A third period scoring barrage lifted the Vegas Golden Knights past the San Jose Sharks in a 5-4 thriller Wednesday, March 17, in a game which contained big showings from unlikely heroes.
The collective group of goal scorers in Wednesday’s shootout was defensemen Shea Theodore, Nicolas Hague and Alec Martinez, center Cody Glass and right-wing Ryan Reaves – haven’t lit up the scoring column this season. That didn’t stop them from each contributing goals against the team’s top rival.
“Anytime you do anything against the Sharks, it’s fun,” Reaves told ESPN. “It’s no secret I hate every one of them over there.”
Reaves actually had a second goal taken off the board following an official review of goalie interference.
However, he scored his first official goal of the season on a rebound off San Jose’s Devan Dubnyk’s pad.
Even still, Vegas trailed 3-1 heading into the third period.
Glass would rifle in a rebound off a Theodore missile from the right side of the ice on a Golden Knight power play for the second VGK score of the game.
A power play that was much needed for a team that couldn’t capitalize on any of its previous 23 power plays.
Hague followed suit and would land home a long shot from near-neutral ice to tie it up a 3-3.
Reaves’ rebounded goal followed by a Martinez redirect would give Vegas the two-goal lead in a miraculous and furious comeback.
San Jose was left stunned as Vegas’ depth came in clutch in place of the usual suspects of VGK’s offensive success: left-wing Max Pacioretty and right-wing Mark Stone.
Both had relatively quiet nights.
Stone would drop the gloves and go to work in a feisty third period with San Jose’s Tomas Hertl.
San Jose’s Evander Kane would answer Vegas’ four straight goals by tapping in a power play goal to cut the lead to one goal.
From there, Martinez and the rest of Vegas’s defense would prevent San Jose from getting another legit opportunity.
The game was possibly the most unusual of the season for Vegas, according to head coach Pete DeBoer.
“It definitely wasn’t a typical game,” DeBoer told ESPN. “It was really hard-fought. They’re obviously a desperate team. They don’t want to go 0-5 against us, they’re fighting for a playoff spot.”
Goalie Robin Lehner told the media before the game he battled a concussion for the duration of his time off the ice. Rumors of him possibly being displeased with his role were diminished as Lehner said he was battling injury and was thrilled to rejoin his teammates.
Lehner is expected to start Friday against the Kings.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had an off-game allowing four goals, three of which coming in the second period, but came up clutch when it mattered most in the third.
Vegas moves to 5-0 against San Jose on the season and will travel to Los Angeles on Friday, March 19, to take on a young Kings team. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.