Carolina tops Vegas in shootout, spoils DeBoer’s home debut

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Andrei Svechnikov and Justin Williams scored in the shootout, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-5 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.

The loss spoiled the home debut of Vegas coach Peter DeBoer, who was hired Jan. 15 and coached his first seven games with the Golden Knights on the road.

Carolina erased a two-goal deficit twice in the third period, scoring four goals in the final frame.

Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen, Sebastian Aho, Erik Haula and Haydn Fleury scored in regulation for the Hurricanes. James Reimer made 31 saves.

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Cody Eakin, Max Pacioretty, Jon Merrill, Shea Theodore and Chandler Stephenson scored for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury, who dropped to 18-10-5 lifetime against Carolina, made 29 saves.

Both Fleury and Reimer came up with big saves with less than a minute remaining in overtime. Fleury stopped Aho on a breakaway, while Reimer stopped Theodore’s one-timer.

Vegas opened the scoring after Nick Holden was able to gather the puck before it left the zone, then fed Shea Theodore, who fired a shot from the blue line that Pacioretty deflected past Reimer.

The Golden Knights increased their lead less than one minute later when William Carrier held off Haydn Fleury as the came from behind the net and fed Merrill, who pinched in from the blue line and used a nifty backhand to beat Reimer.

Teravainen, playing in his 300th career game with Carolina, cut the lead in half with less 30 seconds left in the first period, as his shot from the point got through traffic and beat Fleury, making it 2-1 at the end of one.

Theodore continued his torrid point streak just 59 seconds into the second period, as he and Reilly Smith streaked into the zone with a beautifully executed give-and-go. Theodore’s one-timer deflected off the bottom of Reimer’s glove and into the net to push Vegas’ lead back to two goals. Theodore has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his last nine games — the last eight under DeBoer.

Aho scored a goal for the fifth consecutive game when he punched in a loose rebound from his initial shot, sneaking the puck between Marc-Andre Fleury and the post.

At a pivotal moment with Golden Knights rookie Zach Whitecloud serving a double-minor for a high stick, Stephenson broke free on a breakaway and notched his second short-handed goal of the season to push Vegas back in front by two goals. The lead didn’t last long as Haula got behind the defense and beat Marc-Andre Fleury with backhand through the pads.

Haydn Fleury turned it into a new game when his shot from the point found its way into the net, thanks to a screen by Warren Foegele. The goal tied it at 4-4 midway through the third period.

Necas scored a go-ahead, power-play goal to give Carolina its first lead of the game, then Eakin tied it at 5-all with his first goal since Nov. 23.

NOTES: Vegas C William Karlsson, who has not played since Jan. 14, skated with the team for the first time in a month. He has been listed as week to week with an upper-body injury. DeBoer said “he’s getting close (and has) got another X-ray tomorrow.” Pending the result, Karlsson could join the Golden Knights for Tuesday’s game in Minnesota. Prior to his injury, Karlsson played in 234 straight games and was the only player to appear in every game in franchise history. … Former Golden Knight Erik Haula played his first game at T-Mobile Arena as a visitor.

UP NEXT:

Carolina: Visits Dallas on Tuesday.

Vegas: Visits Minnesota on Tuesday.

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