When the Sharks departed for their 4-game road
trip last week, they were still licking their wounds from a tough opening 14
games that netted a paltry 3 wins. They concluded the trip on Tuesday night by
winning their 3rd straight, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 at T-Mobile
Arena. San Jose had to overcome a pair of Vegas leads, then scored 4 unanswered
goals in the 3rd period to stun the Knights.
Vegas entered the contest
with a 13-3-0 record, including 9 wins in their last 10 games. The Sharks
season has been the inverse of that, and wrapping up a road trip that had them
visit St Louis, Dallas and Minneapolis before squaring off with arguably the
best team in the West made this is a tall order.
San Jose answered the
They didn't play an awful opening 20 minutes, but their
ability to maintain possession of the puck stymied their ability to put more
pressure on Vegas goaltender Logan Thompson in that opening frame.
Golden Knights would put 11 shots on goal in the period and James Reimer
defended all but the last one, which came with 3.4 seconds left on the clock.
Jack Eichel scored his team high 10th goal on a one-time chance from the left
side after Shea Theodore sent a diagonal pass from the top of the right circle.
Reimer had little chance to stop Eichel's shot.
San Jose leveled the
game 8:05 into the 2nd period when Luke Kunin lifted a shot from the right dot
that beat Thompson for his 3rd goal of the season. Nico Sturm gathered the puck
along the end boards before cycling it to Erik Karlsson, who dished to Kunin.
The Golden Knight bench was not happy with the goal as they thought a penalty
should have been called on San Jose moments earlier on a phantom slash of
Jonathan Marchesault pushed the Knights back on
top with 4:07 left in the period. The forward took a long feed from Alex
Pietrangelo at the Sharks blueline and carried the puck into the zone on a
2-on-1 situation. Rather than pass, Marchessault roofed a shot from the bottom
of the right circle, beating Reimer for his 7th goal of the season.
Matt Nieto re-tied the game 63 seconds into the 3rd period from the doorstep.
Alexander Barabanov fought off a check along the end boards, then slid the puck
out to the front of the goal where Nieto was cutting. The forward pulled the
puck back to his forehand as he cut across the top of the crease from left to
right before guiding it past Thompson for his 2nd goal of the season.
Kevin Labanc had a chance to put the Sharks in front
7 minutes later, but his shot rang off the crossbar.
The Sharks didn't
help themselves by taking three consecutive penalties, including a pair in the
3rd period. Riley Smith obliged the Sharks by tripping Timo Meier right after
Nico Sturm high sticking penalty expired.
That power play chance was
key as Meier converted at 17:12 after Logan Couture made a nifty feed from the
right side. Couture carried the puck toward the right end-line, drawing a pair
of Vegas defenders toward him, before sliding the puck out to the slot where
Meier roofed the chance past Thompson.
San Jose added a pair of empty
net goals after Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy pulled Thompson for the extra
attacker. Couture and Mario Ferraro added to their season goal scoring totals
with the goals. Game Notes:
* The Sharks recalled
defenseman Nick Cicek before the game, to replace Radim Simek who was placed on
the injured reserve following Sunday's game in Minnesota.
* It does
not appear that Mason Shaw will receive any discipline for his elbow that has
landed Radim Simek on the injured reserve with an apparent concussion. Shaw
extended his left arm, catching Simek on the head in the defenseman's 1st shift
in Minnesota on Sunday.
* Erik Karlsson had another skating mishap as
he back-skated with the puck in the 2nd period. The Sharks defenseman caught an
edge and fell on his backside in a play reminiscent to the fall that cost the
Sharks a goal in Minnesota on Sunday. The Sharks did not surrender a goal on
Tuesday night's miscue, but it was strange to see the nimble-footed defenseman
fall in the same fashion in consecutive games. .
* The win was the
first regulation win at T-Mobile Arena for San Jose since January of 2019.
* Logan Couture, Erik Karlsson, and Alexander Barabanov finished with
2 points each. Ten different Sharks recorded points.