Sharks Lose 5-2 in Vegas; losing streak swells to seven games

The San Jose Sharks Ryan Danato tries to get the puck into the net sliding with Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury behind to defend on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 5-2 Wednesday. Jonathan Marchessault (2), Mark Stone, Alex Tuch and Mattias Janmark scored for Las Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the win. Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose, with Josef Korenar making 35 saves in his second NHL start. The win was the eighth in a row for the Golden Knights, and the seventh loss in a row for San Jose. The Sharks have also lost seven in a row to Las Vegas.

Timo Meier scored the first goal of the game at 2:38. Joel Kellman’s shot went off of Meier skate while Meier was being swept through the blue paint between two Vegas defenders. Kellman got the assist.

Jonathan Marchessault tied the game at 6:51 of the period. He skated through a gap in the defense and was able to take a shot right in front of Korenar. Korenar stopped that one but Marchessault caught the tiny rebound and swept the puck around the goalie’s skate and in. Assists went to William Karlsson and Alec Martinez.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 19-8 in the first period. Each team had one power play, and two minutes of four-on-four time. The two-minute Golden Knights power play had two shots and the ninety-second Sharks power play had one.

The Sharks took the lead again at 11:07 of the second with Tomas Hertl’s 14th goal of the season. He gathered up a rebound and shot it in from just below the face-off dot to Fleury’s right. Assists went to Patrick Marleau and Erik Karlsson.

Mark Stone tied the game back up at 12:52 with a power play goal. Max Pacioretty sent the puck down to Stone on the goal line and Stone swept the puck all the way around in front of Korenar and into the far side of the net. Assists went to Max Pacioretty and Shea Theodore.

Alex Tuch gave Vegas the lead at 19:10. He shot from the same spot on the goal line where Stone scored from, but he took the shot over Korenar. Assists went to Theodore and Marchessault.

The Sharks led in second period shots 12-10. They had one shot on their one power play. The Golden Knights had two power plays and got two shots in those.

Marchessault scored his second of the game 13:18 into the third period. Mattias Janmark was circling high in the face-off circle with his back to the net when he gave the puck to Marchessault, who was skating into the zone. Marchessault took the shot right away and beat Korenar before the goalie could adjust. Janmark got the assist.

Mattias Janmark made it 5-2 with a goal into an empty net at 19:04. Marchessault got the assist.

The Sharks got two shots in their third period power play and led 13-11 in shots during the final frame. The Sharks did show improvement in the face-off circle Wednesday, winning more than 50% in each period and 58% overall. All of the Sharks penalties were taken by defensemen: Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Mario Ferraro and Erik Karlsson.

The Sharks next play on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild in San Jose at 6:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 5-4 to Golden Knights

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 5-4 to the Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Wednesday. Vegas goals came from Shea Theodore, Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Ryan Reaves and Alec Martinez. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the win. Matt Nieto, Mario Ferraro, Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane scored for the Sharks. Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves in the loss.

The Sharks went into the third period with a 3-1 lead, but gave up four goals in the final frame. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how the game came undone:

“I think we pissed away a couple points. You know, the game got emotional and intense and physical, and I didn’t mind that at all. I think we did a good job sticking up for each other, those are things we want to keep doing. A little tough there when we lost [Couture], Hertl and Timo got called off the bench for concussion protocol after that hit all at the same time so we started juggling lines.”

Boughner did not consider that the real turning point. Rather, it came before that: “They didn’t have much going on the first six, seven minutes of that period and we had a horrible, horrible too many men call.”

Sharks Captain Logan Couture explained how it felt to let the game get away from them in the third:

“We played better. Should have won tonight, gave away points, so I mean it sucks to take away the moral victory in a game like this when you need to win and should have won. We’re in a position to win in the third period so, shitty feeling right now.”

Shea Theodore started the scoring at 3:45. Max Pacioretty gathered up an offensive zone turnover and passed it to Theodore at the point. Theodore’s slapshot sailed by Dubnyk, who may have been screened by some traffic.

San Jose took three penalties in the first period and their penalty kill allowed four shots. On the power play, they had three shots. For the period, the Sharks led in shots 11-10.

Matt Nieto got the Sharks on the board at 6:21. Timo Meier sent a pass from the goal line right onto Nieto’s stick by the blue paint. Assists went to Meier and Tomas Hertl.

