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Sharks 5, Golden Knights 2: 3 Impressions

San Jose's three power-play goals were the difference in Vegas' first preseason loss

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

Can't win them all, right?

That's how it goes in professional sports

For the Golden Knights, Thursday's 5-2 loss in San Jose was the first loss in team history by a non-Rookie camp roster. Which although the game doesn't mean anything in the standings, it was the team's first setback of its exhibition schedule.

Vegas' next game will come Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Golden Knights will then return to finish their preseason schedule with home games against the LA Kings, Avalanche and Sharks next week.

But first, here are three immediate impressions from Thursday's 5-2 loss in San Jose.

1. Penalties were costly

Early in the preseason, the NHL is on a stated mission to cut down on slashing, particularly on players' hands. Although these plays have always been illegal, they've become an increasingly accepted over the past several seasons.

By being accepted, these plays have made it increasingly hard for offensive players to find space. To free these players up and to make the game more exciting, the NHL is really clamping down on stick infractions on players' upper bodies, and we've seen a bevy of power plays during preseason.

The Golden Knights had nine power plays on Sunday in Vancouver, for example.

However, Vegas wound up shorthanded six times, and the Sharks made the Golden Knights play. San Jose's three power-play goals were the difference.

The Golden Knights' most common infraction? Three hooking penalties.


2. Golden Knights power play slowed down

While San Jose's power-play goals were the difference, it wasn't as if Vegas wasn't given chances with the extra man.

Particularly early in the game, the Sharks took three consecutive penalties in the first period. But the Golden Knights didn't score.

After going 3-of-9 and 2-of-6 in their first two games, the Golden Knights went 2-of-6. Which although 2-of-6 is a rate any coach would kill for, both goals came after the game was already pretty much decided in San Jose's favor.

The Golden Knights had several power-play chances early in the game and looked disjointed. Which then again, the whole point of preseason is to work out these hiccups before the games start counting.

With special teams figuring to play an especially large role in games as the league enforces its rules more tightly, Vegas will need to make sure its power play is running on all cylinders when the season starts.


3. Offense Still Showed A Little Bite

If there's anything the Golden Knights have taught us early this preseason, it's that the team can score in bunches.

Nine goals in Vancouver on Sunday were followed by three in fewer than three minutes of the first period on Tuesday in Colorado.

When the Sharks led 4-0, David Perron and Teemu Pulkkinen scored 1:13 apart in the third period to briefly give the Golden Knights hope.


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: WE GOT ONE! WE GOT ONE! DAVID PERRON! WE GOT ONE!And sorry, we refuse to allow the score to lessen our enthusiasm for our hockey club!


Tweet from @GoldenKnights: And may we add that PULKK-A-MANIA is officially running wild in San Jose��


Although it wasn't meant to be and the Sharks coasted to victory, it was another example of Vegas scoring multiple goals in a quick strike manner.

Heading into the season, many experts said the Golden Knights would have trouble scoring.

Through three games, Vegas has had no difficulties scoring in bunches.

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