Zach Whitecloud scores twice in return as Golden Knights top Red Wings

Zach Whitecloud scored twice in his return from the injured list and Robin Lehner made 26 saves to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night in Las Vegas.Nicolas Hague, Paul Cotter and Reilly Smith also scored for Vegas, which scored four times in the second period on the way to its fourth win in five games.Givani Smith and Joe Veleno scored for Detroit, which suffered its third straight loss — allowing five goals in all three. Thomas Griess made 18 saves in the first two periods before being replaced by Alex Nedeljkovic, who stopped nine of 10 shots.It was the first two-goal game for Whitecloud, who had scored just two goals in his previous 72 NHL games. Whitecloud had missed the previous 12 games after undergoing surgery on his right hand, which he injured blocking a slap shot by Edmonton’s Duncan Keith on Oct. 22.Whitecloud nearly scored a third goal during a scoreless first period. He knocked the puck in while crashing into the goal on a rush, but replays showed the net had been knocked loose well before the puck went into the goal.Hague gave Vegas a 1-0 lead at the 3:31 mark of the second period, knocking in a rebound of Alex Pietrangelo’s shot. It was Hague’s third goal of the season.Whitecloud made it 2-0 just 2:25 later when he creeped in from the right point, took a cross-ice pass from Mark Stone and fired a wrist shot through Griess’ pads.The Red Wings cut it to 2-1 midway through the period on Smith’s first goal of the season, a rebound of Dylan Larkin’s shot.