The Sharks took a lead at with a goal from Mario Ferraro at 7:57. John Leonard’s shot went off of the post before Ferraro coraaled it behind the net and wrapped it around behind Fleury. Assists went to Leonard and Evander Kane.

Ryan Reaves put the puck in the net for Vegas at 11:00, but William Carrier was on top of Dubnyk when the puck went in. The Sharks challenged the goal and, after a review, it was called back for goaltender interference.

Kevin Labanc scored the Sharks’ third of the night at 15:07. Evander Kane attempted to deflect a shot from Ferraro on the blue line. When that didn’t go, he found it again and swept it in front of the net for Labanc to put away. Assists went to Kane and Ferraro.

The Sharks achieved their second period goal of avoiding penalties and the only one went to the Golden Knights. They outshot the Golden Knights 16-11 in the period, but did not get any shots on their power play.

Cody Glass scored for Vegas on the power play at 6:43 of the third period. John Leonard was in the box because his team was caught with too many men on the ice. The puck actually went off of Mario Ferraro’s skate. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Mark Stone.

Tomas Hertl and Mark Stone came to blows in front of the Sharks net moments later. Stone had delivered a hit on Timo Meier in the neutral zone. Meier was called away form the game for concussion protocol. That was Hertl’s first NHL fight.

Nicolas Hague tied the game at 10:03 with a shot right down the slot from the blue line. The assists went to Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson.

Logan Couture and Jonathan Marchessault fought shortly after that goal. That left the Sharks without Meier, Hertl of Couture for several minutes.

Ryan Reaves gave Vegas the lead at 12:27 with a deflection that bounced past Dubnyk. Assists went to Tomas Nosek and Zach Whitecloud.

Alec Martinez scored what would be the game winner at 14:46, on another power play. Labanc was in the box for tripping. the Sharks were just eight seconds away from killing the penalty when Tomas Nosek made a pass across the ice to Martinez. Assists went to Nosek and Theodore.

Evander Kane brought the Sharks back within on goal at 15:54 with a power play goal. Erik Karlsson took a shot from the point. Kane was there to battle for the rebound and tuck it in.

Vegas outshot San Jose 16-6 in the third period. The Sharks got two shots in on their one power play and the Golden Knights got seven shots in two power plays.

The Sharks won just 45% of the face-offs in the game. Of skaters to take more than five draws, only Logan Couture won more than 50%.

The Sharks next play on Friday against the St. Louis Blues at 6:00 PM PT, back in San Jose.

Sharks Lose 2-1 to Golden Knights; Dubnyk stands on head despite loss

The San Jose Sharks goaltender Devon Dubnyk stops a shot by the Vegas Golden Knights Alex Tuch while on his back at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Mon Mar 15, 2021 (AP News photo) 

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 2-1 Monday. Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone scored for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves for the win. Timo Meier scored for the Sharks and Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how an otherwise good game from the Sharks was thwarted by Marc-Andre Fleury’s brilliant play:

“I thought there was a lot of good things to our game. Obviously, in the second period we took on a little water. I thought that Duby was good. I thought that we had lots of chances early on in the game. I thought Fleury was a difference-maker. You know, we had a few break-aways, we hit a few posts. Could have been a little bit of a different game, but he kept them going, he gave them some momentum.”

Boughner went on to say: “I’m proud of the guys, I thought we fought hard, I thought we did a lot of good things so we just gotta get back to work here tomorrow and try and find a way to score some more goals against these guys.”

Sharks captain Logan Couture talked about how the team seems to be getting better goaltending lately:

“The last little while, I think that, you know, we started to pick each other up. We started to play better for each other, play to our system, play better defensively. When a team plays better, tighter defensively, the goaltender’s always going to look better and make more saves. So, yeah, I think we’re starting to do that.”

Max Pacioretty scored the only first period goal, on the power play at 8:35. Evander Kane was in the box for tripping Jonathan Marchessault. It took the Golden Knights just 12 seconds to score. They won the face-off and moved the puck aroud the outside once before Pacioretty scored, from just beyond the face-off dot. Assists went to Mak Stone and Shea Theodore.

The first period shot count was 11-8 Sharks. In the face-of circle, Vegas won 58%.

There were no goals and no penalties in the second period. There was, however, a surprising shot discrepancy, with the Sharks getting credit for just 4 and Vegas notching 16 shots. Oddly, the face-offs went the other way, with the Sharks winning 60% of them.

