Carrier’s late goal lifts Golden Knights past Panthers 4-2

Sports

LAS VEGAS (AP) — William Carrier snapped a tie with 2:36 left, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Thursday night.

The Panthers challenged Carrier’s goal for goaltender interference. Officials ruled he was pushed into Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky by the Panthers’ Brandon Montour, allowing the goal to stand.

Keegan Kolesar’s pass found Carrier in the crease, causing the scrum. It was Kolesar’s second assist of the game.

William Karlsson added an empty-net goal for the final margin.

The victory put the Knights — who have won four of five games — alone in first in the Pacific Division with 58 points, two ahead of Los Angeles and four in front of Seattle.

The Panthers scored just 2:02 into the game on an unusual sequence. Florida’s Aaron Ekblad had a breakaway in which he deked Knights goalie Adin Hill, but he hit the right post. Nick Cousins then scored off the rebound even though the goal came off its moorings.

Officials in consultation with the NHL office ruled Vegas’ Ben Hutton rammed Ekblad into the netting.

Knights forward Mark Stone went into the locker room late in the first period and didn’t return. He entered the game second on the team in goals with 17 and points with 38.

The teams traded goals in the second period — Nicolas Roy for the Knights, and Sam Reinhart for the Panthers. Reinhart scored a power-play goal against a Vegas team had allowed just one goal on the penalty kill in the previous 20 attempts.

Florida nearly extended its lead when Anton Lundell scored from a sharp angle with 4:37 left in the period, but Knights coach Bruce Cassidy challenged the play for offsides. The challenge was upheld and the score remained 2-1.

The Panthers had another chance to go up two goals early in the third, but failed to score on a 5-on-3 power play. They had only one shot on goal during the 1:43 of the two-man advantage.

Vegas made the Panthers pay when Kaedan Korczak found Jack Eichel with an outlet pass for a breakaway opportunity. Eichel did the rest, tying the game 8:37 into the third.

WORTH NOTING

Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk extended his point streak to five games. He has five goals and four assists over that span. He has nine goals and nine assists in 13 games against Vegas.

UP NEXT

Panthers: At home against Vancouver on Saturday.

Golden Knights: At home against Edmonton on Saturday.

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