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Sharks drop opener to Golden Knights
4 minute stretch sours opening night
10/12/2023 - By Mike Lee

The NHL didn't do the Sharks any favors in the scheduling of San Jose's first 8 games. They opened the 2023-24 campaign with a date against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights at SAP Center on Thursday night. The young Sharks showed signs of promise, but in the end, Vegas had too much firepower for the upstart kids in teal, taking a 4-1 decision before a sellout crowd.

San Jose played a solid 38 minutes of hockey before the Golden Knights flexed their muscle and scored a flurry of goals that left the Sharks looking up at an insurmountable deficit. Head coach David Quinn would be best served to focus on what his team did right early in the contest, before reminding his team that if you only compete for 38 of 60 minutes, you won't last too long in the NHL.

The Sharks enjoyed a pair of power play chances in the opening period. San Jose's man advantage had a few nice looks but could not solve Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson. Their second attempt on the man advantage was less compelling. San Jose struggled to gain the Vegas zone and put no pressure on Thompson.

That would bit the Sharks when Michael Amadio put the game's first goal of the game on the board. William Karlsson carried the puck around the Sharks net then slid a pass through the slot to Amadio on the left side. The former Los Angeles Kings first round pick lifted a shot, beating Kaapo Kahkonen glove side at 15:28.

Free agent signee Filip Zadina tied the game with 2:12 left in the period. The Former Detroit Red Wing's forward collected the puck between the right post and the right circle, then spun 180 degrees to his right before snapping a shot past Thompson for his 1st goal in teal.

San Jose played a solid 2nd period save for the final 90 seconds. They were out-shooting Vegas for the majority of the period, but their inexperience caught up with them late.

Nicholas Hague gave the Golden Knights their 2nd lead of the night at 18:31 of the 2nd period, after the Sharks spent the majority of the frame matching Vegas play for play. Hague ripped a one-time chance form the right dot, blowing the puck past Kahkonen for his 1st goal of the year.

Vegas scored 53 seconds later when Nicolas Roy collected a Jonas Rondbjerg feed up the right side before snapping a shot over Kahkonen's left shoulder to make it a 3-1 game.

Brayden Pachal made it a 4-1 game 2:11 into the 3rd period after the puck found the rookie defenseman in the high slot. The Golden Knights retained possession of the puck after a faceoff on the left side. The goal was Pachal's 1st NHL tally.

The Sharks would be out-shot 31-23 in the contest. Luke Kunin, Fabian Zetterlund and Zadina each tallied 4 shots on the night.

San Jose gets to lick their wounds for a day and get back at it against Colorado on Saturday night.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks opening night roster has an average age of 27 years, 168 days, which is the youngest the Sharks have thrown out there since 2007.

* The contest was a sellout, drawing 17,435.

* Vegas is now 21-2-5 all time versus the Sharks in the regular season.

* Mikael Granlund did not see the ice over the final 13+ minutes of the game. No word on if the forward aggravated the injury that ruined his 2023023 season.

* Alex Pietrangelo took a shot off the side of the head late in the contest, drawing a significant amount of blood. The Knights forward was able to skate off on his own power.


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1 2 3 T
VGK 1 2 1 4
SJ 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, VGK, Amadio 1 (Karlsson, Hague), 15:24. 2, SJ, Zadina 1 (Thrun, Hertl), 17:48.
2nd period - 3, VGK, Hague 1 (Pietrangelo, Eichel), 18:29. 4, VGK, Roy 1 (Rondbjerg, Kolesar), 19:24.
3rd period - 5, VGK, Pachal 1 (Dorofeyev), 2:11.
1st period - Kolesar, VGK (fighting major), 3:21; Burroughs, SJ (fighting major), 3:21; Dorofeyev, VGK (holding), 5:46; BArbashev, VGK (cross checking), 13:19.
2nd period - Benning, SJ (tripping), 11:26.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
VGK - Thompson 23 22
SJ - Khakonen 31 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VGK 13 9 9 31
SJ 6 9 8 23
Power Play Conversion
VGK 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Nicolas Hague
William Karlsson
Brayden Pachal
SAP Center - 17,435
Referees: #19 Gord Dwyer, #28 Chris Lee . Linesmen: #50 Scott Cherrey, #74 Trent Knorr.

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