SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jonathan Marchessault scored the first of Vegas’ three power-play goals and the Golden Knights spoiled San Jose’s first home game in nearly a year with a 3-1 victory over the Sharks on Saturday.
Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson also scored as Vegas took advantage of its first three opportunities with the man advantage to win for the fourth time in five games. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves.
“I thought that our entries were a lot better, we kept a pretty simple mindset, move the puck and and try to get shots to the net,” defenseman Alec Martinez said. “They aren’t always going to be pretty. … You have to get to the hard areas to score goals. That’s what we did.”
Tomas Hertl scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who were unable to get a boost with their return from a season-opening 12-game road trip. Martin Jones made 23 saves.
“I thought we created some things, missed the net on a couple of chances,” defenseman Brent Burns said. “It’s tough. You aren’t going to get a lot from that team. You just have to bear down when you get the chance.”
The Sharks played their first home game since March 8 last year after starting this season with the extended trip. San Jose was given the unbalanced schedule because of local restrictions that banned contact sports and practices, forcing the Sharks to hold training camp in Arizona.
By the time they finally got home, they were unable to get a win thanks to the efficient power play for the Golden Knights.
Marchessault batted in a rebound in the first period, Stone scored on a rebound in the second and Stephenson got his goal when Alex Tuch’s pass deflected off his skate and into the net in the third.
“Their power play was the difference,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “We had a couple of miscues on the one. Second one was a missed assignment and the third one was off their skate. It wasn’t anything too clean, we go beat on a bang-bang play.”
The game was the first back in San Jose for Vegas coach Peter DeBoer, who was fired by the Sharks in December 2019. DeBoer led the Sharks to their only Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016 and the Western Conference Final in 2019 before getting fired early last season. He was hired last January by Vegas but hadn’t faced San Jose until Saturday.
DeBoer received some stick taps and applause from Sharks players when he was shown on the video board.
“These games are never easy when you’re coming back into a situation like this,” DeBoer said. “It was great to catch up with some people here I have a lot of time and respect for and really went through a lot of wars with.”
Vegas forward Ryan Reeves and Sharks forward Evander Kane have a long history of animosity that resurfaced in their first meeting of the season. After being called for coincidental minors in the first period, the two spent much of the penalty yelling back and forth at each other from the penalty box. That was made easier because the glass between the two boxes has been removed because of COVID-19 protocols.
Sharks D Radim Simek left in the second period after taking two hard hits from Marchessault. He went straight to the dressing room after the shift and didn’t return with an upper-body injury.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson left in the third period after tweaking a lower-body injury but Boughner didn’t believe it was serious.
Golden Knights: Host Colorado on Sunday.
Sharks: Host Anaheim on Monday night.
This post will be updated throughout the game
PRE GAME: This is a rescheduled game that was postponed earlier this year because of COVID concerns. This will be the first time the Sharks have played in their home arena in more than 11 months. This is Knights coach Pete DeBoer’s first game in San Jose since he left there to coach the Golden Knights.
Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net for the third straight game for the Golden Knights. Martin Jones in net for the Sharks.
FIRST PERIOD: Knights Jonathan Marchessault (4) scores on the power play 6:53 left in the first period, assists to Chandler Stephenson (4), Alec Martinez (7). KNIGHTS 1, SHARKS 0 after 1. Shots on goal: Sharks 11, Knights 7
SECOND PERIOD: Knights Mark Stone (4) scores on the power play, assists to William Karlsson (5), Cody Glass (5). Knights 2, Sharks 0, midway through period.
Sharks Tomas Hertl (6) scores late in the period. Assists to Rudolfs Balcers (1), Marc-Edouard Valasic (2). KNIGHTS 2, SHARKS 1 after 2 periods. Shots on goal; Sharks 18, Knights 17.
THIRD PERIOD: Knights Chandler Stephenson (5) with the Knights 3rd power play goal of the day. Assists to Alex Tuch (6), Alec Martinez (8). KNIGHTS 3, SHARKS 1, midway through period.
KNIGHTS 3, SHARKS 1, final. SHOTS ON GOAL; Knights 26, Sharks 25.
Next up: Golden Knights play Colorado Avalanche 4 p.m. Sunday at T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas Golden Knights (8-2-1, first in the West Division) vs. San Jose Sharks (5-6-1, seventh in the West Division)
San Jose, California; Saturday, 1 p.m. PST
BOTTOM LINE: The Vegas Golden Knights visit San Jose after Tomas Hertl scored two goals in the Sharks’ 6-2 loss to the Kings.
The Sharks are 5-6-1 against West Division opponents. San Jose has scored seven power-play goals, converting on 16.7% of chances.
The Golden Knights are 8-2-1 in division games. Vegas ranks ninth in the NHL averaging 3.4 goals per game, led by Max Pacioretty with six.
The matchup Saturday is the first meeting this season for the two teams. It is the first time Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer has returned to San Jose to coach his former team.
TOP PERFORMERS: Logan Couture leads the Sharks with 11 points, scoring six goals and adding five assists. Brent Burns has four assists over the last 10 games for San Jose.
Mark Stone has 15 total points while scoring three goals and totaling 12 assists for the Golden Knights. Pacioretty has five goals and five assists over the last 10 games for Vegas.
LAST 10 GAMES: Sharks: 4-5-1, averaging 2.4 goals, 4.1 assists, 4.6 penalties and 9.2 penalty minutes while giving up 3.5 goals per game with a .891 save percentage.
Golden Knights: 7-2-1, averaging 3.2 goals, 5.8 assists, 3.7 penalties and 8.8 penalty minutes while allowing 2.3 goals per game with a .910 save percentage.
INJURIES: Sharks: Maxim Letunov: out (health protocols), Devan Dubnyk: day to day (lower body).
Golden Knights: Robin Lehner: day to day (upper body), Alex Pietrangelo: out (health and safety protocols).