This game has had the Sharks’ number for the last two years and this year was no different.
The Sharks received an early power play when Tomas Hertl, continuing his fine form, drew a tripping penalty on Erik Haula. The only thing to come from it was a scramble in front of Marc-Andre Fleury.
Martin Jones stopped a wraparound chance at the post by Alex Tuch. Interestingly, the officials reviewed the play when the puck disappeared. The review determined it was not a goal, as the puck didn’t cross the line and Cody Eakin also pushed Jones’ pad into the net.
Tomas Hertl, oh man! A bad change by Vegas put Hertl all alone on Fleury, but he hit the crossbar, followed by another flurry of chances before the play was blown dead.
The Sharks followed with more offensive zone time and after another extensive review where Brayden McNabb was penalized for delay of game. The Sharks didn’t get anything out of it and Evander Kane went to the box shortly after for tripping. Vegas also came up empty-handed on their power play
Not long after the penalty kill, Joakim Ryan ripped a shot from the point that Timo Meier almost had for a goal. He initially tipped it, then tried to put it in while fully-stretched, but could not find the net.
0-0 after 20...— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) May 7, 2018
Lots of glorious chances, including this one ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/vsL6aOX977
Throughout the night, the crossbar was not a friend of the Sharks. Brent Burns fired a shot from the point that once again rang off the pipes, although it might have been tipped by Evander Kane. Joonas Donskoi tried to kick the rebound to his stick, but couldn’t get the puck to settle. It was just one of those nights.
Vegas ended the period with a slight advantage in shot attempts with 12 to the Sharks’ 11. However, the Sharks had many more scoring chances, with nine opportunities and seven high-danger chances in the first period alone.
A bad turnover in the early second by Marc-Edouard Vlasic led to the first goal of the game. Vlasic attempted to skate it out of the defensive zone but was thwarted by William Karlsson, who then found the stick of Reilly Smith. San Jose also left Jonathan Marchessault undefended, and he took advantage of that mistake by putting the puck past Martin Jones for the 1-0 lead.
Everyone thought the Sharks would come out solid in response after the goal. They did not. Brayden McNabb pulled Martin Jones out of the crease and almost scored before a menagerie of Sharks players sacrificed their bodies to keep the puck out of the net.
Not long after, Nate Schmidt unleashed a shot from the point, hitting a post and deemed no goal by the referees until the situation room in Toronto ordered play to stop. After review, the shot had hit the post, then hit the camera and then out. Good goal, 2-0 Vegas.
The second period ended with the Knights up 2-0, with the silver lining that the Sharks had the advantage in scoring chances and high-danger chances. The way the puck stayed out of the net, Fleury must have collected all the Infinity Stones and used them for Game 6.
The third period started and Pete DeBoer used his patented line blender. Marcus Sorensen moved up to the third line, and in turn, Kevin Labanc dropped to the fourth line. The Sharks needed anything at this point to hold off elimination.
It did not work and by midway through the third it was all Vegas. Martin Jones cleaned up mess after mess and it got to the point where the fans rained down boos. The lackluster play continued, with the Sharks’ spirits all but broken. For good measure, the Sharks hit one last post.
Pete pulled Martin Jones with nearly two minutes to go in a last ditch effort but Ryan Carpenter got his revenge. He passed it to Eakin, who tapped it in the open net to seal the victory.
The Sharks had a clear advantage in shot attempts, especially in the second period and somehow, with everything falling apart in the third, they still dominated.
Shot attempts ended up about even for the two teams.
- Ryan Reaves drew into the lineup tonight for Vegas, replacing William Carrier, who was out with an injury.
- Evander Kane went down the tunnel midway through the first period, but returned a few minutes later. Unclear why, but probably equipment related.
- Marcus Sorensen had such a big impact on this team. When it comes to speed, Marcus had more of an impact than Mikkel Boedker, who was brought in for... speed.
- Joonas Donskoi has carried the first line, not only passing the eye test but he’s had the highest corsi-for percent out of the entire first line.