Golden Knights grab series lead over Sharks with 5-3 victory

Updated May 4, 2018 - 11:58 pm

At different points of the season, coach Gerard Gallant asked his team to elevate its level of play for a big game. And each time the Golden Knights responded.

They did it for the emotional home opener in October.

They did it for the final home game of the regular season with a chance to clinch the division title.

And they did it again Friday.

Alex Tuch scored twice and the Knights withstood a third-period rally from San Jose to earn a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals at T-Mobile Arena.

The Knights held serve in the best-of-seven series and lead 3-2 with Game 6 at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at SAP Center in San Jose, California.

“Honestly, I thought our team did really well, especially in the first two periods,” Tuch said. “We kind of slacked off a little bit in the third and gave them too many chances, too many shots on net, but I thought we finished real strong.”

The Sharks scored three goals in a span of 6:09 in the third, leaving the announced record crowd of 18,693 to sweat out the final minutes.

After a scramble in front following Marc-Andre Fleury’s stop on Dylan DeMelo’s drive from the point, Mikkel Boedker dug out the puck and flipped it in with 4:16 remaining to cut the Knights’ lead to 4-3.

Jonathan Marchessault scored an empty-net goal with 1:21 left to clinch the victory.

Kevin Labanc and Tomas Hertl also scored in the third for the Sharks, who trailed 4-0 at one point in the period.

“In the playoffs, you’ve got to play 60 minutes. We only played 50,” Gallant said.

Unlike Game 4 when San Jose was able to limit time and space, the Knights found more room through the neutral zone on Friday.

And after Gallant called out a handful of his forwards for their lack of a forecheck in Game 4, the Knights’ forecheck led directly to James Neal’s goal late in the first period.

“Everyone’s first couple shifts had to be really hard, short, smart,” Tuch said. “Get pucks deep and put as much pressure on the team as possible. We were physical. We were playing well and, honestly, it was a very good game by everyone.”

Tuch put the Knights ahead 2-0 at 4:52 of the second period when he jammed in a rebound on a power play after Sharks goaltender Martin Jones stopped Reilly Smith’s point-blank shot. The Knights went 1-for-3 with the man advantage and have six power-play goals in their three victories.

The rookie added his second goal at 8:36 of the third period, his fourth of the playoffs, redirecting a pass from Cody Eakin on the rush.

Jones, who blanked the Knights on 34 saves in Game 4, was pulled in favor of Aaron Dell with San Jose trailing 4-0.

“I think we’ve been good at regrouping and letting things go and refocusing and having a big game,” Neal said. “You work all year to have home-ice advantage, and we play well at home. Use that for us and I thought coming home, we were focusing this morning and it carried over into tonight. I thought we had a great start to our game and a great second period, too.

“We just can’t lay off the gas. We’ve got to continue to play forward, play an honest game and we’ll learn from it.”

Fleury, who allowed 11 goals in the past three games after giving up three through the Knights’ first five playoff games, finished with 27 saves.

Erik Haula also scored from a steep angle in the second period to give the Knights a 3-0 advantage.

“At home, we always have great support from our fans,” Fleury said. “Last game didn’t go our way. I don’t think it was maybe our best game in the playoffs. But everybody stepped back into it the way we wanted tonight, and I think it showed. We were fast, and things came a little better for us.”

Gallant made three lineup changes after the Knights were shut out in Game 4, inserting Oscar Lindberg and Ryan Carpenter up front and Luca Sbisa on defense.

The Knights responded with a strong start, outshooting San Jose 15-7 in the first period, and finally were rewarded with three seconds remaining in the period.

David Perron, who returned to his customary spot on the second line, spun away from Sharks defenseman Brent Burns at the half-wall and fed Shea Theodore at the point. Theodore’s shot pinballed off the Sharks’ Logan Couture and went right to Neal, who potted his third goal of the playoffs.

“Every game’s a must win, and at times in this series, we kind of got away from that, especially in Game 4,” Tuch said. “We didn’t come out as strong and let simple plays get to us. I thought we came out tonight and we had 20 guys working really hard. We all played hard, and it was a strong game by everyone.”

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact David Schoen at or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

Golden Knights Videos
Coach Gallant Speaks with the Media After Practice
City National Arena | November 15, 2018.
Golden Edge: Fleury Shuts Out Anaheim
Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Marc-Andre Fleury gets his third shutout on the season in his shiny new pads. Adam Hill, Dave Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant on the Golden Knights win over the Ducks
Gerard Gallant discusses how key the home victory over the Anaheim Ducks was for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Knights after their 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights players talk about the 5-0 win on their home ice over the Anaheim Ducks.
Gerard Gallant On Haula And Stastny Status
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallants speaks after practice about the status of Erik Haula and Paul Stastny.
Golden Edge: Alex Tuch Interview
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz interview Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch.
Golden Edge Mailbag With Alex Tuch
Golden Knights' Alex Tuch is LIVE in-studio for our VGK Mailbag with reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill!
Golden Edge: November 12 Practice
Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss Nate Schmidt's return to practice, Gallant's absence, and Erik Haula's injury.
Nate Schmidt On Suspension
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about his suspension.
Golden Edge: Knights Coming Home After Loss To Boston
Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights loss to the Boston Bruins.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal
Max Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal, but it is former Golden Knight Tomas Tatar who scores the game winner for the Canadiens defeating the Knights 5-4. David Schoen reports from Montreal.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Senators On The Road
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights win against the Senators.
Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension after practice in Ottawa (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Golden Edge: Knights Shutout the Hurricanes
The Golden Knights defeat Carolina 3-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury marking his 50th career shutout. Adam Hill and Ed Graney report from T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury and William Carrier on the Knights Win Over Carolina
November 3, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena.
Coach Gallant Presser
Gerard Gallant speaks after the Knights defeat Carolina 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena November 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Knights Feeling Blue After Loss In St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
Gallant on consistency after a loss to the Nashville Predators
Coach Gerard Gallant says the Golden Knights are playing well in stretches, but consistency has been a problem. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fleury on commercial
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about a commercial that features him in disguise as Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury on wig
Marc-Andre Fleury puts on a blond wig at the end of practice to get some laughs.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Predators
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 30, 2018
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz answer your burning questions about the Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Marchessault Hits Penalty Shot in OT
The Golden Knights defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime. Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant says team's tenacity led to OT win over the Senators
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the Golden Knights win over the Ottawa Senators in overtime and how Ryan Reaves and Alex Tuch's contributions helped.
Golden Knights talk OT win, ready for road games
The Vegas Golden Knights talk about winning in overtime against the Ottawa Senators and how they will carry over that momentum on their upcoming road games.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Tampa, Pacioretty Exits Game
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Golden Knights locker room post following loss to Lightning
The Vegas Golden Knights agreed following their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that they need to play more aggressive and be more consistent throughout the game to come out victorious.
Gallant says Golden Knights need to play hungrier
Following the Vegas Golden Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to play hungrier and be more consistent to get wins.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall Short to Canucks in Shootout
The Golden Knights lose 3-2 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks, but announce after the game that they have signed Nate Schmidt to a 6 year contract extension. Adam Hill, David Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights coach Gallant on team's loss to Vancouver, Schmidt's new deal
Following the Golden Knights 3-2 loss to the Canucks, head coach Gerard Gallant addressed the missed opportunities and also spoke about Nate Schmidt's new contract with the team.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like