Rangers announced that alternate captain Jesper Fast will miss the next two to four weeks with an upper-body injury. ... Defenseman Adam McQaid returned to the lineup after missing the previous 21 games with an upper-body injury. ... Boo Nieves made his season debut with the Rangers after being recalled from the AHL on Saturday. ... Golden Knights forward William Karlsson skated in his 300th NHL game.
Golden Knights: Visit the Columbus Blue Jackets Monday night.
Rangers: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.
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Updated December 16, 2018