Stars Lose To Vegas

By Stephen Hunt, The Sports Xchange

DALLAS — Maxime Lagace has appeared in 14 games for the Vegas Golden Knights, and the rookie goaltender might have saved his best performance for last.
He stopped 36 of 39 shots against his former club, the Dallas Stars, in the Knights’ 5-3 win on Saturday at American Airlines Center.
Lagace spent three seasons in the Stars organization before Vegas signed him as a free agent in July. However, his latest performance could mark his final NHL game for a while should Marc-Andre Fleury, out the past 25 games due to a concussion, return next week.

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 09: Vegas Golden Knights Goalie Maxime Lagace (33) stands ready during the game between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights on December 9, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire)

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DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 09: Vegas Golden Knights Goalie Maxime Lagace (33) stands ready during the game between the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights on December 9, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire)


If Fleury returns, Lagace would likely be assigned to AHL Chicago.
“I’ve been taking it day-by-day, I can’t look to the future,” Lagace said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, if it’s my last (NHL) game I’m glad we got the win.”
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant called Lagace his team’s MVP of their second consecutive road victory.




“He was outstanding,” Gallant said. “He’s played the most games of any of our goalies so far. He’s just battled hard and played real well. He was the difference maker in the game tonight for sure.”
Lagace is the fifth different goaltender to start for Vegas this season.
“They (our goaltenders) have been our backbone all year,” Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “They’ve been outstanding, all of five of them is it? It’s exciting to see and I’m really happy for all those guys.”
Alex Tuch, David Perron, who added an assist, former Star Reilly Smith, McNabb and Erik Haula scored for Vegas (19-9-1), which won its fourth straight. Brendan Leipsic and former Star Cody Eakin each added two assists.
Tyler Pitlick, Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn scored for Dallas (16-13-1), which lost its third straight. The Stars have been outscored 13-5 in their last three losses.
“This is a really disappointing game,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. “When you’re as poor as we were early in our own end, it really puts you in a tough spot. To work hard and just give it away in the next shift is really disappointing. It’s an extremely disappointing loss.”
Vegas took an early lead when Tuch scored his seventh goal of the season, knocking in a Leipsic pass at 12:13 of the first period. Leipsic dispossessed Stephen Johns behind the Dallas goal before feeding Tuch.
Pitlick capped a flurry in front of the visiting net with his third goal of the season to tie the game at 14:28 of the first.
The Golden Knights pulled ahead again when Perron scored his seventh goal of the season on a wrist shot from the right circle 4:58 into the middle frame with Vegas on the power play.
“We’ll take the two points tonight and keep moving forward,” Perron said. “It’s nice, every night there’s someone else stepping up at the right time to score a big goal. We need to keep that going.”
Dallas answered 27 seconds later when Spezza one-timed a slap shot from the slot for his fifth goal of the season.
Vegas responded again with two unanswered to lead 4-2 after 40 minutes. Smith made it a 3-2 game when he scored his eighth goal of the season off the rush after a Dallas turnover 45 seconds after Spezza’s goal.
McNabb then gave Vegas a two-goal lead when he beat Ben Bishop, who stopped 34 of 38 shots, far post on a wrist shot from the top of the right circle for his second goal of the season at 8:35 of the second.
Benn ended a nine-game goalless streak when he scored his 12th of the season off the rush on a wrist shot from the left point 4:16 into the third period.
“It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the game,” Benn said of ending his scoring slump.
Haula added an empty-netter with 43 seconds remaining.
Dallas was 0-for-3 on the power play, making the Stars 2-for-42 with the man advantage over their past 13 games.
“We don’t have much time to rest,” Hitchcock said. “We need to process this one and go forward.”