LAS VEGAS (AP)Ivan Barbashev scored his first two goals with Vegas and Jonathan Quick got his first victory with the Golden Knights in a 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.
Shea Theodore and Reilly Smith also scored for Vegas, which got its third straight home win. Quick, acquired from Columbus on Thursday – two days after he was traded from Los Angeles to the Blue Jackets – had 25 saves.
Barbashev is very comfortable right in front of the net and that’s where the forward found himself twice with the puck on his stick. He made the most of it.
“I think you’ll see a lot more of that,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy. “That’s where he goes, that’s where he hangs out. He’s comfortable there, right out in front of the net. He was ready to use his feet, his stick, whatever is necessary.”
Mike Matheson, Alex Belzile and Rafael Harvey-Pinard scored for Monreal, which lost its third straight to finish a four-game trip. Jake Allen had 24 saves.
“I never feel like we’re out of it,” Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. “The good thing (today) was we were only down two (after the first period). It could have been way worse. I know we have the type of game that we can come back.”
The Golden Knights led 3-0 entering the third period, but Montreal’s Mike Matheson scored with at 2:04 to get the Canadiens on the board. It was Matheson’s fifth goal of the season.
Vegas restored its three-goal lead as Barbashev – acquired from St. Louis last Sunday – got his second of the game and 12th of the season at 7:44.
Belzile pulled the Canadiens back within two just 23 seconds later with his second of the season.
Montreal pulled to 4-3 another 35 seconds later as Harvey-Pinard took a pass from Jesse Ylonen from behind the net to beat Quick for his eighth.
The Golden Knights jumped out early with two first-period goals. The first came when Theodore’s shot from the top of the circle eluded traffic to beat Allen. It was Theordore’s seventh.
Vegas extended the lead to 2-0 with 19 seconds left in the opening period when Barbashev tapped in the puck from the right side of the crease.
“My linemates did a good job of helping me out and making it a lot easier out there,” he said. “To me, it’s really fun to be in front of the net and try to screen the goalie and hope for a rebound.”
Smith pushed the lead to 3-0 at 7:20 of the second as he took a pass from William Karlsson in transition on the right wing and slid the puck past Allen for his 21st.
NOTES: Teddy Bluegger got his first points with the Knights on his assist on Theodore’s goal. … Vegas killed off penalties in the first and third periods, while the Canadiens killed one in the second period.
Canadiens: Host Carolina on Tuesday night to open a three-game homestand.
Golden Knights: At Florida on Tuesday night to start a five-game trip.
This story has been corrected to show that the Golden Knights coach’s first name is Bruce, not Bill, Cassidy.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://www.twitter.com/AP-Sports