Sharks Avoid Elimination, Beat Knights 5-2 to Force Game 6

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Jerry Feitelberg

The San Jose Sharks staved off elimination Thursday night, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 in Game 5 of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to put the series at a 3-2 advantage for Vegas. Martin Jones had arguably his best game of the series after being pulled in two of the previous contests and Tomas Hertl scored a pair of goals. Vegas netted a pair of power play goals on both of their man-advantage attempts.

San Jose looked to keep Vegas off the board in the opening minutes after allowing a goal in the opening seconds in every period of Game 4. They were up to the test, locking Vegas down and even scoring 1:16 into the game. Tomas Hertl beat Marc-Andre Fleury for his third goal of the playoffs, with Erik Karlsson picking up an assist.

The Sharks built on the rare lead in the series after trailing in every game except game one, scoring on Logan Couture’s third goal of the series after tucking in a loose puck when Timo Meier’s original shot sat between Fleury’s pads 11:06 into play.

Vegas picked up a goal after Evander Kane was given the gate for a high-sticking penalty with 1:43 left in the first period. On the ensuing power play the puck bounced off Reilly Smith’s skate with 30 seconds left in the frame to cut the Sharks lead to 2-1.

Barclay Goodrow tipped a Justin Braun shot past Fleury 12:22 into the second period for his first goal of the series, but that’d be it for scoring in the middle stanza. Vegas would score again 11:36 into the third period on Jonathan Marchessault’s second of the series after Erik Karlsson was given a questionable tripping penalty.

First, Jones made an unbelievable cross-crease save to keep out the tying goal, then Hertl allowed the Sharks to breath a little easier when he fired a rebound just outside the crease past Fleury for a 4-2 lead on the power play at the 14:45 mark. Logan Couture drew the penalty after being high-sticked. The centerman lost a couple teeth in the process, but at first glance, seemed to show the referees not calling a penalty while Couture lay on the ice. A conference of the officials ultimately yielded a power play for the Sharks.

Joe Pavelski added the empty-netter with 1:46 to ice the game. Jones made 30 saves to silence any doubters for one night.

Game 6 will be played Sunday at T-Mobile Arena, with the time to be determined. If a Game 7 is necessary, the series will shift back to San Jose Tuesday night.

Headline Sports with London Marq: Can the A’s work things out with the port to get new stadium underway?; Was Game 2 win by Clippers just a fluke? plus more

sfchronicle.com photo file: The Oakland Maritime Industry says that a new Oakland A’s stadium at the port would impact shipping, cause safety concerns, and will be a economic hit to the region’s import and exports.

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 Oakland’s Maritime Industry is saying that building a new stadium for the Oakland A’s at Jack London Square’s Howard Terminal would be a economic hazard for the port. It would disrupt ships that provide import and export that impact Oakland’s economics and would be a safety risk for ships trying to port. Does this sound like a legitimate argument from the Maritime to stop any construction of a new park for the A’s?

#2 This is obviously number one on A’s team president David Kaval’s bucket list of things to get moving. How much opposition will the A’s face in their attempts to build at Howard Terminal and can they work things out with the port?

#3 Is the 31-point comeback by the Los Angeles Clippers to win by four in Game 2 on Monday night a fluke or is it this Clippers team up for the challenge of making this a series against Golden State?

#4 How much of a factor has the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley been in this series trying to intimidate or at least get under the skin of the Warriors’ Kevin Durant? It might be working Durant was fouled out in Game 2 and thrown out in Game 1.

#5 The San Jose Sharks are in a hole after getting shutout in Las Vegas on Tuesday night at T-Mobile Center in Vegas in Game 4. The 5-0 loss puts the Sharks down 3-1 in the series with an elimination game on Thursday night at SAP Center in San Jose.

London Marq joins Sportstalk each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Joe Thornton Suspended for Game 4

Photo credit: @Deadspin

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks will be down one more player for Game Four of their first round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights. Joe Thornton has been suspended by the NHL for one game after an illegal check to the head of Tomas Nosek in Game Three.

