Despite being outscored by the Vegas Golden Knights 10-4 in this series, the Sharks are returning home in a 1-1 series tie. San Jose pulled off a double overtime, 4-3 win to hand the Knights their first loss of the playoffs.
Take your heart medicine before you read because this one is everything you expect to see in playoff hockey and more, including an overturned goal in OT.
The ultimate goal for the Sharks in the first period was to swing the momentum back in their favor. For a considerable part of the period, they did just that. San Jose was solid in the faceoff circle, winning the first five faceoffs of the game. The team had good pressure in the offensive zone and were the better team in 5-on-5 play. Trouble is, there was a lot of 4-on-4 play.
James Neal and Dylan DeMelo both took a trip to the penalty box at the 8:17 mark. Neal delivered a late hit on Timo Meier and both teams came together. When all was said and done, Neal was on the ground as well, leading to the offsetting penalties.
Then at the 16:04 mark, Brenden Dillon and David Perron took offsetting minor penalties. Martin Jones made a key save during the ensuing 4-on-4. He used his pad to stop what looked like a sure goal for Alex Tuch.
But moments later, what seemed like a simple shot off the net, ricocheted right out to William Karlsson, who put it past Martin Jones from near the red line. 1-0 Vegas.
The first period ended with the shots 9-5 in favor of San Jose, but the score was 1-0 in favor of the Knights.
The second didn’t start much better for San Jose. Pressure from the Vegas forecheck led to an uncharacteristic turnover by Marc-Edouard Vlasic. William Karlsson picked up the puck and shot it on net. Jones missed it and it was 2-0 Vegas.
Vegas continued to put the pressure on, but a bad penalty in the offensive zone by David Perron led to the first power play of the game for either team.
The Sharks wasted no time. Joe Pavelski won the faceoff, sent it right back to Brent Burns at the point who fired the puck on net. It ricocheted off a Vegas player and right past Marc-Andre Fleury. It took the Sharks more than 82 minutes in the series, but they were finally on the board. 2-1 Vegas.
Minutes later, a dirty hit by William Carrier led to another Sharks power play. When Carrier went to hit DeMelo in the neutral zone, DeMelo tried to avoid the hit. Carrier continued to lead with his knee, hobbling DeMelo. DeMelo did not leave the game.
Carrier received two minutes for kneeing, but the Sharks were unable to score on the ensuing power play.
The Sharks gained momentum however and continued to pepper Fleury with chances after the power play expired. It led to another Sharks power play, one that was quickly negated when Tomas Hertl was called for interference on William Karlsson. 4-on-4 play once again.
Back in 5-on-5 play and things got heated between Jonathan Marchessault and Vlasic. The two started grappling in the Sharks zone and gloves and sticks flew. Both were sent to the box for roughing and we’re back to 4-on-4.
This time it went the Sharks way. Fleury tried to keep the puck in play after a simple shot on net by DeMelo. Hertl picked it up behind the net and then played it out front to Logan Couture who was all alone in the slot. He didn’t miss, sending it high, glove side on Fleury. All tied up at 2.
Then more rough stuff. Former Shark Ryan Carpenter getting into it after the whistle with Burns. Everyone tied up including Perron and Dillon, who tumbled to the ice and into Jones’ net. Both were sent to the box and it’s 4-on-4 again.
Less than a minute later, at 14:07 of the period, Pavelski won a faceoff back to Burns in the Knights’ zone. Instead of walking the blueline, Burns drove the net, going all the way around and wrapping it in past Fleury. The Knights challenged, calling goaltender interference on Timo Meier, but the refs did not agree.
Sharks claimed their first lead of the series. 3-2 the score.
The Sharks weathered a push by Vegas following the goal and then it was Vegas back into the penalty box. This time Jon Merrill with a hook on Hertl. The Sharks did not score before the period ended. They headed into the lockerroom with a 3-2 lead.
Back on the power play to start the third, but the Sharks could not capitalize. What followed was a lot of hits and a lot of scoring chances on both ends of the ice, but no goals.
At the 10:18 mark, Colin Miller was called for the high stick. He sat for two, but the Sharks couldn’t score on the power play.
With less than 7 minutes left, an icing call left the Sharks deep in their own zone. Vegas won the faceoff and then Nate Schmidt teed it up from the point. The puck bounced off Melker Karlsson’s skate and into the net. All tied up at 3.
The third period continued with the teams exchanging scoring chances. Then with 94 seconds left, Dillon was called for delay of game. Gut check time for the Sharks.
They weathered the storm to force overtime.
Vegas started the extra period on the man advantage for 26 seconds. The Sharks killed the penalty.
The Sharks pushed the play to start the OT. Barclay Goodrow had an amazing chance, but he was stopped by Fleury. Pavelski followed it up with a chance of his own, but Fleury poked it away.
Then it was up to Jones. He made a monster save on Perron, just getting enough of a stick on the puck.
The next go round, the Sharks would not be as lucky. Unable to clear the puck after a series of saves, Marchessault shot the puck past Jones. The Knights mob Marchessault.
Toronto took a look and determined Marchessault touched Jones before scoring. No goal.
The first OT ended the way it started, in a tie.
Early in the second OT, Shea Theodore leveled Mikkel Boedker with a high stick. Sharks received the first power play of OT. San Jose had a couple of good opportunities, but no goal.
The Knights took momentum from the penalty kill and pushed back, but the Sharks were up to the task. They soon turned the tide and started pressuring in Vegas’ zone again. A change on the fly by San Jose allowed Meier to take advantage of a tired Knights’ defense. It forced Merrill to take a penalty and the Sharks were back on the power play.
This time they did not make a mistake.
Tomas Hertl won the faceoff with a little help from Couture. The puck was poked back to Burns, who sent it across the blueline to Kevin Labanc. Labanc moved in and then feathered the puck across ice to Couture who did not miss.
Sharks win 4-3.
This looks a little more like what we’re used to seeing from the Sharks. They out possessed the Knights throughout the game.
As for the heat map, both teams had the same idea. Get the puck in close and try and get it in. The Sharks also seemed to like the shots from the point. At least one worked, so I’m not going to criticize.
The Sharks out shot the Knights 47 - 29.
- Barclay Goodrow played tonight in the place of the suspended Evander Kane. Kane was suspended for one game after he cross-checked Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the head.
- Joe Pavelski truly showed why he’s the captain. He had 32:07 on-ice time, won 56% of his faceoffs, including two that led to goals. He also had two assists and five shots on goal.
- Brent Burns’ first goal of the night ended Marc-Andre Fleury’s shutout streak at 143:51. Prior to that, the last team to score on Fleury was the Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of the first round series.
- The Sharks took 12 minutes of penalties while the Knights took 22.
- Paul Martin didn’t get a shift in either overtime. He ended the game with 10:38 of on ice time. Marc-Edouard Vlasic ended the night with 37:26 of on ice time.