VGK clinches first playoff spot of season with 5-2 win over San Jose
Updated: May 22, 2021
The Vegas Golden Knights continued their win streak and clinched the first Stanley Cup playoff berth this season.
Vegas (33-10-2) beat the San Jose Sharks, 5-2, Wednesday, April 21 from the T-Mobile Arena to improve to eight straight wins since April 7th.
The Knights have advanced to the playoffs in every season since entering the NHL. Vegas made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017.
“I think it’s something that our group and this organization should be really proud of. Four straight years in the playoffs, that’s how you build the franchise,” center Jonathan Marchessault said. “We’re at the point where we are… we can’t come in any short of a Stanley Cup.”
Vegas leads the league with 33 wins and 68 points.
The Knights improved to 15-1-3 all-time against the Sharks in regular season games.
“There’s a lot of things that have to go right but we’ve given ourselves a chance. I wouldn’t trade our group for any group out there and we’re excited about the opportunity,” head coach Pete DeBoer said.
The Knights improved to 18-4-2 at home and 7-0-0 against the Sharks this season.
On Saturday, April 24th, the Knights face the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Vegas is 6-1 against the Ducks this season.
Vegas outshot San Jose, 40-33, and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had 31 saves.
Fleury (21-10-0) remains at the top of this season’s goalie leaderboard with the third most wins and the fourth best save percentage, .926.
Marchessault had a four point game with two goals on five shots on goal and two assists for the Knights.
Two and a half minutes into the opening period, San Jose’s Timo Meier snuck one past Fleury to give them a 1-0 lead.
Marchessault tied the game, 1-1, on his 12th goal of the season while defensemen Alec Martinez and center William Karlsson both assisted with the goal.
Martinez and Karlsson have 19 and 20 assists on the year, respectively.
The Sharks took a 2-1 lead midway through the second period before Vegas scored four unanswered goals.
Right-wing Mark Stone quickly responded with a power play goal, assisted by left-wing Max Pacioretty and defensemen Shea Theodore.
Stone, the captain of Vegas, leads the team with 53 points.
“I think most of the goals we’re scoring right now is from being able to have posed plays; through the middle, up to the points and making the right decision,” Stone said. “I’ve just been the fortunate guy to bury the goals.”
The Knights are four points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, second in the West.
“It’s been the luxury of having a great team and playing winning hockey. I’ve had every opportunity to really find my game,” center Mattias Janmark said.