Vegas Golden Knights took the lead in the series against the San Jose Sharks, 2-1, after defeating the opponent at T-Mobile Arena last night, 6-3.
George McPhee, Knight’s GM, knows his business. For now, it sure looks like that. All three players he acquired at the beginning, or during, this season are paying off huge.
In the latest playoff contest against the Sharks, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Paul Stastny each delivered blows to the guests, from which they couldn’t recover.
Defenseman Nate Schmidt told that watching his teammates last night was awesome.
“They were incredible tonight,” Schmidt said. “It was just fun, fun to watch, fun to watch those guys do what they do best.”
Golden Knights ambushed San Jose at the start of each period. In all three sequences, the home team scored within the opening 40 seconds.
That was something Sharks couldn’t handle, and it only made them more nervous. They would lose their focus and composure and make mistakes which eventually dragged them into more problems. Or simply, they would just end up with tons of penalties.
Stone stunned the sleepy guests after just 16 seconds. This was the fastest goal in franchise history. The problems for Sharks started immediately, and their forward Evander Kane received a double penalty after already having one minor. Pretty soon, Max Pacioretty doubled the lead with a power-play goal.
Kevin Labanc decreased that with 4:34 until the end of the period, and brought back some hope for the guests.
But that was all destroyed when Stastny beat Martin Jones after just 21 seconds into the second.
Again, the guests were shocked with a start. But that was something the Golden Knights already discussed and prepared for. Stone revealed after the game that one of the key points in their gameplan was starting strong and if possibly stunning the opponent.
“We’ve really stressed since Game 1 that we need to have good starts need to have good starts to periods, good starts to games,” Stone said, adding that it makes it very difficult for the opponent to come back after being struck like that.
Stastny once more scored, on a power play with 16:04 into the period. In those moments, the guests were totally out of the game and were becoming more and more disturbed and frustrated.
Stone pushed them deeper into the hole with another shocker, 36 seconds after the start of the final period. It was 5-1 in those moments.
Sharks made a push netting twice in the span of 54 seconds, indicating that they might be able to make this an interesting contest. Logan Couture scored a power-play goal 4:57 since the start of the sequence and Timo Meier added another one at 5:51.
But the fate of San Jose was sealed with Stone’s third goal of the game, 7 minutes before the end. It was his 6th in the playoffs, and he is currently the leading scorer in the postseason.
Stone and his teammate Stastny are also leading the points with eight each. The third part of the lethal trio, Max Pacioretty, has six points.
Last night, three newcomers Knight’s assembled this season tore apart one of the best teams in league with 13 points, netting all six goals, and driving the guests crazy.
Peter DeBoer was desperate after the game, admitting that they don’t have any solution for the above-mentioned guys.
“They’ve eaten us up this series so far. We haven’t had an answer for them. You get three really good players playing at a high level right now. That’s part of the issue, and we have to find an answer to slow those guys down.”
For the moment the Golden Knight’s are enjoying the moment, but they don’t have too much time, because the series continues already this Tuesday at 10:30 pm ET.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.