LAS VEGAS (AP) — Max Comtois scored in the third period, John Gibson made 21 saves and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0 on Thursday night.
It was Anaheim’s first win over Vegas this season, and the first time the Golden Knights were shut out since Sept. 6 last year against Dallas, also a 1-0 loss with Marc-Andre Fleury in goal. It marked just the fifth time Vegas was blanked at home in its history, and the first time the Golden Knights lost in their own building by a score of 1-0.
Rickard Rakell gathered the puck from behind the net and fed Comtois, who chipped it past Fleury at 12:18 of the third.
Fleury made 27 saves for Vegas.
Gibson and Fleury — the Pacific Division goaltenders in the 2019 NHL All-Star Game — were both brilliant in their own right to keep the opposition off the board.
The Ducks had not reached double digits in shots in any period against the Golden Knights in the first three meetings, but had Fleury working early by outshooting Vegas 13-4 in the first.
Fleury made a pad save on Ryan Getzlaf midway through the period, while Gibson blocked Jonathan Marchessault’s sharp backhand near the end of the first.
The Ducks had their best chance at the midway point of the second, when Isac Lundstrom and Comtois raced into the zone against Alex Pietrangelo on an odd-man rush. Drawing Pietrangelo toward him, Comtois fed Lundtsrom as he skated in front of the net, but in full splits, an outstretched Fleury sprawled backward to his left to make one of his patented acrobatic saves.
Shortly thereafter it was Vegas defenseman Nic Hague ringing a blistering slap shot from the blue line off the post. That prompted T-Mobile Arena’s audio department to trigger the home-crowd roar, thinking the puck found the net.
The stingy goaltending continued in the third period, as Getzlaf raced in on a breakaway with a little more than 13 minutes left and fired a backhand that Fleury smothered to keep the game scoreless.
Fleury’s good fortune ran out with a little less than eight minutes left, when Comtois finally found the back of the net.
Anaheim closes a three-game road trip Monday in San Jose.
Vegas plays at San Jose on Saturday.
PRE GAME: Knights Alex Pietrangelo and Keegan Kolesar are in the lineup tonight. Shea Theodore and Tomas Nosek are out. Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net, Oscar Dansk will be back-up goalie tonight, Robin Lehner is out after suffering an upper body injury at today’s morning skate. John Gibson in net for Ducks.
Knights wearing solid gold helmets for the first time in their history.
FIRST PERIOD: A scoreless first period. KNIGHTS 0, DUCKS 0. Shots on goal, Ducks 12, Knights 4.
SECOND PERIOD: KNIGHTS 0, DUCKS 0 after two periods. Shots on goal: Ducks 21, Knights 11.
THIRD PERIOD: Ducks Max Comtois (6) scores at the 12:18 mark. DUCKS 1, KNIGHTS 0 final. Shots on goal: Ducks 28, Knights 21.
Anaheim Ducks (5-6-3, fifth in the West Division) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (8-1-1, first in the West Division)
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas; Thursday, 7 p.m. PST
BOTTOM LINE: Vegas comes into a matchup with Anaheim as winners of three consecutive games.
Vegas went 39-24-8 overall and 15-6-2 in division action during the 2019-20 season. The Golden Knights scored 3.2 goals per game while allowing opponents to average 2.9 last season.
Anaheim went 29-33-9 overall and 9-10-2 in division play a season ago. Goalies for the Ducks allowed 3.0 goals on 32.0 shots per game last season.
The teams square off for the second game in a row.
INJURIES: Golden Knights: Defenseman Shea Theodore (unknown injury), Forward Tomas Nosek (COVID protocol). Goalie Robbin Lehner (upper body).
Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf: day to day (lower body).