OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Maxime Lagace was relieved to pick up his first NHL victory after allowing 11 goals in his first three appearances.
The 24-year-old goalie made 24 saves for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
“It’s good to have the first one finally,” Lagace said. “The guys played really well so I have them to thank for that win.”
The game was all the more special with Lagace’s parents and other family members in attendance.
“It’s a really special moment and I’m pretty excited,” Lagace said.
Expansion Vegas snapped a three game-losing streak to improve to 9-4-0.
“They are the hardest-working team in the league,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. “That’s how they win. They’re relentless. They have four lines of guys who work hard and if you don’t have four lines and six D that are working as hard then sooner or later they’re going to hurt you.”
Erik Haula had two goals and an assist, Alex Tuch, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault also scored, and Marchessault added two assists.
“They didn’t surprise us, they played a well-structured game and did the things they needed to do to be successful,” Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. “We couldn’t find a way to break their pattern and find our own way to be successful for long enough.”
Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone, Alex Burrows and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa, and Craig Anderson stopped 29 shots. The Senators will leave Monday for Sweden for two games against the Colorado Avalanche.
Marchessault gave Vegas a 3-2 lead on a power player with 7:21 left in the second.
William Karlsson scored on a wraparound to make it 4-2 at 3:29 of the third, and Haula had a power-play goal at 6:47. Dzingel’s fifth of the season for Ottawa made it 5-3 at 7:52, and Erik Karlsson scored his first of the season in the final minute of play.
“I got nervous a little bit, but not nervous to the point where it could affect my game,” Lagace said. “They came back right away after with a tip and I got a little piece of it so that scared me a little bit, but we got it so it’s all good.”
Vegas was 3 of 5 on the power play. Ottawa was 0 of 2.
“They got some bounces on their power play that made us pay and once we got going toward the end it was too late,” Burrows said. “They work extremely hard, they never give up and give a second and third effort all the time.”