Vegas Melt Down Golden Knights Close Home Slate with 5-4 Shootout Loss to San Jose
The Vegas Golden Knights (42-31-6) lost to the San Jose Sharks (32-35-12), 5-4, in a shootout in the final home game of the regular season on Sunday night at T-Mobile Arena.
HOW IT MELTED DOWN a Spectacular Goal from Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks
After Tomas Hertl opened the scoring at 11:43 of the first period, Chandler Stephenson scored for the third game in a row to tie the game at 1-1. In the middle frame, Max Pacioretty and William Carrier scored 2:13 apart to put the Golden Knights ahead, 3-1. Nick Bonino scored late in the frame to bring San Jose to within one heading into the third period. Nicolas Roy put Vegas ahead, 4-2, before Bonino and Timo Meier each scored to tie the game. Thomas Bordeleau scored in the shootout to seal the win for San Jose. Homas Bordeleau scored the only goal in a shootout to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 5-4 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday night.
Vegas squandered a 4-2 lead with a little more than two minutes left in regulation, as Nick Bonino scored his second goal of the game at 17:54 of the third period and Timo Meier added the equalizer with 0.9 seconds remaining to silence what moments before was a raucous crowd of 18,367.
The Golden Knights outshot San Jose 6-1 in overtime but Sharks goalie James Reimer was stellar in keeping everything out of the net.
The loss severely damaged Vegas’ playoff hopes with three games left in the season. Dallas can eliminate the Golden Knights by beating them in regulation Tuesday.
Tomas Hertl also scored for San Jose. Reimer stopped 42 shots.
Chandler Stephenson and Nic Roy each had a goal and an assist, and Max Pacioretty and William Carrier also scored for Vegas. Logan Thompson made 25 saves.
The Sharks snapped an 11-game losing streak against Vegas.
With a lot of traffic in front of Thompson’s net, Hertl snapped a loose puck top shelf to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the first period.
Vegas wasted no time with its first power-play opportunity moments later. The Golden Knights were able to get the puck to the front of the net, and after Mark Stone’s initial shot was stuffed by Reimer, Stephenson was there to smack home the rebound to make it 1-all.
The Golden Knights came out firing with early pressure in the second, but Reimer was outstanding in stopping their first five shots. Pacioretty then dared the challenge of a 1-on-3 rush.
Leaking through the Sharks and darting around San Jose defenseman Nicolas Meloche with a power move to the inside, Pacioretty snapped the puck into the upper corner to give Vegas a 2-1 lead.
Later in the period, Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar delivered a nifty drop pass via backhand across the slot, where Carrier was in position to deposit a welcome-back goal after missing the previous 10 games, pushing the Golden Knights’ lead to 3-1.
Bonino made it a one-goal game late in the second when he tipped in the redirect of Jaycob Megna’s shot from the point.
Shortly after failing to convert on its third power play, Vegas was able to keep the pressure in the Sharks’ zone. Showing incredible patience behind the net, William Karlsson fed Roy in the slot for a perfect opportunity to notch his 15th goal of the season and put the Golden Knights in front 4-2.
Unprompted, Timo Meier brought up the Vegas Golden Knights last night. Asked about winning Sharks Player of the Year, Meier instead talked about playing spoiler in today’s match-up with the rival Golden Knights: “I still want to do well in those last couple games, especially tomorrow. Biggest game of the year, against Vegas, if we can maybe knock them out of the playoffs.”
The Golden Knights are four points back of both the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators for a Western Conference wild-card spot. With four games remaining on their schedule, the Golden Knights are looking to pick up a clean sweep of points to secure a playoff berth. They have one game in hand on the Stars, and tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks is that game. Just one day after the third anniversary of Barclay Goodrow’s Game Seven OT winner, the Sharks could once again play a significant role in preventing a Golden Knights’ playoff run.
Sharks head coach Bob Boughner discussed the motivation that this opportunity creates among players, especially younger players, despite his team missing out on the post-season: “I just talked about the young guys and the experience and development they’re getting. Being able to be in a big game like this in a really tough building and exciting atmosphere, that’s a big thing when you talk about development.
“We know how important this game is for Vegas, so we have to be in that frame of mind.”
It’s going to be a battle for the San Jose Sharks, who have lost 11 straight games to the Golden Knights, dating back to the 2019-20 season. The last time that San Jose beat Vegas on Nov. 21, 2019, current Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer was still behind the bench for the Sharks. Boughner would relieve DeBoer three weeks later.
Going back to 2019-20, Meier is tied with Tomáš Hertl as the team leader in scoring in games against the Golden Knights. But the numbers are staggeringly low: Meier has three goals and two assists in 13 games, while Hertl has two goals and three assists in 11 games versus Vegas.
Boughner mentioned that Meier was setting a good example for the younger guys last night: “When young guys are surrounded with that and hear the veteran guys talk like that, that’s got to spike them too. I like that Timo was already thinking about that. Let’s face it, to give ourselves a chance tonight, guys like Timo, Tommy, [Logan Couture], they’re going to have to be our best players.”
Throughout the 14 games between the San Jose Sharks and Golden Knights following Game Seven, the Sharks have a record of 1-11-2. In that span of games, the Sharks have been outscored 52-21 and have been shut out twice.
A win tonight would add to the pressure on the already desperate Golden Knights and be even more satisfying for the Sharks and their fans.