Karlsson's OT victor gives Knights 2-1 series edge

SPORTSCross-check earns Sharks' Evander Kane 1-game suspensionSHARE:sharetweetshareemail

Vegas Golden Knights 4, San Jose Sharks 3 (OT) - For the third straight night and second time in this series, there was an overtime game.

William Karlsson scored his fifth goal of the playoffs in overtime to seal the win for Vegas.

San Jose played in the Stanley Cup final only two years ago and swept a good Anaheim Ducks team in the first round, and that experience is invaluable at this point.

The Golden Knights remain small series favorites despite splitting the first two games, and they enjoyed some success at San Jose during the regular season, winning 5-3 in the first meeting there and then falling 2-1 in overtime with backup goalie Malcolm Subban in net.

It was back-and-forth play for the remainder of the first period, but San Jose quickly re-established control of the game early in the second period after receiving back-to-back power plays. After a scoreless first period the Sharks yielded three unanswered goals to the Golden Knights.

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The Golden Knights felt pretty good going into the locker room with a two-goal lead on the road. 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. In the first five days of the second round, no team has won consecutive games in a series.

The Sharks' previous marathon Stanley Cup playoff game occurred May 5, 2016, when they lost 4-3 in triple overtime at Nashville in Game 4 of a Western Conference semifinal. This is not a hockey play.

The Golden Knights challenged the play on the basis that Fleury had been a victim of goaltender interference, but replays showed that Vegas' Miller had pushed Meier into the goalie and left Fleury unable to move quickly enough to his right to stop Burns' shot. He robbed Couture in the slot with a stellar glove stop, and allowed his team to take the game's last lead.

After battling back from a two-goal deficit late in the third period, San Jose had to then kill a pair of minor penalties less than six minutes into the first overtime period. He was solid five-on-five, though, stopping all but two of the Golden Knights' 24 shots when both teams were at full strength. Hertl attempted a stuff shot in close, was denied but stayed planted in front of the net. He notched his second goal when he took advantage of a turnover and beat Jones from the circle to put Vegas up 2-0 just 26 seconds into the second. Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant opted not to make an additional lineup changes.

Another game like that - another contest where the Knights can use their prodigious speed and top-line skill to steal a win - and the Sharks' season will be on the brink without much hope of resuscitation. Evander Kane scored just seconds after the end of a power play midway through the third to set the stage for Hertl. "But each game has its own identity, you can't rest on what you did last game and just hope they walk away".

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