The unprecedented success enjoyed by the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season carried over into the second round of their first playoff run.
Now that the San Jose Sharks have home-ice advantage after a dramatic win Brent Grimes Jersey , the question is how will Vegas bounce back from its first taste of postseason adversity?
The best-of-seven series between the Golden Knights and the Sharks shifts to Silicon Valley, starting with Game 3 on Monday night.
Vegas blanked the Los Angeles Kings twice and limited them to three goals in a first-round sweep. The winning ways continued as three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury posted his third shutout during this postseason, 7-0 over the Sharks in Game 1 on Thursday.
San Jose evened the series with a 4-3 victory in double overtime on Saturday. Fleury posted 43 saves, but Logan Couture notched the game-winner — his second goal of the night — eight seconds after Vegas defenseman Jon Merrill was sent off for hooking.
Less than 24 hours later, Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland refuses to dwell on the defeat.
“It’s a new day today,” he said Sunday. “We lost. You didn’t expect to go through playoffs not losing a game. We’ve just got to take what we can from last game and get back at it tomorrow night.”
While San Jose rallied from a two-goal deficit with three straight goals in the second period and overcame a tying goal from Nate Schmidt late in regulation, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns reminded everyone that there’s still a lot of hockey to be played.
“It’s just one game,” Burns said. “Obviously we had to win it, but it’s one game.”
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant didn’t rip his team for the effort but said they need to be better prepared.
“We didn’t show up for 45 minutes tonight,” he said Saturday. “We didn’t play a good game tonight. We played a great game the other night, and competed and battled, and tonight we didn’t show up to play our game tonight, and it cost us big time.”
Vegas went 1-0-1 at the Shark Tank during the regular season.
On Feb. 8 Malcolm Mitchell Jersey , the Golden Knights exploded with three straight goals in the final 10:24 en route to 5-3 win. On March 22, Tomas Tatar scored early, but the Sharks answered with a goal from Burns before Couture scored 39 seconds into overtime to lift San Jose to a 2-1 win.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer noted that Saturday’s win was a result of keeping true to the same message that has been communicated throughout the season.
“I think we’ve always taken the approach all year that we play our game and at the end of the day, good things happen,” he said.
A key to San Jose knotting the series was Martin Jones having a short memory. After yielding five goals on 13 shots in Game 1, he didn’t face more than eight shots in any period in Game 2 and finished with 26 saves.
“My confidence isn’t going to get shaken from one bad game. It’s not the first time I’ve had a bad game. You put that behind you. It’s why you have a routine,” said Jones, who stopped 75 of 77 shots at home in Games 3 and 4 of the Sharks’ first-round sweep of the Anaheim Ducks.
One player who has been hard to stop in the postseason is Vegas center William Karlsson. He scored twice in Game 2, giving him seven points (three goals, four assists) in a four-game points streak.
Karlsson enjoyed a breakout season with career highs of 43 goals and 35 assists.
San Jose is expected to have winger Evander Kane back in the lineup after he served a one-game suspension for cross-checking Golden Knights center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Game 1.
Acquired at the Feb. 26 trade deadline from the Buffalo Sabres, Kane had eight of his 14 points with the Sharks at SAP Center.
That’s also where Game 4 is scheduled Wednesday night.
There's no doubt Saquon Barkley has the talent to be great NFL running back.
Speed, power, quickness Andrew Sendejo Jersey , smarts, good hands. The Penn State product who the New York Giants grabbed with the second overall pick in the draft has it all.
What he needs is knowledge. He has to learn a new playbook for coach Pat Shurmur and then pick up all the little adjustments that turn a college star into one of the NFL's elite. And it all has to be done in roughly four months.
"Physically, he looks the part," two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning said of Barkley. "I'll be excited to see him with pads on, in the open field, and see what he can do. He has done a good job."
Barkley has done everything asked of him so far. He also has drawn some attention. Veteran defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison quipped he couldn't wait until training camp so he could "hit his ass."
Barkley laughed about it Wednesday.
"I'm just happy that we're on the same team, and he only gets to hit me maybe once or twice a year, rather than facing him for a whole game," Barkley said.
Barkley has spent a lot of time the past few weeks picking the minds of veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, Manning and his coaches. When he is not doing that, he is watching videotapes of Cardinals running back David Johnson and the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell blocking and running inside and outside the tackles.
"There is always room for improvement on anything," Barkley said Wednesday after the second day of a mandatory three-day minicamp. "Playbook is definitely something that I feel like I am getting more comfortable with. I am seeing the field a lot differently. Understanding where I have to be in my pass concepts."
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula said Barkley needs to learn the little adjustments that need to happen before and after snaps. He also has to learn how to adjust to facing different defenses each week.
So not only does he need to know the plays, he has to understand what happens when Manning changes plays Mark Ingram Jersey , where the protection slides, and where he needs to be.
Barkley believes good backs run on instinct. He also says they have to help their offensive linemen by setting up their blocks.
"For me, I did it so natural in college that I didn't even notice I was doing it," Barkley said. "Now, understanding and seeing the play before it develops and seeing the linebacker overflowing, that is how you set up cutback lanes."
Defensive coordinator James Bettcher has enjoyed watching Barkley.
"He's a special player," Bettcher said. "He's a guy that's going to create nightmares for any defensive coordinator, and matchup problems on any given down."
After Thursday's workout, the Giants will be off until training camp opens in late July.
Barkley intends to go home to Pennsylvania for his sister's Sweet 16 party and later train in either Florida or California, or a mixture of both.
He is also looking forward to his first season with the Giants and being in the shadow of New York.
"At State College, it is like its own little city. It is a small city," he said. "Then, in New York A.J. Derby Jersey , you walk around and people know you. It is not like, 'Wow they know me, I have fame,' but it is like people notice you and what you are doing. I have not played a down of football yet, so I am just handling myself."
ERECK FLOWERS: Ereck Flowers says his adjustment to playing right tackle is going well. He admitted it was tough being told he was being moved from left tackle to the right side after the signing of Nate Solder as a free agent.
"They have to do what is best for the organization," said Flowers, the Giants' first-round pick in 2015. "I don't have any personal feelings about it. For me, I want to prove myself every time I hit the field."
The Giants did not pick up the fifth-year option on Flowers' contract in the offseason, so he will be a free agent after the season.
NOTES: NFL Films was at Giants practice on Wednesday and Shurmur was wired for sound. ... CB Janoris Jenkins says fellow cornerback Eli Apple has matured after a troubled season in 2017. "He understands that there are going to be people that love you and people that hate you," Jenkins said of Apple. "No matter how good you play, it is still going to be the same.'
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