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Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks Game 4 Photo Gallery – April 16th, 2019

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San Jose Searching For Answers To Stop Stone And Co.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Through four games of the series, the San Jose Sharks have iced 14 different forwards, seven different defensemen, and two goalies. Only four of those 23 players have yet to be on the ice for a goal by Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, or Paul Stasnty.

The Sharks have tried multiple forward lines, they’ve rotated defense pairings, they’ve tried checking lines, skill lines, speed lines, superstar defense pairings, and defense-first pairings. Nothing has worked.

It’s great, we always know they are going to be in the right spots. You just want to get the puck in their hands and they make the plays and score. -Shea Theodore

The Golden Knights line of Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Paul Stastny have scored 12 goals, tallied 28 total points, and they’ve done it on just 34 shots.

With every series now having four games finished, Stone leads the league in playoff goals, Stastny leads in playoff assists (tied with Pacioretty), and Pacioretty (tied with Stone) leads in playoff points.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The player who has spent the most time on the ice against the Golden Knights dominant line has been Erik Karlsson. Despite being one of the best defensemen in the entire NHL, Karlsson has not been able to handle the pressure of Stastny, Stone, and Pacioretty. He’s been on the ice for 11 of their 12 goals.

Overall, Karlsson has been out there for 13 of the Golden Knights 18 goals in the series, the same number as goalie Martin Jones.

They are a special group. I hope (they continue this), I want them to, but you know what, lines are going to get hot as we go along here. Let’s hope we can get a couple of lines going too. -Nate Schmidt

The Sharks have another chance to try and crack the code tonight, and they’ll likely try something new once again, but if you ask Mark Stone, no matter what the Sharks do, that line believes it’s just a matter of keeping it simple.

I mean, we have a good team. At the end of the day we just have to play our style hockey. We have to put pressure on their defensemen. When you put pressure on anybody, it makes the game harder. -Stone

As far as the defensemen, they have a simple plan too.

It’s called watching offense from the D. You sit back, watch, and enjoy the show. -Schmidt

One more dominant effort from the line of non-Misfits, and the Golden Knights will have ridden them right into the second round.

It’s All About The Goaltending

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

Before the opening-round playoff series between the Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks had begun, I pointed out that Vegas would win and it would do so because of superior goaltending.

Hey, I’m no Scotty Bowman, but you didn’t need to be to know that Marc-Andre Fleury was better than Martin Jones and/or Aaron Dell.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

And as this series heads to SAP Center Thursday for what could be a series-ending Game 5 following an impressive 5-0 victory at T-Mobile Arena Tuesday night, it’s a fact Fleury has been a big part of why the Knights hold a 3-1 series lead.

He’s getting better with each period of each game. He wasn’t great in the 5-2 loss to the Sharks in Game 1. And after letting in three late first-period goals in Game 2, Fleury has been virtually unbeatable.

I’m not blaming him for the loss or the trio of goals allowed in Game 2. But he’s doing what you want your goalie to do — stop the easy ones, make a few spectacular saves, be the first line of defense on the penalty kill and keep your team in the game.

He’s tracking the puck with laser precision. He’s always a step ahead of the Sharks in anticipating where the play is going to be. His positioning is spot on. And he’s moving well in his crease and post to post.

In other words, Fleury is being Fleury. He stopped all 28 shots he faced in recording his 15th career playoff shutout, tying Chris Osgood for fourth place on the NHL’s career list.

I have felt good all playoffs. They are a good team, it’s not over obviously. It was a big game tonight and a big win for us. One game at a time. -Fleury

The win, Fleury’s 78th in the playoffs, moved him past Mike Vernon into seventh place on the all-time list for goaltender wins. Next is Ken Dryden, who had 80 postseason victories.  Patrick Roy is the career leader in playoff wins with 151.

It is really cool. I have been very fortunate to play on a lot of good teams and again this year. It is very humbling to be amongst these guys who I grew up watching. -Fleury

His play Tuesday did not go unnoticed by his coach, his teammates and his opponent.

