Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Sharks – Game 54

Franchise Sports Media

Golden Knights (30-20-4)  | San Jose Sharks (24-24-6)


Peter DeBoer won his 500th career game as the Golden Knights defeated the Sharks 3-1.

Golden Knights vs Sharks
Photo Credit: NHL

The Vegas Golden Knights did what they had to do against the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena, taking home a critical two points with a 3-1 win, the team’s 11th straight victory against San Jose. It also marks the 500th win of Pete DeBoer’s coaching career, a milestone shared with just 27 other coaches in NHL history.

Robin Lehner was back in the crease and earned his 20th win of the year, though he faced just 17 shots as the Golden Knights controlled play all night. The Misfit Line led the way with two full-line goals to help VGK win.

The Golden Knights opened the scoring just 2:16 into the game when the fourth line converted on a 2-on-1 opportunity resulting from a poor pinch by San Jose defender Jacob MiddletonBrett Howden sent a gorgeous saucer feed to Keegan Kolesar for the one-timer, beating James Reimer to give Vegas an early 1-0 lead.

But Reimer kept his team in the game for the rest of the frame, shutting down at least four prime scoring chances for the Golden Knights, including a Jonathan Marchessault breakaway and a point-blank shot from Zach Whitecloud at the side of the net.

The Golden Knights had extended zone time earlier in the frame but were too focused on looking for the perfect play rather than getting pucks to the net. Even so, they led 11-4 in shots in the first 20 minutes.

San Jose went nine minutes between shots but came close to tying things up in the final minute of the frame. However, Ryan Dzingel fanned on the shot in front of an empty net; Chandler Stephenson had a great chance at the other end of the ice but was stonewalled by Reimer who kept it a one-goal game despite the tilted ice.
It was a strong start but another example of Vegas failing to capitalize on opportunities.

Due to a lower-body injury, Reimer did not return for the second period, which put Zachary Sawchenko in the crease against a desperate Vegas team.


Golden Knights vs Sharks
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Sharks helped him out early with a goal just 1:53 into the period. Nick Bonino, the only Shark to score against Vegas in the February 20 meeting, fanned on the initial shot attempt, and the puck found its way to the stick of the wide-open Noah Gregor, who slammed it into the backdoor. It was Gregor’s third of the season and seemed to take some of the wind out of Vegas’ sails.

But the strong play by the Misfit Line eventually paid off when Reilly Smith scored to make it 2-1 with just over six minutes left in the middle frame.

It was a full-line goal, with William Karlsson setting up the play from the neutral zone and Marchessault making the soft pass over to Smith, who beat Sawchenko top-shelf. Jack Eichel came close to making it 3-1, but hit iron as the Golden Knights finished the period strong. It was a much better period for the top line, which held an 8-0 edge in Corsi after trailing 7-3 in the opening frame.

Even so, VGK entered a critical third period with just a one-goal lead after holding San Jose to 10 shots in 40 minutes of action, the second-lowest total through two periods this season.

But less than five minutes into the third, the Misfit Line came through once again.

Smith, Marchessault, and Karlsson teamed up for their second full-line goal, giving the Golden Knights a two-goal lead 4:45 into the period.

It was another pretty passing play. Marchessault drew the defense to the blue line and fed the puck to Karlsson, who sent a perfect touch pass to Smith for the tap-in goal.

It was Smith’s second of the game and 16th of the season, and it was a huge goal for a VGK team coming off a blown 2-1 third-period lead.

It proved to be enough as the Golden Knights held on for the 3-1 win.

The Vegas Golden Knights will now host the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena. They drop the puck at 6:00 pm and can be seen on ESPN.

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-DJ Wood– Franchise Sports Media

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