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Golden Knights wrap up road trip against Flyers
The Vegas Golden Knights have reached the point in their stellar expansion season where it seems like every win sets some kind of record for first-year clubs.
On Saturday, the Knights (44-19-5) edged the stubborn Sabres 2-1 in Buffalo to post their 20th road win, topping the previous NHL expansion record of 19 set by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 1993-94.
Deryk Engelland scored the tying goal late in the third period when he banked the puck in off Buffalo defenseman Marco Scandella's body. Erik Haula scored the deciding goal in the shootout.
"It's two points, and that's what we're fighting for at this time of the season," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "It definitely wasn't a pretty game for us. There wasn't much emotion in the game. It was just two teams feeling each other out."
Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the Golden Knights, who lead the San Jose Sharks by 12 points for first place in the Pacific Division. Vegas is 20-12-3 away from home this season and 3-1 on their current five-game road that concludes in Philadelphia.
"It was huge for us," Engelland told NHL.com after the win in Buffalo. "It's been right from day one we've tried to play that way (hard on the road). It wasn't pretty tonight, but we got the win somehow.
"Our goalie stood on his head for most of the night and you've got to grind some out that way. But we've got to keep the same thing and not look too far ahead of us."
Fleury, who allowed one goal in five shots during the shootout, picked up his 399th career win and is likely to go for No. 400 on Monday night in Philadelphia.
The Flyers (35-23-11) snapped a five-game losing streak Saturday with a 2-1 win over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.
Claude Giroux and Andrew MacDonald scored, and Petr Mrazek made 27 saves. Philadelphia sits in third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind the Washington Capitals and one point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.
"We had a tough stretch and we couldn't find ways to win and it was a good test for us," Giroux told NHL.com. "Winnipeg's a pretty good team and I think we played a responsible game tonight."
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Flyers. After hosting the Knights, they have division games at home against Columbus, at Carolina, and then back home against Washington.
Two days after losing to the Boston Bruins on a late goal, the Flyers allowed a goal to the Jets midway through the third period but held on for the win.
"It doesn't mean there aren't things out of this game that we have to clean up because there are," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told the Courier Post. "So we will do that. We will address that. We needed the two points. Just looking at the standings we needed it. It was a good win for us to get headed in the right direction, not just having good efforts."
Fleury, the former Penguin, has appeared in 53 games versus the Flyers, fashioning a 27-18-2 record with a 2.89 goals-against average, a .899 save percentage and two shutouts.
The Flyers took the first meeting between the teams with a 4-1 victory on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas. Sean Couturier had a goal and two assists and Michal Neuvirth made 38 saves. Fleury allowed three goals on 17 shots.
Updated March 11, 2018