(Photo by Getty Images)

Las Vegas–Tonight, the series shifted to the Bay Area for game 3 as the Vegas Golden Knights battled the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Both the Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks split the first two games of the series back at T-Mobile Arena where there was a combined 14 goals scored.

The pace of the opening period of game three was very noticeable from the outset as both teams brought their speed game to SAP Center ice in front a sellout crowd of 17,562 screaming hockey fans.

For the Golden Knights, Marc-André Fleury had to be at his best in the opening 20 minutes of the game as he had to make 16 saves as the Sharks kept him busy in net with their shooting gallery efforts.

Fleury was arguably the best player on the ice for the Golden Knights in the first period as he kept the Sharks off the scoresheet.

It was 6:59 into the middle frame the San Jose Sharks would break the ice first and getting it done was 21-year-old Timo Meier.

On the scoring sequence, Mikkel Boedker made a shot attempt on the Golden Knights net but with defenseman Colin Miller blocking it found its way on Chris Tierney‘s stick where he would send a cross ice pass to Meier in the right circle and with a wide open net, put the puck past Fleury for a 1-0 Sharks lead.

The Meier goal for San Jose was scored on the power play.

Surrendering the first goal of the game did not phase the Golden Knights as they took their attack right at San Jose.

At the 9:40 mark of the middle period, the Golden Knights would get the equalizer goal from blueliner Miller while they were on their first power play of the game.

David Perron was up top along the right face off circle where he saw James Neal playing below the icing line send the pass down low and with Miller coming backdoor on Martin Jones connected with him, pumped it home to tie the game at 1 apiece.

This was Miller’s 2nd goal of this year’s playoffs for the Golden Knights.

With 6:51 remaining in the 2nd period, the Golden Knights would take their first lead of the game and answering the bell for Vegas would be Jonathan Marchessault.

The sequence was started by Reilly Smith sending a back pass to Alex Tuch and with plenty of open ice in San Jose’s end, found Marchessault on left side who unloaded a one timer shot past Jones for a 2-1 Vegas lead on their 2nd man advantage of the night.

After being denied in the previous game for his 2nd goal of the playoffs, he finally recorded it in this contest.

Vegas kept coming at San Jose and the next man up was Smith at the 14:26 mark of the period.

The top line for the Golden Knights worked the puck as Marchessault and William Karlsson teamed up and played the cycle game on the Sharks and with Smith on the doorstep he put a backhander shot past Jones who left his net exposed for a 3-1 lead.

It took seven playoff games for Smith to finally get his first one in a Golden Knights uniform but it was well worth the wait.

With the Golden Knights in the drivers seats heading into the 3rd period of the game, the Sharks mounted a comeback rally.

Starting it off, was Evander Kane who came back in the lineup after being suspended in game 2 for cross checking Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the series opener and not without some suspense.

Just as their power play expired, Brent Burns with a backhand pass connected with Kane all alone in the right face off circle and with plenty time and space unloaded a wrister upstairs on Fleury.

After the goal was scored, Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant used his challenge for potential goaltender interference but to no avail, the goal stood and San Jose pulled within a goal as it would be a 3-2 Vegas lead.

In the late stages of the period, some drama ensued with 1:57 left in regulation as San Jose’s Tomas Hertl would tie it up after he capitalized on his second chance putting the puck past Fleury on his blocker side low.

Hertl’s late tally forced the series to experience it’s 2nd overtime game in three nights.

San Jose’s Couture nearly won the game for the Sharks but Golden Knights netminder Fleury made the save of the night for Vegas robbing him of the overtime winner.

Minutes after Fleury’s huge save on Couture, a hero emerged for the Golden Knights and it was none other than their regular season leading goal scorer for Vegas #71 Karlsson.

With Neal in the neutral zone, he found the speedy Karlsson coming down the right side and with a burst of speed went into San Jose’s end and put one far side bar down on Jones for the overtime winner and a 4-3 victory in game three of the best of seven series.

This improved the Golden Knights overtime record in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to 2-1.

Fleury was pretty solid in net for Vegas has made 39 saves on 42 total San Jose shots and posted a .929 save percentage.

The series continues this Wednesday for game 4 as Vegas looks to put a stranglehold on the Sharks in the series.

3 Stars Of The Game

Vegas Golden Knights: William Karlsson (overtime winner)

Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-André Fleury (39 saves)

San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl (goal that forced overtime)

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VegasKOTR

 

Leave a Reply