May 1, 2018 / 5:48 AM / 7 months ago

Karlsson's OT winner gives Knights 2-1 series edge

EditorsNote: adds quotes from Gallant and DeBoer

William Karlsson scored at 8:17 of overtime to give the visiting Vegas Golden Knights a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

The expansion Golden Knights grabbed a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series. Game 4 is Wednesday night in San Jose.

Karlsson took a pass from James Neal, who had just clanged a shot off the post 30 seconds earlier, and then fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle over the stick side of San Jose goalie Martin Jones.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 39 saves and Colin Miller, Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith each had a goal for the Golden Knights. Marchessault added two assists while Karlsson and Smith had one helper apiece.

Fleury posted his 68th career playoff victory, tying him with Andy Moog for 10th place on the NHL’s all-time list.

Knights coach Gerard Gallant said, “We were disappointed when they scored with nearly two minutes left in the game (to force overtime). We regrouped in the OT session and said, ‘Let’s go out there and get this game.”

Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane and Timo Meier each scored goals for San Jose. Jones finished with 29 saves.

Fleury kept the Golden Knights in the game early as San Jose outshot the visitors 27-10 over the first 27 minutes.

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said, “I think our game’s in a good place. It’s just one of those (nights). We’re doing a lot of good stuff, but through the three games, we’re chasing the game every night. We’ve got to find a way to get out in front.”

The Sharks finally broke through with a power-play goal by Meier at 6:59 of the second period.

Vegas answered with three goals, including two on the power play, over a 4:46 span to take a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Miller tied it when he tapped in a nice crossing pass through the crease by Neal while cutting toward the left side of the net as Brenden Dillon was serving a penalty for holding David Perron.

Marchessault gave Vegas a 2-1 lead with another power play goal less than four minutes later after Hertl was whistled for roughing Neal. Alex Tuch fired a pass from the right point to a wide-open Marchessault in the left circle, and Marchessault one-timed a shot past Jones’ stick side for his second goal of the playoffs.

Smith made it 3-1 just 77 seconds later when Karlsson, stationed to the right of the net, redirected a pass through to the crease. Smith tapped in the puck for his first goal of the playoffs.

Kane cut the deficit to 3-2 at the 7:49 of the third period when he rifled a wrist shot over the glove of Fleury from the middle of the right circle. Vegas challenged that Fleury was interfered with by Logan Couture, who nudged him on the edge of the blue paint, but the goal stood.

Hertl tied it with 1:57 to go in regulation, firing in a rebound from the slot during a wild scrum around the net. His fourth goal of the playoffs only set the stage for Karlsson’s overtime heroics.

—Field Level Media

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