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16. 04. 2019. 04:53  
LAS VEGAS (AP) At the start of the NHL season Alex Tuch Jersey Kids , most figured the Vegas Golden Knights would be struggling heading into the final month and would be sellers at the trade deadline.Instead, they’re perched atop the league standings with 86 points, ahead of Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay, which has 85.William Karlsson scored two goals and Reilly Smith had three assists to lead the Golden Knights to a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.Tomas Hyka, Jonathan Marchessault, Tomas Nosek and David Perron also scored for the Golden Knights.Vegas’ Marc-Andre Fleury, who is four wins shy of becoming the 13th goalie in NHL history to register 400 career wins, stopped 30 shots.Vegas, which has won five of its past six games, improved to 16-2-1 against Pacific Division teams.”I hate having seven-game homestands to be honest with you because you’re going to have some ups and downs,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”It’s tough to keep your guys focused all the time. But overall, to go 5-2 on this homestand, I thought we played for the most part good hockey. We scored a lot of goals. I thought our defensive game gotta get a little bit better. But we’re playing well, overall it’s been very good, I’ve been very happy with it.”Vancouver, which dropped to 3-7-1 in February, is 5-11-1 against intradivision foes.The Canucks got goals from Sven Baertschi, Thomas Vanek and Daniel Sedin.Anders Nilsson , who played in his 100th career game, had 19 saves for the Canucks before being replaced by Jacob Markstrom at the start of the third period. Markstrom made 8 stops for Vancouver.”It’s definitely frustrating, I’m not happy with the loss,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. ”The players gotta realize that against a quick team they’re not gonna have as much time and space if you turn the puck over a couple of times inside their blue line.”Vegas opened the scoring when Hyka, playing in just his third NHL game, scored his first career goal 2:29 into the game.”I’m kind of still getting used to (the NHL), everything is faster compared to the IHL, but I play with two really good guys and they make a lot of things there for me and I’m just really happy I can play with them,” said the 24-year-old Hyka, about his linemates Cody Eakin and Ryan Carpenter.The Canucks then displayed a little bit of offensive prowess of their own, tying the game when Sam Gagner’s pass slipped under Vegas defenseman Luca Sbisa and Baertschi punched it home, then taking a 2-1 lead when Vanek tapped in a loose puck.Vegas reclaimed the lead on a pair of Karlsson goals, late in the first period and 5:36 into the second. Karlsson’s two goals give him 33 for the season, third-best in the NHL behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (36) and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (34).The Golden Knights extended their lead to 5-2 on Marchessault’s 22nd goal of the season, and Tomas Nosek’s seventh of the campaign.Sedin, who notched his 16th goal of the season when he beat Fleury top shelf with a power play goal 4:28 into the third period, said the Canucks haven’t seen a team faster than the Golden Knights all season.”If you’re a second too late, they’re gonna pass right by you and come the other way Cody Eakin Jersey ,” said Sedin, who has seven points in his last seven games. ”These guys can score, they got offensive skill up front and we knew it was going to be a back and forth game. We played good in the first and good in the third, but in the second it got away from of us.”Perron was credited with an empty net goal when the Canucks inadvertently sent the puck the length of the ice for the final margin. Along with his assist on Nosek’s goal, Perron tied his career-high of 57 points.DEALING:Just prior to the game, the Golden Knights were in fact involved in a three-team deal with Ottawa and Pittsburgh in which Vegas gave up American Hockey League prospect Tobias Lindberg. In turn, the Golden Knights will receive Penguins forward Ryan Reaves and a fourth-round pick from the Canucks. The deal also sent Senators center Derick Brassard to the Penguins, who sent defenseman Ian Cole, goalie prospect Filip Gustavsson and draft picks to the Senators.While the trade deadline is Monday at Noon eastern, several of the Golden Knights said the team is too focused on their playoff push to worry about major moves affecting the roster.”We definitely have good players all around our lineup … we like our team, we like the chemistry here,” Marchessault said before the game. ”Stuff can happen and you don’t necessarily expect it. A lot of things can happen and it’s out of your control, it’s part of the game. At the end of the day you gotta trust your organization.”NOTESVegas has now scored a power-play goal in 14 of its last 16 games. … The Golden Knights are 25-3-0 record when scoring the first goal of the game while their .893 win percentage when recording the opening mark leads the NHL. … Baertschi now has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) over the past seven games.UP NEXTVancouver: At Arizona on SundayVegas: At Los Angeles on Monday When the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Michael Hutchinson, it was for goaltending depth only. But the newly-acquired goaltender for the Maple Leafs made his third consecutive start in net on Monday night against the Nashville Predators. He lost 5-0, as his Maple Leaf teammates were overwhelmed by the Predators.In Hutchinson鈥檚 first start, he held his team in a game they eventually lost. In his second start, he whitewashed the Vancouver Canucks 5-0. In his third start Youth Colin Miller Jersey , the sky fell in. That outing aside, his play in net has been strong enough that many have asked if he could be a threat to unseat Garret Sparks as the backup to starter Frederik Andersen.advertising via Sharp MagazineBefore Andersen鈥檚 injury, Sparks had done a good enough job in net as a backup. His record was 6-2-1, and that is certainly strong enough for a backup goalie. But Hutchinson has somehow generated excitement with the Maple Leaf fans in ways Sparks hasn鈥檛. Perhaps it鈥檚 because Hutchinson鈥檚 a home-town 鈥済uy,鈥?growing up in Barrie, ON., only about an hour鈥檚 drive away. Sparks? From far away Elmhurst, IL. Such things matter to Maple Leaf fans.It鈥檚 probably fair to say that Hutchinson鈥檚 play in the Maple Leafs鈥?net has been a bit surprising. His body of work聽this year with the Florida Panthers really wasn鈥檛 strong. In four games, he recorded a 4.17 GAA and .839 save percentage. Sparks鈥?6-2-1 record, 3.00 GAA, and .905 save percentage over his 10 2018-19 starts is actually good given the wheeling-and-dealing nature of the Maple Leafs鈥?offense and the team's less-than-stellar defense.advertising via Arctic Ice HockeyComparing Sparks to Hutchinson in other areas doesn鈥檛 suggest much difference between the goalies. Prior to this season, Sparks beat out Curtis McElhinney聽to be聽Andersen's backup. However, McElhinney is 35-years-old and Sparks, by comparison, is only 25. Hutchinson, at 28-years-old, isn鈥檛 that much聽older.Salary-wise, Hutchinson鈥檚 base is $1.3 million this season Calvin De Haan Jersey Womens , and he will become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Sparks鈥?salary is only $700,000, and he will become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the campaign.advertisingExperience-wise, Hutchinson聽has the聽edge. He has played 108 games (starting 92). Sparks has played only 27 games (starting 26). Hutchinson also was 鈥淭he Man鈥?during the 2014-15 with the Winnipeg Jets, and was successful in that role.聽His record that season was 21-10-5 in 36 starts, with a .914 save percentage and 2.38 GAA.Where Hutchinson stands with the Maple Leafs is still in question; however, his play in net so far, at least, sets him up for more work in the future somewhere, if not in Toronto.Where does that leave the Maple Leafs鈥?backup situation? The answer is probably right where it was before Hutchinson was parachuted into the nets for the three games he has played. Hutchinson gets the start against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, and perhaps his play聽in that game will provide more insight about where he stands in competition with Sparks for the backup role.advertisingBut, we're thinking nothing will change. Andersen will remain the starter, and Sparks will remain the backup to Andersen when he returns from his concussion protocol.


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