Heading into the game, Golden Knights defensemen had no goals through three games despite taking 37.7% (34 of 90) of the team’s shots on goal.
That scoring drought ended when Theodore fired the team’s first shot on goal past Kuemper with a blistering slap shot from the top of the right circle. Three minutes later it was Pietrangelo, the club’s prize acquisition during the offseason, giving Vegas a 2-0 lead with the team’s third shot on goal.
Pietrangelo and Theodore finished fourth and sixth in last year’s voting for the Norris Trophy, honoring the league’s top defenseman.
Fleury did his part to keep momentum on Vegas’ side with several highlight-reel saves, including stops on Jakob Chychrun and Johan Larsson in the first period, and second-period gems against Phil Kessel and Drake Caggiula to keep Arizona off the board.
Stone made it 3-0 after Nic Hague created a turnover as the Coyotes were exiting the zone. Max Pacioretty gathered the loose puck after Hague poked it loose from Lawson Crouse and tapped it to Stone, who slipped the puck between Kuemper’s skate and the post.
Arizona answered shortly afterward when Schmaltz’s one-timer rang off the post past Fleury.
Theodore got his second goal of the night during a 4-on-4 early in the third period on an odd-man rush after a turnover by Arizona’s Jason Demers in the Coyotes zone. One minute later, Tuch gave Vegas its first power-play goal of the season when he blew past two defenders on the right wing and went five-hole on Kuemper, extending Vegas’ lead to four.
Kessel’s redirect on Chychrun’s drive from the point brought Arizona within three with a little more than 12 minutes left.