weather icon Mostly Cloudy

NHL history shows Game 5 will be pivotal for Golden Knights

Updated May 3, 2018 - 6:43 pm

Marc-Andre Fleury stated the obvious when he characterized Friday’s Game 5 as the biggest game to date for the Golden Knights.

The veteran goaltender knows from experience, having faced the same scenario four times during his career in Pittsburgh.

But there’s also scientific evidence to support Fleury’s assertion.

According to the NHL, when a best-of-seven series in the Stanley Cup playoffs is tied at 2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 78.9 percent of the time (202-54).

“It’s the biggest one yet so far for us, no doubt about it,” Fleury said Thursday at City National Arena. “We’re home in front of our crowd, and we’ve got to come out flying and ready to play that one.”

The Knights and San Jose have alternated wins through the first four games of their Western Conference semifinal, effectively reducing the series to best-of-three.

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Opening faceoff for the pivotal Game 5 is 7 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena.

“It’s been up and down for both teams. It’s a tight series,” Knights forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “You’re kind of a fool if you come to round two and think it’s going to go easy. If all the series would be easy, what would be the fun of being in the postseason, right?

“It has to be somehow tied. It has to be somehow crazy. There has to be some kind of adversity to make it worth. Nothing easy is fun.”

The Knights and Sharks played three one-goal games during the regular season and have been closely matched through four postseason games.

Fleury and San Jose counterpart Martin Jones have one shutout apiece, while each team has a 4-3 overtime victory on the road.

The Knights have outscored San Jose 14-11 in the series; the Sharks own a plus-26 advantage in shots on goal (156-130), which is owed to their wide margin in Game 2.

“They’re playing good. They’re skating fast and they’re getting the pucks in when they need to,” Knights forward Cody Eakin said. “We could probably do a better job of valuing the lines, getting it in and getting our forecheck going. But it’s a back-and-forth game. It’s not always going to be perfect. It’s not always going to be pretty.

“We’ve just got to maintain our consistency in our systems, getting the pucks in, instead of trying to make that extra play, make that extra hit.”

The Knights’ forecheck was noticeably lacking in Wednesday’s 4-0 loss at San Jose in Game 4, and they struggled to establish it for long stretches in Game 3.

Bellemare said the Sharks were smarter with their dump-ins and placed them in areas that allowed San Jose’s forwards to win back possession of the puck.

He added that the Knights’ forecheck was unable to prevent San Jose from making defenseman-to-defenseman passes to start its breakout.

“It’s about playing fast. When you don’t play fast, you give San Jose’s defense a chance to break out, and that’s what happens,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “They played fast (Wednesday) night, and we didn’t have a chance to break out. It all goes hand in hand. When our forecheck is good we play a real good game. When we’ve got some energy and our feet our moving, we’re a good team.

“When 10, 15 percent don’t show up and don’t forecheck like the rest of the guys, that makes the biggest difference in the world. San Jose had 20 guys competing and playing hard (Wednesday) night and that’s why they were the better team. We didn’t have quite that every shift and that’s why we lost, and still played OK.”

This is the fifth time in Fleury’s 14-year career he has started a Game 5 with the series tied at 2.

He is 3-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average, with his only loss coming in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final against Detroit. Fleury won the next two games of that series to help Pittsburgh capture the Stanley Cup.

“They played well (Wednesday) night, and we weren’t good,” Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “But we’ve responded well with losses, and there’s no sense of panic in here. It’s best-of-three now with home ice, and we’re comfortable being at home.”

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

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
2019 NHL Awards Highlight Video
The 2019 NHL Awards took place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Though Vegas Golden Knights forward Mark Stone came close to winning the best defensive forward trophy, St. Louis Blues center Ryan O' Reilly took home the coveted Frank Selke Trophy. Jason Zucker, who was raised in Las Vegas and plays for the Minnesota Wild, accepted the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for leadership and humanitarianism. Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov took home the NHL's MVP Award. (Heidi Fang / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gary Bettman discusses NHL rule changes - VIDEO
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addressed the media after Wednesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting.
Golden Knights' Mark Stone up for Selke Trophy
Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone is a finalist for the Selke Trophy. The award goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. Stone led the league in takeaways last season with 122. His competition is St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly... And Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. Stone will find out if he wins Wednesday at the NHL Awards.
Vegas Golden Knights announce preseason schedule
The Golden Knights announced their preseason schedule Tuesday, as well as the date of their rookie camp and training camp.
Mark Stone and Stanley Cup visit MGM Grand
Mark Stone took photos and signed autographs for Golden Knights fans at the MGM Grand on Sunday. The Stanley Cup also made its way into the MGM Grand Main Lobby. The most revered trophy in hockey is on display to celebrate the upcoming 2019 NHL awards at the Mandalay Bay Center on June 19th. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights, Raiders Unite for Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
Golden Knights and Raiders players alike were more than excited to join together in a charity softball game to raise money for pediatric cancer. Players from both teams cannot wait for the Raiders to arrive in Las Vegas so more joint events can take place.
Golden Knights and Raiders Raise over $100K in Charity Softball Game - Video Highlights
In the first-ever Battle For Vegas Charity Softball Game, the Golden Knights and Raiders raised $136,000 for the Tyler Robinson Foundation. At the end of the nights, it was the Raiders that raised the Battle For Vegas trophy, after beating the Golden Knights 20-16. Take a look at some of the highlights from the game!
Golden Knights' Reilly Smith Ready to Battle for Vegas - Video
Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith is ready to Battle For Vegas in a charity softball game that will feature various celebrity athletes, including teammates Jonathan Marchessault, Ryan Reaves and Erik Haula. Smith's team will face off against former Raider Marcus Allen and his teammates, including Vontaze Burfict, Josh Jacobs and Maurice Hurst. The charity softball game is set to take place on Saturday, June 15th at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
Golden Knights Will Have a New Home in Henderson - Video
The Golden Knights are saying goodbye to the Henderson Convention Center and hello to the team's new hockey facility that will be located in the second largest city in Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights and Henderson make deal on new facility - VIDEO
Henderson City Council unanimously approved a lease agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights to build and operate an indoor ice hockey facility in downtown Henderson, Tuesday evening. ( Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Kelly McCrimmon Gets Promoted to Golden Knight General Manager - Video
The Vegas Golden Knights have announced that Kelly McCrimmon has been promoted to General Manager of the team, effective September 1, 2019. Regarding his new role, McCrimmon will represent the Golden Knights at the NHL's General Managers Meetings and will be the point of contact for other league GMs.
Golden Knights Say an "Awful Call" Cost Them the Series - Video
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault believe that an "awful call" by the officials cost them game 7.
Golden Knights Fans Watch Game 7 at T-Mobile - VIDEO
Golden Knights went through a roller coaster in game 7 which lead to the Knights loss 5-4 in overtime.
Sharks & Golden Knights fans fired up for Game 7
Ahead of Game 7 in San Jose, Sharks and Golden Knights fans get hyped for the game in the fan zone at SAP Center.
Seattle NHL expansion team close to naming GM, sources say

Seattle’s NHL expansion team is close to an agreement with Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis to become its first general manager, a person with direct knowledge tells The Associated Press.

Golden Knights re-sign defenseman Jake Bischoff

The 6-foot-1-inch, 194-pound blue liner appeared in 60 games for the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves last season and had 13 points (two goals, 11 assists).