LAS VEGAS (AP)Thanks to Chandler Stephenson’s pinpoint pass, William Carrier had a wide-open net – which oddly caused a moment of panic.
He had similar chances thwarted this season, but made sure this wouldn’t be one of them, punching in the goal with 17.7 seconds left Thursday to give Vegas a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks and extend the Golden Knights’ winning streak to four games.
”I might have shot that one little hard and high,” Carrier said. ”I was going to make sure (the goalie) was not going to get anything on it.”
Paul Cotter scored the other goal for Vegas, and Adin Hill made 26 saves.
”On a night like that where it feels like we’re generating a lot of chances and we have some opportunities, we’re not finding the back of the net, it could easily went the other way,” Knights center Jack Eichel said. ”Big on Hilly to come up with those big saves for us. We’re only able to generate two goals, so we’re lucky that he was able to backstop us.”
Hill outdueled San Jose’s Kaapo Kahkonen, who stopped 36 shots and was tested by the Knights going on the power play seven times. Vegas failed to capitalized on any of its chances against the NHL’s fourth-ranked penalty kill.
”I don’t want to go down that path, but you’d be hard pressed to find a hockey game where one team takes seven penalties and the other only takes one,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. ”Frustrating, but give our penalty kill a ton of credit. They did a hell of a job. Our goalie was outstanding.
”I thought it was his best game of the year, and I’m just real disappointed we weren’t able to finish it off the last 17 seconds.”
The Knights have their own reasons to be frustrated, having converted just one of their past 28 power plays. Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said the team has been working to get more interior chances with the man advantage rather than rely on outside shots.
”I think that’s just a mindset that we have to keep chipping away at to get the interior plays so that you’re able to open up passing lanes,” Cassidy said. ”We’ll keep grinding away at it.”
The problems in that area included failing to score on three power plays in the first period, even with six shots with the man advantage and outshooting San Jose 14-4 overall.
San Jose shut down the Knights’ offense in the second, not allowing a shot on goal over the first 11 1/2 minutes.
The Sharks then got it done on the offensive end when Alexander Barabanov scored off a rebound with 2:56 left in the period to take a 1-0 lead.
Vegas nearly tied it 1:26 into third period, but Jonathan Marchessault’s power-play goal was waved off because the referee determined he pushed Kahkonen’s pad over the line.
The Knights finally broke through five minutes later when Eichel fed Paul Cotter for a 2-on-1 breakaway to tie it. That extended Cotter’s goal streak to three games, and Eichel has five points (two goals, three assists) in those three games.
Then Carrier won the game late, and the Knight continued their domination of San Jose, leading 20-2-4 all time.
NOTES: Patrick Marleau will have his No. 12 jersey retired before the Sharks’ home game Feb. 25 against Chicago. He is San Jose’s leader in numerous career categories, including goals (522), points (1,111) and games played (1,607). Marleau, who played in parts of 21 seasons for the Sharks, retired in 2022. … Sharks center Nico Sturm took a puck in his right arm or wrist from Vegas’ Nic Hague early in the first period and went into the locker room. He returned in the second period.
Sharks: Host Buffalo on Saturday.
Golden Knights: Host Tampa Bay on Saturday.
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