The Vegas Golden Knights picked up a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks in the second leg of the back-to-back set Saturday night in San Jose. The victory extended Vegas’ winning streak to six games and helped the Knights improve their season record against the Sharks to 3-0-0.
Alex Tuch remained red-hot with two goals, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped every shot he faced for his league-leading fourth shutout of the season.
Both teams pressed hard in the early stages of the game, but no one was able to beat Devan Dubnyk or Fleury early.
However, there were a few dangerous chances. One came from Chandler Stephenson in the first five minutes of the game as he tried to sneak one by Dubnyk after being able to walk in freely on a breakaway. Another dangerous chance came a few minutes later on a Tuch wrist shot, which had a 37% chance of scoring from seven feet out, per MoneyPuck. However, Tuch would have to wait to cash in.
Vegas controlled play to this point and spent a lot of its time in the offensive end. The Knights were getting plenty of looks, but Dubnyk was able to hold them off.
That is, until Mark Stone and Stephenson converted on a two-on-one after a nice right-pad save from Fleury. Stone and Stephenson completed a give-and-go, and Stone was able to bury it for his sixth on the season.
The Golden Knights continued to buzz but were held to only the one goal in the first period. Though Vegas controlled play, San Jose still had some quality looks, but Fleury made several key saves to keep it a 1-0 game.
The Sharks came out with some momentum in the second period, but Fleury stood tall once again.
Then, Tuch took over.
He made it 2-0 just over five minutes into the frame as he went bar-down off a Sharks turnover in the neutral zone.
4 straight games with a goal for No. 89 pic.twitter.com/Z2RegkthO6— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 7, 2021
The blast was Tuch’s seventh goal in the last seven games and came unassisted.
Tuch struck again with around three minutes left in the period. He gathered a failed clear from Brent Burns and slammed it into the net on his backhand. His second of the game was his 12th on the year and helped Vegas hold a 3-0 lead after two.
However, the Knights still suffered a loss in the second period. A few minutes before Tuch’s goal, Stone left the bench and went to the locker room. He would not return to the game, which is of concern going forward.
The Knights continued to control play in the third. Neither team generated much until Reilly Smith beat Dubnyk glove-side.
The goal came with nine minutes left in the game and was assisted by Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Pietrangelo. It was Smith’s second goal in the last two games after going 10 games without lighting the lamp. It gave Vegas a comfortable 4-0 lead, which the Knights held on to even with a late penalty kill.
The Golden Knights were able to play a complete game tonight, and it was a much better all-around performance than Friday’s somewhat uninspiring win.
Tuch remains scorching hot regardless of where he plays in the lineup, and Fleury was able to continue his run of dominance with a 24-save shutout after getting the night off last night. It’s also a good sign to see Smith heating up.
Fortunately for Vegas, Pete DeBoer labeled it a “cautionary” move to keep Stone out of the game, though he didn’t have a specific update on his status. He did mention, however, that Alex Pietrangelo took a shot to the arm near the end of the third, but DeBoer is hopeful it is nothing serious.
The Golden Knights play again on Monday against the Wild in Xcel Energy Center.