Kessel equals NHL Ironman record, Vegas leads Leafs
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Phil Kessel tied the NHL record for consecutive games played, Chandler Stephenson scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3 -1 Monday.
Logan Thompson made 23 saves for the Golden Knights. Stephenson’s goal 42 seconds into the third gave Vegas a 2-1 lead and held on for his 15th career game – and second in three games.
Nicolas Roy and Michael Amadio each scored their first of the season for the Golden Knights.
Kessel tied defenseman Keith Yandle’s Ironman record by playing his 989th straight game. The 17-year-old veteran is expected to break the mark Tuesday in San Jose.
Yandle’s streak began in 2009 and ended in March last season. Kessel’s streak began in November 2009.
« There is luck, but I still want to play, » Kessel said. « Obviously there are games you might miss throughout your career, but I’ve been lucky so far. »
Thompson was looking to redeem himself after Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Colorado.
« It was pretty obvious that I wasn’t happy with my performance so you know I just forgot about the next day and got back to work in training and just needed to be ready to go. tonight, » he said. “I felt good all night. The guys at the back and the attacking group made my job really easy.
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The Maple Leafs, playing their second game of a five-game road trip, got a goal from William Nylander. Ilya Samsonov made 30 saves.
« We just got beaten by a team that was better than us tonight in every way, » Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said.
Shortly after what appeared to be Kessel’s 400th career goal was disallowed, the Golden Knights forward picked up an assist when Vegas took advantage of a power play to open the scoring.
After Samsonov stopped back-to-back shots from Kessel and Reilly Smith, Roy was on the doorstep to shoot the puck.
» I did not even know. I had no idea. I thought I had scored, actually,” Kessel said of his disallowed goal. « But you know, that’s how it is. We scored right after.
Nylander tied the game midway through the second period when he received a pass from captain John Tavares, skated into the slot and beat Thompson with a right side snapper.
Amadio scored his goal midway through the third when he snatched Nic Hague’s pass from the left boards past Samsonov on the other side.
Toronto had a chance to close late in the third when Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb was called for a high stick with 2:43 left. But Thompson was fantastic under rapid fire, stopping the game’s final four shots, three of which were shorthanded.
“I think the whole team was rock solid tonight. We really shut down their big guns, and they have a lot of them,” Thompson said. “The credit therefore goes to the D-corps and the attacking group. They were exceptional.
Stephenson has scored one goal in three straight games. … Tavares came out with 13:02 to go when he took a slapshot from teammate Rasmus Sandin to the back of the knee. « It’s the kind of thing that just takes a little while to settle in, » Keefe said.
Maple Leafs: Play in San Jose on Thursday.
Golden Knights: Play the second leg of a straight game at San Jose on Tuesday.
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