Penguins hold off host Golden Knights

How the Golden Knights have won recently is more important than who they’ve beat

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) skates against Vegas Golden Knights center Paul Stastny (26) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, January 9, 2020, in Las Vegas. "There's no excuse", coach Gerard Gallant said following the 5-2 loss.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Buffalo hosts the Vegas Golden Knights after Evan Rodrigues scored two goals in the Sabres' 5-1 victory over the Red Wings. The Connecticut native leads the Golden Knights with 45 points (20 G, 25 A) to go with 32 penalty minutes in 47 games this season. On the Vegas side, backup goalie Malcolm Subban was not good and allowed five goals on his 23 shots.

Smith brought Vegas back to within a goal with his 17th, chipping in a backhand feed from behind the net by Chandler Stephenson, but Jarry came up with several big saves down the stretch to deny Vegas' comeback hopes.

Vegas had a chance to cut the deficit in the early half in the third period when Reilly Smith penetrated inside and had a clean look at the goal, but his arm wrists curled from the crossbar.

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Marc-Andre Fleury was selected for All-Star Weekend in December.

Martinez started the scoring jump-off for the Kings when he had a failed clearing attempt on the boards by Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland and sent a Subban a minute ahead of Subban. He got a pass from Toffoli and slapped a few yards in front of Martinez's goal, carrying him 2-0.

The Kings' four first-period goals tied for the most goals scored in one period against Vegas this season, matching Philadelphia, which did it on October 21.

Analysis: An absolutely atrocious 1st period, again.

The teams square off Tuesday for the first time this season. He has 15 goals and 19 assists placed in 42 games this season with the Sharks.

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