Even after we here at Fear the Fin dealt the Vegas Golden Knights organization a serious blow by leaking their notebook full of tweets, the first place in the Pacific Division Knights still managed to rally and overcome their humiliation to beat the Sharks. At first, it looked like the Sharks would come out ahead on the strength of Joe Pavelski’s goal at 4:40 of the first. He hooked up with Brent Burns to give the Sharks an early lead:
The Sharks earned a power play opportunity halfway through the period that they couldn’t convert on, but it was okay because Vegas hadn’t even had a single shot on goal by that point. The Golden Knights’ first shot on goal wouldn’t come until around the 14:00 mark, which is unfortunately also when their second shot on goal happened, only this time it was also goal from Erik Haula, tying the game before the second intermission.
Ultimately, the Sharks kept the Golden Knights’ shot opportunities at a low while shooting quite a bit themselves, but the fact that San Jose allowed a goal on so few shots on goal was disappointing and worrying to say the least. At the end of the first, the shot totals were 16-3 San Jose, with 26 total attempts from the Sharks and 12 from the Knights and the score tied at one.
The beginning of the second period was immediately disheartening when Martin Jones did what looked like a very poor somersault and William Karlsson jammed the puck into the net, making it 2-1.
this is why we're winning rn pic.twitter.com/iJQPRyC0RY— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 9, 2018
The Sharks had an opportunity to make up for Karlsson’s goal when Jonathan Marchessault went off for holding against Justin Braun, except it was cut short when the Sharks were caught with too many men, or as our fearless leader Sie likes to call it:
hella dudes penalty— sie ✌ (@nowyousieme) April 19, 2017
As if things couldn’t get worse, Joel Ward was hit into the boards by Nate Schmidt, and he went off to the locker room. He did not return for the rest of the game.
At 10:13 of the second period, Cody Eakin hooked Chris Tierney, and the real chance to make up for the Karlsson goal and Jones’ gymnastic routine arrives with a goal courtesy of one Timo Meier:
The Sharks took a slashing penalty just over halfway through the second period, but to this point, the penalty kill was perfect, and the period ended tied once again, this time at two. Vegas’ shots went mostly unsuppressed by the Sharks this period however, and they outshot San Jose 17-9. Vegas was clearly warming up and the Sharks had to be hotter.
Early in the third period, Logan Couture was hit kinda weird, sandwiched in between Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault. He left the ice for a few minutes, but was back shortly thereafter, and every Sharks fan breathed a sigh of relief.
Mikkel Boedker tripped Reilly Smith at 3:09 of the third, but again, to this point, the PK was doing its job. Alex Tuch took a high-sticking penalty against Tomas Hertl seven minutes in, and our beloved captain Joe Pavelski converted on that penalty with his second goal, making the Sharks 2/4 on power plays for the night. For the first time since the start of the game, the Sharks were back on top of the scoreboard, thanks again to Pavs.
Two minutes later Brayden McNabb scored to even it up for the Knights. The Sharks killed off a tripping penalty from Chris Tierney, but James Neal scored at even strength, putting the Knights up 4-3. To make matters worse, Dylan DeMelo took a high-stick to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare at with only a little over two minutes left, sending Vegas to the power play once again. San Jose pulled Jones to put them at even strength, but Marchessault scored an empty net goal and put the Sharks’ dreams of tying it up to rest. The shots on goal totals at the end of the third were fairly equal, 13-12 in favor of the Sharks, but ultimately San Jose just let too many in.
- This was San Jose’s third straight home loss.
- Jones stopped only 28 of 33 shots while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 of 38. Why Fleury couldn’t just be a good sport and let more in is beyond me.
- This game started reminded me a lot of San Jose’s previous game against the Colorado Avalanche. They, for the most part, defensively dominated both first periods and kept the opponents’ shot totals at a low, but ultimately crumbled, and a bad empty-netter put the nail in the coffin. I don’t like this pattern, and I want off this ride!
- The Sharks’ PK was almost, almost perfect tonight.
- Burnzie is just two points behind John Klingberg for defenseman with the most points.
- Tonight was Ryan Carpenter’s first game against the Sharks since being put on waivers. Remember him?
- Tonight was also David Perron’s 700th NHL game
- To end on a pretty cool note, for tonight’s broadcast, Oakland Athletics Announcer Dick Callahan filled in tonight and will on Saturday (vs. Edmonton) while the usual announcer Danny Miller works as PA announcer at the Olympics in PyeongChang. Exciting!