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Smith scores 2 as Golden Knights beat Coyotes 7-4

Reilly Smith scored twice to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 7-4 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.

Jonathan Marchessault, William Carrier, Keegan Kolesar, Chandler Stephenson, and Max Pacioretty also scored for the Golden Knights, while Robin Lehner made 22 saves.

After opening a 5-0 lead early in the second period, Vegas survived a third-period rally and improved to 12-5-0 all-time against Arizona, including 4-1-0 this season.

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner blocks a shot by the Arizona Coyotes during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP PhotoDavid Becker)

Nick Schmaltz, Dryden Hunt, Clayton Keller, and Michael Bunting scored for the Coyotes..

Adin Hill stopped 27 of the 32 shots he faced in the first two periods, while Ivan Prosvetov entered the game to start the third and stopped three of four.

Arizona, which was playing the sixth game during a season-high nine-game road trip, entered the game having won six of its previous eight (6-2-0). The weary Coyotes are nearing the end of a stretch where they play 16 of 20 games away from Gila River Arena.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) passes the puck as Vegas Golden Knights left wing William Carrier (28) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP PhotoDavid Becker)

It didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to victimize Hill, as they opened a 4-0 lead in less than nine minutes, including goals on a power-play, short-handed, and from their fourth line. By keeping pressure on Arizona’s defense, and creating turnovers, Vegas outshot the Coyotes 22-8 in the first period - including 13 of the first 14 shots in the game.

The Golden Knights led Arizona in high-danger chances 10-1 after the first period.

The danger carried into the second, when Stephenson gave Vegas a 5-0 lead early on, while ending a 13-game goal-scoring drought.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Adin Hill (31) looks to block the puck during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday, April 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP PhotoDavid Becker)

Arizona showed some life late in the period, making a push during a power play when Schmaltz was finally able to solve Lehner with a wrist shot stick side.

The Coyotes made things interesting with goals on their first three shots of the third.

Smith notched his second goal of the game to stop the bleeding, briefly, when he beat Prosvetov top shelf, far side to push Vegas’ lead back to a short-lived three goals. Bunting answered 15 seconds later when he drew Lehner away from the net, waited for an opening, and beat him with an open look.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) shoots against Arizona Coyotes Michael Bunting during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 9, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP PhotoDavid Becker)

Pacioretty's empty-net goal iced the game.

UP NEXT

The teams conclude their two-game set in Las Vegas on Sunday.

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