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Golden Knights aim to raise compete level against Sharks in Game 2

Vegas seeks to avoid trailing best-of-7 series 2-0 for first time

by Danny Webster / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The Vegas Golden Knights are looking for a better effort against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at SAP Center on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ATTSN-RM, NBCSCA, TVAS2, SN360).

The Golden Knights lost Game 1 5-2 on Wednesday and trail the best-of-7 series.

"We've just got to compete more," Vegas center William Karlsson said after practice Thursday. "I think they competed more, they wanted to win. It comes down to that."

 

[RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Golden Knights series coverage]

 

San Jose scored twice in 45 seconds in the second period, with goals by defensemen Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic making it 3-0 at 7:44. Through two periods, San Jose outshot Vegas 22-10.

The consensus from Vegas was it didn't have the same effort level as San Jose.

"I think playing from behind, frustration, we weren't at our game," Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland said. "We got outworked and were outcompeted. I think it just comes down to our compete level and playing our game."

Video: Jones, Sharks top Fleury, Golden Knights in Game 1

Burns, Vlasic and Erik Karlsson each had two points. Burns played 28:25, most on the Sharks, and Karlsson was second playing 26:25 in his second game after missing the last 17 of the regular season with a groin injury.

The Golden Knights' game plan Friday will hinge on keeping the Sharks defensemen away from the puck.

"Best thing we can do is keep the puck out of their hands," Vegas forward Reilly Smith said. "They're obviously talented and they get up the ice well, but if you can eliminate them from the play early, it makes a big difference."

The Golden Knights had 16 shots in the third period, scoring once.

"The first 40 minutes, I thought they were a lot better than we were," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "We weren't good enough in the first 40 minutes, and we need to change that, obviously. The game was probably closer than it could've been."

The Golden Knights defeated the Sharks in six games in the Western Conference Second Round last season and never trailed in a series until the Stanley Cup Final. Vegas, in its second NHL season, has never trailed a best-of-7 series 2-0 and will look to avoid that in Game 2.

"They have a lot of highly skilled guys and we knew what they were going to do," Engelland said. "We just have to pick up our level. We've got to have that desire to go out and outwork and outbattle them in all areas of the ice."

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