Sharks get late goals to rally past Golden Knights 3-2
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The San Jose Sharks rallied late to give their dads a memorable night just off the Las Vegas strip.
Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi scored third-period goals 39 seconds apart, Martin Jones made 36 saves on his birthday, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Thursday night.
San Jose, which earned its 1,000th victory, won its fifth straight and ended the Golden Knights’ seven-game winning streak. The Sharks (59 points) leapfrogged Vegas in the Pacific Division standings and are one point behind Calgary for the top spot.
It happened with the players’ dads traveling with the club. The fathers crashed the locker room after the game to serenade Jones with birthday wishes.
“Honestly we’re just trying to focus on the game, it’s not something you’re really thinking about out there,” Jones said, downplaying his birthday, the dads trip and the team’s milestone win. “That’s the team that always seems to jump out, use the crowd to their advantage, they always come out to good starts. We just stuck with it, we didn’t panic. We just kept getting pucks out, getting pucks in. It was a good gutsy road win.”
Brent Burns’ shot from the point rebounded perfectly to Karlsson, who found a wide open net to tie it 2-2. Donskoi then had the puck bounce off him amid heavy traffic in front of Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for a 3-2 lead with 11:57 left.
“That was the game; they’re both dirty goals where you’re going to the net and there are bodies there and there’s lots of traffic,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “They’re not pretty goals and we knew that we were gonna have to score that way on him, (Fleury’s) always played well against us. We did what we had to do to get two big points.”
Tomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks, who avenged a 6-0 defeat in their last trip to Las Vegas in November and got over a hurdle in beating a team that has given them fits since its inaugural season.
Vegas won the regular-season series 3-1 last season, then eliminated the Sharks in six games in the Western Conference semifinals.
“It’s a special one to be a part of,” Burns said. “It’s nice to do it in a building that’s been giving us some tough games and do it with the dads here, it’s just fun.”
Tomas Nosek and Jon Merril scored for Vegas, while Fleury made 24 saves.
Vegas had the NHL’s longest active home point streak of 12 games (10-0-2) snapped.
“Everyone’s been in this position before,” Vegas forward Max Pacioretty said. “The important thing is to move on to the next one now.”
Since opening the season 9-12-1, the Golden Knights are 18-4-3 and hadn’t lost a game in regulation at home since a 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Nov. 16.
Alex Tuch had an assist for Vegas and extended his point streak to eight games (two goals, seven assists). Tuch is the team leader with 35 points.
NOTES: The Sharks trailed after one period for just the ninth time this season. ... Valentin Zykov made his Golden Knights debut after being claimed off waivers from Edmonton on Dec. 29. ... Burns played in his 435th consecutive game, a streak that began Nov. 21, 2013. ... San Jose’s Erik Karlsson saw his 14-game streak with at least one assist come to an end. ... San Jose had its five-game streak with at least one power-play goal snapped. ... The Golden Knights dropped to 11-3-2 when leading after one period.
Sharks: Hosts Ottawa on Saturday.
Golden Knights: Visits Chicago on Saturday.
AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this story.