Wed, May 02, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Golden Knights rally for overtime win

FLOWER POWER:San Jose had 16 shots on goal in the first period, but could not get past Marc-Andre Fleury, who bounced back from his first loss of the post-season

AP, SAN JOSE, California

The Vegas Golden Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury, center, and Shea Theodore, right, prevent the San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl from scoring in the first period of Game 3 of the NHL Western Conference second-round playoff series at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, on Monday.

Photo: AP

William Karlsson and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights proved they can handle some adversity just as well as they can thrive as front-runners like they did most of their inaugural season.

The Golden Knights bounced back after allowing a late tying goal in regulation when Karlsson scored 8 minutes, 17 seconds into overtime to lead Vegas to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night and a 2-1 series lead.

“I think it’s good for the morale,” Karlsson said. “We showed great attitude. Again, they came back. It was tough, too, but we gave someone a chance to be an overtime hero.”

Karlsson was that hero — just as he has been so much this season. He scored 43 goals in the regular season and has added three more this series, but none was bigger than the wrist shot in transition that beat Martin Jones high to the stick side, sending the Golden Knights into a wild celebration around the player knows as “Wild Bill.”

It was an impressive bounce back from their first loss of the playoffs in double overtime at home in Game 2 and would not have been possible without Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 39 saves to hold off an early push by the Sharks and then robbed Logan Couture with a glove save in overtime.

“I was looking at the guy with puck. I just tried to follow the pass and get out there a bit and I had a little time to react on it,” Fleury said. “It was a good feeling.”

The Sharks rallied to tie the game and force a second straight overtime with two goals in the third period. Evander Kane scored just seconds after the end of a power play midway through the third to set the stage for Hertl.

Hertl drove to the net with a strong power move. With the Sharks swarming in front of Fleury, Hertl whacked at a loose puck and knocked it in for the equalizer with 1 minutes, 57 seconds to go, sending the towel-waving crowd into a frenzy.

“I believe our game’s there and I think everyone in here would tell you that,” captain Joe Pavelski said. “We got caught on the wrong end of it tonight. We had a big one the other night.”

Colin Miller, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith scored in a span of less than five minutes in the second period to put the Golden Knights in control, but they could not hold onto the lead.

Timo Meier opened the scoring with a power-play goal for the Sharks, but undisciplined play in the second period helped erase that lead and put San Jose in a hole.

Brenden Dillon held David Perron to give Vegas a power play less than one minute after Meier’s one-timer off a perfect cross-ice pass from Chris Tierney gave the San Jose Sharks the lead.

San Jose had an 11-1 edge in shots on goal in the period at that point, as the Sharks were controlling the play.

However, that quickly turned as James Neal held the puck below the goal line and fed Miller with a pass that Marc-Edouard Vlasic nearly broke up for a tap-in that tied the game.

About three minutes later, Hertl was called for roughing Neal well behind the play, giving the Golden Knights another chance with the man advantage.

They converted again when Marchessault one-timed a cross-ice pass from Alex Tuch past Jones to give Vegas the lead.

Smith then capped the three goals in 4 minutes, 46 seconds when Marchessault fed Karlsson, who was left alone at the side of the net. He deftly sent a blind, backhand pass through the crease to Smith, who tapped it in for the 3-1 lead.

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