He played awesome the first two periods. We weren’t happy with our game. Obviously, we got out to the 1-0 lead in the first shift fortunately for us so that was big, but we didn’t play our type of game for two periods. I thought and we played a lot better in the third. Fleury was huge, when we needed him, he was huge. -Gerard Gallant

This from Shea Theodore:

I think when you watch him out there and he makes those saves, you see how confident he is. Even when he is playing the puck, he is confident with it and he always makes the right decisions. –Theodore

And San Jose coach Peter DeBoer tipped his hat to Fleury.

I thought we created a lot of chances on the other end, but you have to give Fleury credit. He frustrated us tonight and allowed them to be in the position they were in the third. -DeBoer

The Knights have done an awful lot of things well in this series. The line of Paul Stastny, Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone have dominated and the Sharks still haven’t found an answer for them. They’re doing the little things well, like winning faceoffs. They’re outhitting the Sharks.

What Vegas has not done well is avoiding penalties. They’re taking way too many, and it’s going to catch up with the Knights. Maybe not in this series, but perhaps in the next round. Fleury has been tremendous in standing up to the barrages of shots the Sharks have fired at him when they have the man advantage and that’s what you hope your goalie will do. Tuesday, San Jose went 0-4 on the power play and they are just 3 for 20 in the series (15%).

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The Vegas Golden Knights had a chance to take a two-game series lead last night in their home building for Game 4. The San Jose Sharks would be without two of their best players, defenseman Marc-Eduard Vlasic was unavailable again due to an unknown injury, and center Joe Thornton who was suspended one game for an illegal hit to the head on Tomas Nosek.

The Golden Knights opened Game 4 like they didn’t the previous two scoring quickly on Sharks goaltender Martin Jones. Max Pacioretty scored his third goal of the season postseason 1:11 into the game. Vegas would go on to defend against the Sharks heavy attack for the entire period but no shots slipped past Marc-Andre Fleury. With under a minute remaining in the period defenseman Shea Theodore weaved in and out of defenders dazzling the crowd with his first goal of the playoffs. Vegas held the 2-0 edge after one period of action.

Vegas tightened up and protected their two goal lead in the second period. More than halfway through the period Pacioretty lit the lamp a second time putting the Golden Knights up 3-0. The home team would skate into the locker room unblemished once again.

Vegas would tack on a fourth goal from a great individual play by Alex Tuch. Tuch gave Vegas a commanding 4-0 lead on his first goal of the postseason.

Evander Kane took a miserable pair of penalties and got himself tossed from the game essentially for the second straight game. San Jose did nothing but take penalties the rest of the night leading to X more VGK goals.

Vegas leads the best of seven series over San Jose (3-1) and have a chance to close out the series on Thursday night. Game 5 in San Jose is scheduled to start at 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of Round 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

  • Steve Carp’s Wednesday playoff column on Fleury vs. Jones
  • No matter what the Sharks try, they don’t have an answer for Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Paul Stastny
  • Photo Gallery from Game 4

Ken’s Three VGK Stars

*** Shea Theodore
** Marc-Andre Fleury
* Max Pacioretty

Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks Game 3 Photo Gallery – April 14th, 2019

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Max Pacioretty Delivers On Son’s Demand In First Home Playoff Game

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Max Pacioretty was a Golden Knights fan long before he ever became a Golden Knight. The reason for that is his sons, Lorenzo and Maximus fell in love with the team in the playoffs last year.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When Pacioretty told his sons he was traded to Vegas, they wanted to know which logo the Golden Knights were on their NHL bed sheets. Unfortunately, because the sheets were a few years old, there was no Golden Knights logo. Luckily, Max had a backup plan because he knew his boys would remember the pregame shows they watched together last year in the playoffs.

So I’m like, “Vegas! Here — come on, you remember these guys, right? From the playoffs last year? That cool team in black and gold? They made the Cup Fi—”

And right in that snap second, I see their eyes just light up. I know I don’t even have to finish the sentence. The boys, not only do they remember Vegas from the playoffs last year……. they loved Vegas in the playoffs last year.

So now they’re jacked.

