By Taylor Lupetti (@tayclupetti ):
The San Jose Sharks fell 5-3 to the best team in the Pacific Division, the Vegas Golden Knights at home Thursday night.
San Jose (28-18-8) started hot in the first period with 16 shots on goal to the Knights’
(36-14-4) four. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 saves, letting one goal through.
Head Sharks goalie Martin Jones made three saves in the first but gave the Knights a goal, ending the first period 1-1. Jones made 28 saves for the night but San Jose still suffered its second-straight loss in Jone’s 200th career game.
“It was a tough game, a tale of a bunch of different games,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said in a post-game interview. “I loved our first period but we came out with nothing to show for it. You play like that, you should come out in front. We didn’t and that hurt.”
Sharks captain Joe Pavelski scored two goals putting his team on the scoreboard first. Timo Meier gave San Jose its second goal of the game, tying it up 2-2 as the teams entered the third period.
Pavelski scored the final goal for the Sharks in the middle of the third period, giving San Jose a 3-2 lead and recording his first multi-goal game of the season.
The Knights closed the gap two minutes later when Brayden McNabb tied the game once again, setting Vegas up for the win.
James Neal clinched the win for the Knights in the final three minutes of the game on a big goal with an assist from David Perron.
“I managed to get the puck and heard Perry calling for it behind me,” Neal said in a postgame interview. “I dropped it off and he made a great play to get it back to me and give me a chance to get a good shot off. I just tried to get it off quick.”
Knights center Jonathan Marchessault capped the score at 5-3 with 81 seconds remaining in regulation via an empty-net goal.
The Sharks host the Edmonton Oilers next at SAP Center on Saturday at 7 p.m.