Mark Stone and Paul Stastny each had five points as the Vegas Golden Knights took a 2-1 lead in their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with a convincing 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Stone notched his first-ever hat trick, while Stastny’s five-point night was the first of his career. Both set a team record for points in a playoff game. Max Pacioretty added a goal and an assist, and Shea Theodore also had three assists for Vegas, which improved to 8-3 all-time in playoff games at T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 25 saves for his 77th career playoff victory, moving him into a tie with Mike Vernon for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time list.
Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier and Logan Couture scored for San Jose, which surrendered goals within the first 36 seconds in all three periods. Martin Jones finished with 34 saves.
The Golden Knights wasted little time taking a 1-0 lead, as Stone scored just 16 seconds into the opening period, the fastest goal to start a playoff game in Vegas history. Nate Schmidt hit Stone with a stretch pass down the middle of the ice from the Golden Knights’ blue line, and Stone then beat Jones with a backhand to his glove side.
Pacioretty made it 2-0 with a power-play goal 12 minutes later after Evander Kane was called for a double-minor high-sticking penalty for cutting William Carrier. Five seconds later, Pacioretty fired a wrist shot from the top of the right circle that beat Jones on his glove side.
San Jose cut it to 2-1 near the end of the period when Labanc jammed in Joe Thornton’s pass from behind the goal inside the right post for his first goal of the playoffs.
The Golden Knights extended their lead to 4-1 in the second period behind a pair of goals by Stastny, the first on a rebound from the top left circle just 21 seconds into the period, and the second on a power play when he redirected a crossing pass from Stone past Jones’ stick side.
After Stone made it 5-1 with another backhand goal just 36 seconds into the third period, San Jose cut it to 5-3 with goals by Couture and Meier 54 seconds apart.
Stone, who had five goals in 18 regular-season games with Vegas after coming over in a trade-deadline deal with Ottawa, sealed the win his third goal of the night and sixth in three playoff games when he beat Jones with another backhand at the end of a give-and-go with Stastny.
—Field Level Media