Las Vegas – The Vegas Golden Knights shut out the San Jose Sharks 5-0 Friday night at T-Mobile Arena. The Golden Knights scored early and often and will leave for a five-game road trip feeling good about themselves.
The game within the game: This game met the mold of a “Get-right game” for the Golden Knights. Would the Golden Knights play the proper game that would lead to a blowout victory? Or would they play down to the competition?
First period: It took the Golden Knights all of one minute to get on the board. Michael Amadio found Alex Pietrangelo just inside the blue line. Pietrangelo carried the puck in alone to the goal and executed a perfect wrap-around to beat Kaapp Kahkonen. Alec Martinez gave the Golden Knights a two-goal lead with a one-timer from Amadio 11:19 into the period.
The first was mostly Vegas. The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 16-6.
Second period: The second period was close to a mirror image of the first period. The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 14-6 but the score remained 2-0 in favor of the Golden Knights.
Adin Hill had a remarkable stop with just over six minutes remaining. Luke Kunin was left alone at the back door. Hill sold out to get across the ice to keep the Sharks off the board.
Keegan Kolesar had the period’s best chance. Kolesar found himself all alone with Kahkonen at the top of the slot but couldn’t beat his glove.
Third period: There was a feeling that this game would open up for the Golden Knights and that is what happened early in the third. William Karlsson scored a short-handed goal 2:24 into the period. Martinez scored his second goal of the game just two minutes later. Brett Howden gave the Golden Knights a 5-0 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third.
Turning point: Credit the Sharks for hanging out as long as they did. The Golden Knights found their groove in the first five minutes of the third and this one was basically over.
Key storyline: It is not that the Golden Knights played down to the Sharks’ level, Kahkonen made some nice saves to keep it a two-goal game for two periods. At times, it felt like the Golden Knights were going through the motions. Make no mistake, this game was never in doubt. After the second goal in the first period, this game was decided.
Quotable: “Them (Sharks) winning a couple of games makes it easier to sell a game plan.” Coach Bruce Cassidy on preparing to play the Sharks.
Next up: The Golden Knights embark on a five-game road trip on Monday starting with the Washington Capitals.