Lightning fall to Golden Knights in matchup of conference leaders

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves, David Perron had a goal and an assist, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 Thursday night in a matchup of conference leaders.

James Neal, Nate Schmidt and William Karlsson also scored for the Golden Knights, who swept the two-game season series with the NHL-leading Lightning.

Tampa Bay, coming off its bye week, got a goal from Ondrej Palat, and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 26 shots. Vasilevskiy, an All-Star this season, has allowed 19 goals over his last four games.

Fleury made a number of impressive stops, including a left-circle shot by Steven Stamkos and in-close chance from Nikita Kucherov during the second period. The goalie, who spent most of career with Pittsburgh, is 19-11-4 against the Lightning.

Neal opened the scoring with a nifty deflection 56 seconds into the first, and Schmidt made it 2-0 with 3:57 left in the period. Deryk Engelland got his 100th NHL assist on Neal's goal.

Vegas is 19-1-0 when scoring first, with the lone loss coming Oct. 30 to the New York Islanders.

After Palat got a power-play goal midway through the second, Perron put the expansion Golden Knights up 3-1 late in the period.

Karlsson got his 24th goal 18 seconds into the third.

NOTES: Neal has 11 goals and 19 points in 18 games against Tampa Bay. … Palat stopped a 21-game goal drought. … Lightning D Dan Girardi, hit on the back of the neck by a slap shot Jan. 7 against Detroit, was back in the lineup. … Golden Knights C Cody Eakin played after sitting out one game with an undisclosed injury.


Golden Knights: Play at Florida Friday night.

Lightning: Play the first of eight straight road games Saturday night at Minnesota.