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Golden Knights report: Fast start for naught in loss to Blues

Golden Knights vs. Blues

Blues win 5-2

RJ’s three stars

3. Knights winger Reilly Smith — He continued his hot run, converting on a breakaway in the first period to put the Knights up 2-0. Smith has scored in three consecutive games and has six goals in his past seven outings.

2. Blues winger David Perron — His puck-protection skills were on full display for St. Louis’ first goal and he finished with two assists. In 16 career games against his former club, Perron has five goals and seven assists.

1. Blues defenseman Justin Faulk — Forced a turnover by Nic Roy along the wall, leading to a breakaway and the go-ahead goal in the first period. Faulk also added an assist and had a plus-1 rating in 22:25 of ice time.

Key play

Ryan O’Reilly’s first-period goal

Knights goalie Robin Lehner made a good stop on forward Jordan Kyrou midway through the first period, but was beaten seconds later by St. Louis’ captain from a bad angle to start the Blues’ comeback.

Perron fought off defenseman Brayden McNabb and held onto the puck before finding O’Reilly stationed on the goal line to Lehner’s left.

O’Reilly’s one-timer would have gone through the crease, but instead banked off the inside of Lehner’s right skate for his first goal since Oct. 23. That was the first of five unanswered goals by the Blues.

Key stat

6-5 — The Knights’ record when scoring the first goal. That’s a dramatic difference from last season when they were 31-3-2 when scoring first.

Stephenson ends slump

Chandler Stephenson remains the Knights’ leading scorer but experienced his first goal-scoring drought of the season during the previous seven games.

That ended Monday when he opened the scoring 36 seconds into the first period.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington couldn’t handle Alex Pietrangelo’s drive from the point, and Stephenson was left alone in front of the net to turn and knock in his first goal since Nov. 6.

Stephenson had 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 19 games.

Knights’ next 10

At Nashville, 5 p.m. Wednesday

Vs. Edmonton, 4 p.m. Saturday

At Anaheim, 7 p.m. Dec. 1

At Arizona, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3

Vs. Calgary, 7 p.m. Dec. 5

Vs. Dallas, 7 p.m. Dec. 8

Vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m. Dec. 10

Vs. Minnesota, 6 p.m. Dec. 12

At Boston, 4 p.m. Dec. 14

At New Jersey, 4 p.m. Dec. 16