Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — Expansion teams are not normally known for having good depth, but the Vegas Golden Knights might be the exception to that rule.
How else to explain Vegas’ 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Sunday?
Alex Tuch and Vadim Shipachyov each scored his first career NHL goal, and Malcolm Subban stopped 21 shots while picking up his first career victory to lead the Golden Knights to their fourth win in five games before a sellout crowd of 17,562.
Tuch and Shipachyov were both recalled from the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League over the weekend because of injuries to center Jonathan Marchessault and left winger Erik Haula. Subban was making his first start for the Golden Knights in place of injured starter Marc-Andre Fleury.
“They were great call-ups today, obviously,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “They played a good game and they capitalized on their chances. When you lose players like Marchessault, Haula and Fleury in the last game and you bring these guys in, they’re a big part of our group. They played really well for us.”
Subban, claimed off waivers from the Bruins on Oct. 3, was making just the third start of his NHL career after compiling a 0-2 record and 5.82 goals-against average with the Bruins. On Sunday, he outdueled Bruins starter Tuukka Rask, who finished with 23 saves.
“I’ve got a lot of love for that organization and the guys there and all the staff there,” Subban said. “Obviously, you are just going into the game trying to get your first win, and I was happy I could do that.”
Subban, the younger brother of Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban, and Rask weren’t busy during a tight-checking first period that saw the teams combine for more hits (16) than shots on goal (nine) with the Golden Knights not registering the first of their four shots until after 14:45 had been played.
Tuch broke the scoreless tie with 5:22 to go in the second period. The former first-round pick of the Minnesota Wild stole the puck from behind from Sean Kuraly near center ice, spun and ricocheted it off the boards. Tuch then picked it back up near the right circle, where he wristed a shot over Rask’s left shoulder and just under the crossbar.
“I don’t think that’s part of the rules, but that would be nice, real nice,” Tuch said with a smile when asked if maybe he should also receive an assist for passing the puck off the boards to himself. “It was not on purpose, to be completely honest, and I got a pretty lucky bounce through the defender’s legs. A lucky bounce, but I’m glad it happened.”
The Golden Knights made it 2-0 three minutes later when Tuch picked up a rebound of his own shot to the left of the goal, spun around and passed it to an open Shipachyov, who drilled it in from the right side of crease.
“That was actually an unbelievable save to start,” Tuch said. “I thought I had my second goal there for a second. Rask had an unbelievable save. I spun around and I thought one of my linemates would be in front, and Shippy was right there to bury it.”
Subban lost his shutout with just 30 seconds left in the game. David Pastrnak’s pass from behind the goal caromed in off the skate off Vegas center William Karlsson and into the net.
Oscar Lindberg ended the scoring with an empty-net goal with 13.5 seconds remaining.
The Bruins (2-3-0) finished their West Coast road trip with a 1-2-0 record, with the only victory coming over winless Arizona just 22 hours earlier in Glendale, Ariz.
“No excuses,” Rask said if the Bruins might have been fatigued after the quick turnaround. “Not tired.”
Rask also refused to delve into his team’s inconsistent start to the season.
“I just try to go out there and give us a chance to win every night,” Rask said. “That’s what I’m focused on. I’m not going to comment on team play that much. We can just talk about goaltending.”
NOTES: The Golden Knights placed G Marc-Andre Fleury (concussion) and Jonathan Marchessault (lower-body injury) on injured reserve and recalled G Maxime Lagace and RW Alex Tuch from the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said he was hopeful that Fleury, who has been sidelined multiple times with concussions during his career, could be back as soon as Oct. 21. … Boston was without Patrice Bergeron (lower-body injury) for the fifth straight game, but coach Bruce Cassidy told the team’s website said “there is good progression” being made by the center. … D Paul Postma and C Austin Czarnik joined Bergeron as scratches for the Bruins. D Brayden McNabb, D Jason Garrison and D Griffin Reinhart were scratched by the Golden Knights. … Bruins D Adam McQuaid left the game in the third period after taking a puck inside the leg. He will be reassessed in a few days.