As Nosek came out of the corner after retrieving the puck in the defensive zone, he was pitched forward and his head was still down after defending the puck from Brenden Dillon. Thornton was coming out from behind the net and moving as if to help get the puck from Nosek. The collision occurred after Nosek got rid of the puck and while the play was starting to move the other way. Thornton’s shoulder made contact with Nosek’s head as they passed.

A minor penalty was called at 16:45 of the second period. Nosek did not skate again in the second period but did return for the third.

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and forward Micheal Haley are both listed as day-to-day. Vlasic was injured blocking a shot in Game Two, so missed the rest of that game and Game Three. Haley was also injured blocking a shot early in the second period of Game Three and missed the rest of Sunday’s game.

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-San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: With series tied, who has best advantage: Knights on home ice? or Sharks fired up to win game three?

westport-news.com photo: Vegas Golden Knights’ Colin Miller, left, celebrates his goal with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the first period against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series at SAP Center on Friday night. The series moves to the T-Mobile Center in Vegas on Sunday night for game 3.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs-San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro:

#1 After coming back from being down 3-0, the San Jose Sharks ended up losing by two 5-3 and the Vegas Golden Knights tied in game two Friday night. The series tied up 1-1. How did San Jose let this one slip away?

#2 It’s a game that they’ll be talking about for awhile as Vegas exhibited their talents scoring three goals in 5:13 to start things off in the first period.

#3 Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said the team will regroup. There’s not much time when you have a series that’s tied at 1-1.

#4 Is there a concern after losing a game like that, when you caught up to your opponent and then let the lead slip away and now you’re playing at the T-Mobile Center for game three?

#5 Len sets up game three as the puck drops at 7 pm local in Vegas.

Len does the San Jose Sharks podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Sharks Take Game One 5-2 Over Knights

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 in the first game of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Wednesday. The Sharks goals came from Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Martin Jones made 24 saves for the win. Both Vegas goals came from Mark Stone and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves against the Sharks.

The Sharks got the first power play of the game at 13:35. They had a few moments of delayed penalty time with Jones out of the net but that did not last long. The penalty was to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for tripping Micheal Haley.

The Sharks scored on that power play at 14:42. A Brent Burns blue line special went off John Merrill’s glove or stick, into Joe Pavelski’s face and into the net. For his pains, Pavelski got credit for the goal with the assist going to Burns. Pavelski went directly to the dressing room, did not even stop for the celebration.

In the last two minutes of the first period, Timo Meier had to leave for repairs after being hi-sticked behind the net.

The Sharks outshot the Golden Knights 8-5 in the first, and won 60% of the face-offs. Vegas out-hit the Sharks 25-17.

Pavelski returned for the second period with a lower face shield. Timo Meier, fresh from his facial repairs, also returned and spoke briefly with an official as the period got under way. 20 seconds in, Meier was called for tripping Jonathan Marchessault. The Sharks killed that penalty off.

Evander Kane and Deryk Engelland exchanged blows after a scuffle in front of the net, as did Brenden Dillon and Jonathan Marchessault. Only Dillon and Marchessault were sent to the box, and for just two minutes. While the teams were playing 4 on 4, Tomas Hertl drew a hooking penalty and gave the Sharks a 4 on 3 power play. That turned into a 3 on 3 when Joe Pavelski was knocked down near the crease and Nate Schmidt tripped over him. Pavelski was called for tripping Schmidt.

The Sharks were unfazed by that noise. Erik Karlsson got the puck across the blue line and to Brent Burns, who carried it around a couple of defenders and shot it past Fleury with calm precision. Assists went to Karlsson and Hertl. Time of the goal was 6:59.

The Sharks followed up with good pressure around the net, leading to a sneaky goal-line pass from Joe Thornton to Marc-Edouard Vlasic as he skated down from the blue line. Vegas was not ready for that and the shot went right by Fleury on the blocker side at 7:44. Assists went to Thornton and Evander Kane.

