(Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

Las Vegas–Tonight the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks took to the ice for a pivotal game 5 in front of a record breaking crowd of 18,693 at T-Mobile Arena.

For Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant he made some key lineup changes for game 5 with inserting forwards Ryan Carpenter and Oscar Lindberg and defenseman Luca Sbisa.

Carpenter replaced Tomas Tatar and this was the first playoff game for both Lindberg and Sbisa in a Golden Knights uniform this postseason.

From the outset of game 5 after the puck was dropped on T-Mobile Arena ice, the Golden Knights controlled the pace on the Sharks by keeping San Jose’s Martin Jones very busy in the opening period of the contest.

Jones had to make 13 saves on the Golden Knights but with 3 seconds left in the first, Vegas finally broke the ice with James Neal getting the opening goal of the game.

On the scoring sequence, Shea Theodore put the initial shot on but it was blocked and with Neal open at the right face circle the puck found his stick and fired it into an exposed net by Jones for the late 1-0 lead in the dying stages of the first period.

This gave Neal his 28th career goal in the playoffs.

With Vegas in the lead in the early stages of the middle period of game 5, they were on their first power play opportunity of the contest courtesy of San Jose’s Tomas Hertl getting an interference penalty on Colin Miller and for the Golden Knights, they took advantage of it.

32 seconds into the power play it would be Alex Tuch cashing in a rebound shot from Reilly Smith down low by beating Jones five hole that extended the Golden Knights lead on San Jose 2-0, 4:52 into the 2nd period.

For Tuch this was his 3rd goal of this years playoffs in a Vegas uniform.

11:51 remaining in the middle frame, the Golden Knights would add to their lead on the Sharks once more with Erik Haula getting the third Vegas goal.

Haula connected off of a David Perron pass that bounced off the boards and from an impossible angle, managed to put the puck behind Jones’s back that made it 3-0 Golden Knights.

The former Minnesota Wild forward earned his 3rd playoff goal in a Vegas uniform.

For the Golden Knights they went into the 3rd period of the game with a very comfortable 3-0 lead on the San Jose Sharks but that did not stop them from getting another one.

At the 8:36 mark of the period, Tuch would grab his second of the night thanks to a sweet saucer pass by Cody Eakin that put an end to Jones’s night in net for the Sharks when he beat him glove side for a commanding 4-0 lead.

This marked the second time of the series that Jones was chased away from his net and swapped out for Aaron Dell in for another assignment in relief for San Jose.

With Vegas clearly in the lead, the Sharks made it interesting and rallied with three key goals from Kevin Labanc, Hertl, and Mikkel Boedker in a span of 6 minutes and 9 seconds that pulled San Jose within a goal on Vegas with a 4-3 game.

In that rally sequence, Labanc and Boedker earned their first goal of the series and Hertl connected for his 6th of this year’s playoffs.

During the late stages of the frame after San Jose pulled within 1, Sharks Head Coach Pete DeBoer took Dell out of the game for the extra attacker in an effort to try a tie the game up.

To no avail by the Sharks, Jonathan Marchessault would seal the deal with his long range empty net goal for a 5-3 Golden Knights win in game 5. This marked the first time in franchise history where Vegas took a game 5 victory in a best of seven series in the playoffs.

The Golden Knights have a chance to close out the series at SAP Center this Sunday as they hold a 3-2 lead on San Jose.

3 Stars Of The Game

Vegas Golden Knights: Alex Tuch (2 goals)

Vegas Golden Knights: David Perron (2 assists and 3 takeaways)

San Jose Sharks: Logan Couture (3 assists)

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

 

Leave a Reply