LAS VEGAS — Reilly Smith scored two goals in the third period, and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for a 4-2 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at T-Mobile Arena on Monday.
Max Pacioretty scored for the third consecutive game, Chandler Stephenson had a goal and an assist, and Robin Lehner made 30 saves for the Golden Knights (3-0-0), who rallied in the third period for the second consecutive game.
“We’re professionals. We’re supposed to play for 60 minutes,” Smith said. “It’s tough playing from behind and try to catch teams late and steal games.”
Tyler Pitlick and Nick Schmaltz scored, and Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves for the Coyotes (1-1-1).
“We’ve got to get to the net and compete for 60 (minutes),” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “You can’t just play a couple of games. They’ve got to be competitive in certain times when teams like this are making a press.”
Pitlick scored a shorthanded goal at 8:24 of the first period to give Arizona a 1-0 lead.
Schmaltz made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 9:35 of the second period, scoring five-hole on Lehner after his shot went through the legs of Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez.
It was the first power-play goal allowed this season by the Golden Knights, who were 4-for-5 on the penalty kill Monday and 7-for-8 through three games.
“The goal coming into this camp was to pick up where we left off in the bubble (on the penalty kill),” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “At the end of the bubble, our penalty kill was a real weapon for us. We’ve got some chemistry in some of the people we’re putting out there.”
Pacioretty cut it 2-1 at 17:02 of the second period when he got his own rebound off the end boards and banked a shot from a sharp angle in off Kuemper’s arm.
Vegas was outshot 27-15 through the first two periods but held a 13-5 advantage in the third.
Smith tied it 2-2 at 4:11 with a backhand in front after receiving a no-look, between-the-legs pass from William Karlsson.
“Hopefully [we] get off to a better start (going forward). This year is going to be unique,” Smith said. “There’s going to be strategy changes during games. We’ll pick up pointers and make sure to adapt before next game.”
Stephenson gave Vegas a 3-2 lead at 8:12 of the third when defenseman Zach Whitecloud‘s shot deflected in off his back, and Smith scored a shorthanded, empty-net goal during a 6-on-4 at 19:48 for the 4-2 final.
“We have a veteran team that has confidence in their ability to win games,” DeBoer said. “This is a hard league to win in and you’re not going to be at your best every night, and I thought that was the case tonight. We dug in in the third and I thought we played the way we’re capable of playing and found a way to win.”
Arizona was playing its first game without captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is week to week with a lower-body injury.
NOTES: The Golden Knights started the season 3-0-0 for the first time since their inaugural season in 2017-18. … Brassard’s assist on Schmaltz’s goal was his 300th in the NHL. … This was the first of a four-game series between the teams. They will play again in Vegas on Wednesday before playing the final two games in Arizona on Friday and Sunday.