AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | 4 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, May 2, 2018 | 9:30 p.m.
SAN JOSE — The Golden Knights were unable to beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones, falling 4-0 to even the series 2-2 Wednesday night in San Jose.
Jones stopped all 34 Golden Knights’ shots on goal to hand Vegas its first shutout postseason loss in franchise history.
The Sharks took an early 2-0 lead in the first period with goals by Marcus Sorensen and Joonas Donskoi.
Sorensen broke away from Alex Tuch with the help of a pick play by Eric Fehr, then skated through the Golden Knights’ defense before beating Marc-Andre Fleury with a wrist shot from in close. Donskoi added to the lead with only five seconds remaining in the period with a shot that went between Brayden McNabb’s legs and past Fleury’s glove.
San Jose’s lead grew to 3-0 in the second period when Tomas Hertl banged home a rebound after Fleury stopped a wraparound attempt by Mikkel Boedker.
Joe Pavelski scored his second goal of the playoffs during a power play in the third period to make it 4-0 Sharks and ice the game.
Now tied at two wins apiece, the series will shift back to Las Vegas where the Golden Knights will host the Sharks Friday night at 7 for game five.
Sharks lead 3-0 after two periods
The Golden Knights are being dominated by the Sharks through two periods, and trail 3-0 entering the final frame in San Jose.
Mikkel Boedker attempted a wraparound shot, which was stopped by the pads of Marc-Andre Fleury, but Tomas Hertl swooped in and put the rebound into the net to extend the Sharks’ lead to 3-0 5:35 into the second period.
Sharks goalie Martin Jones has been untested for most of the game, but made to huge saves on William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault near the end of the period. He has stopped all 23 shots faced to this point.
The Golden Knights have gone 0-for-3 on power plays in the game, mounting little to no offense in each try.
Sharks lead 2-0 after one period
The Sharks lead the Golden Knights 2-0 after one period in San Jose.
Joonas Donskoi brilliantly used Golden Knights’ defenseman Brayden McNabb as a screen, and fired the puck between his legs, past Marc-Andre Fleury and into the top corner of the net. The goal came with only 5.1 seconds left in the frame, giving San Jose a rush of momentum to take into the locker room.
The first goal of the game came when Marcus Sorensen skated through the Golden Knights defense and fired the puck over a lunging Fleury. Sorensen was able to break away from Alex Tuch thanks to a pick play by Eric Fehr, who stopped Tuch in his tracks with his stick.
Mikkel Boedker ran a similar pick play on the following shift and was given two minutes for interference.
The Golden Knights were unable to take advantage of the power play, but came close when Jame Neal deflected Nate Schmidt’s shot past goalie Martin Jones and off the post.
San Jose outshot Vegas 11-9 in the first period.
The Golden Knights will face a desperate Sharks squad tonight in San Jose.
The crowd inside SAP Center will be rocking, and the Sharks will try to ride that wave of enthusiasm to a hot start. It’s up to Vegas to survive the initial onslaught.
“The most important part is to realize what we are doing in that storm,” Vegas forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “What positives are we getting out of it? In Los Angeles, (the Kings) came out hitting everybody, but if everyone makes the right play before they take the hit, then on the bench we are getting pumped up. It’s important to be able to weather the storm.”
Vegas was outshot 14-4 out of the gates by San Jose in Monday night’s game but escaped the first period with a scoreless tie thanks to great play by Marc-Andre Fleury in goal.
The Golden Knights went on to win 4-3 in overtime to take a 2-1 series lead. The Sharks can’t afford to go down 3-1 heading back to Las Vegas, so expect a mammoth effort from them tonight.
“It’s really big,” Vegas forward Alex Tuch said. “You saw for us in Game 1, our crowd really boosted us and we had a good game. We just need to match their momentum and pace and push back as much as possible.”
San Jose may be the more desperate team, but Bellemare doesn't think it will be difficult to match the intensity.
“We know they are going to come hard, so we need to match that or come harder,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s one game. It doesn’t matter what happened before or what the series is at. Tonight is the most important game.”
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant expects something similar.
“There’s desperation on both sides,” Gallant said. “In playoff hockey, you want to win every game.”
Prediction: Sharks 4, Golden Knights 2
Playoffs record for predictions: 5-2
Season record for predictions: 38-26
Puck drops: 7 p.m.
Where: SAP Center, San Jose
Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM
TV: NBC Sports Network (DirecTV 220, Cox 1038, Dish Network 159)
Betting line: Golden Knights plus-120, Total 5.5 minus-115 to the over
Golden Knights playoff record (6-1) (3-0 away)
Coach: Gerard Gallant
Playoffs goal leader: William Karlsson (4)
Playoffs assist leader: Reilly Smith (8)
Expected goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (6-1, 1.23 goals against average)
San Jose Sharks playoff record (5-2) (2-1 home)
Coach: Peter DeBoer
Playoffs goal leader: Logan Couture (4)
Playoffs assist leader: Joe Pavelski (6)
Expected goalie: Martin Jones (5-2, 2.74 goals against average)
Golden Knights expected game day roster
Forwards (12): Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, Tomas Nosek, David Perron, Reilly Smith, Tomas Tatar and Alex Tuch.
Defensemen (6): Deryk Engelland, Brayden McNabb, Jon Merrill, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt and Shea Theodore.
Goalies (2): Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban