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WCQF Game 4: No answers
Sharks fall 5-0 to Vegas, find themselves on the brink
4/16/19 - By Mike Lee -

Trailing the Vegas Golden Knights by a game entering Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarter Final match-up, the Sharks had a chance to draw even in the series. Instead, they rolled over and laid down at the feet of their opponent. The game was over in the 1st period after the Knights scored a pair of goals. San Jose had no answer in any of the three periods, but it was the surrender in the 3rd period that will go down as the point that stands out in one of the ugliest losses in franchise playoff history.

Vegas would go on to score 5 goals, as Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 28 shots he faced to shutout San Jose, earning his 15th career playoff shutout. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer rolled the dice in starting Martin Jones in net, which turned out to be the wrong choice. Jones lasted 20 minutes, stopping 5 of 7 shots.

Jones teammates let him and his replacement, Aaron Dell, down with porous defense that allowed too many chance from the front of the net, that would inevitably find the back of the net.

By the 3rd period, Vegas was essentially toying with Shark skaters, baiting them into bad decisions and even worse play.

The Sharks extra defensive preparation paid dividends in the game, as San Jose was able to keep the puck out of the net in the first minute of the contest. It was the next 11 seconds that was the problem. Max Pacioretty gathered a loose puck in the high slot and simply threw it at the net. Martin Jones surrendered his obligatory early goal to stake the Knights to the 1-0 lead.

The Sharks out-chances the Knights in power plays in the middle period with a 3 to 2 count, but San Jose's man-advantage has been AWOL the entire series. At least when it mattered.

San Jose turned in the fictional "they outplayed the opponent" effort for the next 18 minutes, out-shooting Vegas 18-7 in the frame. The Knights 7th shot was another of the scoring variety.

Shea Theodore took a Rile Smith in the high slot, that skated between Brendan Dillon and Brent Burns before flipping the puck past Jones. Both Shark defenders tried to stop Theodore with poke checks, that were neither effective or inspiring. Theodore's goal came with 47 seconds left in the period and it effectively broke the Sharks.

No matter what San Jose tried, it failed.

Sharks head coach Peter De Boer decided he had enough of Jones sub-par performance and yanked him in favor of Aaron Dell. Remarkably, Dell managed to keep the puck awy from his own goal for several minutes.

Brendan Dillon took a boneheaded high sticking penalty at 11:51, and the Knights made San Jose pay.

Pacioretty snapped a shot from the slot 43 seconds into the ensuing power play.

Alex Tuch made it 4-0 at the 6:37 mark of the 3rd period, when he raced around a stationary Erik Karlsson en route to the Sharks net for his first deposit of the playoffs. The goal could not have been a better example of how a professional hockey player should attempt to defend a play. Evander Kane took a half-hearted approach to covering Tuch, and Karlsson's reaction indicated that his groin is still nowhere to being healed.

Things began to unravel for San Jose midway through the period when Evander Kane elected to start settling scores. The Sharks forward added to his penalty minute total by taking a cross checking minor, to go with a roughing infraction and a 10 minute misconduct. It was a penalty parade from there.

One of those was a holding penalty to Barclay Goodrow that resulted in a Jonathan Marchessault power play goal at 16:24 to make it a 5-0 game. Nate Schmidt sent a pass through Justin Braun's skates from the left wing boards to Marchessault on the right post. The Knights forward beat Dillon to the spot for the tap in goal.

If the final score wasn't proof that the Sharks gave up, they mustered a paltry 2 shots in that pivotal 3rd period.

Game Notes:

* T-Mobile Arena has proven to be a personal house of horrors for the Sharks. They been shutout there 4 times in 12 losses, by a combined score of 61-24.

* The shutout marked the 4th time they've been shutout in the playoffs. It was the second time that's happened to the Knights, who shutout San Jose 7-0 last season.

* The Stone-Pacioretty-Stastny line has been a one line wrecking crew this series. the trio has accounted for 12 goals and 16 assists (28 points).

* The Knights went 2-for-9 on the power play. San Jose was 0-for-4.

* Marcus Sorensen and Lukas Radil were a perfect 1-for-1 on faceoffs. It was literally the only positive the Sharks took away from the Game 4 smack down.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
VGK 2 1 2 5
1st period - 1, VGK, Pacioretty 3 (Stone), 1:11. 2, VGK, Theodore 1 (Pacioretty), 19:13.
2nd period - 3, VGK, Pacioretty 4 (Stone, Theodore), 12:33, (pp).
3rd period - 4, VGK, Tuch 1 (Schmidt, Pacioretty), 6:37. 5, VGK, Marchessault 1 (Schmidt, Smith), 16:24, (pp).
Penalties
1st period - Tuch, VGK (tripping), 3:04; Kane, SJ (slashing), 4:52; Braun, SJ (tripping), 7:36; Eakin, VGK (interference), 8:55; Theodore, VGK (slashing), 14:06.
2nd period - Dillon, SJ (high sticking), 11:51; Carrier, VGK (tripping), 13:36.
3rd period - Pavelski, SJ (interference), 3:06; Kane, SJ (cross checking), 9:20; Kane, SJ (roughing), 9:20; Kane, SJ (10 min misconduct), 9:20; Meier, SJ (unsportmanlike conduct), 11:54; Goodrow, SJ (holding), 15:12; Meier, SJ (roughing), 16:37; Meier, SJ (10 min misconduct), 16:37.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 7 5
SJ - Dell 20 17
VGK - Fleury 28 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 18 8 2 28
VGK 7 7 13 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
VGK 2 of 9
3 Stars of the Game
Marc-Andre Fleury
Max Pacioretty
Shea Theodore
Attendance
T-Mobile Arena - 18,567
Officials
Referees: Peel, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Devorski, Murchison.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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