May 3, 2018 / 5:06 AM / 6 months ago

Sharks blank Knights, even series

EditorsNote: adds quotes from both coaches

Martin Jones made 34 saves for his sixth career playoff shutout, leading the San Jose Sharks to a 4-0 victory over the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday and leveling their Western Conference semifinal playoff series at two games apiece.

Marcus Sorensen, Joonas Donskoi, Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski scored goals, and Brenden Dillon and Logan Couture each had two assists for the Sharks, who have bounced backed from a 7-0 loss in the opening game to even the best-of-seven series.

Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said, “There was no big adjustments or anything different. We just started to play our game. We’ve played speed teams all year. We know what we have to do in order to have success against teams like that. I think we started in Game 2 to pay attention to the details that you need to to have success against teams like this, and I think every game we’ve gotten better.”

Game 5 is Friday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Jones, yanked after allowing five goals on 13 shots in the opener, improved to 6-2 in the playoffs this season, including two shutouts. The 28-year-old had three shutouts in 2016 when he helped lead San Jose to the Stanley Cup Final.

Marc-Andre Fleury had 30 saves for Vegas, which took its first road playoff loss in four tries. San Jose also earned its first regulation win in nine tries against Vegas this season.

Sorensen started the scoring 15:37 into the game with his fourth goal of the playoffs. He took possession of the puck in the right corner and then circled around into the slot, where he beat Fleury far post while falling to the ice on the left side of the net.

Donskoi extended the lead to 2-0 with just 5.1 seconds left in the opening period, finishing an end-to-end rush with a wrist shot from the high slot that went through the legs of Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb and over Fleury’s glove.

Hertl picked up his fifth goal of the playoff at 5:35 of the second period when he buried a rebound of a Mikkel Boedker wraparound try into a wide-open left side of the net.

Pavelski then sealed the win with a power play goal at the 11:43 mark of the third period, sliding in a rebound of a Couture shot past Fleury’s glove side.

“I thought San Jose played harder than our guys,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “They won the individual battles at both ends of the rink and in front of the net. When you do that, you’re going to win hockey games.”

—Field Level Media

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