Vegas Golden Knights center Brett Howden, left, attempts to skate around San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton at the T Mobile Center on Tue Mar 1, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in Las Vegas on Tuesday. It was the eleventh loss in row for the Sharks against the Golden Knights. Keegan Kolesar and Reilly Smith scored for Vegas, with two goals from Smith. Robin Lehner made 16 saves for the win. Noah Gregor scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 10 saves in the first period. Zach Sawchenko made 18 saves in the second and third periods.
While admitting that some of the Sharks’ top players may be fatigued after six games in ten days, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner saw few positives in the loss:
“There wasn’t anything I could really say positive about our game tonight. Only thing I’d say is we found a way to keep it a one-goal game for a long time. And that’s an opportunity on the road no matter how you’re playing. You can come up with ten good minutes and find a way to win but we couldn’t muster anything up tonight.”
Sharks forward Andrew Cogliano was equally glum about the team’s lackluster performance: “That’s on us, we know the game plan. The game plan was set in stone, and obviously the game plan against these guys is to try to take away the rush. They’re very good on it and they stretch guys behind you and for whatever reason we didn’t want to do that.”
James Reimer played to the end of the first period but did not return for the second, due to a lower body injury. There were no updates on his status in the post-game.
Keegan Kolesar scored first for Vegas, just 2:16 into the game. Brett Howden carried the puck in, two-on-one with Kolesar. Just before jumping over a prone Brent Burns, he made the cross-ice pass to Kolesar for the shot.
Noah Gregor tied it 1:53 into the second period. Andrew Cogliano, below the goal line, made a pass to Nick Bonino up in the circle, and he found Gregor on the other side of the slot for a quick shot.
Reilly Smith scored his first of the game at 13:56. Jonathan Marchessault brought the puck in and made a quick cross-ice pass to Smith for the shot. Assists went to Marchessault and William Karlsson.
Smith scored his second 4:45 into the third period. Karlsson made a touch-pass off of Marchessault’s shot to get the puck to Smith. It was so quick that it looked like a double deflection from one stick to the other.
The Golden Knights out-shot the Sharks 31-17. They also beat them in the face-off circle, 29-21. There was only one power play in the game, to Vegas. The Sharks penalty kill gave up just two shots.
After the game, Andrew Cogliano explained that he had been out because his infant daughter was hospitalized over the weekend. With her improved and out of the hospital, he was able to return to the team.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson and goaltender Adin Hill may be available to rejoin the team soon.
The Sharks next play on Saturday at 5:00 PM PT in San Jose against the Nashville Predators.