Vegas responded with a goal at 8:32. Pacioretty’s shot hit Paul Stasny’s skate to the left of Jones, and bounced across the goal mouth to Mark Stone, who was camped out to Jones’s right. Thus flanked by opponents, Jones could not stop the puck. Assists went to Stasny and Pacioretty.

The Sharks went back on the power play at 8:55 after William Carrier was called for tripping Logan Couture. Tripping was a popular penalty in Wednesday’s game.

The Sharks scored again with 18 seconds left in the second. Erik Karlsson’s blue line shot went between a defender’s legs and then was neatly deflected by Evander Kane over Fleury’s glove.

The Sharks increased their shot advantage in the second, winning that contest 14-5. Their face-off success flagged, though. Vegas won 58% of the second period face-offs. Paul Stasny and William Karlsson defeated nearly all comers in the second.

Nearly six minutes into the third, Jon Merrill pushed Micheal Haley down in the crease, right on top of Fleury. As the puck went the other way for what may have been a good chance, Fleury spent some time thumping on Haley with the help of a team-mate. The whistle stopped play for roughing calls all around. Haley went to the box and Paul Stasny went in Fleury’s place.

As that four-on-four got started, the Sharks played a little like it was three-on-three, holding onto the puck as if killing time more than trying to score. But it was early for that. Not long after the four-on-four expired, the Sharks had a power play that killed more time without scoring. Vegas had a turn on the scoreless power play at 11:44 after Barclay Goodrow went for slashing Shea Theodore.

Vegas got another power play at 15:11 when Kevin Labanc went for hooking Tomas Nosek. Mark Stone cut the Sharks lead in half with a goal at 15:26. His shot made best use of what little traffic there was in front of Jones to get the puck over the glove and into the net. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Max Pacioretty.

Toms Hertl scored into the empty net at 18:11 to stop the late game push from Vegas. Assists went to Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

By the end of the game, the Sharks had rebalanced the face-off results to 50-50. The shot count for the game was 33-26 Sharks.

Game 2 will be in San Jose on Friday at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Break Bad Streak, Beat Knights 4-3 in OT

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks ended their seven game losing streak Saturday, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in overtime. It was a good preview of the playoffs, possibly even a playoff matchup if the standings remain as they are. Each team got credit for 40 hits. Between hits, a lot of goals were scored too. For San Jose, goals came from Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Brent Burns. Las Vegas goals came from William Karlsson, Cody Eakin and Shea Theodore. Martin Jones made 23 saves in the win while Vegas goaltender Malcolm Subban made 30 saves in the loss.

Vegas scored first at 3:54. The Sharks had just thwarted a nice play by Vegas, turning what could have easily been a goal into a puck behind the net. Unfortunately, Vegas had control of that puck and Jonathan Marchessault made a pass from below the goal line to the slot, where William Karlsson was open with a clear view of Martin Jones. It was Karlsson’s 24th of the season. Assists went to Marchessault and Reilly Smith.

The rest of the period was littered with matching penalties. An interference penalty to Marcus Sorensen was matched by an embellishment penalty to Colin Miller. Joe Thornton’s high-sticking penalty was matched by a roughing penalty to Ryan Reaves. Reaves also got a misconduct on that one.

The Sharks tied the game just under a minute into the second period. Tomas Hertl caught a stray rebound from a Joonas Donskoi shot. Hertl then wove his way around a defender and poked the puck between skaters and shot it past the Malcolm Subban. It was Hertl’s 35th goal of the season. Assists went to Donskoi and Timo Meier.

Just before a fight between Barclay Goodrow and William Carrier (at 3:01), Brenden Dillon was called for cross-checking, so the crowd was presented with the odd sight of a power play coming out of a fight. It did not change the score but took a little explaining.

That power play probably did set the Knights up to score at 5:30, moments after it expired. Cody Eakin was right in front of the blue paint when Deryk Engelland’s shot came in and dropped dead off of Jones’s pads. Eakin was able to gather it up and put it in the net. Assists went to Engelland and Ryan Carpenter.