Mark Stone added a goal for Vegas just 1:02 into the third period. Nikolay Knyzhov did a good job stcking with Pacioretty as he carried the puck down the wall, but he couldn’t stop him from making a pass to Mark Stone who was trailing. No one was in Stone’s way to prevent the shot. Assists went to Pacioretty and Nicolas Hague.

The Golden Knights had a power play when Tomas Hertl was called for sendig the puck over the glass. The Sharks penalty kill allowed just one shot.

Around the 12-minute mark, Evander Kane had a breakaway chance but Marc-Andre Fleury came way out of his net for the poke check. Fleury’s gamble paid off and Kane couldn’t get a shot off.

Not long after that, Kane was sent to the penalty box for interference on Marchessault. Vegas had 3 shots on that power play.

Timo Meier got the Sharks on the board at 14:29. Meier held the puck in the slot as if he would shoot on the forehand, luring Fleury out of the net. Once the goalie was out of the blue paint, Meier switched to the backhand and dragged the puck around Fleury’s outstretched leg to tuck it in the net. Brent Burns got the assist.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with just under two minutes left. The Sharks had a 25 second power play at the end when Max Pacioretty was called for interference on Timo Meier. That was the only penalty called on Vegas. The Sharks had a few fair chances in those 25 seconds but could not tie it up.

Logan Couture commented on the difficulty of using the extra skater in the last minutes of the game:

“Just at the end there, the puck was bouncing too much to create anything on that 6 on 5 and power play. Which is unfortunate ‘cuz I think we would have had some looks. Just couldn’t get anything tape-to-tape and the puck seemed to be spinning, bouncing, so, tough one to swallow right now for sure.”

The shot count for the period was 12-9 Vegas. The Sharks led in face-off wins at 52% for the third period and in the game.

The Sharks will play the Golden Knights again on Wednesday in Las Vegas, at 7:00 PM PT.

Golden Knights Shut-Out Sharks 4-0

The Vegas Knights Marc Andre-Fleury (left) stops the puck with Nick Holden (22) and the San Jose Sharks Kevin LeBanc (62) behind Fleury in first period at SAP Center on Sat Mar 6, 2021 (AP News photo) 

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday. Goals came from Mark Stone, Alex Tuch (2) and Reilly Smith. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for the shut-out win. Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves in the loss for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said that the team lost some energy after the first period: “We were a little bit one-and-done. The Sharks are a team that played five games in the last eight days and you could see that as the game wore on.”

Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk said: “I thought offensively we generated a lot. Flower [Vegas goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury] played phenomenal and he’s been pretty good all season.”

Vegas scored their first goal fairly late in the first period, at 15:02. Mark Stone scored it, off of a two on one. Assists went to Chandler Stephenson and Max Pacioretty.

Vegas outshot the Sharks 14-8 in the first period and won 64% of the face-offs.

Alex Tuch scored both second period goals. First, Tuch caught a turnover at speed in the neutral zone and raced away for a shot before anyone could get in his way. It was his 11th of the season.

He scored the second at 16:38. Devan Dubnyk had just knocked the puck away but into some traffic. It bounced clear just as Tuch skated to the net and he knocked it in with a backhand.

The Sharks took one penalty in the first period but gave up no shots to the Vegas power play. Vegas won the face-off battle again at 53%, and had 14 shots to the Sharks’ 9.

The final goal of the game came in middle of the third period. Alex Pietrangelo won a board battle below the goal line, allowing Jonathan Marchessault to send the puck to a waiting Reilly Smith up in the slot. The puck went over Dubnyk’s glove and in the net.

The Sharks led in third period shots 7-4 and won 57% of the face-offs. Each team had a power play in the second period. The Sharks had one shot on their power play and Vegas had none.

The Sharks’ forward roster was reduced by one more for Saturday’s game. Timo Meier was out with a lower body injury and is listed as day-to-day. The Golden Knights’ Mark Stone left during the second period with an injury and did not return. Ryan Reaves, who had to be helped off the ice during Friday’s game with a lower body injury, was back in the lineup Saturday.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the St. Louis Blues at 7:30 PM PT in San Jose.

Sharks Lose 3-1 to Golden Knights

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost their first game back in San Jose, a 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Power play goals were scored by Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl scored the Sharks goal, and Martin Jones made 23 saves in the loss.

