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Game Notes #27: Sharks Go Off Rails, Lose 5-4 to Golden Knights

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Credit: Sheng Peng

Period 1

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Minute in, Nieto ties up Hague, frees up Meier to take it from corner to front. Solid start for Nieto in elevated role again.

Erik Karlsson then steps in front of Jurco along wall, Vegas reporters say, “Whoa, looks like the old Erik Karlsson.”

Dubnyk needs to stop that, but Meier and Hertl and Knyzhov also had good chances to get it out.

8 minutes in, brilliant Karlsson cross-slot pass.

10 minutes in, that’s a tough stretch pass by Burns, there’s a Golden Knight clearly in front of target. That looks like an easy let’s play it safer play.

Gambrell takes it to the net, draws a penalty on Roy. Karlsson and Labanc having fun playing catch. Clever jam by Donato on Fleury, might have surprised vet goalie for a sec. Good PP from both units, generated a lot of chances.

7 minutes left, good stick check by Vlasic in corner, puck into netting, San Jose Sharks needed a break. Next shift, Knyzhov does a great job of bodying off hard-charging Stone. But Labanc takes a delay of game, another big PK.

Except for William Karlsson chance (off post?), strong Sharks PK. Good in-zone and NZ work.

5 minutes left, good work down low by Burns, Ferraro, Hertl.

3 minutes left, sweet Donato deflection off Simek shot. Great forecheck shift by Handemark, Gabriel, and Donato.

Tough Karlsson stretch pass there leads to Knyzhov penalty. A couple Golden Knights between Karlsson and target. I’m generally supportive of Karlsson and Burns freelancing when they want, but when a Golden Knight is standing where target is, maybe think twice.

Gotta solve Fleury: Per Natural Stat Trick, San Jose Sharks 8-4 Scoring Chances at 5-on-5, 3-2 High-Danger. We’ve heard this story: Good Sharks period at 5-on-5, but can’t score.

Per SPORTLOGiQ: San Jose has 7-2 Slot Shots on Net advantage, All Situations. Fleury.

Period 2

5 minutes in, that backhand pass up middle by Nieto, intercepted, is a no-no.

But a minute later, outstanding down-low work by Meier, Hertl, and Nieto. Bottle that up. Probing until someone gets open.

Carrier barrels into Dubnyk, absolute right call to wave that off.

Labanc goal started by Karlsson and Knyzhov taking puck from Reaves behind Dubnyk, Gabriel draws in forechecker, then passes it to Donato. Donato does phenomenal job winning puck race on forecheck. Hague beats him to puck, but Donato ties him up. Vegas regains possession, but on exit, Couture swoops in and his line batters Hague and Whitecloud until Labanc scores. That’s serving things up for the next line.

Seconds left, behind Dubnyk, good anticipation by Erik Karlsson to take away what Cody Glass was going for.

Period 3

2 minutes in, loose puck in middle of high slot, Gambrell does nice job of picking 2 Golden Knights so Marleau can pick up puck unbothered.

Karlsson needs to make a better play there, has chance to clear, too soft a pass out. I’ve liked his skating tonight, his defending has been decent, but his touch with the puck has been very off.

Labanc sticks out a dangerous leg that Marchessault trips on. Marchessault lands into Couture. It’s a gutter war out there.

Okay, it’s now 5-3 Vegas. Wow. Okay, first, I love Hertl standing up for Meier. That’s outstanding.  You see something, step up. However, it gets messy after that. I know Marchessault is a rat, but is a 3-3 game the time for payback? Did something more happen than the usual with Marchessault? And seeing red is emotion, which can be good, sure, but it also could lead to a lack of discipline, such as the ensuing Labanc trip on Carrier.

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