The San Jose Sharks are looking to perpetuate the momentum built during their 5 -2 game 1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at the SAP Center.
Game 1 ended with tempers flaring between the two rival clubs. The Vegas Golden Knights were clearly frustrated with their effort against the San Jose Sharks. Team Teal dominated in nearly every facet of the game silencing many of the questions surrounding this squad heading into the playoffs.
Overall it was vintage San Jose Sharks hockey. They played extremely disciplined by not letting the Vegas Golden Knights distract them from their goal of limiting scoring chances and generating effective shots on Marc-Andre Fluery.
It was tough going there for a stretch, Team Teal dealt some unforeseen adversity in the early stages of this contest. They lost their captain for a bit and had to face some questionable calls made against them.
Nevertheless, the San Jose Sharks were sturdy defensively rarely giving up breakaway opportunities. They held Vegas to only 10 shots on goal through two periods. The Knights did most of their damage on the stat sheet in garbage time.
The winning formula for Team Teal is relying heavily on their two horses in the back, Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns. Both blueliners eclipsed 25 minutes of ice time and contributed a ton in the offensive zone. Don’t expect the Sharks to change this strategy heading into tonight’s game at the Tank.
There are a couple of forwards one should pay attention to tonight who are hoping to continue their playoff success. The first is Joe Thornton who has become a match-up nightmare at third line center. He’s even more of a nuisance when he shoots the puck, which he did in game one. Jumbo tied for the lead in shots on goal with 5 and ended the night with a primary assist on the Vlasic tally.
The line featuring Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl dominated the Vegas Golden Knights for the entire game. Both players ended the night with a +3 and both boasted a 0.55+ xG%, per naturalstattrick. Kane made his presence known by throwing his weight around with his team leading 7 hits and 5 shots on goal. He and Hertl both made things easy for Team Teal in the neutral zone. The Golden Knights struggled mightily to suppress the easy flowing transition game of the Sharks.
It doesn’t appear that the Sharks will make changes coming into tonight’s contest. They really shouldn’t considering how well they performed last night. On the flip side of this equation the Vegas Golden Knights have signaled that their line-ups are a game time decision. But here’s what should be expected from them heading into game two.
San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier ~ Logan Couture ~ Joe Pavelski
Evander Kane ~ Tomas Hertl ~ Gus Nyquist
Marcus Sorensen~ Joe Thornton ~ Kevin Labanc
Micheal Haley ~ Barclay Goodrow ~ Melker Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ~ Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon ~ Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan ~ Justin Braun
Projected Starter ~ Martin Jones
Backup ~ Aaron Dell
Vegas Golden Knights
Jonathan Marchessault ~ William Karlsson ~ Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty ~ Paul Stastny ~ Mark Stone
Tomas Nosek ~ Cody Eakin ~ Alex Tuch
Will Carrier ~ Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ~ Ryan Reaves
Nate Schmidt ~ Deryk Engelland
Brayden McNabb ~ Shea Theodore
Jon Merrill ~ Colin Miller
Projected Starter ~ Marc-Andre Fluery
Backup ~ Malcom Subban
The San Jose Sharks look to maintain their grip on this series and go up 2 – 0 heading into the games in Vegas. However don’t expect the Knights to stay down for long. This team has experience and we’ve all witnessed what they are capable of around this time of year.
Puck drop for tonight’s game at the SAP Center is at 7:30 PM PT. The game will be televised nationally NBCSN but is also broadcasted locally via NBCSCA. The audio can be streamed on the Sharks App courtesy of 98.5 KFOX.