NHL Hockey

Smith, Marchessault lead Golden Knights past Sharks 7-3

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By JOSH DUBOW

AP Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) After an up-and-down second season together, the top line for the Vegas Golden Knights is starting to click again when it really counts.

Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and two assists, Reilly Smith had a goal and three assists and the Golden Knights won for the ninth time in 10 games, beating the San Jose Sharks 7-3 on Monday night.

William Karlsson added a goal and an assist as the trio combined for 10 points, giving the line 33 points during this 10-game stretch that started with the arrival of Mark Stone in a deadline deal from Ottawa.

"It's definitely been a little bit of a roller coaster year for us," Marchessault said. "We're not producing as much as last year. It's fine. I think we're playing well still defensively and shutting down big lines on the other teams. When we do that I think that's when we're the most successful."

The way they have played the past three weeks showed why it's so important for the Sharks to catch Calgary in the Pacific Division race and avoid a first-round playoff series against the surging Golden Knights. San Jose trails the Flames by one point, and Calgary has a game in hand. The Sharks have a seven-point edge over Vegas in the race for second place and home-ice advantage in the first round.

The Sharks dropped their third straight home game in regulation for the first time in three years as they failed once again with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.

"I'm concerned," said Logan Couture, who scored twice. "We hadn't played well, we're giving up too many chances, too many easy goals. We're giving up odd-man rushes. We have to get back to shooting the puck."

Perhaps more concerning for San Jose was the absence of captain Joe Pavelski, who missed his first game with an injury in more than eight years. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said the team's leading goal scorer has a lower-body injury and is out longer than day to day.

Joe Thornton had a goal for San Jose. Martin Jones allowed three goals on 11 shots before being replaced by Aaron Dell in the first period.

Stone, Paul Stastny and Cody Eakin also scored for Vegas. Malcolm Subban made 36 saves in place of injured Marc-Andre Fleury.

The game was a possible playoff preview, with the teams lined up to meet in the first round based on the current standings. A rivalry is already building between the clubs after Vegas knocked out San Jose in six games in the second round on the way to a Stanley Cup Final appearance during its expansion season a year ago.

The intensity was high from the start, with Couture's goal on the opening shift setting the tone for a wild first period that featured five goals, 25 shots, five power plays and a goalie change.

The Sharks tried to take control early. Tomas Hertl hit the post on the second shift before Vegas responded with two goals from its top line and another from the No. 1 power-play unit to take a 3-2 lead after one.

Marchessault and Smith were involved in all three goals, capped by Marchessault's bad-angle shot that ended Jones' night.

"I think we were just getting rewarded tonight," Smith said. "We had other games where I think we were probably making better plays, creating better opportunities. Tonight the pucks were just going in for us."

The Golden Knights could have had even more when they got a power play late in the period after Micheal Haley took exception to Ryan Reaves' hard hit on Melker Karlsson before a line change. Haley rushed over and tried to pull Reaves off the bench for a fight, getting a penalty on the play.

Vegas couldn't capitalize despite getting 16 seconds of a two-man advantage for too many men on the ice.

But the Golden Knights did take advantage of a bad penalty in the second period when Thornton hit Shea Theodore late in the offensive zone for an interference call. That led to Stastny's goal that put Vegas up 4-2 heading into the third and the Golden Knights poured it on from there.

NOTES: Only two Vegas players had previously recorded four points in a game: Karlsson and Theodore did it last season. ... Couture's first goal gave him 500 career points.

