Tuch, Golden Knights start fast in victory against Rangers

Tuch, Golden Knights start fast in victory against Rangers

NEW YORK — Alex Tuch scored two goals, Malcolm Subban made 29 saves, and the Vegas Golden Knights won their season-high third straight game, 4-1 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Reilly Smith and Max Pacioretty also scored for the Golden Knights (14-11-4).

“Hopefully we’ve got a streak here, but you’ve got to battle every night,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “If we keep playing like that we’ll get more Ws.”

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Rangers highlights]

Tuch has three goals in the past two games after going nine straight without one. Subban has won three consecutive games after failing to win in his first six starts of the season (0-4-2).

Subban has started four straight games because Marc-Andre Fleury is away tending to a private family matter.

“You get into a little rhythm and it’s different,” Subban said. “But I think the biggest thing is, honestly, how our team is playing these last three games. They’ve made it really easy for me to go in there and make saves. They’ve kept a lot of stuff to the outside. It allows you to get into the game and it’s helped a lot.”

Video: VGK@NYR: Tuch doubles the lead with PPG

Brendan Lemieux scored, and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves for the Rangers (13-10-3), who were 4-0-1 in their previous five games.

Vegas was 2-for-2 on the power play. The Rangers were 0-for-6.

“It comes down to special teams, not getting it done on the PK,” Lundqvist said. “They made two good plays, but we need to find a way there. … I need to find a way to make that extra save.”

Tuch gave Vegas a 1-0 lead at 1:34 of the first period when his shot got through Lundqvist and the goalie kicked it over the goal line with his left pad before Tony DeAngelo could pull it back. Video review confirmed the puck crossed the goal line.

Tuch said he did not know it went in.

“I celebrated kind of like that too,” he said. “I put my hands up, down, up, down. The guys came over and told me they didn’t touch it and it was in the net, so I’ll take it.”

Tuch made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 3:50, scoring on a tip-in off a pass from Nate Schmidt out of the left circle. Vegas was on the power play because Brady Skjei was called for holding Tuch’s stick at 1:52.

The Golden Knights outshot the Rangers 13-2 in the first 7:29.

Video: VGK@NYR: Smith beats Lundqvist on the break

“We just weren’t ready to play at that pace to start,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “We looked sluggish right from the get-go.”

New York started to change momentum in the second half of the first period, outshooting Vegas 9-3 in the final 8:07.

The Rangers started fast in the second period, but multiple misreads defensively allowed Smith to extend Vegas’ lead to 3-0 with a breakaway goal at 4:44.

“We just gave them a gift and that really changed the momentum of the game,” Quinn said.

Pacioretty made it 4-0 at 6:20, scoring a power-play goal on a one-timer from the bottom of right circle off a crossing pass from Cody Glass, who was on the goal line below the left circle.

Video: VGK@NYR: Pacioretty buries one-timer for PPG

Lemieux scored on a deflection at 15:15 to make it 4-1.

Subban shut it down with 11 saves in the third period.

They said it

“If you would have said that before the game we’re going to give them six [power plays] I would have said we’re going to lose the game because their power play is hot, especially with [Mika] Zibanejad back and shooting and [Artemi] Panarin. But we found a way. [Subban] made some good saves and the guys did a real good job on the PK.” — Vegas coach Gerard Gallant

“We gave up probably 25 to 30 scoring chances. It’s a mindset. It’s something we’ve got to completely buy into that night in and night out we’ve got to be way more committed to playing the right way and playing defense. I didn’t think our ‘D’ corps was really all in from a defending standpoint. I thought we were way too offensive driven.” — Rangers coach David Quinn

Need to know

Following the game, the Golden Knights acquired forward Chandler Stephenson from the Washington Capitals for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. They also sent forward Nicolas Roy to Chicago of the American Hockey League. … Gallant said prior to the game he wasn’t certain if Fleury would rejoin the Golden Knights in time for their game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday. … Lundqvist made his 874th career regular-season appearance, all with the Rangers, moving past Tony Esposito of the Chicago Blackhawks and into second place on the League’s all-time list with one team behind Martin Brodeur (1,259 with the Devils).

What’s next

Golden Knights: At the Devils on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-O, MSG2, NHL.TV)

Video: Tuch scores twice to lead Golden Knights to victory