Vegas Golden Knights Fall to San Jose Sharks, 2-1

In a crushing overtime loss, the Vegas Golden Knights fell to the San Jose Sharks, 2-1.

Thursday night’s game was the night for Vegas to host their Hockey Fights Cancer night. Survivors, loved ones of cancer patients, and other fans alike packed T-Mobile Arena to show their support for the Golden Knights and the cause.

The first period didn’t see much action. There was a possible San Jose goal. However, upon further review, there was goaltender interference, so each team had goose eggs heading into the second period.

That all changed within two minutes of the second period. Melker Karlsson won a faceoff against Paul Stastny and was able to set up Dylan Gambrell for an assist to Timo Meier. Meier squeaked one in past Fleury, bringing the Sharks up 1-0, where they would stay until the third.

During the third, the Golden Knights appeared to step it up a little more. They were putting a little more pressure on the Sharks and goalie Aaron Dell. That pressure resulted in a beautiful snap shot by Brayden McNabb. The period ended with a tie, and Vegas Golden Knights fans’ nerves were on end as overtime rolled around.

Both teams going into the three-on-three were skating aggressively against each other. There were quite a few high danger chances for Vegas, but they couldn’t net the puck. It was Logan Couture for San Jose who scored their game-winning goal, ending Vegas’ winning streak with a 2-1 loss.

What happened to Vegas?

Vegas has not had an overtime win this season. They’ve had some success once they get to the shootout, but not a lot of success in overtime.

Where was their success against the San Jose Sharks? The Golden Knights played this team three games straight at the end of the preseason and beginning of the regular season. They crushed the Sharks in every game. Why was this game any different?

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 38 to 29. They only had four penalty minutes compared to the Sharks’ six. This heatmap shows that Vegas clearly had high danger chances, but they couldn’t put the puck in the net.

An ice hockey arena map is displayed with San Jose Sharks on one side and the Vegas Golden Knights on the other. It's a heat map that detects all the scoring chances each side could have had.
This heatmap from NaturalStatTrick.com shows that Vegas had more danger shots than San Jose.

With all this presented…why couldn’t Vegas net a W?

To put it frank, Vegas did not skate an aggressive game. Fans are used to seeing Ryan Reaves and Evander Kane go at it, or Joe “Grandpa Shark” Thornton and Jonathan Marchessault. That didn’t happen this game.

Instead, it seemed as though the Golden Knights were playing more reserved for whatever reason. Though their production was higher in terms of stats and numbers, the Sharks were skating faster and staying on the Golden Knights as much as they could.

The Golden Knights will take on the Edmonton Oilers, who presently lead the Pacific Division, on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena. Will we see a more aggressive game this go-around? We shall certainly see!

About Crystal Hollibaugh

Crystal Hollibaugh is a Communications Specialist, writer, and blogger who loves feeding waterfowl and painting waterfalls.

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