Logan Couture scored the game-winning goal 3:20 into extra time to lift the Sharks to victory.
It wasn’t the heated battle most expected; after all, there’s no love lost between these clubs. But aside from a few early hits, it was a relatively tame contest.
It wasn’t necessarily Vegas’ sharpest game, though the Knights ultimately outshot San Jose 38-29 and were in it until the end.
It appeared as though San Jose took a 1-0 lead in the first period, though the goal was overturned on a successful Vegas goalie interference challenge. Timo Meier bumped into Marc-Andre Fleury in the crease, which allowed San Jose’s shot to find its way into the net.
However, Meier made up for it when he scored 1:26 into the middle frame, and this one counted. Meier beat Fleury on an impressive individual effort as he drove hard to the net.
It took Vegas nearly 50 minutes to get on the board, but the Knights really upped the pressure in the third period, and it eventually led to the equalizer goal from Brayden McNabb, whose wrist shot beat Aaron Dell cleanly.
The third period was a dominant frame for Vegas; in fact, the Knights won the Corsi battle 17-6, good for a Corsi For percentage of 73.91.
The Knights had plenty of chances but were unable to take the lead, sending this one to extra time.
Both teams exchanged great chances in overtime. Dell made a spectacular save, and Fleury followed suit at the other end of the ice. The Knights controlled play for the first three minutes of the period.
However, Couture got a clean breakaway from center ice when the Knights got caught in the offensive zone. Fleury made the initial stop but was unable to prevent Couture from cashing in his own rebound for the win.
Dell, who got the nod over Martin Jones, wasn’t overly tested, as many of the Knights’ shots came from the perimeter, especially early on. However, he made the necessary saves and even a few great ones, including this one in the first period when it was still 0-0.
This somehow resulted in a save by Aaron Dell. Great passing by VGK. pic.twitter.com/NOwZcP0Qhf— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) November 22, 2019
He also got some help from teammate Radim Simek, who robbed Mark Stone with a clutch save in the crease.
Simek got the right leg on that. Wow. pic.twitter.com/qt1o1qtA85— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) November 22, 2019
Fleury made some Fleury-esque stops as well, but it was more about Vegas’ inability to capitalize on its chances than it was about Fleury’s play.
There weren’t many high-danger chances for either team; Vegas held a slight 6-5 edge but managed zero in the third period and overtime.
Overall, though the Knights certainly didn’t play poorly, it wasn’t an overly inspiring effort, especially following consecutive wins.
The loss snaps Vegas’ two-game winning streak, bringing their record to 11-9-4 on the year. The point is not insignificant, but it’s the team’s fourth loss in extra time this season.
The Sharks (11-11-1) got off to a very rough start to the season, in part due to two losses courtesy of Vegas, but have rebounded with seven wins in their last eight games.
Though the Knights continue to struggle with consistency, that doesn’t mean it feels like the Knights have gone back to the way they played during their recent 0-4-1 stretch.
They will have a chance to prove that when they look to get back in the win column against the Oilers Saturday night.