Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Sharks eliminated from Playoffs, fall to Golden Knights

Sharks eliminated from Playoffs, fall to Golden Knights

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves for his 14th career playoff shutout, and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights added another chapter to their National Hockey League history-making season with a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night at SAP Arena in San Jose, clinching the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series in six games.

The Golden Knights join the Toronto Arenas (1918) and the St Louis Blues (1968) as the only teams to make the finals either as an expansion team or after a merger.

Vegas, which cruised to the Pacific Division regular-season title, will play the victor of the Central Division second-round series between Winnipeg and Nashville in the Western Conference finals for a chance to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Coming off the three-goal barrage the Sharks put up late in Game 5, it was to be expected that the Golden Knights were going to have to withstand everything San Jose had in them to hang on to Game 6 and win the series.

The Golden Knights keep making history.

San Jose captain Joe Pavelski said, "We probably needed to do a little better job in front of (Fleury)". This marked the fourth straight postseason for the Sharks that ended with a loss on home ice.

Fleury allowed just three goals in the sweep against the Kings, posted shutouts in the opening and closing games against San Jose and was brilliant in an overtime win in Game 3 over the Sharks.

"We just weren't good enough", Sharks center Logan Couture said.

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"You get this far and you lose, it's disappointing".

You aren't going to find many better shutdown defensive players than Vlasic, and that pairing with Braun has been effective for years now. "That's something that's very hard to take".

The Golden Knights took control of this game with some good fortune in the second period.

The Golden Knights then added to the lead after an icing by Brent Burns led to an offensive zone faceoff. Play continued but was halted seconds later, when a quick video review determined the puck had crossed the goal line. Fleury then rubbed the post in appreciation at the next stoppage.

"It's a bit insane thinking about it for sure", defenseman Brayden McNabb said.

Tuch made it 2-0 when he tapped in Reilly Smith's rebound past Jones on the power play. "I'd never seen something like that happen where they blew the play dead, but when I was skating back to the bench and all the guys were yelling, 'It's in'". Hertl collected the puck and found Couture with a pass to the slot, but Couture could not get a shot away with a yawning net right in front of him. If Vegas' top line is running wild against San Jose's best defensive pairing, what can DeBoer really do? We had a couple (off posts) that didn't go in. "Vegas deserves to be moving on". "You know the enemy's got a vote and the enemy this series was Fleury".

Fleury, for his part, made 28 saves to record his second shutout of the series and his fourth of the playoffs. After hitting the cross-bar on a first period breakaway, what else did he and his Sharks' teammates need to do in Game 6 to catch a break and get a puck past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury? Vegas F Oscar Lindberg made his playoff debut, taking Tomas Tatar's place on Cody Eakin's line, while Ryan Carpenter also returned to the Golden Knights' lineup, taking Tomas Nosek's spot on Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's line along with William Carrier.

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