If the Golden Knights hope to prevail in their second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series with San Jose, they’ll need to find some success on their power play.
The Knights got away with a power-less power play in their first-round sweep of Los Angeles, going 1 for 12. The Sharks, who were second in the NHL this season in penalty killing, were in the middle of the pack during their opening-round four-game sweep of Anaheim when it came to killing penalties, allowing two goals in 12 attempts.
So how does it change?
“I think it’s about keeping it simple and getting pucks to the net with lots of traffic,” said defenseman Shea Theodore, who works the point on one of Gerard Gallant’s power-play units. “San Jose’s PK is different from L.A.’s. They pressure you more at the top so we have to not force things.”
The Knights like to start things from the blue line and work their way in. Against the Sharks, it may mean starting things from the goal line or behind the net to create space at the point for Theodore, Colin Miller and Nate Schmidt.
“They have a lot of good killers but we watched a lot of video and we’ll be ready for it,” Theodore said. “It all depends what they’re giving us. It’s going to be a tight series and special teams are going to be a big part of it.”
Both coaches announced they were going with the same lineups they used in their opening-round series clinchers last week.
For the Knights, that means Ryan Carpenter remains on the third line with Cody Eakin and David Perron while Tomas Tatar sits. Defensively, Jon Merrill stays alongside Miller while Luca Sbisa remains out, though he is healthy and eligible to play.
Will Carrier did not participate in the morning skate Thursday at City National Arena. Gallant said it was optional and Carrier was in the lineup against the Sharks.
For the Sharks, it means no Joe Thornton for Game 1. Thornton has been out since having knee surgery in late January on his right knee.
Fans who plan to attend Game 3 Monday in San Jose can take advantage of an opportunity to visit Knights owner Bill Foley’s vineyard in the Napa Valley and sample some of the Foley Family Wines collection.
The bus departs downtown San Jose at 9:30 a.m. and returns in the afternoon in time for the game, which begins at 7 p.m. Cost is $30 per person and is limited to the first 50 who sign up.
For more information, go to the vineyard’s website, www.foleyfoodandwinesociety.com.