Despite some lackluster seasons, the Sharks have maintained a respectable penalty kill. Not since 2009 have the Sharks allowed three or more power play goals in consecutive games, as they did in their last two games. On the season so far, the Sharks are 21st in the league with a 76.9 penalty kill percentage.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns talked about what the Sharks need for a better penalty kill:

“In a pk, when it’s successful, you’re just pressuring hard, working, things are hitting you, blocking, you’re just disrupting things and, you know, I think we gotta get a little bit of that back. Taking time and space away, within our system, and making it difficult for them to create stuff. I think it looked a little too easy for them in the last couple games.”

Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the Sharks’ game even-strength: “We won the five-on-five game. I liked our five-on-five game. I think, you know, obviously I’d like to score more than one but you know, on the other hand we didn’t give them anything five-on-five.”

At 13:13 of the first period, Jonathan Marchessault scored his team’s first power play goal of the afternoon. The puck was bouncing in front of Martin Jones, and went over his head. Marchessault managed to get a stick on it in the air and tap it in. Assists went to Chandler Stephenson and Alec Martinez.

The Sharks had two power plays in the first period, and had two shots in those power plays. In total, the Sharks outshot Vegas 11-7 and came out even in the face-off circle. Vegas had just the one power play and got three shots before scoring.

Mark Stone scored the second Vegas power play goal at 9:56 of the second. Stone was next to the net when Jones moved forward to try to cover a rebound. When it got away from him, Jones was too far out to get back and prevent the goal. Assists went to William Karlsson and Cody Glass.

Tomas Hertl scored his goal at 18:39 of the second. Rudolfs Balcers took a pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic and carried the puck down the ice two-on-one with Hertl. Balcers made a tidy pass from one face-off dot to the other so Hertl could score with a one-timer. Assists went to Balcers and Vlasic.

The only penalty in the second was the one that led to the Vegas goal, a delay of game penalty for sending the puck over the glass. The Golden Knights again had three shots on the power play before scoring. Vegas edged the Sharks in the face-off circle 55%-45%, and on the shot clock 10-7.

Chandler Stephenson finished the scoring off of his skate at 6:45 of the third, again on a power play. The Golden Knights had just enered the zone and didn’t need to get set up when Alex Tuch’s pass across the slot hit Stephenson’s well-angled skate, sending the puck behind Jones and in. Assists went to Tuch and Martinez.

Each team had two power plays in the third period, with the Sharks giving up three shots and a goal, and Vegas giving up just two shots. The Golden Knights took over the face-off circle, winning 76% of the thirs period draws. Much of that success can be attributed to Chandler Stephenson and William Karlsson, who took the lion’s share of the draws for Vegas. Both of those players won more than 60% of the time. In the end, the Golden Knights won 59% of the draws on Saturday.

Sharks defenseman Radim Simek left the game early in the second period after being cross checked in the mid-section by Jonathan Marchessault. The Sharks shared no further information on his status after the game.

Erik Karlsson’s game also ended early, not playing in the final 11 minutes. After the game, Bob Boughner said “lower body. He’s on the trainer’s table now just getting working on. So I don’t think it’s anything crazy serious. I think he just tweaked something.”

The Sharks next play on Monday at 7:30 PM PT, in San Jose, against the Anaheim Ducks.

Sharks Tough It Out, Beat Golden Knights 2-1 in OT

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in overtime Thursday, in Vegas. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier and Logan Couture. Aaron Dell, making his first start in three weeks, made 37 saves for win. The lone Vegas goal came from Brayden McNabb and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves.

Aaron Dell last played on November 2, seven games ago for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier said: “He was incredible, he made some really big saves for us, he was steady all game in net. And that’s a big win and he definitely was a huge part of that.”

In his first game of the season, Antti Suomela seemd to scored the first goal. From high in the face-off circle, he tipped Brenden Dillon’s shot from the point at 6:08. Las Vegas challenged it for goaltender interference by Timo Meier. Merrill had given Meier a push as he hit Fleury’s glove while skating around him at the edge of the crease. The officials did not consider the push to be relevant and the goal was disallowed.

The Sharks started Thursday’s game without Tomas Hertl and Dalton Prout,  and Melker Karlsson and Radim Simek both left the game early with injuries. No injury details were forthcoming after the game but Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:

It was a big character win for us, was a lot of thing stacked against us with some of the injuries in the lineup, obviously coming into this building and what happened the last couple times we’ve been in here. So, I thought our guys dug deep, I thought we got contributions from everybody. I didn’t think we had any passengers tonight and obviously Deller gave us a big game.

