Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) falls on Vegas Golden Knights’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) as the puck goes in the net during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) falls on Vegas Golden Knights’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) as the puck goes in the net during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Pacioretty nets 2 as Vegas rallies to dump Vancouver 5-3

Canucks trail best-of-seven NHL playoff series 3-1

Max Pacioretty scored twice and added an assist, and the Vegas Golden Knights rallied for three goals in the third period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 in NHL playoff action Sunday.

The Golden Knights lead the best-of-seven series 3-1. With a win in Game 5 Tuesday they can eliminate the last Canadian team from the 2020 post-season.

William Karlsson, Nate Schmidt, and Chandler Stephenson also scored for Vegas. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for his third win of the playoffs.

Shea Theodore added two assists, giving him four goals and 10 helpers in the playoffs.

Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, and Tyler Toffoli replied for Vancouver. Jacob Markstrom, in his 14th start, made 28 saves for the loss.

It was a game that saw two lead changes after there had been no lead changes in the first three games of the series.

The Golden Knights led 2-1 after the first period but trailed 3-2 after the second.

They pressed the Canucks early in the third and tied it when Schmidt cranked a slapshot from the blue-line past Markstrom at 2:52.

Pacioretty then scored the winner at 7:02 on a give-and-go with Schmidt, with the return pass going off his skate blade at the doorstep and behind Markstrom.

Pacioretty then set up the insurance marker 87 seconds later, feeding Karlsson from behind the net for the 5-3 lead.

The veteran winger has four goals in the series and five in the last five games.

It was Fleury’s third start of the post-season, replacing Robin Lehner. The change was expected as Lehner played 24 hours earlier, and head coach Peter DeBoer had said the plan is to play both goaltenders in the playoffs.

Lehner, acquired at the trade deadline, has been getting the bulk of the work in the post-season and is 7-2.

Fleury had been the starter until Lehner’s arrival and that has not sat well with Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh. When the Vancouver series began, Walsh tweeted a meme of his client, in full uniform on the ice, taking a broadsword in the back. On the blade was written the name DeBoer.

For Vancouver, Toffoli has two goals and four points in the last three games since returning to the Canucks’ lineup after missing an extended period due to a suspected foot injury.

Pettersson has six goals and 17 points in the post-season. J.T. Miller recorded three assists, giving him five goals and nine helpers in the return-to-play tournament.

READ MORE: Lehner makes 32 saves, Vegas blanks Vancouver 3-0 in NHL playoff clash

Horvat has nine goals.

All Western Conference games are being played at Rogers Place. Players are isolating between games to prevent contracting COVID-19.

Canuck defenceman Tyler Myers returned to the lineup after missing seven games. The rangy 6-foot-8 Texan had not played seen since he got hit by St. Louis forward Brayden Schenn and fell awkwardly into the boards in Game 2 of the Blues series.

Vegas defenceman Jon Merrill recorded one assist in his first action of the playoffs, replacing Nick Holden in the lineup.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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