The Vegas Golden Knights became the first NHL team to win its first five Stanley Cup Playoff games when they defeated the San Jose Sharks 7-0 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round on Thursday.
After scoring seven goals in their four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, the Golden Knights matched that total in the series opener against the Sharks, who had allowed four goals in their four-game sweep of the Anaheim Ducks in the first round.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other teams from the four major North American pro sports to win their first five postseason games are MLB's Boston Braves (5-0 from 1914-1948), the NBA's Minneapolis Lakers (7-0 in 1949) and the NFL's Baltimore Ravens (5-0 from 2000-2002). The Lakers were the only other franchise to accomplish the feat in their inaugural season.
The Golden Knights are also the fourth team to win five consecutive games at any point in their first postseason appearance. In addition to the Lakers in 1949, two other NBA teams have done it: the Philadelphia Warriors (6-0 in 1947) and Portland Trail Blazers (5-0 in 1977). All three of those clubs won the NBA championship; the Warriors did it in the league's first season and the Lakers in their first season after joining the NBA from the National Basketball League.
Video: The crew discusses Tuch's elusive goal in Game 1
Vegas is also the third NHL franchise to score at least seven goals in a playoff game during its inaugural season. The Toronto Arenas did it in Game 1 of the 1918 NHL Final, a 7-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens during the League's first season; the Minnesota North Stars did it twice against the Kings, another expansion team, in the 1968 NHL Quarterfinals, winning 7-5 in Game 3 and 9-4 in Game 7.
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for his 13th career postseason shutout and third in these playoffs. He moved into a tie with Turk Broda for ninth place on the NHL's all-time postseason shutouts list. He also became 14th goaltender in NHL history to have three shutouts through his team's first five games in one playoff year, and the first since Nikolai Khabibulin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ed Belfour of the Toronto Maple Leafs did it in 2004.
Fleury is 5-0 with a 0.54 goals-against average and .982 save percentage this postseason. It's his third winning streak of at least five games within one playoff year. The others came with the Pittsburgh Penguins en route to appearances in the Stanley Cup Final; he had a 7-0 streak in 2008 and a 5-0 streak in 2009.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Coverage
Lightning vs. Bruins
Capitals vs. Penguins
Predators vs. Jets
Golden Knights vs. Sharks