The Sharks took the only penalty of the first period, and that was to Logan Couture for tripping Reilly Smith. The Golden Knights had two shots on that power play and 14 shots in the period to the Sharks’ 6.

When Timo Meier scored at 1:26 of the second period, it counted. Skating through the neutral zone, Meier caught a pass from Dylan Gambrell and went tearing into the Vegas zone. Nate Schmidt had a step on him, but a stutter step got him around the defenseman and a hard stop by the goal sent Schmidt into the post as the puck went into the net.

By the middle of the period, the Sharks were being out-shot 8-2, and that was before they took a penalty for too many men on the ice at 9:12. Vegas got two shots on that power play as well.

The Sharks’ first power play came at 13:14 of the second, a tripping penalty to Marc-Andre Fleury against Marcus Sorensen. The Sharks got one shot early in the power play, but spent a lot of time stuck in the defensive zone after that, being turned back in the neutral zone again and again. They finished with two shots in that power play. The Sharks were out-shot in the second period 14-11.

The Sharks took their third penalty of the game at 4:18 of the third period when Brenden Dillon was called for interference on Cody Eakin. The Sharks had a couple of scares during that one, but their goaltender was up to the challenge and bailed them out. Vegas only had one shot in that power play.

Vegas tied it up at 10:18 of the third when Brayden McNabb took a shot from the top of the face-off circle. The puck found its way into the net through traffic. William Carrier got the assist.

The Sharks were on the power play at 11:17 when Cody Eakin was called for slashing Timo Meier. The Sharks had three shots in that power play. The Sharks had six shots for the period, as did Vegas.

In overtime, the shots were 6-4 Sharks after Logan Couture ended it at 3:20. His breakaway was made possible by a pass-interrupting tip from Marc-Edouard Vlasic in front of the Sharks net. Fleury stopped Couture’s initial shot, but Couture closed on the net and poked the puck under the goaltender before any defenders could catch him.

The three stars went to Logan Couture, Brayden McNabb and Ryan Reaves, likely for the 12 hits he got credit for.

The Sharks next play on Saturday back in San Jose against the New York Islanders at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Finish Preseason with 5-1 Loss to Vegas

photo from mercurynews.com: Evander Kane #9 of the San Jose Sharks shoves linesman Kiel Murchison in the third period of the Sharks’ preseason game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on September 29, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kane received a game misconduct for an abuse of officials penalty. The Golden Knights defeated the Sharks 5-1.

By Mary Walsh

The Sharks dropped their final preseason game 5-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday in Las Vegas. Vegas goals came from William Carrier, Jimmy Shuldt, Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone and Reilly Smith. Danil Yurtaykin scored the only San Jose goal, during the third period. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 38 shots for the win, while Martin Jones stopped 17 of 21 shots during the first two periods and Aaron Dell made 10 saves on 11 shots for San Jose.

With almost all of the likely NHL lineup in the game, the Sharks managed 12 shots on net in the first period, but could not score. They did kill a penalty half way through the period, after Timo Meier was called for goaltender interference. Vegas had 14 shots and scored once at the end of the period. The Sharks had just gotten the puck out of their zone bu could not get it past the center line before Vegas carried it back in. Tomas Nosek carried the puck down along the boards while Carrier drove the net. Nosek took the shot and it went off of Carrier and in.

Early in the second period, Brenden Dillon was called for holding, putting the Golden Knights on the power play. Jimmy Schuldt scored in the second minute of that penalty. After a quick give and go along the blue line with William Karlsson, Schuldt’s shot from the point went right by Jones. Assists went to Karlsson and Reilly Smith.

A dispute between Evander Kane and Valentin Zykov at 7:31 resulted in matching roughing minors for the players and some 4-on-4 time for the teams. After almost a minute of very fast back and forth play, Jonathan Marchessault scored off the rush, making it 3-0 Vegas. Marchessault had a step on Joe Thornton coming through the neutral zone, and stayed just ahead of a charging Mario Ferraro as they bore down on the Sharks net.

Kane and Zykov went at it again at 10:17, this time receiving fighting majors.

The Sharks had a good shift in the offensive zone with about five minutes left in the period, until a quick pass from Schuldt found Max Pacioretty lurking at the Sharks blue line. Pacioretty took the puck in and made a quick pass to Mark Stone who shot the puck past Jones to make it 4-0.

