RECAP: Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights top Sharks in OT

Mar 5, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; Vegas Golden Knights goalie Oscar Dansk (35) and defenseman Nicolas Hague (14) defend the goal against San Jose Sharks Joel Kellman (46) during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Max Pacioretty scored two goals, including the winner 1:25 into overtime, as the Vegas Golden Knights opened a two-game series against the host San Jose Sharks with a 5-4 victory Friday night.

Reilly Smith, Chandler Stephenson and Alex Tuch also scored for the Golden Knights, who won their fifth in a row to remain a point ahead of St. Louis atop the West Division. Mark Stone logged two assists.

Pacioretty, who earlier recorded an assist, scored the winner on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle after taking a cross-ice pass from Alex Pietrangelo.

Oscar Dansk, making his first appearance of the season after Marc-Andre Fleury started each of Vegas’ past 10 games, made 25 saves and got the victory despite a late gaffe.

Brent Burns, Matt Nieto, Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc scored and Erik Karlsson had two assists for the Sharks, who dropped to 1-3-1 on their seven-game homestand.

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Goalie Martin Jones was pulled early in the second period after allowing three goals on eight shots. He was replaced by Devan Dubnyk, who kept San Jose in the game by stopping 17 of the 19 shots he faced.

The Sharks fell behind 3-0 early but finally tied the score with 1:07 remaining in regulation on a fluke goal.

Burns’ long outlet pass for Labanc deflected off the skate of Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez and kicked high into the air, heading for the net. Dansk tried to shovel the bouncing puck to the corner but nearly fanned on the clearing attempt, the puck grazing off the bottom of his stick.

The puck deflected off Labanc’s stick as the forward continued skating hard to the net, and then again off Dansk’s paddle before trickling into the net.

Smith and Stephenson scored in the first period for the Golden Knights, and Pacioretty chased Jones with his goal 2:57 into the second.

The Sharks’ comeback began as Burns scored on a power-play blast from the right point at 6:01 of the second. Nieto scored on a two-on-one break at 12:43, pulling the Sharks within 3-2 entering the third period.

Tuch tallied just 26 seconds into the final period, on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle, to restore Vegas’ two-goal advantage.

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Couture scored following a mad scramble in front of the Golden Knights’ net at 6:23 of the period to pull the Sharks back within one.

–Field Level Media