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.