On a line with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane, Danil Yurtaykin scored at 1:10 of the third. Yurtaykin caught the puck behind the net, carried it to the front and put it in with a quick backhand into traffic. Assists went to Kane and Hertl.

A couple of minutes later, Reilly Smith made it 5-1 Vegas with a power play goal. Timo Meier was in the box for slashing Brayden McNabb, and it only took the Vegas power play 13 seconds to score. Assists went to William Karlsson and Marchessault.

The Sharks took 11 more penalties in the period, and Vegas took eight, but the score did not change. Among those penalties were misconducts for Evander Kane, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Max Pacioretty, Brenden Dillon, Deryk Engellund and Kevin Labanc.

Late in the first period, Logan Couture took a puck to the hand but he played through the game.

The Sharks’ lineup Sunday included new faces Lean Bergman, Danil Yurtakin and Jonny Brodzinsky up front. On defense, Dalton Prout and Mario Ferraro were in while Radim Simek and Tim Heed sat out.

The Sharks will be back in Las Vegas on Wednesday to start the regular season at 7:30 PM PT.

Golden Knights Beat Sharks 3-1 in Preseason

@SanJoseSharks photo

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The Vegas Golden Knights scored once per period to defeat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Saturday’s preseason game at the SAP Center. Max Pacioretty scored once and got assists on the other two Vegas goals, scored by Valentin Zykov and Alex Tuch. Antti Suomela scored San Jose’s only goal. Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in the win, while Martin Jones made 26 saves for San Jose.

Three players made their first appearance in this preseason for the Sharks on Saturday: forwards Logan Couture and Melker Karlsson and defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov. Knyzhov was signed by the Sharks in July as a free agent.

Martin Jones gave up one goal on four shots in the first period. That goal came off of Valentin Zykov’s stick. Zykov found a rebound right in front of Jones and put it around him with a back hand. Assists went to Nick Pacioretty and Cody Glass.

At the other end, Marc-Andre Fleury saw eleven shots from the Sharks and stopped them all. Four of those shots came from Lean Bergmann, playing on a line Logan Couture and Jonny Brodzinski. Some of those shots also came on the game’s first power play, during which San Jose did not score.

Just past the seven minute mark of the second, Antti Suomela had a nice breakaway chance, displaying some speed. Fleury stopped his shot. Around the midpoint of the period, the teams were pretty close in shots, with Vegas at five and San Jose at four. Vegas had already surpassed their shot count from the whole first period.

Max Pacioretty scored the second goal for Vegas at 14:38 of the second. A play behind the net got out in front of Jones with just one defender to help him out. Pacioretty had a lot of room to move and shoot. Assists went to Cody Glass and Reilly Smith.

Moments after the next faceoff, a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the blue line was neatly deflected by Antti Suomela to get the Sharks on the board. A second assist went to Kevin Labanc.

By the end of the period, the Golden Knights had 14 shots on goal while the Sharks had 9.

Just 18 seconds into the third period, Kevin Labanc was called for slashing Cody Glass. During the ensuing power play, Alex Tuch scored, giving the Golden Knights the 3-1 lead. Assists went to Pacioretty and Jimmy Schuldt.

The rest of the third period was full of penalties, compared to the single penalty called in the first two periods. Dalton Prout and Valentin Zykov were called at 4:36 for cross-checking each other. At 11:36, Nicholas Roy was called for hi-sticking Antti Suomela.

The next preseason game for the Sharks will be on Tuesday in Anaheim against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Golden Knights Take 2-1 Series Lead with 6-3 Win Over Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3, scoring a first-minute goal in all three periods. Three Vegas goals came from Mark Stone, two from Paul Stastny and one from Max Pacioretty. For the Sharks, goals came from Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Timo Meier. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for the Vegas win, while Martin Jones made 34 saves in the Sharks loss.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer talked about the high-scoring line of Stastny, Stone and Pacioretty:

They’ve eaten us up here this series so far, so, we haven’t had an answer for them. What do they do well? I mean you’ve got three very good players that are playing at a really high level right now. So, you know, that is part of the issue. We’ve got to find an answer to slow those guys down.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about the impact of early goals against, summarizing it as: “It’s tough to keep it going or get it back when you do that at the start.” Forward Logan Couture also talked those period starts, saying “they made some nice plays but we’ve got to be ready to start periods.”

