Backes scores shootout winner, Bruins top Golden Knights 3-2

LAS VEGAS (AP) — David Backes scored in the sixth round of a shootout to lift Boston to a 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night for the Bruins‘ season-high seventh straight victory.

Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand scored in regulation for Boston, which is 8-1-1 in its last 10 on the road — including wins in the first four games of a western trip. The Bruins’ win streak is their longest since a 12-game run in 2014.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots and has now won his last three starts, allowing just three goals along the way.

The Bruins, who are 9-0-3 in their last 12 overall, haven’t lost in regulation since a 3-2 setback to the New York Rangers on Jan. 19. Boston improved to 11-2-2 against Pacific Division opponents and 18-4-4 versus Western Conference foes.

Reilly Smith and Nate Schmidt scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 25 saves. Fleury has lost four in a row and seven of his last nine starts. He has allowed 19 goals in last five starts, and 28 in the nine-game span.

DeBrusk scored for Boston in the first round of the shootout and William Karlsson tied it for Vegas in the second.

DeBrusk got things going for the Bruins 11 minutes into the game, when he put a nifty spin move on Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore as he collected a pss from David Krejci and fired a wrist shot past Fleury to give Boston a 1-0 lead. With the assist, Krejci extended his point streak to five games (two goals, eight assists).

Smith tied it late in the first period when he punched home a rebound from Cody Eakin’s shot from the point. Smith, who now has at least one point in five of his last seven games, scored his first goal since Dec. 30 and became the seventh Golden Knights player to hit the double-digit mark in goals. With the assist, Eakin has at least one point in five of his last six games with a goal and four assists.

Marchand gave the Bruins a brief lead, as he took a pass from Danton Heinen and beat Fleury with a blast 69 seconds into the third.

Schmidt raced past McAvoy, collected the puck and snapped a backhand over Halak to tie the game just 27 seconds later.

NOTES: The Bruins announced they acquired C Charlie Coyle from Minnesota for C Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick. Donato will join the Wild in New York for their game at the Rangers on Thursday. … The Golden Knights assigned D Jake Bischoff to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves earlier Wednesday.


Boston: Visits St. Louis on Saturday.

Vegas: Hosts Winnipeg on Friday night.