Alex Tuch is on fire and Marc-Andre Fleury is smoking hot in the net. These two were instrumental in VGK’s 4-0 shutout of the San Jose Sharks last night at the SAP Center in San Jose. Vegas has 3 wins this season in 3 games at the SAP Center. The Sharks have just 2 home wins in 8 games played on their home ice. Overall, the VGK’s record is 7-0-2 at the SAP Center in the regular season, with a record vs. San Jose of 11-1-3. The once-heated rivalry is starting to lose some steam as the VGK are clearly the better team and the Sharks offer no bite at all when it comes to these games.
Fleury’s shutout was his league-leading 4th of the season in his 15 games this season, stopping 24 shots. His record in 15 games is 12-3-0, along with a 1.60 GAA and a save percentage of .942. Last night’s shutout was the 65th of his career.
Alex Tuch is literally melting the ice beneath his skates as he flies up and down, leaving opposing players flat-footed. Tuch has scored in 4 straight games and has 8 goals in his last 7. His 2 goals last night tie him for the team lead in goals with Max Pacioretty; they both have 12.
With these 2 wins in San Jose, the VGK now have a 6-game winning streak going, best in the NHL this season. Only 2 other teams have won 6 in a row: Tampa Bay and Minnesota. Vegas snapped the Wild’s 6-game streak at T-Mobile on March 1 with a 5-4 OT win.
They did not escape San Jose injury free. Both Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo were injured during last night’s game. Stone left in the 2nd period at the 6:48 mark and didn’t return to the game. Post-game DeBoer DeBoer called Stone’s injury “small” and said that the score of the game and their upcoming schedule played into the decision to keep Stone in the locker room. That’s encouraging news, if it’s in fact true. We all know how secretive the VGK are about player injuries. He did tell the truth about Ryan Reaves’ injury in Friday night’s game, as Revo was in the lineup after leaving when he took a skate in a “very sensitive” area.
Pietrangelo took a shot to the arm in the 3rd period and will be evaluated today before the team heads to Minnesota for their 3rd game of this season’s long 6-game road trip.
Mark Stone scored the opening goal in the first period on a nice tic tac toe passing play with Chandler Stephenson before leaving the game. Stone has scored 10 points in his last 4 games and leads the team with 27 points (6G, 21A, and a +14). Stone also has 6 power play points and 4 GWG.
Reilly Smith who had gone 10 games without scoring a goal has now scored 2 goals in back –back games.
These are 2 teams going in opposite directions, considering the VGK win streak and the fact that the Sharks have lost 5 of their last 6 games. This has dampened the rivalry so far this season, but Marc-Andre Fleury was quick to note post-game that in the playoffs they’re 1- 1 against each other, so winning against them is still important to the team.
Unlike Friday night, the Knights stayed out of the penalty box, which allowed them to control the flow and cycle 4 lines throughout the entire game.
DeBoer said in the post game that every team writes its own story and this team has yet to write theirs. Well, 21 games into this season, their story so far contains a few good first chapters.
My 3 Stars of the Game: Alex Tuch (2 goals, with 8 goals in his last 7 games), Marc-Andre Fleury (24 saves for his league-leading 4th shutout of the season, Max Pacioretty (1A, +2, and 5 SOG)
Next game is tomorrow vs. Minnesota Wild at 5 p.m. Pacific Time
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