Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Expansion Golden Knights pass Lightning for top spot in NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Golden Knights are giving Vegas a great odds-beating story in their first year.

The expansion team has the whole league playing catchup.

James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault scored to help Vegas beat the Hurricanes 5-1 on Sunday and pass the Lightning for the best record in the NHL.

The expansion Golden Knights are 31-11-4, good for 66 points. That’s one ahead of Tampa Bay (31-12-3), which had the night off.

Just don’t expect the veteran-heavy Golden Knights to get caught up in their unexpected standing.

"It’s an interesting story, and it’s still being written," said forward Colin Miller, who had a goal and two assists in the win.

The Golden Knights finished 2-1-1 on this road trip, including a 4-1 win Thursday at the Lightning.

"We are winning in different ways. That’s a big thing for our confidence," said goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who had 27 saves.

This trip to Raleigh went much better for Vegas coach Gerard Gallant than his last. In his previous visit, in November 2016, he was fired at the arena by the Panthers as their coach. While the team bus took away his players, Gallant was left to wait for a taxi.

"I’m happy to be where I’m at, with the team I’m with," Gallant said.

It’s tough to be upset from atop the NHL world. Not that Gallant is getting caught up in that just yet.

"Every guy in our room knows there’s a long part of the season left," he said. "We can’t worry about looking at the standings."

Game highlights: Travis Konecny scored 27 seconds into overtime and the surging Flyers beat the host Capitals 2-1. The Flyers have won three in a row and seven of eight to move into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference. I don’t know, we’re just keeping things simple and we’re just trusting our abilities," Konecny said. Washington has dropped three in a row. Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-best 29th goal.

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