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game recap

Golden Knights win Game 3 against Sharks, take lead in Western series

Stone gets hat trick, Stastny scores twice for Vegas

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Correspondent

Stone leads Knights with hatty

SJS@VGK, Gm3: Stone tallies hat trick in Game 3

R1, Gm3: Mark Stone found the back of the net in the 1st and twice more in the 3rd to lead the Golden Knights to a 6-3 win with a hat trick

  • 01:24 •

LAS VEGAS -- Mark Stone scored the first hat trick of his NHL career for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 6-3 win against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.

The Golden Knights lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Stone, who was acquired by Vegas in a trade from the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 25, had two assists, and Paul Stastny scored two goals and had three assists for the Golden Knights.

 

[WATCH: Sharks vs. Golden Knights Game 3 highlightsComplete series coverage]

 

"We've really stressed since Game 1 that we need to have good starts, need to have good starts to periods, good starts to games," Stone said. "It's so important. You want to make sure you're playing with a lead, it's a lot harder to come back, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs."

Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves in his 77th playoff win, tying Mike Vernon for seventh in NHL history.

"I feel very fortunate," said Fleury, whose first 62 postseason wins came with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I've played with many good teams. Maybe the first game (a 5-2 loss) wasn't the way we could've played, but the last two, we came out strong and played a solid game the whole length of the ice."

Video: SJS@VGK, Gm3: Golden Knights score early three times

Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Timo Meier scored for the Sharks, and Martin Jones made 34 saves.

"It was a lot of things. I don't think we had enough participants playing at a high enough level," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said. "One thing about our group is they don't quit, and they haven't all year regardless of the scoreboard."

Game 4 is at Vegas on Tuesday.

Stone scored 16 seconds into the game to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.

It was the fastest goal in Vegas playoff history, surpassing Jonathan Marchessault's goal 35 seconds into Game 3 of the 2018 Western Conference Final against the Winnipeg Jets.

Sharks forward Evander Kane was called for two penalties in a span of 2:36 of the first period, delay of game at 9:35 and a double minor for high sticking at 12:11.

Max Pacioretty scored five seconds after the second penalty to make it 2-0 at 12:16.

Video: SJS@VGK, Gm3: Pacioretty wires home wrister for PPG

The line of Pacioretty, Stastny and Stone combined for 12 points in Game 3 and has 22 in the series.

"Tonight, just so happened that we were the offensive difference," said Pacioretty, who had an assist. "It's not always going to be the case. You don't always prepare for that. Tonight, that just happened to be the case."

Labanc scored at 15:26 to make it 2-1. Vegas coach Gerard Gallant challenged for goaltender interference by Labanc, but the goal was upheld after video review.

Stastny scored twice in the second. His first goal came 21 seconds into the period to make it 3-1. He scored a power-play goal at 16:04 for a 4-1 lead.

Stone scored twice in the third. His second goal came 36 seconds into the period to make it 5-1, and his third at 13:57 made it 6-3.

Couture scored at 4:57 of the third to make it 5-2, and Meier got the Sharks to within 5-3 at 5:51.

"Not good enough," San Jose captain Joe Pavelski said. "There's always a lot of emotion in playoff games. It's the starts of periods we need to be better at it."

Stone's six goals lead the NHL, and his eight points are tied for first with Stastny.

"That's one of the dominant games I've ever seen from a player in the playoffs," Pacioretty said of Stone.

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Stone notches three vs. Sharks

 

They said it

"They've eaten us up this series so far. We haven't had an answer for them. You get three really good players playing at a high level right now. That's part of the issue, and we have to find an answer to slow those guys down." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer on Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny and Mark Stone

"I'm just loving being here. I love playing in Vegas, my teammates, the fans, this city. This is why I came here. I want to play playoff hockey. Playing here is unbelievable. Everything I expected and more." -- Golden Knights forward Mark Stone

 

Need to know

Teams that win Game 3 of a best-of-7 NHL playoff series that was tied 1-1 have a series record of 212-100 (.679). … Sharks forward Joe Thornton was received a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head against Golden Knights forward Tomas Nosek at 16:54 of the second period. … The Sharks were 1-for-3 on the power play after going 1-for-8 in Game 2. … Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (undisclosed injury) did not play. … San Jose forward Micheal Haley left the game at 2:25 of the second period after blocking a shot with his leg. … Stone and Stastny each set an NHL playoff career high in points. Stastny's previous high was four (one goal, three assists) with the Colorado Avalanche on April 19, 2014, against the Minnesota Wild. Stone never had more than two points in a postseason game. … The Golden Knights became the second team in NHL history to score a goal in the first minute of each period in a playoff game (Boston Bruins in 1981).

 

What's next

Game 4 of Western Conference First Round at T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVAS2, ATTSN-RM, NBCSCA)

Video: Stone's hat trick powers Golden Knights to Game 3 win

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