Apart from Malcolm Subban, who had one of, if not the best game of his season with a 42-save performance, it appears that the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights came down with a case of the infamous San Jose Flu.
The Golden Knights took advantage on one of their five high-danger scoring chances when trade deadline acquisition Tomas Tatar received a hard pass from Jonathan Marchessault and slid it backhand past Martin Jones for the first goal of the game. It was Tatar’s 19th goal of the season and third with the Golden Knights.
Vegas continued a good run of form for the rest of the first period but could not score again, exiting the first period up by a very narrow margin of 22 attempts compared to the Sharks’ 21.
The second period saw the game completely flip for both sides — the Sharks came out very strong and maintained their offensive pressure throughout the game, whereas Vegas struggled mightily to catch up. With three minutes played in the second, our favorite Wookiee, Brent Burns, caught a cross ice pass from Paul Martin (!!!) and blasted a shot from the top of the point to tie it for the Sharks. Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow set some nice screens to provide the shot opportunity, and Burns made it happen.
The Sharks received a crucial four minute power play when Colin Miller hit and then high-sticked Marc-Edouard Vlasic during a battle on the boards. Vlasic left the game following this incident, but it proved to be nothing serious and he made his way back to the bench as Miller’s double minor expired. Evander Kane had a scoring chance on this power play, but it hit the crossbar and sailed high and up into the netting.
Make no mistake about it: the Sharks dominated this second period. With 18 shots on goal compared to Vegas’s four in the second frame, one has to wonder how the scoreline was still 1-1 at the end of twenty minutes of play.
The third period had more of the same, if not better. The Sharks continued to pile on shot attempt after shot attempt, and once again had a power play when Brayden McNabb threw a stick. But Malcolm Subban wasn’t having any of that.
40+ saves for Malcom Subban. He's officially acquired brick wall status. pic.twitter.com/jjXY3x0BOU— NHL (@NHL) March 23, 2018
The Sharks only had two high-danger chances compared to the four chances they had in the previous period. Vegas attempted to grab the lead when Erik Haula came knocking on the door, but Brent Burns managed to stifle that attempt.
Finding themselves on yet another power play, Brent Burns ripped a shot from the point which bounced around the crease before it ended up at Joe Pavelski’s stick and Malcolm Subban came up with some great saves yet again.
Eventually, the Sharks had to settle for overtime and concede a point to Vegas, giving them 100 on the season. But the Sharks would have the last laugh.
We didn’t even have to wait a minute before a back-hand feed from Marc-Edouard Vlasic found Logan Couture. Cooch showed off his stickwork, dangling around defenseman Nate Schmidt before putting a back-hand shot past Subban, giving the Sharks their first ever win over the Golden Knights.
Tonight’s rolling Corsi looked like this: a slight advantage for Vegas for 20 minutes, but sheer domination for the Sharks throughout the game.
And the heat map:
- Despite being recalled by the Sharks on the 18th, Tim Heed was scratched again tonight. He hasn’t seen NHL icetime since the Sharks’ OT loss in Minnesota in February. In fact, according to theahl.com, he was reassigned again tonight.
- Shea Theodore had a CF% of 68.57% tonight. He was far and away the best player for Vegas tonight.
- Marc-Andre Fleury missed this game as a precaution due to an injury he suffered on Tuesday against the Canucks. He has been confirmed to travel with Vegas to Colorado, however.
- The Sharks are now 20-4-3 against Pacific Division teams on the season.
- Logan Couture continues to look like a player bound for franchise history-making. His game-winner tonight was his 40th career GWG with the Sharks, putting him behind only Patrick Marleau (98) and Joe Pavelski (54).