Whitecloud scores twice, Golden Knights top Red Wings 5-2

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Zach Whitecloud scored two goals in his first game back after hand surgery and the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Thursday night.

The win snapped Vegas’ three-game losing streak in the series and marked the first time the Golden Knights beat Detroit at home since they joined the NHL in 2017.

Vegas improved to 9-3-0 since Oct. 26, after opening the season 1-4-0.

Nic Hague, Paul Cotter and Reilly Smith also scored for the Golden Knights. Robin Lehner made 26 saves.

Givani Smith and Joe Veleno scored for Detroit, and starting goaltender Thomas Greiss stopped 18 shots before being pulled after two periods. Alex Nedeljkovic replaced Greiss and made nine saves.

After a relatively quiet first period, the Golden Knights got the five-goal second started a few minutes in when Hague smacked home a rebound after Alex Pietrangelo’s initial shot from the point was stopped by Greiss.

Whitecloud scored the first of his two goals shortly thereafter thanks to a beauty of a pass from captain Mark Stone, who found the defenseman cross-ice and through the slot. Whitecloud then sent the puck through Greiss’ pads to make it 2-0.

Givani Smith cut the lead in half when his third attempt during a mad scramble in front of Lehner made it just over the goal line.

It didn't take long for Whitecloud to put his second of the night in the net, as his drive from the blueline found its way through traffic and past Greiss.

With less than a minute left in the second, Cotter fired a wrist shot from the top of the slot to make it 4-1 and eventually bring Greiss’ night to a close.

Vegas put the game to bed early in the third period when Mattias Janmark sprung Reilly Smith with a stunning pass at the offensive blueline. Reilly Smith skated in and deked Nedeljkovic beautifully before roofing home a backhand to put the Golden Knights up by four.

Veleno’s goal with 1:26 left provided the final margin.

UP NEXT

Detroit: Visits Arizona on Saturday.

Vegas: Hosts Columbus on Saturday.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

W.g. Ramirez, The Associated Press

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