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Marc-Andre Fleury’s 6th shutout of season carries Vegas Golden Knights past Sharks

May 12, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) shoots the puck against Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Marc-Andre Fleury made 19 saves to register his sixth shutout of the season as the visiting Vegas Golden Knights kept alive their hopes for a West Division title and Presidents’ Trophy with a 6-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Fleury also moved into a tie for 14th place on the NHL’s all-time shutouts list with Roy Worters with the 67th of his career shutout while also extending his personal win streak to nine in a row.

Dylan Sikura scored twice, Jonathan Marchessault and William Carrier each had a goal and an assist and Alex Pietrangelo and Keegan Kolesar also scored goals for Vegas (40-14-2, 82 points), which leads Colorado (38-13-4, 80 points) by two points. However, the Avalanche, by virtue of a more regulation wins tiebreaker, can claim the West crown and Presidents’ Trophy with a victory of any kind — regulation, overtime or shootout — over the visiting Los Angeles Kings in their regular-season finale on Thursday night.

Reilly Smith added two assists for the Golden Knights who won all eight meetings (8-0-0) against San Jose this season.

Alexei Melnichuk, making just his second career NHL start, made 38 saves for the Sharks, who finished with a 21-28-7 record and 49 points and missed the playoffs for second straight year, losing 14 of their final 17 games in the process.

Vegas, looking like a team that still had plenty to play for against a team looking that didn’t, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 7:48. Pietrangelo, left alone in the slot, backhanded in a loose puck for his seventh goal of the season to make it 1-0 and Kolesar followed with his third of the season, tucking in a loose puck inside the right post.

Carrier made it 3-0 at the 3:05 mark of the second period with his sixth goal of the the season, trickling in a rebound of a Alex Tuch shot over Melnichuk’s shoulder. Marchessault followed four minutes later with his 18 th on a wrist shot from the right circle as the Golden Knights outshot the Sharks, 30-8, in the first 30 minutes.

Sikura then increased the lead to 6-0 the third period with the second and third goals of his career and first two with Vegas, both on medium-range wrist shots past Melnichuk’s glove side . It marked an NHL-best 20th game this season with at least five goals for the Golden Knights.

–Field Level Media