LAS VEGAS (AP) – The Vegasare no longer the new kids on the NHL block.
They’re a perennial powerhouse.
Jonathan Marchessault, and the Golden Knights became the first NHL team to clinch a playoff berth, beating the San Jose Sharks 5-2 Wednesday night for their eighth straight victory.
Vegas, which, also became the fourth franchise in NHL history to make the playoffs in its first four seasons. The lost to the Washington Capitals in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.
“It’s an accomplishment in this league; 31 teams to make the playoffs,” said Peter DeBoer, who has led two teams to Stanleyappearances during his coaching career. “What this franchise has done so far is unheard of. I don’t know if you’ll ever see that from an expansion team again.
“I wouldn’t trade our group for any other group out there.”
The Golden Knights improved to 15-1-3 all-time against the Sharks inmeetings – including a perfect 7-0-0 this season. Vegas also improved to 18-4-2 at home this .
“We’ve been doing good against (San Jose),” Marchessault said. “We seem to be playing the right way. It’s good to have success against a divisional team like that.”
Mark Stone, Alex Tuch, and Mattias Janmark also scored for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves to improve to 5-0-0 against the Sharks thisand 7-0-1 in his last eight.
before the Golden Knights scored four unanswered goals. “The hottest team in the league, it’s not just us,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said. “We’re a team that doesn’t match up on paper to them. So a lot of things have to go right for us. They find ways to win. Our power play has to get going; it’s been dry for a while. That’s the difference in these tight games. You have to have good special teams against these guys.”
The Sharks were 0 for three on the power plays against the league’s second-best penalty kill.
On the power play, Pacioretty fed Stone, whoKorenar to knot the score 2-all with 7:08 left in the second period. It was Stone’s team-leading sixth of the season, while Pacioretty became the 10th active U.S.-born player to collect 600 .
Tuch blasted home the go-ahead goal with 50 seconds left in the second, giving Vegas its first.
Marchessault netted his second goal and third point of the night when he beat Korenar’s short side,to 4-2 with 6:42 left.
Janmark, acquired from Chicago at the trade deadline, scored an empty-netter for his first as awith 56 seconds to go.
“I liked our resiliency; I liked our calmness tonight,” DeBoer said. “I thought we could’ve been up three after the first period. We stuck with it. We took some penalties we found to kill off and getat the right time. There wasn’t any panic there.”
Two nights after Patrick Marleau appeared in his record-breaking 1,768th career, he skated in his 900th consecutive game, becoming the fourth player ever to do so.
HOME SWEET HOME
Marchessault, who has 22 points in 19games against the Sharks, has scored nine of his 13 goals this season at home.
Dylan Sikura, who had three points in nine appearances with Chicago last season, made his team debut for the, playing in his NHL game since Jan. 15, 2020.
Sharks: Host Minnesota on Saturday.
Golden Knights: At Anaheim on Saturday.
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