The Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks didn’t need much time to ratchet up this whole rivalry thing.
Five of their eight regular-season games have been decided by a goal or fewer. They’ve played one playoff series and are about to start another. They each made big moves in the offseason (Max Pacioretty, Erik Karlsson) and at the trade deadline (Mark Stone, Gustav Nyquist) to prepare for this moment.
If past is prologue — the Knights prevailed in six games in last year’s Western Conference semifinals — it should be an intense series. Here’s a look at the four regular-season matchups this season:
Nov. 24, 2018
Knights 6, Sharks 0
The most lopsided regular-season meeting began with a bang.
Center William Karlsson scored in 14 seconds for the fastest goal in Knights’ history and the team didn’t let up from there. Defenseman Colin Miller scored once and winger Max Pacioretty netted two goals before the end of the first period en route to a 4-0 lead.
William Carrier and Alex Tuch added goals and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves playing for the second time in two nights for his fifth shutout.
Sharks 3, Knights 2
The Knights entered their second meeting with the Sharks riding a seven-game winning streak. Their rivals proceeded to humble them.
Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi scored 39 seconds apart in the third period and the Sharks won for the first time in the regular season at T-Mobile Arena.
Defenseman Jon Merrill scored his first goal of the season 2:16 into the third to give the Knights a 2-1 lead, but Melker Karlsson answered 5:08 later. Donskoi followed up soon after and the Sharks held on for the 1,000th victory in franchise history.
Though his team won, Erik Karlsson failed to score a point for the first time in 15 appearances.
Knights 7, Sharks 3
The first period of the highest-scoring matchup between the teams was a blur.
When it was over, the Knights had three goals — via William Karlsson, Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault — and the Sharks had two. San Jose starting goaltender Martin Jones was also pulled after allowing those three goals in 12:24.
His backup, Aaron Dell, didn’t fare much better as center Paul Stastny scored in the second period to extend the Knights’ lead and forward Reilly Smith, center Cody Eakin and Marchessault (on an empty net) added tallies in the third to complete a rout.
Sharks 4, Knights 3, OT
The Sharks’ power-play unit ended the game 22 seconds into overtime.
Miller was called for hooking with 55 seconds left in regulation, which meant the Sharks started the extra period with a 4-on-3 and took full advantage. Center Logan Couture sent a pass to defenseman Brent Burns at the top of the left faceoff circle and the All-Star buried a one-timer to give both teams two wins in the season series.
Contact reporter Ben Gotz at email@example.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.