EditorsNote: Gets rid of stray “from”
William Karlsson’s highlight-reel, between-the-legs, short-handed goal midway through the third period broke a 2-2 tie and proved to be the game-winner as the expansion Vegas Golden Knights clinched the Pacific Division title with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Karlsson and Shea Theodore each had a goal and an assist and Oscar Lindberg also scored for Vegas (50-22-7, 107 points), which finished 29-10-2 at T-Mobile Arena during the regular season. Marc-Andre Fleury had 29 saves for the Golden Knights to pick up his 404th career victory, breaking a tie with Grant Fuhr for 11th place on the all-time wins list.
Karlsson’s game-winner, his 42nd goal of the season, came with defenseman Jon Merrill serving a tripping penalty. The 25-year-old center scooped the puck up near center ice along the left boards and, as a diving Martin Jones came out to try and stick-check the puck away, Karlsson slid the puck between his legs and flipped it back over the blocker of Jones.
Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for San Jose (44-25-10, 98), which dropped its third straight game. Jones finished with 35 saves for the Sharks, who play their final three games at home and have a magic number of two to clinch their 13th playoff berth in 14 seasons.
Theodore started the scoring at the 2:21 mark of the first period with his sixth goal of the season, firing a wrist shot from the top of slot past an Alex Tuch screen and through Jones’ glove side.
Pavelski tied it five minutes later with a rebound from the slot of a Timo Meier shot for his 21st goal of the season.
Lindberg put the Golden Knights back in front, 2-1, early in the second period when he redirected Theodore’s shot from the left side through Jones’ pads. Vlasic tied it up again when he backhanded in a rebound of a Pavelski shot from the blue line during a delayed penalty for his 11th goal of the season.
—Field Level Media