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game recap

Sharks fail to clinch playoff berth again with loss to Golden Knights

Marchessault, Smith spark Vegas to ninth win in 10 games

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

Smith sweeps home Karlsson's feed

VGK@SJS: Karlsson sets up Smith with spinning feed

Reilly Smith buries a quick shot off a give-and-go with William Karlsson for his fourth point of the game

  • 00:55 •

SAN JOSE -- Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith each had four points, and the Vegas Golden Knights prevented the San Jose Sharks from clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 7-3 win at SAP Center on Monday.

Marchessault had two goals and two assists, and Smith had a goal and three assists for Vegas (41-27-5), which has won nine of its past 10 games. The Golden Knights moved within seven points of the Sharks for second place in the Pacific Division.

"It was super intense," Marchessault said. "They came out flying. They were all over us. The crowd was really wild. It was definitely a playoff atmosphere game."


[WATCH: All Golden Knights vs. Sharks highlights]


San Jose (43-22-8) remained one point behind the Calgary Flames for first place in the Pacific. It was the Sharks' third opportunity to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; they lost 4-2 against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, and to the Florida Panthers by the same score last Thursday. All three games were at home.

Logan Couture scored two goals for the Sharks, but Martin Jones gave up three goals on 11 shots and was replaced at 12:24 of the first period by Aaron Dell, who made 27 saves. San Jose captain Joe Pavelski was out because of a lower-body injury.

The Sharks allowed three power-play goals and went 1-for-5 with the man-advantage.

Video: VGK@SJS: Karlsson scores breakaway goal on backhand

"It's concerning because we aren't playing well," Couture said. "We handed them goals tonight. … We're giving up too many chances, too many easy goals. We're giving up odd-man rushes. We have to get back to shooting the puck."

Malcolm Subban made 36 saves for Vegas and won his second straight start in back-to-back games in place of injured goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (lower body). The Golden Knights defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 on Sunday.

Vegas eliminated San Jose in the Western Conference Second Round last season.

"These are like playoff games," Subban said. "Obviously we played these guys last year for six games, so definitely some of that bad blood carried over."

The Golden Knights top line of Marchessault, Reilly and William Karlsson combined for 10 points.

"Right now we're playing really well, maybe the best we have this season," Karlsson said. "It's been a little bit of a roller-coaster for our line this year; we weren't happy with how we were playing. It's nice we can contribute again."

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead 30 seconds into the game when Couture scored his 25th goal of the season. It was his 500th NHL point.

Karlsson made it 1-1 at 3:37 with his 20th goal of the season.

Mark Stone gave the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 5:48, but Joe Thornton tied it 2-2 at 9:54 with a wrist shot from above the left circle.

Marchessault made it 3-2 at 12:24.

"We were the chasing the game," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's a team if you are chasing them, they are going to make you pay. They were good at that. They were better than us on special teams.

"The regular season really doesn't have a bearing on the playoffs. We've proven that before here. We learned some lessons tonight. We just shot ourselves in foot."

Vegas extended its lead to 4-2 at 12:21 of the second period on Paul Stastny's power-play goal.

Smith gave the Golden Knights a 5-2 lead 43 seconds into the third period.

Couture scored on the power play at 10:55 to make it 5-3, but Marchessault scored into an empty net at 17:39 before Cody Eakin scored Vegas' third power-play goal of the game at 18:22 for the 7-3 final.

Video: VGK@SJS: Marchessault beats Jones from sharp angle


They said it

"We're a very deep team. We're going to give teams fits with matchup problems. Tonight, for that [first] line to go power on power and dominate their first line makes the game a lot easier for the rest of us." -- Golden Knights forward Mark Stone

Video: VGK@SJS: Stone buries Smith's feed for PPG

"You can't be worried what you are doing three weeks from now. We need points now. It doesn't matter what happens in the past, you just move forward. We need to get back to our game, get in deep, less turnovers in the neutral zone and forecheck." -- Sharks defenseman Justin Braun


Need to know

Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden replaced Jon Merrill and had two shots, two takeaways and two blocked shots. … Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi replaced Pavelski in the lineup after being scratched against Nashville. DeBoer said Pavelski's status is "a little longer than day to day." … Sharks forward Gustav Nyquist had an assist for his 300th NHL point.


What's next

Golden Knights: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, ATTSN-RM, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Sharks: At the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Video: Marchessault, Smith power Golden Knights to 7-3 win

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