Stone scores first goal for Vegas, Golden Knights rout Canucks 6-2

VANCOUVER — Mark Stone scored his first goal for the Golden Knights on Saturday as Vegas trounced the Vancouver Canucks 6-2.

Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch, Tomas Nosek, Cody Eakin and Nate Schmidt also scored for the Knights (38-26-5).

The Canucks (28-32-9) got goals from Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, while Alex Biega tallied two assists.

Marc-Andrew Fleury had 29 saves for Vegas in his 34th win of the season and 438th of his career to move past Jacques Plante for eighth on the all-time list.

Canucks netminder Jacob Markstrom stopped 11 of the 16 shots he faced before he was replaced with Thatcher Demko midway through the first period. Demko turned away 16-of-17 shots.

The Golden Knights have now won six games in a row and outscored their opponents 24-9 throughout the streak.

Vancouver got off to a disastrous start, allowing five goals in the game’s first 15 minutes. It was the fourth outing in a row where the Canucks have been forced to battle back from an early multi-goal deficit.

Stone opened the scoring 1:32 in, popping a backhanded shot past Markstrom from the slot for his first goal in a Knights jersey.

The 26-year-old right-winger has also notched two assists since the Ottawa Senators dealt him to Vegas at the trade deadline.

Tuch added another marker for the Knights, tipping in a long shot from Jon Merrill after the Canucks failed to clear the puck.

Vancouver’s defence continued to be of little assistance to Markstrom throughout the first frame, struggling to control the puck around the crease.

At 7:33, Eakin forced a shot through heavy traffic, bouncing the puck off Vancouver’s Tanner Pearson and into the net to put Vegas up 3-0.

Nosek added to the Canucks’ misery midway through the first, tipping the puck in over Markstrom’s glove.

The Vancouver goalie was pulled at 14:17 after Stastny beat him five-hole.

The Canucks first real scoring chance of the night came just over 10 minutes in when Antoine Roussel stole the puck and went 2-on-1 with Elias Pettersson. Roussel sliced a cross-ice pass to the star rookie, who’s blistering shot went off the post.

Less than a minute later, Boeser put Vancouver on the board, deflecting a long shot from Biega in past Fleury.

Horvat added a goal 3:56 into the second period with a hard wrist shot from the face-off dot that beat Fleury glove side. It was the centre’s first point in six games.

Schmidt quieted hopes of any second-period comeback a minute later, ripping a shot from high in the slot. The puck bounced off the stick of Vancouver’s Josh Leivo and into the net, putting Vegas back up by four goals.

Vegas will look to extend its win streak when it faces the Flames in Calgary on Sunday.

The Canucks will host the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

NOTES: Roussel assisted on Horvat’s goal, tallying his 30th point of the season and marking a new career-high. The 29-year-old left-winger previously had 29 points for the Dallas Stars in both 2013-2014 and 2015-2016. … Jake Virtanen returned to the Canucks lineup on Saturday. He missed 10 games after breaking two ribs in a collision with Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 13. … Vancouver has a single regulation win in its last 17 games.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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