(Photo by USATSI)

Las Vegas–Tonight the Vegas Golden Knights completed their 6 game road swing with a final stop in the Bay Area against the San Jose Sharks.

This was the second time this season that the Golden Knights and Sharks faced off against one another. The last meeting took place during the American Thanksgiving Break where Jonathan Marchessault was the overtime hero for Vegas. The Golden Knights won that contest by a 5-4 final.

For the Golden Knights coming off the back end of the their 6 game road swing away from “The Fortress” it looked as if they were trying to find their legs in the early stages of the opening as the Sharks dictated the pace of the game.

With imposing their will on the Golden Knights with their attack, the Sharks opened the scoring just 4:40 into the 1st period when Joe Pavelski redirected a long range shot by Brent Burns past Marc-André Fleury to give San Jose the early 1 goal lead on Vegas.

The Golden Knights made the adjustments and would find the answer within 10 minutes later in the period when Erik Haula connected for his 21st goal of the season. Haula capitalized off an initial shot from David Perron and went five hole on Martin Jones to tie the game up a 1.

In the opening shift of the middle period, the Golden Knights would find themselves in the lead for the first time of the contest and getting it done was William Karlsson.

Marchessault took the first shot attempt on Jones who made an excellent acrobatic type save but the puck trickled to an open area in his crease and Karlsson all alone tapped it home for the easy go ahead goal of the game and the 29th of the year for the young Swede forward.

Karlsson Nets His 29th Goal

Roughly 11 minutes after Karlsson gave the Golden Knights their first lead of the contest the Sharks would find themselves on the man advantage. On the power play, it was San Jose’s Timo Meier that was opportunistic on the scoring play by Burns as he took the puck off of his upper body to put the rubber past Fleury for a 2-2 score.

At the 7:45 mark in the third period, the Sharks would get the lead back for the first time in the game since the first Pavelski goal in the opening period.

From the right face off circle Burns put the puck on Fleury that created a rebound opportunity for Pavelski where he would go back bar high at close range for his second of the night and gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead. San Jose would convert for their second goal on special teams on the Pavelski tally.

The Pavelski go ahead marker would not phase the Golden Knights as they would respond less than 2 minutes later.

With speed up the ice Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb made the 2017 Norris Trophy recipient Burns bite and skated around him and from a tough angle position went top shelf over Jones to tie the game back up at 3-3. For McNabb he earned his 3rd goal of the season for the Golden Knights.

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Vegas would add some insurance at the 15:10 mark of the third when James Neal
created the scoring play on San Jose. Neal with speed went into the Sharks end with Perron and played a simple game of catch on Justin Braun and Burns of San Jose. Neal took the pass from Perron and went five hole on Jones that gave the Golden Knights a 2 goal lead on San Jose.

Neal’s 24th Of The Season With Vegas

With less two minutes to go in the game, the Sharks were down a man that was from a late high sticking penalty by Dylan DeMelo on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

So San Jose’s Head Coach Peter DeBoer pulled Jones to negate the Sharks from being shorthanded but for the hosts of the tail end of Vegas road trip that move back fired and Marchessualt would cash in on the empty net goal for a Golden Knights 5-3 victory on the former 2016 Western Conference Champs.

At the conclusion the game the Golden Knights record against their Pacific Division counterparts improved to 13-1-1 on the season and earned themselves a 4-2 mark on their trip away from “The Fortress”. They would also improve the overall standings with 76 points, one behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL with a 36-14-4 record.

They also improve their record on the road at 17-11-2.

Fleury would record his 16th win on the year between the pipes for the Golden Knights with his 35 save performance on 38 shots he faced against the Sharks at a .921 save percentage.

For the Golden Knights, they would go 1/5 on the man advantage and continued their power play goal streak to nine straight games.

After the game, Marchessault spoke with members on the media on the team’s strong finish over the San Jose Sharks.

“Good teams find a way to win. And Flower was amazing in the first period.” Marchessault told reporters in San Jose.

3 Stars Of The Game

Vegas Golden Knights: Jonathan Marchessault (1 goal and 1 assist)

Vegas Golden Knights: James Neal (game winning goal)

San Jose Sharks: Joe Pavelski (2 goals)

Honorable Mentions: VGK’s David Perron, Reilly Smith, and Colin Miller (2 assists each)

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