(Photo by NHL Public Relations)
Las Vegas–Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks continued their best of seven series in front of a very loud crowd at SAP Center.
The Golden Knights took the previous game 4-3 in overtime that featured a William Karlsson game winner, giving Vegas a 2-1 lead in the series on San Jose.
With the Sharks trailing by one game in the series they knew that the going down 3-1 to the Golden Knights was not an option.
In doing so, they made some lineup changes with Joakim Ryan slotting in for Paul Martin and forward Joonas Donskoi returned after being kept from playing in game three due to lower body injury.
The opening stages of the contest, both teams kept the other off the scoresheet for the majority of the 1st period until the 15:37 mark of the frame where Marcus Sorensen broke the ice for the Sharks in a crucial must win game for them.
After the refs missed a hooking penalty from San Jose’s Erik Fehr on Alex Tuch, Sorensen was given free ice by the Golden Knights and with that time and space worked the puck and went in on Marc-André Fleury and put one upstairs for a 1-0 Sharks lead.
With roughly 5 seconds left in the opening period, the Sharks would grab a late goal from Donskoi.
Donskoi took advantage off of a screen play by Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb and fired a wrist shot between his legs that caught Fleury by surprise and ended up beating him glove side high that made it 2-0 San Jose before the first intermission break.
San Jose continued where they left at and just 5:35 into the middle period it would be Tomas Hertl getting the third goal for the Sharks.
The scoring sequence started with Logan Couture winning the faceoff against Vegas’s Erik Haula in the offensive zone.
After that, Couture fed Mikkel Boedker the puck and would make a power move on Fleury who made the initial stop but coughed up the rubber to an opportunistic Hertl on the doorstep who pumped it home for a commanding 3-0 lead on the Golden Knights.
The Sharks youth movement came and delivered for San Jose and the night was capped off in the third period from their Captain Joe Pavelski as he would add the last goal of the contest on Fleury with 8:47 remaining in the game.
Fleury didn’t fully hold onto a Couture shot that came from the top of the left face off circle and with Pavelski playing above the crease cashed in the rebound for a 4-0 Sharks lead as the San Jose Captain converted on the power play.
At the end of the night, Vegas had no answer to the Sharks as they would lose game four by a 4-0 final.
In the 4-0 loss to San Jose, this was the first time in this years playoffs where they were shutout in 8 games played.
In the shutout, Sharks netminder Jones earned his 6th with his 34 save performance and currently sits in 2nd place lifetime among San Jose goaltenders behind Evgeni Nabokov who has 7 to his name.
On the other end of the ice, Golden Knights netminder Fleury recorded .882 save percentage which is his lowest in the playoffs.
The Golden Knights went 0/5 on the power play.
With Vegas and San Jose having split the first four games of the series, it becomes a best of three with next one on Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
3 Stars Of The Game
San Jose Sharks: Martin Jones (6th career shutout in the playoffs)
San Jose Sharks: Youth Movement of Marcus Sorensen, Joonas Donskoi, and Tomas Hertl
San Jose Sharks: Co-3rd Star Logan Couture and Brandon Dillon (2 assists each)
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