Now they’re parading around the house, you know, chanting and hollering, “WE’RE GOING TO VEGAS, WE’RE GOING TO VEGAS.” -Max Pacioretty, Player’s Tribune

(By the way, if you haven’t read that Player’s Tribune article, stop reading this right now and go read that. It’s better than this one, I’m not even going to lie. I would appreciate it if you come back though.)

So there’s no question Pacioretty has been thinking of Sunday night’s game for a while. His first playoff game as a member of the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. It was always going to be special, and it was always going to be a memory he’d share with his kids.

As soon as my kids woke up at 6:30 in the morning they thought it was time to go to the game. For my family, it’s the best time of the year. -Pacioretty

Then, one of his sons made a request, one he’s never done to his NHL superstar father before.

First time in my career my son asked me to score a goal tonight and I was able to do so. In this rink, I’m sure he had a ton of fun. -Pacioretty

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

That’s a lot of pressure.

About eight minutes into the 1st period and just a few seconds into Evander Kane’s 4-minute high stick penalty, dad got it done. He took a pass from Shea Theodore, walked in towards the goal and sent a laser of a shot past Martin Jones.

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An important Game 3 between the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks would take place in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the the first playoff game in front of the Golden Knights fans since the disappointing loss in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.

The excitement started immediately for Vegas fans when Mark Stone scored his fourth goal of the postseason :16 seconds into the game. It was the Golden Knights fastest postseason goal in team history. Vegas had an early edge and took advantage of multiple mistakes by San Jose. Sharks forward Evander Kane took back-to-back penalties leading to a power play goal for Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty’s second goal of the postseason gave the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead. San Jose would tack one on late in the period to cut the lead in half 2-1.

Vegas turned it on quick again out of the break scoring :21 seconds into the second period. Paul Stastny and the second line added another postseason goal to give the Golden Knights a 3-1 lead. Stastny would punch in another goal to give Vegas a 4-1 lead after forty minutes.

For the third straight period the Golden Knights jumped out scoring :36 second into the final period. Stone scored his second of the game and fifth of the postseason to give Vegas a commanding 5-1 lead. However, the four goal lead wouldn’t last long. San Jose added two goals within a minute to get within two. The Sharks threat wouldn’t last as Stone would give the Golden Knights a 6-3 on his first career hat trick.

Vegas leads the best of seven series over San Jose (2-1) with Game 4 coming up on Tuesday. Game 4, scheduled for 730p. (Recap by Jason)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks in Game 3 of Round 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

  • Photo Gallery from photographer Brandon Andreasen
  • A look at the difference (if there has been one) in the matchups between home and away at 5-on-5.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars

*** Max Pacioretty
** Paul Stastny
* Mark Stone

Golden Knights In Good Shape Despite Sloppy Play

**Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Famer, Steve Carp’s twice-weekly column publishes every Wednesday and Sunday during the Golden Knights season.** 

You’re the road team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Your main objective is to get a split and take home-ice advantage away from the other team.

The Golden Knights got what they were looking for, splitting the first two games of their opening-round series with San Jose. It is now a best-of-five series with three of those games potentially at T-Mobile Arena, where you can expect a frenetic crowd both inside and outside the building.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As for how the Knights got the split can come into question and leave pause for concern heading into tonight’s Game 3. There are so many obvious points: mainly stay out of the penalty box and don’t turn the puck over in your end. You know that, so there’s no sense in belaboring the point.

Give Vegas credit for not completely folding after squandering a 3-0 first-period lead. The Knights showed some resiliency in regaining command of the game and eventually posting the 5-3 victory Friday.

The Knights may very well go on and win the series and advance to the conference semifinals. But they’ve got a few things to clean up in Game 3 in order for that to happen.

San Jose continues to try and take liberties with Marc-Andre Fleury and the Knights’ skaters need to send a message to the Sharks that it won’t be tolerated. Especially when Evander Kane is looking to stir the pot. Kane is so talented but he plays with a certain edge that sometimes crosses the line. He needs to be accounted for. Same with Timo Meier who has no problem crashing the net and getting in Fleury’s face. Ditto Joe Pavelski, Barclay Goodrow, Logan Couture, and Michael Haley.

