The team that led by three goals early in the second period thought it was on the wrong side of the puck most of the game.
The team that came back only to lose was grateful to leave with a point.
Yes, it was a crazy game Friday at T-Mobile Arena, where the Golden Knights remained in first place in the Pacific Division with a 5-4 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks.
A crowd of 18,094 saw both starting goaltenders fail to finish, a goal wiped out by a coaches’ challenge and a broken stick help determine the outcome.
Jonathan Marchessault’s goal 1:21 into overtime broke a 4-4 tie. The Golden Knights benefited from a broken San Jose stick of defenseman Brent Burns that led to a 3-on-1, and Marchessault kept the play alive and eventually jammed the puck past San Jose backup goaltender Aaron Dell.
“I was actually looking to make a pass,” Marchessault said of the goal, his seventh of the season. “But when I saw they had a guy without a stick, I decided to take it and shoot.”
William Karlsson scored twice, and James Neal and Shea Theodore also scored for the Knights, who won their fourth in a row, improved to 14-6-1 and have a division-leading 29 points.
But they made life hard on themselves by squandering a 4-1 second-period lead, which might have coincided with the loss of forward David Perron to an upper-body injury earlier in the period.
Perron did not return, and his availability for Saturday’s game at Arizona is unknown. He was listed as day to day.
“For us to get two points when we didn’t have our legs says a lot about our guys,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “I thought when we went up 4-1 we were still making turnovers and didn’t have the same legs and the same jump we had the other night in Anaheim.”
The Sharks, who pulled starting goalie Martin Jones 10 seconds into the second period after Karlsson scored his first goal, rallied with goals from Burns, Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker.
San Jose scored what appeared to be the go-ahead goal early in the third period when Logan Couture beat backup Malcolm Subban 2:40 into the period. But the goal was taken away after it was ruled Joonas Donskoi had interfered by being in the crease.
Subban, who was seeing his first action since being injured Oct. 21, started the third period in place of Maxime Lagace. Lagace appeared to have been injured during a scrum in front of the Knights’ goal during a San Jose power play late in the second period, but Gallant said the goalie just didn’t feel well.
“It felt good to get back in there,” Subban said. “I just tried to play solid and keep my focus on what was going on.”
Lagace was not on the bench at the start of the third period. He probably won’t start Saturday after making 11 straight starts in the net.
“We’ll see,” Gallant said when asked who will start. “I don’t want to do the homework for (the Coyotes).”
In the end, the Sharks’ rally was wasted because they couldn’t cover in their own end during OT.
“It was a track meet; it was pond hockey out there,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “The offense came because everything was loose. We don’t want to play that type of game, but we were forced to because of our slow start.
“We got a point, and that’s about the only good that came out of it.”
Who: Golden Knights vs. Coyotes
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Ariz.
TV/Radio: AT&T SportsNet; KRLV (98.9 FM, 1340 AM)
1. Theodore in sync. Defenseman Shea Theodore scored his first goal of the season 2:33 into the game and assisted on Jonathan Marchessault’s game winner in overtime. In between, he had another solid effort on the blue line in 22:54 of action. He said he finally has adjusted to the speed of the NHL, and it shows. He looks much more comfortable and is playing with more confidence.
2. Will I Am. No one on the Knights is hotter than William Karlsson. The Swedish center scored twice, his 11th and 12th goals of the season, and has tied James Neal for the team lead after Neal scored his 12th goal in the first period. Karlsson has scored in four straight games, a career-best streak, and as coach Gerard Gallant said: “When you’re hot, you’re hot, and he has got a hot stick right now so we want him to shoot.” Karlsson had a team-high seven shots. You don’t have to tell him twice to shoot it.
3. Perron’s loss. If David Perron misses any length of time after getting hurt in the second period, it will be a key blow for the Knights. Perron was the team’s leader with 19 points entering Friday’s game. The injury forced Gallant to shuffle his lines, and the impact was evident. The Knights appeared tired, though Brendan Leipsic did a good job filling in for Perron playing with Neal and Erik Haula. If Perron can’t play Saturday at Arizona, look for Oscar Lindberg to play with Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch, with Tomas Nosek returning after being a healthy scratch Friday and reuniting with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Will Carrier on the fourth line.
Steve Carp Review-Journal