Golden Knights surge past Rangers, spoil return of Gallant, Reaves

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LAS VEGAS — The New York Rangers lost 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights in coach Gerard Gallant’s return to T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.

Gallant, the first coach in Golden Knights history, was 118-75-20 in two-and-a-half seasons with Vegas before being fired on Jan. 15, 2020 fand replaced by Peter DeBoer. 

Alexandar Georgiev made 30 saves in starting for the second consecutive game for New York. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin was placed in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol before the game. Keith Kinkaid was called up from the taxi squad to back up Georgiev.

Chris Kreider scored for the second consecutive game for the Rangers (22-9-4), whose three-game winning streak ended. Forward Ryan Reaves, who played four seasons for the Golden Knights, also returned to Vegas for the first time since being traded to the Rangers on July 29.

Jonathan Marchessault scored twice for his fourth multigoal game of the season, and Reilly Smith had two assists for the Golden Knights (23-13-1) who are 11-3-1 in their last 15.

Robin Lehner made 18 saves, and Mark Stone scored in their returns to the lineup for Vegas. Lehner missed five games due to a lower-body injury, while Stone missed four with an upper-body injury.

Marchessault gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at 18:35 of the first period with a power-play goal.

Kreider tied it 1-1 52 seconds into the second period with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle, and the puck bounced off Lehner’s glove.

Stone gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead at 8:14 of the second when the puck deflected off his skate. The call was upheld after video review when it was determined Stone did not kick it in.

Mattias Janmark made it 3-1 at 13:08 of the second for his fifth goal in five games.

Brett Howden scored at 2:11 of the third to make it 4-1, and Marchessault made it 5-1 on a 2-on-1 at 12:59.

Vegas won 3-2 in a shootout at New York on Dec. 17.

Gallant won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2017-18 after leading the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. 

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