The San Jose Sharks smothered the Golden Knights in Game 5 and got a standout performance from Martin Jones. It resulted in a 4-0 win for the Sharks and a 2-2 series. The next team to win two games will move on to the Western Conference Finals. Will it be the Sharks who have been here before, or the expansion team?
The expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, must play better than they did in San Jose in Game 4. They looked dead tired, not the same speedy Golden Knights team we’ve seen before. The Sharks have to stop with the stupid penalties, though. The only possible way the Knights were going to win that is by the power-play.
Jones turned back 34 shots to earn the shutout, and he did not allow many second chances. His rebound control was the best I’ve seen from him in this series. Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but the Sharks did have the higher-quality scoring chances. He didn’t have much of a chance with the pressure the Sharks were dealing him in front of the crease.
For the Sharks, they have to get a repeat performance on the road. They shouldn’t expect the Knights to come out as sluggish as they did in Game 4. For the Knights, they must understand that all they have to do is win two games at home and the series is in the bag. They’ve been so proficient at home all season long, so there isn’t any reason to dwell on Game 4. This is, however, the biggest game at home they’ve had. Get our free Sharks vs. Golden Knights Game 5 pick below.
San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 5 Pick
The Sharks have gotten tremendous production out of their fourth line. Notably, Marcus Sorensen has been finding a nice role back in the tail-end of the lineup. Sorensen has been playing extremely well throughout the entire playoffs, with already 4 goals and an assist. He notched 5 goals and 2 assists in 32 games this season. Sorensen made a pretty play to open the scoring in Game 4.
He won the battle in the corner, looped all the way around in front of Fleury and caught him leaning. If you’re the Golden Knights, that cannot happen. Sorensen was untouched as he waltzed through. The Knights have to put a body on him in that spot and make him work harder. A big checkmark has to go to the Sharks’ depth in this series. If the Sharks end up winning this series, it’s going to be because of that fourth line grinding it out.
Game 5 leaves Gerard Gallant with a bit of homework to do. He must find a way to counter the Sharks third and fourth line. The Golden Knights can match the Sharks with William Karlsson and James Neal on the top lines. However, it gets dicey deeper in the lineup, especially now that we’re getting further into the playoffs as wear and tear begins to take affect.
The Golden Knights zipped past the Kings in the first-round with a sweep. They haven’t had to deal with any adversity or pressure, but I think they are going to find some of it in Game 5. In a game that I believe is going to be tighter than the odds indicate, a play on the underdog Sharks doesn’t look like a bad idea.