The Sharks will be taking on the Vegas Golden Knights tonight in this Game 2 second round matchup and boy, is it a big one. The Sharks need to split the first two games of this series and head home on a high note. The Golden Knights will give them a run for their money as they try to take a commanding 2-0 series lead tonight. Here's what to watch for in this Pacific Division Quarterfinal Game 2:
Will the Sharks be able to bounce back from an embarrassing Game 1 performance?
San Jose is looking to regroup and move forward from an utterly embarrassing loss on Thursday night. The Sharks dropped the game 7-0 and were steamrolled by this expansion Golden Knights team. Vegas earned 10(!) power play opportunities and scored on three of them while the Sharks went 0-for-5 on their man-advantages. Martin Jones was one of the many Sharks players who had a rough contest. He was pulled after allowing five goals on the 13 shots he faced and giving up more goals in one game than he did the entire series against the Anaheim Ducks. San Jose will need to be better disciplined in Game 2, create more chances in front of Marc-Andre Fleury and be much better defensively if they want to have a chance at coming home with the series even.
Can San Jose control the red-hot Golden Knights offense?
Vegas is a team without a true “superstar” on their roster, but they somehow always manage to get the job done. The Golden Knights have now scored 14 goals through their first five career post-season games and half of those came in Game 1 against the Sharks. 11 different Golden Knights players recorded a point on Thursday, including William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith — all with three point nights. San Jose will hope Vegas can cool down tonight and avoid another devastating playoff loss.
Can San Jose fix their struggling power play for game two?
San Jose has too good of a team to have a struggling power play and right now the Sharks are hurting in that category. Through the first five post-season games, San Jose has been given 25 opportunities on the man-advantage and have only scored six times. Something has to change. Whether the change has to be shooting more pucks at the net, cycling the puck behind the hashmarks or even just making more precise passes, the Sharks need to be better on the power-play. With Evander Kane now out for tonight, it's time to see who can step up and take control.
Will the Sharks be the team who can finally figure out Marc-Andre Fleury?
Fleury is one of the most dynamic playoff goalies in the entire NHL and he is really showing that mark during this post-season. Through the Golden Knights' first five playoff games, Fleury has a 5-0-0 record while holding a 0.54 goals against average and a .982 save percentage. Fleury has only allowed three goals through his first five games and also has three shutouts already in this year's playoffs. Vegas enters Game 2 having not allowed a single goal since the third period of Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks have a tough road ahead of them and need to find the answer to the surging Fleury.
How will San Jose play with Evander Kane out of the lineup?
Evander Kane will not be playing tonight as a result of a one-game suspension for an illegal crosscheck on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Kane is currently second on the Sharks in points this playoffs, recording three goals and one assist for a total of four points in five games, while also leading the team in shots with 24. Kane has been a huge part of this team since being acquired by San Jose at the trade deadline, tallying 12 goals through his first 22 games as a Shark. The young guns will need to step up tonight, along with the leaders in Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, to salvage Game 2 and bring a tied series back home for Game 3.