GAME DAY: Golden Knights look to even 1st-round series with Sharks
The Golden Knights will try to even their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the San Jose Sharks when the rivals meet in Game 2 on Friday.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Golden Knights will try to even their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the San Jose Sharks when the rivals meet in Game 2 on Friday.
Opening faceoff is 7:30 p.m. at SAP Center, and the game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain.
Teams that win the first two games of a best-of-seven series go on to win 86.4 percent of the time (318-50) and have an 88.9 series win percentage (241-30) when those victories come at home.
“It’s easy to come up here as a coach and say, ‘Work, work, work,’ ” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “There’s nothing wrong with our game. When we play our game with a good work ethic and good support, we’re a good hockey team.
“We didn’t do that (Wednesday) night enough. Not all the guys, but a lot of our guys got to be a lot better, and we know that.”
Defenseman Colin Miller is expected to return to the Knights’ lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 1.
San Jose cruised 5-2 in the opener, as five players recorded two points for the Sharks.
Defensemen Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic each had a goal and an assist, while defenseman Erik Karlsson added two assists.
Burns played a game-high 28:25 of ice time, while Karlsson logged 26:25 on 33 shifts with Sharks coach Peter DeBoer essentially using five defenseman. (The sixth, Joakin Ryan, played 3:18 on six shifts.)
The Knights were lured into 34 penalty minutes, and San Jose finished 1-for-5 on the power play. The Sharks also scored during 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 play, in addition to two goals at full strength.
“We’ve got to be better all over the ice,” Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland said. “The puck battles, putting (the puck) places where we can get to our forecheck. … You’ve got to be disciplined in your systems and trust that it’s going to work and do the work that we’ve been doing all season long.”
Right wing Mark Stone had both goals for the Knights in Game 1, and left wing Max Pacioretty picked up two assists in his return to the playoffs after missing out last season with Montreal.
The Knights produced 10 shots on goal through the first two periods against goaltender Martin Jones before picking up the pace in the third period as they trailed by three goals.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 27 saves in Game 1 and remains two victories shy of tying Mike Vernon for seventh on the all-time postseason list.
“A lot of our players can be a lot better tonight, and I expect them to be better tonight,” Gallant said. “It’s a team game. We win as a team; we lose as a team. But we need everybody going. In the playoff times, you’ve got to be ready to go. … Adversity is good. Hopefully we’ll play our best game tonight.”
Golden Knights projected lineup
Jonathan Marchessault-William Karlsson-Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Mark Stone
Tomas Nosek-Cody Eakin-Alex Tuch
William Carrier-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Ryan Reaves
Nate Schmidt-Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb-Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill-Colin Miller
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Contact David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.