ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Erik Haula scored in the shootout and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Max Pacioretty scored his first goal for Vegas, tying the game with 1:31 left in regulation. Marc Andre-Fleury made 29 saves for the Golden Knights.
Matt Dumba scored for Minnesota, which was the only team in the Western Conference to sweep Vegas last season. Devan Dubnyk stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced.
Fresh off last year’s five-game loss in the Stanley Cup final to Washington, the Golden Knights reloaded by trading for Pacioretty and signing center Paul Stastny. Pacioretty came up big on Saturday by snapping home a one-timer in the slot from Jonathan Marchessault.
Haula scored the only goal in the shootout against his former team as his shot between Dubnyk’s legs ended up trickling in after Dubnyk appeared to make the stop.
Fleury responded after being pulled in the opening 5-2 loss at home to the Philadelphia Flyers. Fleury was pulled after 30:11 against Philadelphia after allowing five goals on 16 shots.
Dumba, signed to five-year, $30 million contract in the offseason, scored on a slap shot from the blue line midway through the first period. Dubnyk held up against a Vegas’ attack that outshot Minnesota 42-30 through overtime. The Wild lost for the first time in the first home game of the season at the Xcel Energy Center after starting 14-0-3 in such games.
Dubnyk and Dumba should be two of the biggest factors if the Wild want to top 100 points for the fourth time in five seasons and make an impact in the playoffs. Restricted by salary cap space, Minnesota made few changes in the offseason, except at general manager where Paul Fenton replaced Chuck Fletcher.
Re-signing Dumba became the priority as the emerging defenseman set career-highs across the board last season when he had 50 points, 14 goals and was a plus-15 while playing all 82 games. Dumba was tied for 10th among defenseman in goals, providing the Wild with a potent shot from the back end.
Golden Knights: Season-long, five-game road trip continues Monday at Buffalo.
Wild: Host Chicago on Thursday.
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