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.

Sharks Win 5-4 in Game 7 OT, Goodrow’s GWG Moves Sharks to Second Round

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The Sharks will advance to the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs after a 5-4 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday. The win represents comebacks from being down 3-1 in the series and being down 3-0 in the third period of Game 7. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture (2), Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc and Barclay Goodrow. Golden Knights goals came from William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Cody Eakin and Jonathan Marchessault. Martin Jones made 34 saves in the win, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 43 saves in the loss.

Do it for Joe x2?
Much has been made of the Sharks’ desire to succeed for the sake of Joe Thornton, whose career is in its sunset years. Then, halfway through the third period, there was an injury to their captain Joe Pavelski.

Like blood in the water, Pavelski’s blood on the ice galvanized the Sharks into a scoring frenzy in the third period. They were down 3-0 when their captain was helped off of the ice. They scored twice in the first minute of that 5 minute major, then twice more before the penalty expired. It was the first lead change in a game in this series. Logan Couture scored the first and the third, Tomas Hertl scored the second and Kevin Labanc scored the fourth. All of those goals in 4:01 of playing time.

That was all very surprising, bombarding the audience with stunning mix of emotions.

The Golden Knights scored first Tuesday, at 10:10. After an offensive zone face-off, Reilly Smith took a shot from the wall. The puck went off of Jonathan Marchessault, who was in front of Brenden Dillon, who was in front of Martin Jones. The puck veered to the right, where William Karlsson reached around to put the puck past all of the bodies and into the net. Assists went to Marchessault and Smith.

The Sharks had two scoreless power plays early in the first, one at 1:56 when Colin Miller went for hooking Kevin Labanc, and one at 4:15 when Brayden McNabb went for cross-checking Tomas Hertl. Tnd the Golden Knights had one at 12:36 when Erik Karlsson went for tripping Brandon Pirri. The Golden Knights had theirs cut short when Alex Tuch was called for interference on Justin Braun. That left the Sharks with some power play time after all that, but they couldn’t make much of it and spent too much time trying to get throught thethe neutral zone. In all, the Sharks power play generated six of their eleven first period shots. The Golden Knights got no shots on their partial power play but had four in the period.

The Sharks had good chances in the first minutes of the second, but hit the post at least twice. They earned a power play at 6:22, when Ryan Reaves tripped Martin Jones, who was outside of the net trying to retrieve the puck. San Jose had a few moments of good puck movement, but just one shot on goal.

Near the midpoint of the second, the Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 5-2. At the exact midpoint, Cody Eakin put the puck in the net for Las Vegas. The goal was reviewed for a high stick, and was upheld by the NHL. Assists went to Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore.

The Sharks almost evened the shot count by the end of the second, but still had not scored. Their face-off percentage, which had been near 50% through the first, dropped to 40% in the second. Las Vegas definitely had the upper hand in the middle frame.

Max Pacioretty scored a third for Las Vegas at 3:36 of the third. After some good zone time for San Jose, and another post, Vegas pushed back and the Sharks were trying to clear the puck out. Mark Stone took the puck away from them and passed it across the slot to Pacioretty. Pacioretty was able to hold it for a beat and when he took the shot, there was no one between him and Jones. The puck went by Jones on the blocker side. An assist went to Stone.

At 9:13, Cody Eakin cross-checked Joe Pavelski right off of a face-off. As Pavelski stumbled backward, Paul Stasny skated into him from the side. Pavelski went backward over Stasny’s knee, and could not get his hands up to protect himself in time. He landed on the side of his head and bled onto the ice. After Pavelski was helped off the ice, Eakin was given a five-minute major. Then the Sharks started scoring. Their goals came from everywhere: both faceoff circles, a deflection in the slot, a shot from the slot.

The Golden Knights pulled their goaltender and at 19:13 they tied the game. Mark Stone moved the puck behind the net to Reilly Smith. Smith moved it quickly back above the blue paint, where Marchessault knocked it past Jones. Assists went to Smith and Stone.

The Sharks won 62% of the face-offs in the third period.

Both teams struggled with fatigue and what appeared to be bad ice in overtime. Passes missed the mark, any long-distance puck movement seemed to wobble. Both goaltenders were still alert and the period crept closer and closer to a fifth period.

Barclay Goodrow only had two shifts in the fourth period, but on his second, he ended the game. Erik Karlsson carried the puck over the blue line and Goodrow came across right behind him. Goodrow took the wide track close to the boards and Karlsson passed the puck ahead to him. Goodrow veered away from the boards and cut across in front the goal. Fleury could not stay in front of him and Goodrow slid the puck around the goaltender and into the net at 18:19.

The only roster change before Tuesday’s game was the replacement of Joonas Donskoi by Lucas Radil. Though Donskoi finished the game Sunday, he did take a big hit in overtime. He did not skate in the morning practice Tuesday, but there was no specific mention of injury. Joakim Ryan, who did not skate after the second period on Sunday, skated four shifts in the first and four shifts in the third, and then skated in overtime Tuesday.

After the game, there were no updates about Pavelski’s condition.

The second round against Colorado will start Friday in San Jose.

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.

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.