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WCQF Game 3: Sharks late to the party
Knights score early and often in 6-3 win over Sharks
4/14/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks Western Conference Quarter Finals series with the Vegas Golden Knights shifted to Southern Nevada on Sunday night, but things looked a lot like the last game in San Jose. The Knights took advantage of the Sharks inability to defend their own net in the first minute of a period, scoring goals to start each period in seconds, en route to a 6-3 pasting of San Jose. Mark Stone recorded a hat trick and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves to lead Vegas.

The game mimicked Game 1 of the Sharks Semi-Final game in Vegas last season, when the Knight ran roughshod on the visitors. San Jose's inability to start a period without giving up a goal continued, but in this case, it was the Sharks death nail.

After taking Game 2, the Knights doubled-down on the game plan that exposed the Sharks, and it shredded San Jose.

The Knights took 58 seconds to score the game's first goal in Game2, but they only needed 16 seconds in Game 3. Stone took a Nate Schmidt pass just outside the Sharks blueline then blew past Logan Couture before backhanding a shot that lifted past Martin Jones left shoulder. Once again, San Jose surrendered a goal within the first 5 minutes of the game.

Evander Kane put his team into a hole when he drew his second and third penalties of the game at 12:11 when he cut William Carrier with a high stick. The Knights took all of 5 seconds to convert on the first power play, when Max Pacioretty fired a shot over Jones left shoulder to make it 2-0.

The Sharks battled back when Kevin Labanc jammed a puck past Fleury after the netminder made the initial save on a shot from outside the right post. Joe Thornton setup the chance with a backhand pass from behind the Knights goal. Knights head coach Gerard Gallant challenged the play for goaltender interference (hey they dish those penalties out like candy right), but the call on the ice stood.

The keep them off the scoreboard in the first five minutes of a period eluded the Sharks once again. Vegas converted 21 seconds into the period to make it a 3-1 game. The Sharks shot themselves in the foot by turning the puck over in their own zone when Timo Meier made a half-hearted attempt at clearing it. Pacioretty pumped a shot on goal that Jones stopped, but Paul Stastney scooped up the rebound and fired another high shot over the goaltender's left shoulder.

Kevin Labanc was called for interference at 14:25, which setup Stastney's 2nd goal of the night. Stone sent a diagonal pass from the right point that Stastney tipped past Jones for the 4-1 lead.

Joe Thornton will likely receive a suspension after he floored Tomas Nosek with a shoulder hit on the Knight winger's head. The on ice officials missed a similar hit on Justin Braun earlier in the game.

About the only thing interesting the Sharks did all night was mix it up with the Knights with 2 minutes left in the period. San Jose took exception to a play on Jones after a whistle.

The Knights scored their obligatory goal with the first minute of a period 36 seconds into the 3rd period when Stone slipped a puck into a wide open net after Jones kicked a rebound off the Vegas forward's chest. Stone gathered the Jonathan Marchessault deflection on the doorstep, with no Shark defender within 10 feet of him.

Logan Couture pushed home his 2nd goal of the playoffs at 4:57 when he tried to feather a pass to the front of the Knights net, but Brayden McNabb deflected the puck past Fleury.

Timo Meier finally did something worthwhile in the series when he scored with 14:09 left in the contest. Gus Nyquist tried jamming a puck on goal from the right side, but Fleury made the stop. Meier swooped in the slot and sent the rebound to the back of the net.

Things finally boiled over for San Jose when Ryan Reaves engaged Kane. Both players missed with a flurry of haymakers that looked interesting, but in the end didn't do any damage. Both players had been yapping at each other all night, so it was inevitable that the two would lock up.

Game Notes:

* It was only the 2nd time in NHL history that a team scored goals in the opening minute of each period. The Boston Bruins last accomplished the feat in 1981.

* The Sharks two most important players, Joe Pavelski and Erik Karlsson, where each a -3 in plus/minus.

* The Knights out-hit San Jose 56-42. The Sharks rarely land more than 20 hits in a regular season game, which goes to show what playoff hockey is all about.

* Stone, Stastny and Pacioretty combined for 6 goals and 6 assists. Neither was on the Knights roster last season.

* Micheal Haley took a shot off the left ankle trying to block a shot in the 2nd period. The forward had to be helped to the lock room. He did not return to the game and his availability for Game 4 is unknown.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 2 3
VGK 2 2 2 6
1st period - 1, VGK, Stone 4 (Schmidt, Engelland), 0:16. 2, VGK, Pacioretty 2 (Theodore, Stastny), 12:16, (pp). 3, SJ, Labanc 1 (Thornton, Sorensen), 15:26.
2nd period - 4, VGK, Stastny 1 (Pacioretty, Stone), 0:21. 5, VGK, Statsny 2 (Stone, Theodore), 16:04, (pp).
3rd period - 6, VGK, Stone 5 (Marchessault, Stastny), 0:36. 7, SJ, Couture 2 (E. Karlsson, Jones), 4:57, (pp). 8, SJ, Meier 1 (Nyquist), 5:51. 9, VGK, Stone 6 (Stastny), 13:57.
Penalties
1st period - Kane, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 9:35; Kane, VGK (high sticking - double minor), 12:11.
2nd period - Labanc, SJ (tripping) 6:34; Tuch, VGK (interference), 10:02; Labanc, SJ (interference), 14:25; Thornton, SJ (illegal check to head), 16:54; Dillon, SJ (roughing), 17:54; Pacioretty, VGK (slashing), 17:54.
3rd period - Karlsson, VGK (slashing), 3:49; Burns, SJ (roughing), 4:18; Nosek, VGK (roughing), 4:18; Carrier, VGK (holding), 9:11; Kane, SJ (fighting major), 17:59; Reaves, VGK (fighting major), 17:59.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 40 35
VGK - Fleury 28 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 7 9 28
VGK 20 10 10 40
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
VGK 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Mark Stone
Paul Stastny
Max Pacioretty
Attendance
T-Mobile Arena - 18,461
Officials
Referees: Joannette, McIsaac. Linesmen: Kovachik, Daisy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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