The Vegas Golden Knights brought out the snipe show with William Karlsson in Game 3. Karlsson wired a shot over the shoulder of Sharks’ goaltender Martin Jones in overtime to take a 4-3 win and 2-1 series lead. He not only got the winner, but he made a nifty pass for a separate goal earlier in the evening. It was a tough one to swallow for the Sharks who could have been in prime position with two wins at home.
You know who else felt some pain with that shot from Karlsson? His former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Karlsson didn’t do anything in his three years with the club, a career-high of 9 goals and 11 assists in 2015-16. Maybe he just needed a change of scenery, but Karlsson came out of shell in Las Vegas, notching 43 goals and 35 assists, while playing a pivotal role in the playoffs.
Karlsson is going to be looking for a nice fat pay increase in the summer, but for now, the Knights are getting a lot of his less than a million contract. It’s a good problem to have playing like this as an expansion franchise, but the Golden Knights will have to open up the wallet to keep this team together.
The idea was that they would play in the basement this season and then build a team in the draft. However, guys like Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal came from a winning environment and weren’t going to allow this year to go to waste. No matter what happens from this point, it wasn’t a wasted year, that’s for sure. The Golden Knights will be up against a desperate Sharks team who can’t afford to go back to Vegas down 1-3 in the series. The Sharks didn’t play bad, Fleury was just able to make one more save than Martin Jones. Get our free Golden Knights vs. Sharks Game 4 pick below.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks Game 4 Pick
It was a back-and-forth affair all night long, with the Sharks tying the game up late. The Sharks won Game 2 in overtime and the Knights were on the winning end in Game 3. It was a heck of a shot by Karlsson who caught the Sharks on their heels. When Karlsson gets a head of steam his speed is too tough to contain. We must remember Fleury here, though, he may have allowed 3 goals, but he kept them in this game. Karlsson got praised, like he should, but Fleury’s performance fell through the cracks a bit because of the 3 goals surrendered.
The Sharks had the pressure on through the first-half of the game. Game 3 could have very well gotten out of hand if it weren’t for Fleury. It was all San Jose and all Vegas could do is absorb the shots. Fleury made some dandy saves and then kept it up in spots down the stretch. He had to deal with 42 shots in Game 3. The Knights were outshot 42-33 but led in the only category that matters, the final score.
I don’t know if the Sharks did anything notably wrong in Game 3. In my opinion they were the better team, but Fleury has a knack for flipping the ice in his team’s favour. He was the difference once again and the Golden Knights with a win tonight can close the Sharks out at home in Game 5. Their speed is tough to match, but it was clear over the first-half of the game that the Sharks were getting to the Knights with their physicality. If they can maintain that edge for 3 periods, this game isn’t going to have the same ending. In a dire situation, I expect San Jose to up the ante and get this series back to Las Vegas tied 2-2.