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Golden Knights’ Schmidt had ‘no idea’ he scored goal in Game 6

SAN JOSE, Calif. — It was a weird shot, almost like something you might see in a game of H-O-R-S-E on a basketball court.

Nate Schmidt ripped a shot off the left post that deflected hard into the net and caught the camera stanchion flush. The puck shot back out in a blink and play continued for 25 more seconds.

Finally, the situation room in Toronto called for a video review, which showed that Schmidt had scored, giving the Golden Knights a 2-0 cushion en route to a 3-0 victory that eliminated the San Jose Sharks from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I had no idea it went in,” Schmidt said of his goal, which came with 4:22 left in the second period. “It’s something that happens in playoff hockey. There’s more traffic going to the front of the net and it’s tough for the goalie to see. So you throw it at the net and sometimes you catch a lucky bounce.”

The goal by Schmidt, his second of the postseason, took only a matter of seconds for officials to see the puck crossing the goal line.

“I’ve never seen something like that happen where they blew the play dead,” said Schmidt, who in addition to his goal also picked up the second assist on Cody Eakin’s empty-net goal with 1:51 remaining that sealed things. “When I was skating back to the bench and the guys are congratulating me I figured they were just being excited. I still haven’t seen the play.”

Schmidt’s goal changed the complexion of the game. Down 2-0, the Sharks found themselves chasing things and ultimately had to take more chances in the third period.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“It was a huge goal,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “We didn’t know on the bench whether or not it was in. But then (video coach) Tommy Cruz signalled us. Two seconds later, Toronto called and they got it right. There’s obviously a big difference between 1-0 and 2-0.”

Schmidt also saved a potential San Jose goal by blocking a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the first period after Tomas Hertl’s tip-in try that just missed getting past Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

“(Fleury) said he didn’t see it,” Schmidt said. “I kind of stuck my foot out and hoped it would hit me. He told me he was looking at the other side. But we’ll take ‘em anyway we can get ‘em.”

With the Knights now halfway to the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season, Schmidt and his teammates aren’t satisfied.

“We’re having a lot of fun in this room and our guys have had a blast all year being with each other,” he said. “We’ve done a lot more than we’re capable of and we continue to set the bar to new heights for our group and we continue to have higher expectations for ourselves.

“I think this group believes in each other and that’s all you can ask for.”

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

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

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