Marc-Andre Fleury had 28 saves for his 15th career playoff shutout and Max Pacioretty had two goals and two assists as the Vegas Golden Knights cruised to a 5-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night in Las Vegas to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series. It was the 78th career playoff win for Fleury, who broke a tie with Mike Vernon for seventh place on the all-time playoff wins list. Fleury also moved into a tie with Chris Osgood for fourth place for most career playoff shutouts.
It was the first two-goal playoff game of Pacioretty's career. Shea Theodore also had a goal and an assist, Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault each scored their first goals of the playoffs and Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Nate Schmidt all finished with two assists for the Golden Knights. Martin Jones, pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots in Game 2, was yanked after the first period after giving up two goals on seven shots. It was the fourth time in 10 career playoff games against Vegas that Jones was pulled. Aaron Dell finished up and stopped 17 shots.
The Golden Knights, who became just the second team in NHL history to score an opening-minute goal in each period of a Stanley Cup playoff game in Sunday's 6-3 victory over the Sharks, continued their trend of scoring early when Pacioretty beat Jones with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle past a screen just 1:11 into the game, becoming the first team in NHL history to score in the opening 90 seconds of four consecutive postseason periods. Theodore made it 2-0 just before the end of the period when he grabbed the puck in the neutral zone and then weaved his way between defensemen Brent Burns and Brenden Dillon before beating Jones with a backhand shot for his first goal of the playoffs.
The Golden Knights increased their lead to 3-0 midway through the second period with their fifth power-play goal of the series as Pacioretty put in his own rebound for his fourth goal of the playoffs. Tuch and Marchessault each scored in the third period to seal the win.
Game 5 is Thursday night in San Jose. --Field Level Media