Carrier scores game-winner, Golden Knights top Senators 5-3
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — In the midst of a so-so sophomore season, the Golden Knights finally scored in bunches.
William Carrier put Vegas ahead for good after Ottawa rallied from a three-goal deficit, and the Golden Knights beat the Senators 5-3 on Thursday night.
Vegas, which reached the Stanley Cup final in its inaugural season but has hovered around .500 so far in this campaign, scored more than three goals in regulation for the first time since Oct. 16, a span of nine games.
"We played a real good game," coach Gerald Gallant said. "The puck finally went in the net for us so that was a real key for us to get five goals. We're happy with that."
Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore, Nick Holden and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare also scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves.
Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Thomas Chabot scored for the Senators, who fell behind 3-0 late in the second period before coming back to tie it in the third. Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots.
Trailing 3-1 to start the third, Ottawa scored twice in just over a minute to make it 3-3. Dzingel scored at 6:57, and Chabot converted into a wide-open net as Fleury was caught sprawling.
Vegas regained the lead about a minute later as Carrier won a battle along the boards, stepped around Mark Borowiecki and beat Anderson stick side.
Bellemare got the final goal into a wide-open net after Anderson got tangled with Carrier. The Senators challenged unsuccessfully for goaltender interference, a call that infuriated coach Guy Boucher, who said he isn't sure what constitutes interference anymore.
"I don't know anymore," Boucher said. "All of us together, we just don't know anymore. I'll let them decide and that's it. I can't make it, whether it's our game or somebody else's game. I guess that's why I'm not paid for those decisions."
The goal with 8 minutes remaining was deflating for the Senators.
"It's human nature," Boucher said. "I was 100 percent sure it was going to be goaltender interference, so it's just mind-boggling so by the time you get rid of the frustration and all that it's two goals. If it's one goal, it might have been different."
Vegas dominated much of the second period and took a 3-0 lead late when Holden jumped into the play and lifted the puck over Anderson's right shoulder. It was the well-traveled defenseman's first goal for Vegas.
Ottawa finally solved Fleury 29 seconds later when the goalie poke-checked Chabot and the puck went right to Duchene. Mike Stone picked up an assist, extending his point streak to five games.
"I thought we did some really good things," Duchene said. "Obviously when you tie it 3-3 in the third, it can go either way. We had the momentum, so tough way to lose."
Duchene's goal came after Borowiecki accepted a challenge from Ryan Reaves to drop the gloves.
"There's been a couple high hits on our team the last couple weeks," Reaves said. "Everybody knows that if you're going to do that, you're going to have to answer the bell. Good on him for answering the bell, not a lot of guys will do that, but good on him."
The Knights got two power-play goals in the first period. Marchessault opened the scoring 15 minutes in, and with 20 seconds remaining, Theodore fired a puck from just inside the blue line through traffic and past Anderson.
NOTES: Senators rookie Brady Tkachuk returned after missing the previous nine games with a torn ligament in his left leg. He was held without a point for the first time since his debut. ... Ottawa LW Max McCormick was a healthy scratch. ... Vegas was without LW Erik Haula, who was injured Tuesday against Toronto.
Golden Knights: At Montreal on Saturday in the third of their four-game trip.
Senators: Visit Tampa Bay on Saturday night in the first of back-to-back games in Florida.