Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the San Jose Sharks during overtime of an NHL hockey game Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Las Vegas. Vegas won 5-4. (AP Photo/John Locher)
by M. Walsh
The San Jose Sharks lost 5-4 in overtime to the Las Vegas Golden Knights Friday. After trailing 3-1, the Sharks came back to tie the game, with goals from Mikkel Boedker, Chris Tierney, Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns. The five Las Vegas goals came from Shea Theodore, James Neal, two from William Karlsson, and the overtime winner from Jonathan Marchessault. With the win, the Knights added to their already astonishing first season record of 14-6-1.
Neither team was at their best defensively, which made for a wide-open game. Both teams changed goalies at some point in the game. After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:
It was a track meet, it was pond hockey out there. The offense came, I think, because it was loose. We don’t want to play that type of game. We had to, we were forced to because of how we started and found a way to get a point out of it. That’s about all the good that came out of it.
Of coming back from a 3-1 deficit, Sharks forward Logan Couture said: “Yes, I guess pretty good but not good enough. We put ourselves in that hole. I thought they were better than us. We had some jump for a small period of time and that was it.”
The Knights jumped out to a fast start, scoring twice in the first period. Shea Theodore’s goal came just 2:33 in, with assists to Cody Eakin and Brendan Leipsic. The second goal came in the middle of the period, on a power play. James Neal’s goal came after a lot of movement from the power play, with several cross ice passes that drew Sharks goalie Martin Jones across the goal mouth more than once. When the shot came, it was over Jones’ shoulder just under the bar. Assists went to Erik Haula and Jonathan Marchessault.
Tomas Hertl scored late in the first off an impressive feed from Joonas Donskoi. Donskoi first jumped to catch the puck out of the air, then had to recover after being knocked down by Knights goalie Maxime Lagace. His quick reverse pass still connected with Hertl in front of the net. Assists went to Donskoi and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
William Karlsson scored twice in the second period, the first only ten seconds in. Still on a carry over the power play from the first period, the Knights pushed the play into the Sharks’ zone in a somewhat chaotic scramble. A bouncing puck found its way to Alex Tuch below the face-off dot. His shot bounced some more as it crossed the goal mouth to Karlsson, who knocked it in. A second assist went to Reilly Smith.
The Sharks replaced goalie Martin Jones with Aaron Dell at that point, only to see Karlsson score again at 6:55, when he tipped a Marchessault shot from the blue line.
Of the goaltending change, DeBoer said: “It’s too bad we didn’t start on time. That’s the disappointing part. It didn’t help Jonesy at all and I got him out of there just because I didn’t want him to have to play a whole night in front of that.”
Just a little over a minute later, Brent Burns scored his first of the year with one of his trademark blasts from the blue line. The lone assist went to Joe Thornton.
Chris Tierney scored his fifth of the season not long after the Sharks’ first power play of the game. The Knights had just iced the puck and the Sharks gained control after the faceoff. Joel Ward won a puck battle in the corner, allowing Tierney to send the puck up to the blue line. Justin Braun took a wide shot and Tierney got to the net in time to redirect it in. Assists went to Braun and Ward.
The tying goal came with less than a minute left. Joe Pavelski’s shot got caught in traffic but bounced out to the slot where Mikkel Boedker caught it and shot it in before Lagace could get set to stop it.
The Golden Knights changed goaltenders in the third period, replacing Lagace with Malcolm Subban. There were no goals scored in the third, but late in the period, Logan Couture had a goal called back. The explanation given was that Joonas Donskoi touched skates with goaltender Malcolm Subban in the crease.
Marchessault scored the overtime winner 1:22 into overtime. Brent Burns had just broken a stick and gone to replace it. The remaining players held off the goal for several seconds before Marchessault’s shot went into defensive traffic and off of Joe Thornton’s skate into the goal.
The Sharks next play on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets, in San Jose at 7 pm PT.