In winning their third straight to close out a four-game road trip, the Sharks handed Vegas its second consecutive home loss after it had won nine straight, including six on the road.
It marked the fifth time in six meetings the road team won in what’s been an intense rivalry since Vegas entered the NHL in 2017. It was just the second time the Sharks ever beat Vegas in regulation during the regular season.
And with the Sharks’ regression the past couple of seasons, and Vegas’ domination of the series, some have insinuated the rivalry has simmered.
Meier thought otherwise.
“Definitely for us, it still is (a rivalry),” Meier said. “For us, we just want to win the game against them and it feels nice. If they don’t think it’s a rivalry, we don’t really care. We won today so that’s all we really care about.”
“Before this trip, we really put an emphasis on coming out of it with a winning record, and the last few games have been come-from-behind wins and haven’t been easy, but I think our group just stuck with it," Nieto said.
Since starting the season 0-5-0, the Sharks are on a 5-4-3 run as they head home for three games.
After Meier’s eighth goal this season made it 3-2, Couture and Ferraro added empty-netters to provide the final margin.
Just after the Golden Knights killed off a penalty, Eichel scored his 10th goal of the season when he one-timed a pass from Shea Theodore from the far side of the left circle to give Vegas a 1-0 lead with 3.9 seconds left in the first period. It was Eichel’s 400th career point.
The Sharks tied it midway through the second period when Erik Karlsson’s laser from the blue line caromed straight to Kunin, who was there to bury a one-timer from the right circle for his 100th career point.
Vegas got its one-goal lead back when Marchessault finally solved Reimer after being stymied three times earlier. Marchessault caught Reimer cheating off the post while San Jose defenseman Mario Ferraro anticipated a pass to William Karlsson. Instead, Marchessault’s short-side blast put the Knights in front 2-1.
Nieto wiggled his way in front of the net, where he took a pass from Alexander Barabanov and backhanded the puck past Thompson just 1:04 into the third period to tie the game again.
The Golden Knights had their chances but were 0 for 3 on the power play.
“Our special teams in general let us down late,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “A lot of your top guys are on that. But I thought the second goal gave them life and that should never happen if you’re a good hockey club and take care of business in front of your net early in the period.”
NOTES: With his assist on Eichel’s goal, Chandler Stephenson extend his point streak to four games. ... Golden Knights veteran Phil Kessel played in his 999th consecutive game. ... San Jose’s five goals were the most it’s ever scored against Vegas in the regular season.
Sharks: Host Detroit on Thursday night.
Golden Knights: Host Arizona on Thursday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
W.g. Ramirez, The Associated Press