Marc-Andre Fleury had 27 saves and Alex Tuch scored two goals to lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the NHL Western Conference playoffs on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Jonathan Marchessault had a goal and an assist and James Neal and Erik Haula also scored goals for Vegas, which took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Golden Knights can advance to the Western Conference finals with a victory in Game 6 on Sunday night at the SAP Center in San Jose.
It was Fleury’s 69th career playoff victory, moving him past Andy Moog into 10th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list. David Perron added two assists for the Golden Knights, who improved to 33-11-2 on home ice in its inaugural season.
Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker each had a goal and an assist, Logan Couture had three assists and Kevin Labanc scored his first career playoff goal for San Jose. Martin Jones had 27 saves for the Sharks before being pulled in favor of Aaron Dell after allowing his fourth goal with 11:24 to go. Dell finished with seven saves.
Jones, who had 34 saves in a 4-0 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night in San Jose, picked up where he left off in the first period, stopping 14 shots before Neal finally broke through with a rebound of a Shea Theodore shot from the right side of the net with just three seconds left in the first period to give Vegas a 1-0 lead.
The Golden Knights, who were 0-for-5 on the power play in Wednesday night’s loss, scored on their first try with the extra man early in the second period when Tuch tapped in a rebound of a Reilly Smith shot under Jones’ pads for his third goal of the playoffs.
Vegas extended its lead to 3-0 just four minutes later when Haula fired in a bad angle shot from the left side of the net that sneaked in past Jones’ blocker and the near post.
Tuch made it 4-0 at the 8:36 mark of the third period with a redirect of a Cody Eakin pass, sending Jones to the bench. But the Sharks made things interesting down the stretch by scoring three goals in the span of 6:09 to cut it to 4-3 before Marchessault sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1:21 remaining.
—Field Level Media