Golden Knights Sink Sharks 6-0; Game Misconducts for DeBoer, Kane

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 6-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night. This was a stunning reversal following a good homestand that included two 4-0 wins for Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell. Goals came from William Karlsson, Colin Miller, William Carrier and Max Pacioretty (2). Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the win, with Dell making 30 saves in the loss. Sharks’ Evander Kane and Barclay Goodrow were both ejected from the game as well as the team’s head coach Peter DeBoer.

On the Kane expulsion, DeBoer said after the game: “Just absolutely no feel. You’ve got a team down five-nothing, already short on the bench with Couture hurt, you’re going to kick a guy out for arguing a call ’cause emotions are high. Have a little feel for the game.” As for his own eviction, he said: “I just asked… I didn’t even swear, I just asked him ‘did that feel good, kicking Evander out under these circumstances.’ I guess that was enough, I guess he wanted another victim.”

Discussing the game in a more general sense, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said: “It was a tough night. They were obviously… it was one of the better they’re going to play I think and we weren’t ready, you know, by any means. But we would have liked to have been a little bit better. It happens, it’s a good lesson at this time of year I guess. So, I don’t know, it was just a tough night.”

When pressed on the idea of not being ready, Pavelski said:

It felt like we were ready, we were ready to go and it didn’t happen. It snowballed on us and one thing leads to the other. You know, they get a bounce on that first goal and… You know, I’m not saying guys weren’t ready. Just, you’ve got to understand that’s a heavy team over there and they play hard and they’re really good at home. And this has happened to us a couple times now when we’ve come in here.

The Sharks had an abysmal first period. The Golden Knights took control from puck drop, knocking the puck into the Sharks’ zone. Dell went behind the net to retrieve it, but even with his help there the Sharks could not get control of it. Brayden McNabb took a shot from the blue line that first touched Timo Meier, then William Karlsson before bouncing past Dell. That came 14 seconds in. The goal went to Karlsson, with assists to McNabb and Jonathan Marchessault.

Vegas scored again at 4:40. Colin Miller took three shots on his shift, one of which hit Logan Couture and put him in distress. Couture was still down but trying to move the puck when Miller got it away from him and put it past Dell. An assist went to Reilly Smith.

The third and fourth Vegas goals of the first came from Pacioretty. Near the midpoint of the period, with Karlsson in the penalty box for holding, the Sharks’ penalty killers had just cleared the puck and gotten fresh legs on the ice. Smith was moving down from the blue line, looking like he might shoot. Instead he sent it behind Tomas Hertl to a waiting Pacioretty in the slot. Pacioretty sent it in past Dell’s glove. Assists went to Smith and Miller.

Pacioretty’s second goal came right after Dell had poke checked the puck away from Alex Tuch. Pacioretty was there to clean it up and put the puck past Dell while he was trying to get reset.

The second period started less badly because the Sharks only gave up the one goal. The Sharks started with some good pressure, but that fizzled into a hard-to explain breakaway for Carrier, as there were a number of Sharks around him in the neutral zone. None of them moved quickly enough and his shot slipped by Dell. Ryan Reaves got an assist on that one.

The Sharks got into some unusual penalty trouble at 15:41. Evander Kane had been called for high-sticking at 13:06, which penalty the Sharks killed off. Half a minute after they killed it, Kane was called for tripping Tomas Nosek. Kane expressed his disapproval of the call and received an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Kane described the hit after the game as: “The guy has the puck, I step in his lane, hip on hip. It’s a five-nothing hockey game.” That seems like a fair description of the hit, but the officials saw it differently. An abuse of officials penalty was added and a game misconduct.

Less than a minute later, Jonathan Marchessault ended the four-minute Vegas power play by slashing Barclay Goodrow. DeBoer shared his opinion about these events with the officials, which got him a game misconduct as well.

Some frustration came out early in the third period when Hertl hit Cody Eakin and Eakin retaliated. They both went to the box for two minutes of four on four time. A little over a minute into that, Justin Braun’s pass from behind the net went off the boards, out of the reach of Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Shea Theodore was right there to take it and pass it to Alex Tuch in the slot. Pacioretty moved between Tuch and Dell for a fleeting screen and Tuch scored his seventh of the season. Theodore got the assist.