If you’re a Golden Knight and you’re going to beat the snot out of someone who messes with your best player, I can live with that kind of penalty. Fleury is your most valuable commodity. You can’t let the other team have carte blanche and run at him whenever they feel like it.

I see Jonathan Marchessault always willing to come to the aid of his goalie. Marchessault is one of the smallest players on the roster in terms in size. In terms of heart, he’s one of the biggest.

Marchessault said it’s the responsibility of any Golden Knight who is on the ice to protect Fleury.

They know he’s our best player. When you hit the goalie, it’s a matter of respect. If I had a chance to hit (Martin) Jones, I’m going to be smart and pull up. But if they hit Flower, everyone who’s on the ice needs to do something. The shit’s going to go down, basically. –Marchessault

Fleury doesn’t believe the Sharks are out to hurt him. But he knows they are trying to make things uncomfortable and try and get him off his game.

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Down 1-0 in the series the Golden Knights vowed to come out strong for Game 2 in San Jose.

Vegas couldn’t have started the game any better as Cody Eakin scored :58 seconds in to take the early 1-0 lead. A few minutes later Colin Miller wristed a shot past Sharks goaltender Martin Jones making it a 2-0 Golden Knights. Vegas wasn’t finished scoring adding a third goal in the period by Max Pacioretty. With three minutes left Vegas’ 3-0 lead quickly evaporated. Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton all had late period goals to tie the game 3-3. The Golden Knights were stunned after the first twenty minutes.

With the game tied 3-3 the Golden Knights tried to calm the storm. After an overturned goal on San Jose, Vegas forward Mark Stone regained the lead for his time scoring his third goal of the postseason. After a back and fourth period the score remained 4-3 after two periods played.

Shea Theodore took a an early third period slashing penalty putting Vegas on a penalty kill. Reilly Smith would send a beautiful stretch pass to William Karlsson for a breakaway short handed goal. Karlsson’s goal was the second shorthanded goal of the game and put Vegas up 5-3.

**** We will do the rest later. It’s a long way to the locker room***

(Recap by Jason)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of Round 1 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

  • “Behind the scenes” of the William Karlsson shorty

Ken’s Three VGK Stars

*** Marc-Andre Fleury
** William Karlsson
* Cody Eakin

Golden Knights Agree They’ll Have To Protect Their “Bubble” Better

(Photo Credit: Photographer Jason Pothier)

Earlier last week Golden Knights defensemen Shea Theodore talked about what the team learned from last year’s second round series against the San Jose Sharks.

It was our first playoff run as a team and we learned a lot from each series. (The Sharks) are good with their sticks around the net. When you look at Pavelski, the amount of goals he’s tipped in right around low. Kane’s another guy, Hertl’s a guy, Couture, they’ve got a lot of guys that play really well in tight and around the net. -Theodore

One of the elements to the Sharks game last season was to crowd the open space in front of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and boy did they ever do it again in Game 1. As Theodore mentioned, Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski, Evander Kane and Logan Couture were, and still are, tough to handle. San Jose tried circling around and camping out in front of Fleury, but thankfully for Golden Knights fans, the Golden Flower was superb.

On Wednesday night, the tables were turned. Sharks players spent a majority of the night camped out in front of Fleury and the Golden Knights couldn’t clear players out of the “bubble.” The area from the crease and extended out a few feet has to be locked down if Vegas wants to keep the Sharks off the board as the series continues.

Coach Gerard Gallant spoke about the Sharks tight down low-pressure yesterday at his daily press conference.

We gave them too much time there. They came out they were physical and they forechecked real good. You got to be physical, you have to be strong. They spent too much time in our zone against our D. -Gallant

So, what’s the adjustment for Game 2?

I think you have to be aware of where they are. When they add that fourth guy in the rush as d-men we have to be talking to our forwards on who to pick up. That’s when it can become really deadly. -Theodore

While we all watched Fleury make amazing saves series after series last season it’s tough to expect him to do it again. He’ll need less traffic and double parked Sharks in his zone. If his teammates can do a better job of sealing up the bubble in Game 2 they’ll have a great chance to even the series.

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