LAS VEGAS — Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch scored 12 seconds apart in the third period for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.
Reilly Smith had a goal and two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for the Golden Knights (16-13-1), who have won seven of their past eight games and improved to 5-0-0 against Chicago.
“I think every game is huge right now,” said defenseman Deryk Engelland, who scored to give Vegas a 2-0 lead at 8:14 of the first period. “It seems like everyone in our division is winning, and we’ve got to keep pace.”
Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome and Artem Anisimov scored for the Blackhawks (9-16-5), who have lost six in a row, including 4-2 at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. Corey Crawford made 32 saves.
“We had the lead in the third and found a way to give it up again,” Toews said. “Whatever happens early on, we’re finding ways to stay in games and give ourselves a chance to win. Just [stinks] we couldn’t hang on to it.”
The Golden Knights were coming off a 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday in the teams’ first game at T-Mobile Arena since Washington won the Stanley Cup in Game 5 of the Final on June 7.
“You want to start that streak,” forward William Karlsson said. “It was a very emotional win against Washington. We didn’t want to waste that win by losing tonight, so it was huge for us.”
Vegas has won four consecutive games at home, but coach Gerard Gallant said he did not think Thursday was a well-rounded performance.
“I didn’t think it was a good third period,” he said. “We scored two goals and won the game, and I thought it was a pretty even third period. I don’t think we were happy with our game tonight. I thought Chicago played a great game.
“I just don’t think we were at the level we were supposed to be. We got a win, and that’s always great to get the two points, but I thought Chicago came in here and deserved a little better.”
After Anisimov put the Blackhawks ahead 3-2 at 7:14 of the third period, Marchessault scored 41 seconds later to tie it 3-3 at 7:55, and Tuch scored at 8:07 to put the Golden Knights ahead 4-3.
“We don’t panic,” Karlsson said. “When they scored the 3-2 goal, we just tried to keep going. That’s what we did. It’s been the story so far that we just keep going, and that’s why we’ve been successful lately.”
Smith scored on the power play at 1:28 of the first period to give Vegas a 1-0 lead.
Karlsson got his 150th NHL point, 100th for the Golden Knights, with an assist on Smith’s goal.
Toews cut the Vegas lead to 2-1 four minutes into the second period, and Strome tied it 2-2 at 16:15 after Patrick Kane‘s shot caromed off the boards and bounced to him at the edge of the left face-off circle.
The Golden Knights appeared to take a 3-2 lead at 17:45 of the second when forward Oscar Lindberg‘s shot crossed the goal line prior to the Blackhawks net being dislodged. But the goal was waved off for goaltender interference, and the call on the ice was upheld by video review after Gallant challenged it.
Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton challenged for goaltender interference by Max Pacioretty on Tuch’s goal, but it was upheld after video review showed Blackhawks defenseman Brandon Manning caused Pacioretty to contact Crawford.
“Every win is important. Every game is important,” Tuch said. “We have to come in and play 60 minutes every single night.”
They said it
“Any time you’re in a slump, whether it’s as a player or as a team, it’s hard to get out of it. It’s a mental thing. You just got to find a way to relax and stay with your process when things are going well and when you’re in control of the game.” — Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews
“We definitely have some mojo, I think. We’re just working hard. That’s the strength of our team, and when we do that, we’re successful.” — Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault
Need to know
Anisimov’s goal gave Chicago its first lead in 527:14 of regulation time, dating to Nov. 18 against the Minnesota Wild. … Smith and Marchessault each scored for the first time in nine games. … Fleury has 420 wins and is three from tying Tony Esposito for ninth in NHL history.
Blackhawks: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, SN1, NBCSCH, RDS, NHL.TV)
Golden Knights: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; FS-W, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)