Canucks hand Red Wings 4th consecutive loss

DETROIT (AP) Sven Baertschi scored twice, and the Vancouver Canucks used a dominant second period to pull away for a 4-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.

Vancouver scored three times in the second, outshooting the Red Wings 18-6 in the period. Baertschi, Derek Dorsett and Jake Virtanen scored in the second for the Canucks, who are 3-1 so far on a five-game trip.

Detroit has lost four in a row. Anthony Mantha scored the only goal for the Red Wings, tying it at 1 late in the first.

Vancouver opened the scoring when Bo Horvat's shot was deflected and trickled right to Baertschi in front of the net. He stickhandled around goalie Jimmy Howard and backhanded the puck in.

Mantha's equalizer came on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

Dorsett gave Vancouver the lead back with his fifth goal in the past five games. Horvat found him in front of the net with a pass, and Dorsett's shot bounced in the air off Howard before coming down behind him and going in the goal.

Baertschi's second goal came on a wrist shot from the top of the slot, then the Canucks added another in the final minute of the period.

Detroit's Mike Green was unable to control the puck entering the Vancouver zone and ended up knocking it backward to Daniel Sedin, who went the other way on a 2-on-1. Sedin passed to Virtanen, whose initial shot was stopped before he put away the rebound.

Sedin's assist on that goal brought his career point total to 990.

UP NEXT

Canucks: At Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Red Wings: At Buffalo on Tuesday night.

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For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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Without strong goaltending, Golden Knights’ hot start will cool off fast

The Vegas Golden Knights, for better or for worse, have captured the attention of the hockey world early in their maiden voyage, jumping out to a 6-1 record - the most successful start to a franchise's inaugural campaign in the 100-year history of the NHL.

Whether you're a skeptic or a fan, the product in Vegas is about to be tested mightily, as replacement starting goaltender Malcolm Subban joined Marc-Andre Fleury on the injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

The optics of the situation are quite simple: An NHL team lost two goalies to injury, so they must be screwed. But when looking at how reliant Vegas has been on strong goaltending through its first eight games, it appears unusually obvious that the Golden Knights' unforeseen early success is about to come to a screeching halt.

The options

First off, let's look at who Vegas will roll with in goal while Fleury and Subban are on the shelf.

After Subban was pulled from Saturday's contest, he was replaced by Oscar Dansk, who stopped 10 of 11 shots to lock down an overtime win over St. Louis in his NHL debut.

Dansk, 23, was a second-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2012, and had a save percentage of .903 in 24 games with Rogle BK of the Swedish league last year. He'll be the starter from here.

Who will back him up? That's a good question. General manager George McPhee said the team will call a player up from AHL Chicago at the completion of the Wolves' game Sunday. The two goalies currently on that roster are Max Lagace (no NHL experience) and C.J. Motte (barely any AHL experience). Yikes.

The numbers

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

The numbers propping up the Golden Knights' hot start don't appear to be very sustainable. Vegas owns the seventh-highest PDO (shooting percentage plus save percentage) in the NHL at 103.13. That number typically moves closer to 100 as the season wears on, and should take a hit sooner than later considering Fleury and Subban combined for a sky-high .936 save clip early on.

At five-on-five, Vegas also owns the league's second-worst Corsi differential at minus-47 and the worst expected goals-for percentage at 42.14, according to Corsica. Relying on this team to continue scoring so efficiently doesn't seem like a very safe bet.

That's without even mentioning that three of the Golden Knights' wins have come in overtime, and they've only outshot their opponents in two of eight contests.

The (long) road ahead

No matter which way you slice it, six wins in eight games is six wins in eight games. However, Vegas benefited from a favorable early schedule that featured two games versus the lowly Coyotes, and one game each against the Red Wings and Sabres.

Up next, though, Vegas plays two games at home before an eight-of-nine stretch on the road that includes stops in Boston, Ottawa, and Toronto. It's not going to be easy.

The Golden Knights have certainly done better than many expected early on, and they want it to be recognized:

But given the unfavorable underlying numbers and two long-term injuries at the most integral position on the ice, it appears the clock may have struck midnight on the franchise's historic debut.

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Subban to miss approximately 4 weeks with lower-body injury

The Vegas Golden Knights' goaltending situation has been dealt another critical blow, as current starter Malcolm Subban has been sent to injured reserve with a lower-body injury, and is expected to miss approximately four weeks, general manager George McPhee announced Sunday.

Subban was injured in the third period of Saturday's win over St. Louis after he lunged for a shot on his blocker side. He was helped off the ice and subsequently replaced by Oscar Dansk, who helped the Golden Knights secure the victory in overtime.

The club's primary option in goal, veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, was diagnosed with a concussion Oct. 15, and his timetable to return is still unclear.

In three starts as Vegas' No. 1 option, Subban earned two wins, while owning a .936 save percentage and 2.06 goals against average.

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Leafs bring back Polak on 1-year $1.1M deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Roman Polak to a one-year, $1.1 million contract, the team announced Sunday.

The 31-year-old blue liner had been practicing with the club, but hadn't earned a contract since a gruesome leg injury ended his season in Game 2 of Toronto's first-round playoff series versus the Washington Capitals.

Although the Maple Leafs have jumped out of the gate to a 6-2 start, the club has allowed 28 goals - the seventh most in the NHL. Polak, already familiar with what head coach Mike Babcock expects of him, will be counted on to help stabilize the back end.

In 75 games with Toronto last season, Polak netted 11 points, averaging 17:55 of ice-time.

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Leafs bring back Polak on 1-year $1.1M deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Roman Polak to a one-year, $1.1 million contract, the team announced Sunday.

The 31-year-old blue liner had been practicing with the club, but hadn't earned a contract since a gruesome leg injury ended his season in Game 2 of Toronto's first-round playoff series versus the Washington Capitals.

Although the Maple Leafs have jumped out of the gate to a 6-2 start, the club has allowed 28 goals - the seventh most in the NHL. Polak, already familiar with what head coach Mike Babcock expects of him, will be counted on to help stabilize the back end.

In 75 games with Toronto last season, Polak netted 11 points, averaging 17:55 of ice-time.

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Report: Golden Knights fear Malcolm Subban out multiple weeks with injury

The Vegas Golden Knights are off to a record start despite an injury to their starting goaltender, and now they may have another significant one to overcome.

Malcolm Subban will have an MRI on Sunday, but a team source told Sportsnet's John Shannon that the netminder is "probably out weeks" with the injury he sustained in Saturday's win over the St. Louis Blues.

Subban left the game after falling to the ice in pain following a shot by Blues forward Jaden Schwartz in the third period.

Oscar Dansk came on in relief of Subban and stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced in his NHL debut.

Subban had replaced Marc-Andre Fleury as the Golden Knights' starter after the veteran suffered a concussion last week. Subban had a pair of wins and a .936 save percentage in three games.

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Brian Boyle practices in full with Devils for 1st time since leukemia diagnosis

The New Jersey Devils got some encouraging news Sunday morning.

Brian Boyle was cleared for full participation in practice and joined his teammates for Sunday's session.

There's still no timetable for Boyle's return to game action.

Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last month.

CML is a form of cancer that starts in the bone marrow and is treatable with medication, according to the American Cancer Society.

The 32-year-old forward joined the Devils as a free agent over the summer.

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