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game recap

Golden Knights shut out Sharks in Game 6, advance to Western Final

Fleury makes 28 saves for Vegas, which will play Jets or Predators next

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the Western Conference Final with a 3-0 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of the second round at SAP Center on Sunday.

Jonathan Marchessault, Nate Schmidt and Cody Eakin scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for Vegas, which became the third team to win multiple NHL playoff series in its inaugural season, joining the Toronto Arenas (1918) and St. Louis Blues (1968).

 

[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Sharks highlights | Complete Golden Knights vs. Sharks series coverage]

 

"It's a bit crazy thinking about it, for sure," Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb said. "But we're here to win. We're not going to get caught up in 'You shouldn't be here' or blah, blah, blah, whatever. We're here to win."

Vegas will play the winner of the Winnipeg Jets-Nashville Predators second-round series. The Jets lead that best-of-7 series 3-2 with Game 6 at Winnipeg on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).

"I think it's a great accomplishment," Fleury said. "But we're still only halfway, you know?"

Video: #ThirstForTheCup: Vegas advances to Conference Final

Martin Jones made 30 saves for San Jose, which lost a series-deciding game at home for the third straight season.

"We just weren't good enough," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "Throughout the series, we didn't get enough from all 20 who dressed, and that was the issue. To go far in the playoffs, you need everyone, every night, and I don't think we had it in this series.

"It's very disappointing. It's extra disappointing when you don't play the way you're capable of. So as a team, individually, that's something that's very difficult to take."

Marchessault gave Vegas a 1-0 lead at 6:33 of the second period. After William Karlsson forced a turnover by Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic near the blue line, Reilly Smith got the loose puck and passed to Marchessault, who beat Jones five-hole from the slot.

"We're just trying to play the right way and play good defensively," Marchessault said. "We got a good turnover and I was able to bury a great pass from [Smith] and a good forecheck from [Karlsson].

"We just won in six against an awesome team who has been a winning team the last decade. I'm happy with our group."

Schmidt extended the lead to 2-0 at 15:38 with a wrist shot from the point. It was initially ruled no goal, and play was stopped 25 seconds later. The call was reversed after a video review showed the shot hit the left post and ricocheted off the camera inside the net.

"I'd never seen something like that happen where they blew the play dead, but when I was skating back to the bench, all the guys were yelling, 'It's in!'" Schmidt said. "Usually guys will say that just to try and give yourself some good luck.

"It was something just off the draw. You catch them off guard, [Erik] Haula makes a great play right there, and you give yourself a chance."

Eakin scored into an empty net at 18:09 of the third period to make it 3-0.

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm6: Fleury makes 28 saves in Game 6 shutout

 

Goal of the game 

Marchessault's goal at 6:33 of the second period.

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm6: Marchessault cashes in on the turnover

 

Save of the game 

Fleury's save on Tomas Hertl at 9:22 of the second period.

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm6: Fleury extends his pad to deny Hertl

 

Highlight of the game

Schmidt's goal at 15:38 of the second period.

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm6: Schmidt roofs wrist shot past Jones

 

They said it

"We're having a lot of fun in this room. The guys have just been having a blast all year with each other. I think that we've done a lot more than we thought we were capable of, but we continue to set the bar to new heights with our group." -- Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt

 

"He made some big saves. He played great. It's a two-way street though. You get opportunities, you've got to score. We had a lot of opportunities, but we didn't score." -- Sharks forward Logan Couture on Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury

Video: VGK@SJS, Gm6: Fleury discusses Vegas' Game 6 win

 

"It's a tough loss. [Vegas] probably played the last two games better than us. They had better chances. That's why they scored." -- Sharks forward Tomas Hertl

 

Need to know

Fleury's shutout was his fourth of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and 14th of his NHL postseason career, moving him into a tie for fifth place with Ed Belfour, Dominik Hasek and Jacques Plante. … Vegas forward William Carrier (undisclosed) did not play. Ryan Reaves replaced him on the fourth line and had eight hits in 10:11 of ice time in his first game of the playoffs. ... Vegas is 8-2 in the playoffs, which is the best record through 10 postseason games in NHL history.

 

What's next

Golden Knights: Game 1 of Western Conference Final, TBD

Sharks: Season over

 

Video: Fleury's shutout sends Vegas to Conference Final

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