Sharks 3, Golden Knights 2: Streak-busters find cure for Vegas flu

Just win 1,000 times, baby!

When the San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights face off against each other, it’s almost guaranteed to be a thriller. Wait, what November game are you talking about? I don’t remember that.

The Knights got off to a quick start — a bad pinch by Tim Heed led to a goal by Tomas Nosek just two minutes into the game. The Sharks bent, but did not break, unlike their last visit to Sin City. Things started to swing the Sharks’ way in the second period when Tomas Hertl tied the game with a twisted wrister that rang off the post and in. Despite letting in a screened goal by Jon Merrill early in the third, Martin Jones came up huge for the Sharks in the second and third periods where the defense couldn’t.

Midway through the third, the Knights received a special delivery: Melker Karlsson slammed home a rebound off a shot from Brent Burns to tie the game. Not even a minute later, Joonas Donskoi inadvertently continued his hot streak by deflecting a Tomas Hertl shot past Marc-Andre Fleury for the Sharks’ first lead of the night and the game-winner, finally giving the Sharks their first win at T-Mobile Arena and spoiling Vegas’s whiteout.


Tonight marks the second installment of one of the fastest-growing rivalries in the NHL. The red-hot San Jose Sharks take on the pesky, and even hotter, Vegas Golden Knights. This will be the last time the Sharks will play Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena during the regular season. T-Mobile has not been friendly to the Sharks during Vegas’ time in the NHL. In three regular season games played at the “Fortress,” the Sharks are 0-2-1, but their problems with the Knights don’t just end there. Although nearly every game last season was competitive, the Sharks only managed to get one win over the Knights, an overtime win, making their head-to-head record against Vegas 1-2-1 i. 2017-18.

With everything seeming to click for the Sharks to start the New Year, they look to not only change the narrative tonight, but leap-frog Vegas in the Pacific Division standings.

In case you haven’t heard, Erik Karlsson has been good. Like, really good. He had three assists during Monday night’s victory over the Los Angeles Kings and then followed it up with another three-assist game during a 7-2 thrashing of the Edmonton Oilers the next night. Since his return from his two-game suspension in late December, Karlsson has had one goal and 14 assists in the span of six games. Even after having an unlucky start to the season, Karlsson has all but silenced the critics.

After a demotion to the fourth line at one point last season by Peter DeBoer, Joonas Donskoi has been trending back up. He’s registered seven points in his last five games, including a two-goal night on Tuesday against Edmonton.


Wearing their Stealth Mode jerseys tonight to counter the Golden Knights’ attempt to white-out their crowd, the Sharks will go with the same lines they’ve had for a while. DeBoer is back behind the bench after missing Tuesday night’s bout with concussion symptoms. DeBoer was hit with a puck during Monday’s game against the Kings.

Martin Jones gets the call in goal tonight.

Meanwhile on the other side of the bowels of the T-Mobile Arena, Vegas’ lines will look something like this:

Jonathan Marchessault — William Karlsson — Max Pacioretty

Brandon Pirri — Paul Stastny — Alex Tuch

Tomas Nosek — Cody Eakin — Ryan Carpenter

Valentin Zykov — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb — Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore — Deryk Engelland

Jon Merrill — Nick Holden

Marc-Andre Fleury gets the start for Gerard Gallant’s men. Fleury has a five-game winning streak going at the moment, with a 1.20 Goals Against Average and a .956 Save Percentage during that span.

Where to Watch

Tonight’s game gets going from T-Mobile Arena at 7:00 PST/10:00 EST. NBC Sports California will have your television coverage and 98.5 KFOX will have radio coverage, as well as the Sharks app. See you then!

What’s happening, y’all? It’s your boy BD with tonight’s liveblog! Hope you guys have your superstitions in order, because this is a must-win game for us. I’ve got my lucky Marcus Sorensen jersey on. Let’s get a W!

Stealth Mode on the road is weird, but I welcome it nonetheless.

First Period

20:00: DROP THAT PUCK!!!

18:39: Burns executes the Starfish Defensive Posture to perfection!

18:26: And they score already. Great.

16:30: Kane flattens a guy, so that’s good, but it seems like they just can’t get it out of their zone.