More frustration bubbled up before the half way mark as Carrier and Brenden Dillon got into it by the Sharks net. Some cross-checks from Dillon got a response from Carrier and Dillon’s helmet came off. Carrier went to the box for roughing. A couple of minutes later, Goodrow got an unsportsmanlike conduct for going after Carrier. With less than three minutes left, Braun got into it with Carrier and went for roughing. At the same time, Reaves went to the box with a misconduct, apparently for some words from the bench.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Sabres in Buffalo at 4:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 5-3 to Golden Knights, Trail in Series 3-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell behind in their second round playoff series with a 5-3 loss in Las Vegas Friday. Vegas took a 4-0 lead with goals from James Neal, Eric Haula and two from Alex Tuch. Jonathan Marchessault scored an empty-netter in the final seconds to seal the win. The Sharks’ three third period goals came from Kevin Labanc, Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for the win. In the Sharks’ net, Martin Jones made 27 saves before being pulled in the third period, and Aaron Dell finished the game with seven saves.

After the game, Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski described the team’s sense of the game:

It felt like the game was there at all times. When that score was within two or three, you feel in it. And we knew we had to get in there and create a little bit more. But, game went to four, Deller went in, all of a sudden we bang in one or two and you know it’s still there. So I don’t know, did we fell in it? We thought we had a chance for sure. Were we playing good enough? Not at some moments for sure, but the game got better at the end. So that needs to continue now, it doesn’t matter what we felt.

“We have to play harder for a longer stretch than we did tonight. We didn’t play hard enough for long enough and that’s why we lost,” said Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer. Each team killed three of four penalties. Vegas outshot the Sharks 39-30, with the biggest difference in the first period. Vegas also edged the Sharks in faceoffs, winning 51% of them. The hit count favored the Golden Knights by a big margin at 53-35.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 15-7 in the first period, but Sharks goaltender Martin Jones held them off the board until the final minute. James Neal scored with just three seconds left off a rebound created by Shea Theodore’s shot from the blue line. Theodore and David Perron got the assists.

The Sharks started the second period with an early power play but could not score. They had only two shots on goal and Vegas came back with a power play of their own just 12 seconds after the Sharks power play expired.

The Vegas power play did not last long, as Alex Tuch scored at 4:52, again off a rebound. This one was created by a close in shot from Reilly Smith. It was not much of a rebound but Tuch was right on the doorstep to knock it in. Assists went to Reilly and Jonathan Marchessault.

The third Vegas goal came from Erik Haula at 8:59. Haula caught a pass from David Perron almost at the goal line. His bad angle shot squeezed under Jones’ pad on the short side. Assists went to Perron and Ryan Carpenter.

Just shy of the half way mark, Marc-Andre Fleury thwarted an excellent chance for San Jose. Marcus Sorensen skated in fast and followed his shot up by crashing the net. He knocked Fleury across the goal mouth and off his skates. The puck was cleared away to the boards, where Brent Burns was on top of it. Fleury got back in position in time to stop the blast from Burns as well.

Vegas had a second power play at 11:02 after Justin Braun was called for tripping. The Sharks started the penaly kill with a good short-handed chance from Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, but they did not beat Fleury. They had a couple more short-handed excursions into the Vegas zone and killed off the rest of the penalty.

The Sharks’ fourth line had an excellent shift in the final three minutes of the period but that was followed by another Vegas power play. After a line change, Joe Pavelski was called for roughing after a tussle in front of the Vegas net. The Sharks spent most of the rest of the period killing that off.

The Sharks’ second power play came early in the third period after Shea Theodore was called for cross-checking Tomas Hertl. Vegas killed that off, but Theodore was back in the box at 4:11, this time for slashing Hertl. The Sharks were unable to take advantage of either penalty.

Alex Tuch scored his second of the game at 8:36 of the third. The Sharks had just finished an excellent shift in the o-zone, ever frustrated by Fleury. After the offensive zone draw, the Sharks lost the puck to Oscar Lindberg, who got it out of the zone. Alex Tuch carried it across the line and passed it to Cody Eakin. Eakin sent it right back for Tuch to shoot.

Pete DeBoer pulled Martin Jones after that goal and put Aaron Dell in.

The team responded with a a quick power play goal from Kevin Labanc. James Neal was called for slashing at 9:06. 29 seconds into the power play, Logan Couture found Labanc in the slot for a clean shot over Fleury’s left pad. Assists went to Couture and Hertl.

Just over two minutes later, Tomas Hertl scored to cut the Vegas lead in half. Mikkel Boedker made a fast move behind the net and just as he had the puck coming around the post, Hertl was there to knock it in. Assists went to Boedker and Couture.

Boedker added to the Sharks’ tally with a quick shot close in after the puck popped out of a scramble in front of the Vegas net. The time of the goal was 15:44, with an assist to Logan Couture.

With 2:21 and an offensive zone draw for the Sharks, DeBoer pulled Dell for the extra skater. The Sharks spent some precious time defending that empty net before getting the puck back into the Vegas zone for a moment. But with 1:21 left, Jonathan Marchessault got control of the puck and took a shot all the way down the ice for the empty-net goal.

Game 6 will be in San Jose on Sunday at 4:30 pm PT.