LAS VEGAS (AP)Tomas Nosek’s parents come to the United States once a year to watch their son play. They arrived Tuesday morning, just in time to see him end a 13-game scoring drought in the evening.
Nosek’s fifth goal of the season was his second game-winner of the campaign and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2.
Nosek, who is from the Czech Republic, fired a wicked knuckle puck that went far side over Alex Stalock’s glove and into the top corner to make it 3-1 at 6:16 of the third.
“Sometimes you have that kind of luck that you score from everywhere, sometimes I have Grade-A chances, last couple of games I have breakaways, and then I score from shot like this,” said Nosek, who hadn’t scored since Nov. 19, spanning 14 games. “Sometimes it happens like this. I don’t think it’s something different but I’m for sure happy that that goal helped the team win a game.”
He’s also happy he got to score during his parents’ annual visit from halfway around the world as Miroslav and Daniela Nosek were two of the announced 18,220 at T-Mobile Arena.
“I’m happy for them and for me for sure too,” Nosek said. “They just come once a year. They’re teachers so they have holidays right now back home, so they could come for two weeks, be here and go back.”
Chandler Stephenson and Shea Theodore also scored to help the Golden Knights get their first regulation win against Minnesota in seven tries since joining the league in 2017. It also marked the first time Vegas won three straight at home this season.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves earned career win No. 453, one shy of Curtis Joseph for sixth all-time.
The Golden Knights, who recently lost 10 of 13 and dropped to ninth in the Western Conference, hit the road riding an 8-2-1 win streak.
“We’ve had a little rough patch,” Fleury said. “It’s good to string some wins together and get that confidence back in our building and get the people cheering and give them something to cheer about.”
Mats Zuccarello and Zach Parise scored for the Wild, and Alex Stalock made 26 saves.
Stalock, who is now 8-3-2 in his last 14 starts, remains one win shy of his career high for Minnesota. The 32-year-old has made 12 of his 17 starts this season on the road.
Zuccarello got the Wild on the board first, with two Golden Knights players sitting in the penalty box. Eric Staal’s pass made its way through the crease and Zuccarello finished with a shot past Fleury with 1:14 left in the first period.
Stephenson, acquired from Washington in a trade last month, tied it midway through the second when he fired Mark Stone’s backhand pass during a 2-on-1 rush past Stalock. Stephenson has three goals and two assists with Vegas. In 24 games with the Capitals he had three goals and one assist.
Theodore gave Vegas a 2-1 lead with just 10 seconds left in the period when he gathered Stone’s blueline feed skated in and fired a wrist shot past Stalock.
“I’d like to make the save on that with 10 seconds left in the period, it’s a whole different game,” Stalock said. “You can sense it in the locker room after, you never want to give one up late like that. It’d be nice to come up with that save. I think we played a great game, we had chances and it just didn’t go tonight.”
Minnesota didn’t give in that easy, though. With Stalock pulled, and the Wild skating with an extra attacker, Parise cut the deficit to one goal when he tapped the puck in from the side of the net.
The Wild dropped to 4-3-2 in its last nine road games.
NOTES: Wild LW Ryan Donato played in his 100th career game. … Minnesota LW Jason Zucker, the only player raised in Nevada to play in the NHL, was scratched due to a lower-body injury. … Minnesota has played 22 road games of its first 35 games this season – the most road games played in the NHL.
Wild: Conclude a three-game road trip at Arizona on Thursday night.
Golden Knights: Open a two-game trip at Vancouver on Thursday night.
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