The Sharks tied it again at 7:22 of the third. Tomas Hertl burst into the Vegas zone trailing one defender and slipping around another on his way to the net. He didn’t get a shot off but drew all the attention his way as he went behind the net and sent the puck forward for one of several Sharks to take a shot. Two couldn’t catch it but Evander Kane was coming in as the trailer and he found the rebound for a quick shot into an empty net. Subban was stuck in traffic to the side of the net, unable to get back for the save.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic gave the Sharks their first lead of the night at 11:26 with a slap shot off an offensive zone faceoff. Logan Couture got the assist. It was Vlasic’s third of the season.

That lead only lasted for 38 seconds. Shea Theodore did almost exactly what Vlasic did, taking a shot off an offensive zone faceoff win by William Karlsson. It was Theodore’s 12th of the season.

The end of the third was spent mostly in penalties. First, matching roughing penalties were assigned to Timo Meier and William Carrier at 16:10. At 10:05, almost a minute after the four-on-four ended, Colin Miller was called for hooking.

That power play carried over into the extra period, right up to Brent Burns’s game winner 22 seconds into overtime. That shot came off of Couture’s pass along the blue line. A secondary assist went to Kevin Labanc.

The Sharks next play on Sunday at 5:00 PM PT against the visiting Calgary Flames.

Golden Knights continue late surge, defeat Sharks 7-3 at SAP

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Monday, March 18, 2019

The surging Vegas Golden Knights continued their winning ways on Monday at SAP Center, upending the San Jose Sharks 7-3 in a possible NHL West playoff preview.

It was the Golden Knights’ ninth win in their last 10 games. Vegas (87 points) also moved within seven points of San Jose (94 points) for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Sharks trail Pacific Division-leading Calgary (95 points) by one point.

San Jose lost its third consecutive home game in regulation for the first time in three seasons, failing in another opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.

Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault each earned four points in the victory for Vegas. Smith had three assists and added a goal in the third period. Marchessault had one goal and two assists in the first period and tacked on an empty-net tally in the third.

While William Karlsson, Mark Stone, Paul Stastny and Cody Eakin also scored for the Knights, goaltender Malcolm Subban stopped 36 San Jose shots while filling in for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury.

Logan Couture scored two goals and Joe Thornton added one tally for the Sharks. Martin Jones surrendered three goals on 11 shots before he was replaced by Aaron Dell in the opening period. Marchessault’s goal from a bad angle ended Jones’ night.

Couture’s first goal gave him 500 career points.

Though Evander Kane was back in the Sharks’ lineup, captain Joe Pavelski missed his first game with an injury since January of 2011. Pavelski took a hard hit in Saturday’s game against Nashville.

The Sharks visit Los Angeles on Thursday to face the Kings at 7:30 pm.

NHL podcast with Matt Harrington: CBJs Bobrovsky gets in front of 22 shots to blank Sens 3-0; Flames win fourth straight; Jets turn up the offense on Knights; plus more

Photo credit: @BlueJackets

On the NHL podcast with Matt:

#1 The Columbus Blue Jackets shutout the Ottawa Senators 3-0 behind goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky who stopped 22 shots and it was done on Ottawa ice. The Blue Jackets’ Matt Duchene, who was just dealt to the CBJs from the Sens, said he enjoyed his last game in Ottawa, but in a different uniform.

#2  The Calgary Flames did it again with their fourth straight win, thanks to a go-ahead goal by the Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane at 3:29 to give the Flames a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

#3 The Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine scored twice and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots as the Jets defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 6-3. The Jets lead the Central Division and Jets head coach Paul Maurice picked up his 685th win to pass Pat Quinn for eighth place on the coaches winningest list.

#4 J.T. Compher got two for the Colorado Avalanche. On his second goal, Compher scored on a breakaway to break a tie and get the go-ahead goal to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3. The Hawks’ Patrick Kane scored his 39th goal of the season and extended his 20-game point streak.

#5 The San Jose Sharks brought back Michael Haley from the Florida Panthers. Some wondered why? Haley proved necessary when things got rough when the Sharks ended up getting into a line brawl towards the end of Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh and expect Haley to pay off in the home stretch of the season when things get physical and rough.

Matt does the Sharks podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com