On his goaltender’s performance, Couture said: “I think he made a lot of saves. I mean, you look at that game, their power play chances, their chances in the slot, he made a lot of big saves. They could have had eight tonight. Some of their goals, you can’t give up breakaways, two on ones, and let a guy walk past the half way mark in the crease. You’re just asking for trouble.”

Yet again, Vegas scored early the game, putting the Sharks down by one just 18 seconds in. Right off of the opening face-off, Erik Karlsson’s pass missed its mark and ended up on Mark Stone’s stick. Stone charged into the zone, pursued by Sharks, and scored with a back hand. Assists went to Nate Schmidt and Deryk Engellund.

Max Pacioretty gave Vegas a 2-0 lead at 12:16 with a power play goal. Evander Kane was in the box for a four-minute high-sticking penalty. Pacioretty’s shot was the first of the power play and only took five seconds. The face-off was still dispersing when Pacioretty shot from near the point. His shot went through some traffic and between Justin Braun’s legs. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Paul Stastny.

The Sharks got one back late in the period at 15:16. Joe Thornton got to the puck behind the net and made a quick back hand pass up to Kevin Labanc as Labanc skated to the net. Labanc took the shot some feet from the blue paint, then collided with Colin Miller in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. The Golden Knights challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the goal was upheld. Assists went to Thornton and Marcus Sorensen.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 20-12 in the first period, and won 59% of the face-offs.

Paul Stastny restored the Golden Knights’ two-goal lead 21 seconds into the second period. Pacioretty took a shot from the slot and the rebound went to Stastny out beyond the traffic around the net. He took a shot from above the face-off dot and it went by two Sharks defenders and under their goaltender. Assists went to Pacioretty and Stone.

The Sharks got their first power play at 10:02 of the second period. The Golden Knights had already had three.

Stastny added another goal at 16:04, on the sixth Vegas power play. This time, it was Kevin Labanc in the box for interference against Ryan Reaves. The Sharks had killed off most of the penalty when Mark Stone made an impressive pass across the slot, evading skates and sticks, right to Stastny for the shot. Jones was still trying to get across when the puck went in. Assists went to Stone and Theodore.

Las Vegas outshot San Jose 10-7 in the second period, but only won 40% of the face-offs.

The Sharks made some line changes for the third. Gus Nyquist moved to Logan Couture’s line with Timo Meier. Joe Pavelski moved to Tomas Hertl’s line with Evander Kane.

The Golden Knights scored a third first-minute goal in the third, this time 36 seconds in. Mark Stone’s pass to Jonathan Marchessault became a rebound that Stone was in a perfect spot to tap in. Assists went to Marchessault and Stastny.

At 4:57, the Sharks scored on their third power play. William Karlsson was in the box for slashing Tomas Hertl. Early in the power play, Marc-Andre Fleury lost his glove while on his back after a shot almost went in. The whistle went and the delay allowed conflict to erupt, resulting in matching roughing penalties for Brent Burns and Tomas Nosek.

Erik Karlsson’s neutral zone pass found Logan Couture just above the blue line. Couture carried it down the side past the face-off dot and sent the puck to the net where Pavelski was arriving for a deflection. The puck never reached Pavelski as Brayden McNabb’s stick got in the way and directed the puck past his own goaltender. The goal went to Couture with assists to Karlsson and Martin Jones.

Timo Meier scored a third goal for the Sharks at 5:51. Gus Nyquist took a shot from in close created a rebound that went right to Meier in the slot. Meier’s shot was just too quick for Fleury to catch. Nyquist got the assist.

Those two quick goals were followed by a lull in scoring, until Mark Stone got his third of the game at 13:57, restoring the three-goal lead for Vegas. A neutral zone interception sent Stone and Stastny into the Sharks zone. Stastny sent the puck off the boards to Stone, who skated to the net, faked to the right and shot to left with a backhand. Assists went to Stastny and Theodore.

Vegas outshot the Sharks 40-28 in the game and won 53% of the face-offs.

Sharks forward Micheal Haley was injured blocking a shot in the second period and did not return. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, injured the same way in Friday’s game, was not in the lineup Sunday and was replaced by Tim Heed.

Game four will be on Tuesday in Las Vegas at 7:30 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Golden Knights Beat Sharks 5-3; Tie Series 1-1

Photo credit: @GoldenKnights

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Friday, tying their first round NHL Playoff series 1-1. Vegas goals came from Cody Eakin, Colin Miller, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and William Karlsson. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves in the win. Martin Jones made four saves on seven shots for San Jose, then Aaron Dell came in to replace him and made 14 saves on 16 shots.

