For the second straight game, the Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights headed to overtime.
Unlike Game 2, Vegas was victorious in Game 3.
The Golden Knights took back home-ice advantage, and beat the Sharks 4-3 in overtime at SAP Center Monday night. William Karlsson scored the game-winner with 11:43 remaining in overtime, giving Vegas a 2-1 series lead.
Vegas appeared to have Game 3 nearly Colin Miller, Jonathan Marchessault, and Reilly Smith all scored in a 4:46 span in to give the Golden Knights a two-goal lead. The first two came on back-to-back power plays, and the Golden Knights scored on three of eight shots in the period.
But Evander Kane scored the Sharks’ first five-on-five tally this series to cut the lead in half with 12:11 remaining in regulation, and Hertl backhanded a loose puck past Marc-Andre Fleury to send the game to overtime with 1:57 left in the third.
After the first scoreless, regulation period of the series, Timo Meier opened the scoring on the power play 6:59 into the second period to give San Jose a 1-0 lead. Meier’s goal marked the first time the Sharks scored the game’s first goal this series.
The lead lasted 161 seconds, before a Vegas onslaught gave the road team a two-goal lead heading into the second intermission. San Jose outshot its newest rival 16-8 in the second, but failed to score a five-on-five goal for the 10th consecutive period.
Things flipped in the third period. The Golden Knights controlled play in the final frame, attempting 22 five-on-five shots with the Sharks attempting 11 and scoring twice.
Vegas improved to 2-1 in overtime in its first-ever playoff run.
Fleury cracked and finally let up some five-on-five goals, but the 33-year-old netminder was otherwise stellar. He stopped each of San Jose’s 16 shots in the first period, and kept his team within striking distance headed into the second.
He’s been the best player in this series, and a major reason why Vegas is halfway to advancing to the Conference Finals in its inaugural season.
Golden Knights: 2-for-6 on the power play; 3-for-4 on the penalty kill
Sharks: 1-for-4 on the power play: 4-for-6 on the penalty kill.
For the third time this series, the team that scored more power-play goals and had more power-play opportunities won.
Golden Knights: Fleury’s best save of the series came with 16:50 remaining in overtime. He robbed Couture in the slot with a stellar glove stop, and allowed his team to take the game’s last lead.
Sharks: There wasn’t much Martin Jones could have done on either of Vegas’ power play goals in the second period, but he allowed at least three goals for the third consecutive game. He was solid five-on-five, though, stopping all but two of the Golden Knights’ 24 shots when both teams were at full strength.
The Golden Knights converted on Tomas Hertl’s second-period roughing penalty, and would not relinquish the lead. After Hertl’s penalty, the Sharks did not attempt a five-on-five shot for the remainder of the second period. Without the offensive explosion in the second period, Vegas does not win.
Golden Knights: Nobody was hurt, but Vegas made one lineup change, scratching ex-Sharks forward Ryan Carpenter in favor of trade deadline acquisition Tomas Tatar. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant opted not to make an additional lineup changes.
Sharks: Joonas Donskoi (lower-body) missed his first game of the postseason. Barclay Goodrow stayed in the lineup, while Evander Kane drew back in after serving his suspension. San Jose made no other changes.
The Sharks aim to tie the series up in Game 4 Wednesday night. Coverage begins with Sharks Playoff Central on NBC Sports California Plus at 6:30 p.m. The game broadcast begins at 7 on NBCSN, followed by a postgame edition of Sharks Playoff Central on NBC Sports California Plus after the final horn.