When the slumping San Jose Sharks went into Saturday night’s game against an equally-slumping Vegas Golden Knights team, one team’s losing streak was going to end. Fortunately, it was the Sharks’ streak that was snapped.
The Golden Knights got off to a quick start (something I feel I’ve said too much) when William Karlsson got a one-timer from Jonathan Marchessault past Martin Jones. That was the only goal in the first period, but what the two teams lacked in goals, they made up for in physicality — after every stoppage in play, there seemed to be a battle of words, or sticks, to follow.
The Sharks pulled level in the second period. Tomas Hertl turned Vegas’ defense into barbecue chicken, cutting around them before sending a shot past Malcolm Subban. Cody Eakin had other plans, however, sending a puck past a sprawling Martin Jones to restore the Vegas lead.
In the third period, another great chance from one Tomas Hertl opened a window for Evander Kane to get on the board, and he did just that, charging in and tying the game once again for the Sharks. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, off the draw, boomed a puck past Subban’s glove-side for the Sharks’ first lead of the night. The lead was short-lived, however, as Shea Theodore essentially copied Vlasic’s goal with a point-shot off of the draw of his own on Jones, tying the game for Vegas and sending the game to overtime.
Only 22 seconds into overtime, Brent Burns caught a pass from Logan Couture at the point and, as quick as lightning, fired a one-timer to not only snap the Sharks’ losing streak, but give them home-ice advantage for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
‘Sup. It’s Bryan. I’m ready for some Sharks hockey, and hopefully, a win. Are you? I hope so.
20:00: Off we go!
18:59: A bit of a scramble in front of Martin Jones, but the situation is under control.
17:15: I’ll never get tired of a Brent Burns offensive zone entry.
16:07: And there’s a goal from Vegas. William Karlsson made no mistake off a one-time pass from Jonathan Marchessault. 1-0 bad guys.
This trend of allowing a goal within the first five minutes is super obnoxious.
14:25: We have penalties. Two of them. Marcus Sorensen interferes with Colin Miller, but Miller couldn’t sell his reaction to the refs and gets sent off for embellishment.
12:25: Both players exit the box.
11:48: Three good looks kick-started by a great zone entry from Timo Meier.
10:36: Justin Braun makes a good play forcing William Karlsson offside.
9:46: Burns almost blindly creates a great scoring opportunity, but the puck couldn’t find its way to the net.
7:19: Good chance from Hertl, who carried it out from behind the net.
6:26: Both Sorensen and Labanc increasing the physicality of tonight’s game with two hits on the same shift.
6:14: Meier hits the post.
4:41: Sorensen and Thornton go tape-to-tape, but Subban denies Thornton.
And now we have a little scrum behind the net!
Looked like Engelland punched Sorensen after the scrum broke up.
Reaves has been tossed, at least for the rest of the period. Looks like he broke out his “cry about it” gesture on his way to the locker room.
It’s a ten minute misconduct.
4:06: Now it’s getting chippy. Two potential penalties against Vegas were uncalled by the referees, and now we hear a certain three-worded chant directed at the officials ...
2:58: Now the Sharks get a 4-on-3 power play as Shea Theodore is sent off for a slash. Let’s see what they do here.
1:19: Jon Merrill shoots it over the glass, but apparently it hit Kane’s stick on the way out (it didn’t). No penalty.
0:00: F-bomb alert! Looks like the mics caught Kane chirping at either the refs or a Vegas player.
END FIRST: Sharks 0, Golden Knights 1
Aside from the customary allow-a-goal-in-the-first-five-minutes thing, that first period was actually very entertaining. The physicality is most certainly here, and it looks like it’s here to stay for the rest of the game.
The Sharks recovered well offensively after the first Vegas goal, currently ahead of the Knights in 5v5 svA Corsi, 57.6% to 42.4%.
19:02: SHARKS GOAL! Tomas Hertl weaves around the Vegas defense and puts it past Subban, and we’ve got a tie game! That is a BEAUTIFUL cut-back!
16:59: And we have a tilt on our hands!! Barclay Goodrow and William Carrier drop the gloves. Carrier toppled Goodrow, but I think Goodrow won that fight.
I thought Goodrow was going to get an instigator for that, but Dillon gets the extra penalty instead for a cross-check.
14:59: Sharks kill that Dillon penalty.
14:30: Vegas gets their lead back. Cody Eakin capitalizes on a sprawled-out Martin Jones, who left the net basically wide open for a 2-1 lead.
10:48: Gus Nyquist was looking for a penalty on what he believed was an interference penalty on Ryan Carpenter, but no call.