The Sharks had eight power plays in the game while the Golden Knights had just three. The Sharks scored one power play goal and Vegas scored one power play goal and two short-handed ones.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about how the Sharks’ power play failed them: “We would get turned back and try to make the play up top and they would take that away and it would be out of the zone. It can be a little cleaner, a little quicker, a little bit more direct and we’ll go from there.”

The curse of the first five minutes reared its head again for the Sharks. Martin Jones had just saved a Max Pacioretty shot, which wound up behind the net. Following it as it came back around, Jones found himself screened by his own defensemen when Cody Eakin took a shot from the slot. An assist went to Pacioretty.

That was not the end of it. Before five minutes had elapsed, Vegas scored again. 2:10 into overlapping Sharks power plays, Colin Miller emerged from the penalty box to score short handed at 4:37.

Vegas added another at 6:11. Paul Stastny deflected a pass in the neutral zone, and Pacioretty picked it up. He carried the puck in just off the wall and took his shot before passing the face-off dot. The shot went by Jones on the far side and in. Stastny got the assist.

After that goal, Peter DeBoer replaced Martin Jones with Aaron Dell in net.

After the game, DeBoer said: “We were down three-nothing ten minutes in. I didn’t put it on Jonesy. We needed a shot in the arm to kind of change our momentum.”

The Sharks took some time to stem the bleeding. Once they had done that, they engaged their offense.

Logan Couture got the Sharks on the board at 16:59. The Sharks had just finished killing off a two-man advantage for Vegas, and were playing 4-on-4. Erik Karlsson made a pass across the offensive zone to Pavelski, who quickly passed it back across to Couture in front of the net. Couture put it carefully over Fleury and into the net. Assists went to Pavelski and Karlsson.

After the goal, the Sharks had a brief power play and scored again at 17:38. Couture passed the puck from the point along the blue line to Erik Karlsson, who had a long line of traffic between himself and the net. That traffic made an effective screen for Karlsson’s shot, and a deflection by Tomas Hertl made it all the more elusive. It was Hertl’s second of the playoffs. Assists went to Karlsson and Couture.

Joe Thornton completed the comeback at 19:08 of the period. The Sharks had just spent quite a while hemmed in their own zone when Logan Couture flipped the puck out of the zone. Evander Kane took off in hot pursuit though Pacioretty had several steps on him. Kane caught up and pushed Pacioretty off the puck, took it around behind the net and sent it back up to Brenden Dillon on the blue line. Dillon sent it back down to Thornton for a deflection. Dillon and Kane got the assists.

The second period started with another goal against the Sharks in the first five minutes, but only after the Sharks had a goal called back 51 seconds in. The goal did not count as it occurred just after Logan Couture was penalized for goaltender interference. The call was questionable as the contact came well outside the blue paint and appeared to be initiated by the goaltender. Nevertheless, the goal did not count.

On the ensuing power play, Vegas scored at 1:31. Mark Stone deflected a blue line shot from Shea Theodore. Dell stopped the deflection but the puck made its way back out to Stone, who was able to poke it through traffic and in. It was Stone’s third of the playoffs. Assists went to Stastny and Alex Tuch.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic finished his final shift of the game at 1:06, after the face-off for that Vegas power play, so the Sharks finished the game with five defensemen. Vlasic was injured blocking a shot.

Vegas scored a second short-handed goal at 7:35 of the third period. William Karlsson broke away as Reilly Smith was collecting the puck in the defensive zone. The pass got to him on the center line when he was already up to speed. He faked a shot as he approached the net and then put it away with a back-hand over a prone goaltender. Assists went to Smith and Tuch.

That goal came on Vegas’s first shot of the period. They did not have another shot until 13:53 of the period. In total, they only had four shots in the period but that was enough for them.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with over two minutes to go for an offensive zone draw. The Sharks had a total of 15 shots in the period but could not beat Fleury again.

Through the first two periods, the Sharks won over 60% of the face-offs, but in the third won just 33%. The Golden Knights put Colin Miller in for Nick Holden on their blue line Friday. The Sharks made no roster changes, but may have to for Sunday, if Vlasic is not available.

Game 3 will be in Las Vegas on Sunday at 7:00 PM PT.