LAS VEGAS, Nev The Florida Everblades struck for three goals in the second period then fended off a late rally for a 5-3 win over the Las Vegas Wranglers Tuesday night, securing a four-game sweep on their West Coast trip and a sixth straight season-opening victory.
John Henrion got the Blades started 1:23 into the game, firing a puck from the half-wall into the net off Wranglers goalie Travis Fullerton for his first professional goal and a quick 1-0.
There the lead stayed through the end of the first as Everblades goalie Jesse Deckert was called on to make eight saves as Las Vegas pushed back toward the end of the opening frame.
Henrion followed with 16:11 left in the second, powering home a feed from Brandon MacLean to double the lead to 2-0. The assist extended MacLean's league-best point streak to five games.
When Florida was awarded a major penalty six minutes into the second Matthew Pistilli cashed in, blasting in a one-timer from Danick Gauthier at the 10:38 mark to boost the Blades' advantage to 3-0.
Las Vegas got on the board with a shorthanded strike by Matt Tassone who wired a shot in transition over Deckert's glove to shave the lead to 3-1.
It only took the Everblades 2:05 to respond as MacLean banged home a one-timer from Kyle Bonis to restore a three-goal lead at 4-1.
Wranglers blueliner Jeff May scored back-to-back goals in a span of 5:16 in the third to pull Vegas within one goal, but an empty-netter by Pistilli delivered the Blades their league-high sixth consecutive victory.
With the two goals, Pistilli now tops in the league in points (11) and goals (7).
Deckert denied 22-of-25 shots to pick up his ECHL-best fourth win.
The Blades return to Germain Arena to open a home-and-home set with the Orlando Solar Bears starting Friday at 7:30 p.m.