8:41: Cody Eakin will sit for hooking. Looks like Thornton drew that, capping off a great shift.
8:07: Engelland cross-checks Hertl in front of the crease, leading to a dog-pile.
7:07: Thornton rings a slap-shot off of the post!
5:16: Haley and Reaves are having words once again.
4:14: Nyquist with a nice backhand shot, but it goes just wide.
3:06: That damned drop pass breaks up what could have been a scoring chance.
1:31: Sharks nearly capitalize on a botched pass from Malcolm Subban. Sorensen drove with the puck to the net, but Subban made the stop.
END SECOND: Sharks 1, Golden Knights 2
Looks like things are swaying the Knights’ way this period. They had the majority of the shot attempts in the second period, 16 to 11.
Some interesting Sharks prospect news for you all: Ryan Merkley’s Peterborough Petes were eliminated from the OHL Playoffs tonight by the Oshawa Generals, so it is highly likely that we will see him in teal with the Barracuda by Wednesday night.
20:00: The Sharks will start the third short-handed as Logan Couture sits for high-sticking.
16:42: Valentin Zykov drives to the net and gets a shot on Jones that trickles around the crease before being cleared out.
14:29: Joonas Donskoi has been fighting it, all right. He couldn’t quite gain control of the puck at the blueline.
12:38: SHARKS GOAL! Tomas Hertl, with his patented cut-in, gets a shot off on Malcolm Subban before Evander Kane comes in to put the biscuit in the basket!
11:16: Nyquist gets a 360-degree shot but just misses. He’s good at it, but he’s no Pavelski.
8:34: SHARKS GOAL! What a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic! Off of the draw, he unleashes a clapper that beats Subban high glove-side and the Sharks have the lead!!!! And happy birthday to hiiiiim!
7:54: And the Knights tie it with a near-mirror image of Vlasic’s goal. This time it’s Shea Theodore with the shot off the draw.
3:50: A late shot by William Carrier on Joonas Donskoi after he was caught and it’s safe to say the boys in teal are not happy.
Evander Kane and Ryan Reaves are trading expletives, and they keep getting caught on the mic. Bret Hedican can only watch and laugh.
2:15: Tomas Hertl keeps driving and he makes it look sexy every single time.
:52.6: The Sharks have a late power play! Colin Miller is going to sit for a hooking penalty.
0:00: Puck is cleared, time expires and this game is going to overtime.
END THIRD: Sharks 3, Golden Knights 3
5:00: Overtime is underway!
4:38: SHARKS GOAL!!!!!!! BRENT BURNS WITH A ONE-TIMER AND THE SHARKS BREAK THE LOSING STREAK!
FINAL SCORE: Sharks 4, Golden Knights 3
Things haven’t been going well for the San Jose Sharks. They’ve now lost seven straight games and have been back-pedaling into the playoffs. A playoff series against their opponents tonight, the Vegas Golden Knights, is inevitable when the division title was within reach just a few weeks ago.
However, it hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows for the Knights, either. After a surge — during which they won four straight games, including a 7-3 drubbing of the Sharks — they’ve now dropped four straight games. The loss of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a lower-body injury has certainly not helped.
If the Sharks can hold off the Golden Knights and their explosive offense tonight, they will not only break a losing streak, but also clinch a home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a feat that they have not accomplished since the 2013-14 season.
Neither team had a morning skate this morning, so the lines are pure speculation. It is quite likely that Joe Pavelski will miss his sixth-straight game and Erik Karlsson is still out with a nagging groin injury. Meanwhile, Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant confirmed that there would be one lineup change, but declined to state who exactly would enter the Vegas lineup.
Scratches: Dylan Gambrell, Jacob Middleton, Joonas Donskoi (healthy)
Injured Reserve: Joe Pavelski (undisclosed), Radim Simek (knee), Erik Karlsson (groin)
Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty — Paul Stastny — Mark Stone
Tomas Nosek — Cody Eakin — Alex Tuch
William Carrier — Ryan Carpenter — Ryan Reaves
Nate Schmidt — Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb — Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill — Colin Miller
Scratches: Valentin Zykov, Nick Holden
Injured Reserve: Erik Haula (lower body), Marc-Andre Fleury (lower body), Brandon Pirri (lower body), Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (undisclosed)
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center is at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast on NBC Sports California Plus in the Bay Area market and AT&T Sportsnet Rocky Mountain in the Las Vegas market. It will be available for streaming on ESPN+ and NHL.tv. The radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX and the Sharks app.