April 10, 2020

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Fleury makes 19 saves, Golden Knights beat Predators 3-0

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, pokes the puck away from Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, pokes the puck away from Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE - Chandler Stephenson, Nicolas Roy and Reilly Smith scored, Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Nashville Predators 3-0 on Saturday night.

The Golden Knights have won two straight, including at Carolina on Friday night. Vegas held Nashville to its lowest shots on goal total of the season at 19 and ended the Predators' two-game winning streak.

“I thought we were good, that was a really solid 60,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “We talked last night about building on the good things we did in last night’s game. I thought we did that tonight for 60 minutes. It started with our defensive play.”

Fleury finished his third shutout of the season and 59th in his career, breaking a tie with Nashville's Pekka Rinne and tying Evgeni Nabokov for 18th all-time. Rinne stopped 36 of 38 shots.

Prior to Saturday, Fleury last played Jan. 21.

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) moves the puck away from Nashville Predators center Nick Bonino (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) moves the puck away from Nashville Predators center Nick Bonino (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

“The first period was a little slow, especially coming off of the break,” Fleury said. “Sometimes it’s good to see a few shots to get into it to get the rhythm back. That’s how it was. I can’t complain. The guys were playing so good in front of me.”

Stephenson scored at 5:14 of the second period. In front of the Vegas bench, Mark Stone sent a pass to Stephenson to start a breakaway, and Stephenson beat Rinne high to the stick side.

Rinne kept Nashville close even as Vegas outshot the Predators 14-2 in the first period. Nashville went 16:32 between shots on goal. Shots were 15-6 in the Golden Knights' favour in the second period.

“Right now, the biggest thing is every game for us is playoffs,” Rinne said. “We’re battling for our lives and we’ve got to realize that it’s not going to be easy. But these games are massive.”

Nashville’s best scoring opportunity came with 6:48 remaining in the second when Rocco Grimaldi’s backhand wraparound attempt slid across the crease.

“There was not a lot of time and space and we didn’t fight for our time and space,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “When we did get out of our own zone and we went through the neutral zone and then we got in the offensive zone, our puck pressure wasn’t what it needed it to be as a five-man unit.”

Roy scored at 11:16 of the third on a rebound of a wrist shot from Ryan Reaves from the top of the right circle. Roy’s skates were on the goal line as he lifted the shot just underneath the crossbar. The goal was Roy’s third of the season.

“The angle was pretty tiny there, but it was a good shot from (Reaves),” Roy said. “I was lucky to get a goal there.”

Smith added an empty-net goal at 18:58 of the third.

NOTES: Nashville C Calle Jarnkrok missed his second straight game due to an illness. ... Saturday was the first time Nashville lost a home game in regulation to the Golden Knights. ... Fleury is 10-7-1 in his career against Nashville. ... Stone has points in three consecutive games.

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: Visit Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

Predators: Visit Winnipeg on Tuesday night.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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