The Sharks dominated the Golden Knights for the first period of game three Monday night, outshooting Vegas 14-4 at one point. Couture had another chance in the sequence before the winning goal. On their first goal, Chris Tierney fed Timo Meier with a pass across the slot that Meier one-timed for his second goal of the playoffs.
The game seemed to have slipped away from the Sharks in that less-than-five-minute stretch of the second - Fleury's incredible saves kept Vegas in the game early, and the Sharks' lack of discipline and lazy defensive zone effort handed the Knights the game in due time. "I think if we had won, I could have forgotten about it a little easier".
William Karlsson scored twice for Vegas, while Nate Schmidt got his first of the post-season to tie the score at 3-3 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the third period. But the Knights broke out with the loose puck and Karlsson beat Martin Jones with a wrist shot high to the stick side and was mobbed by his teammates. Vegas challenged that Fleury was interfered with by Logan Couture, who nudged him on the edge of the blue paint, but the goal stood. "I just tried to follow the pass and get out there a bit and I had a little time to react on it", Fleury said. That's certainly true with the amount of shots they're getting on goal.
The Vegas Golden Knights look for another road victory to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. In a second period that saw them dominate the puck, they somehow let in three goals. Even if Vegas doesn't go on to win the Cup, it still will hold up as the greatest first season for an expansion team ever. A conference final berth would be just the latest in a series of "firsts"-like the first expansion team since 1980 to make the playoffs, first true expansion team to win its division in its inaugural season, and first team in National Hockey League history to sweep its first playoff series, knocking out the two-time Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings".
"To come out of that first period 0-0, we need to find a way to get the lead", coach Peter DeBoer said. Jones made 29 saves.
Joonas Donskoi sat out the game with a lower body injury, and it remains unclear when he might be able to return. They did take one of the game in Vegas to grab the home-ice advantage, but they gave it right back with a tough 4-3 OT loss in game three.
Top lines are lighting up opponents all over the playoffs, ratcheting scoring up to a pace not seen in more than two decades.
Brenden Dillon held David Perron to give Vegas a power play less than a minute after Meier's one-timer off a ideal cross-ice pass from Chris Tierney gave the Sharks the lead.
The momentum, once entirely in San Jose's favor and then squandered in the second, returned to the Sharks. Tierney and Pavelski also combined to win four of eight faceoffs.
The series shifts back to Vegas on Wednesday night for Game 4, with the Golden Knights looking to continue their incredible inaugural season. Thanks to that beauty of a goal, the Knights are up 2-1 in the series and are one game closer to being the first ever team to win the Stanley Cup in their debut year.