14:53: Goodrow gets pinned on the boards, and for some reason the refs didn’t blow it dead. It took at least 10 seconds to get the puck free.

13:20: Vegas to the power play after Radil gets called for hooking. A wise man once said, “Stay outta the penalty box!!!”

11:20: Penalty is dead, and now the Sharks hold it in the Knights’ zone.

10:01: Speaking as a Barracuda fan, watching Ryan Carpenter wear anything other than teal and white still doesn’t feel right.

7:33: Hertl swarms Fleury in chances but he can’t get anything to go.

6:30: Nice defensive play from Mr. Simek.

5:55: Brenden Dillon blasts one, but the puck is into the netting.

5:09: Brayden McNabb blasts Timo Meier, but it’s a clean hit — at least that’s what the refs say.

4:49: Sharks draw a power play! McNabb sits for tripping.

2:51: Karlsson with one final chance on the power play, but nothing doing.

1:41: Sharks seem to be doing a good job with getting shots off. Only problem is they’re too predictable for Fleury.

1:12: Rudolfs Balcers reference!

:52: Logan Couture with a nice set-up pass to Timo, but it hits off of Fleury’s pad.

END FIRST: Sharks 0, Knights 1

That could have been a lot worse, but the Sharks are certainly getting their chances.

Second Period

19:39: Pacioretty got a quick opportunity, but Jones is able to get to it.

18:30: The only Jonathan M. I acknowledge is Jon Martin!

16:58: Good lateral stop by Jones there. He’s been quietly improving on those stops.

14:32: Burns takes a penalty for tripping.

12:53; Vegas ices it on their power play. That’s never a good idea.

12:20: Kane gets a 2-on-1 with Burns, but takes a weak shot that’s easily corralled by Fleury.

11:47: Jones with a nice save on a Nick Holden one-timer!

10:53: There goes Burns shooting! ... and it’s off the crossbar.

9:04: Barclay Goodrow lays into Jonathan Marchessault and then Erik gives him a hit of his own in the Knights’ zone.

6:09: Sharks are out-hitting the Knights 22-18, for those who care about that kind of thing.

5:55: SCORE! TOMAS HERTL! Hertl beats Fleury and goes post and in to tie this baby up!

3:21: Radim Simek with a bad turnover, but Jones bails him out! Feels like it’s always been the other way around.

:24.4: Jones has been coming up big this second period.

END SECOND: Sharks 1, Knights 1

Hertl gets the Sharks a much-needed tally.

Third Period

19:23; Lukas Radil nearly sweeps it into an empty net!

17:44: Jon Merrill picks the corner, 2-1 Vegas.

16:13: Sharks just don’t seem to have an answer for the Vegas offense right now.

14:23: Puck goes over the glass and we’ll have another draw two seconds later.

13:53: Sharks crash the net but Fleury ... again ... stops them.

Looks like Kane has been dropped to the fourth line, Kevin Labanc will take his place on the third line.

Honestly, I thought that late cross-check should’ve been a penalty, but that’s the way she goes.

13:30: Fleury stops Meier. Karlsson’s assist streak is in jeopardy.

12:36: SCORES! MELKER KARLSSON! Brent Burns creates the chance and Melker slams home the rebound, and we’re tied again!

11:57: AND THEY SCORE AGAIN! TOMAS HERTL GETS HIS SECOND OF THE NIGHT! Hertl created the initial chance but Donskoi and Kane crash the net to ensure the goal!

Looks like it’s Donskoi’s goal, but that’s fine!

8:33: Looks like Hertl got bumped up to the second line with Couture and Meier.

7:37: Joe Pavelski lays out and blocks a shot by Brandon Pirri.

6:06: Fleury throws it over the glass! Huge power play opportunity coming up!

3:44: Dillon goes to the box for slashing. I am not feeling good about this.

2:46: Fleury off, here we go.

2:18: Hell of a play by Pavelski to clear the puck.

1:06: And another well-executed play by Pavs! Clutchhhhh!


So Jones comes up big, the Sharks finally win in Vegas, leapfrog the Golden Knights, and are STILL undefeated in 2019! Let’s celebrate, baby!