UP NEXT

Vegas: Hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

San Jose: Visits the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated March 19, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA MBB
Alcorn State 64 F
North Carolina State 87
Elon   8:30pm
North Carolina  
NCAA FB
NC State   Thu 8:00pm
Georgia Tech  
Mercer   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Duke   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
NHL
Hurricanes 4 F
Blackhawks 2
Teams Score Time
Alcorn State 64 F
North Carolina State 87
Vermont 55 F
Virginia 61
East Tennessee State 63 F
Kansas 75
Fairfield 55 F
Maryland 74
UT Arlington 66 F
Gonzaga 72
Maine 53 F
Washington 72
Chattanooga   6:30pm
Florida State  
Alabama State   7:00pm
Tennessee  
Delaware State   7:00pm
Virginia Tech  
Eastern Washington   7:00pm
Boston College  
Georgia Tech   7:00pm
Georgia  
USC Upstate   7:00pm
Louisville  
Cornell   7:30pm
Syracuse  
Little Rock   8:00pm
Memphis  
Elon   8:30pm
North Carolina  
Missouri State   Thu 11:30am
Miami (FL)  
Villanova   Thu 11:30am
Middle Tennessee  
Teams Score Time
NC State   Thu 8:00pm
Georgia Tech  
Illinois   Sat 12:00pm
Iowa  
Liberty   Sat 12:00pm
Virginia  
Minnesota   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Oklahoma State   Sat 12:00pm
West Virginia  
Penn State   Sat 12:00pm
Ohio State  
Samford   Sat 12:00pm
Auburn  
Western Carolina   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Boston College   Sat 2:30pm
Notre Dame  
Texas State   Sat 2:30pm
Appalachian State  
Mercer   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Michigan   Sat 3:30pm
Indiana  
Pittsburgh   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
SMU   Sat 3:30pm
Navy  
Texas A&M   Sat 3:30pm
Georgia  
Texas   Sat 3:30pm
Baylor  
Memphis   Sat 4:00pm
South Florida  
Purdue   Sat 4:00pm
Wisconsin  
Syracuse   Sat 4:00pm
Louisville  
Arkansas   Sat 7:00pm
LSU  
Miami   Sat 7:00pm
Florida International  
Temple   Sat 7:00pm
Cincinnati  
Duke   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Oregon   Sat 7:30pm
Arizona State  
TCU   Sat 8:00pm
Oklahoma  
Utah   Sat 10:00pm
Arizona  
Boise State   Sat 10:30pm
Utah State  
Teams Score Time
Warriors 114 F
Grizzlies 95
Trail Blazers 104 F
Pelicans 115
Suns 116 F
Kings 120
Thunder 107 F
Lakers 112
Knicks   7:00pm
76ers  
Spurs   7:00pm
Wizards  
Hornets   7:30pm
Nets  
Cavaliers   7:30pm
Heat  
Warriors   7:30pm
Mavericks  
Bucks   7:30pm
Hawks  
Magic   7:30pm
Raptors  
Pistons   8:00pm
Bulls  
Jazz   8:00pm
Timberwolves  
Rockets   9:00pm
Nuggets  
Celtics   10:00pm
Clippers  
Teams Score Time
Colts   Thu 8:20pm
Texans  
Teams Score Time
Bruins 5 F
Devils 1
Wild 4 F
Sabres 1
Canadiens 2 F
Blue Jackets 5
Islanders 5 F/OT
Penguins 4
Flyers 2 F
Panthers 5
Senators 4 F
Red Wings 3
Lightning 1 F
Blues 3
Jets 2 F
Predators 1
Hurricanes 4 F
Blackhawks 2
Canucks 1 F
Stars 6
Avalanche 3 F
Flames 2
Maple Leafs 2 F
Golden Knights 4
Oilers 5 F
Sharks 2
Senators   7:30pm
Canadiens  
Capitals   8:00pm
Rangers  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT MIAMI
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 18 Kyle Busch 4
2 19 Martin Truex Jr 3
3 20 Erik Jones 16
4 4 Kevin Harvick 2
5 22 Joey Logano 5
6 14 Clint Bowyer 10
7 6 Ryan Newman 15
8 3 Austin Dillon 22
9 88 Alex Bowman 12
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT MIAMI
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 1
2 00 Cole Custer 2
3 98 Chase Briscoe 5
4 9 Noah Gragson 10
5 20 Christopher Bell 7
6 36 John Hunter Nemechek 6
7 22 Austin Cindric 3
8 19 Brandon Jones 4
9 8 Jeb Burton 18
FORD ECOBOOST 200
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 5
2 88 Matt Crafton 9
3 51 Christian Eckes 2
4 45 Ross Chastain 3
5 24 Brett Moffitt 4
6 13 Johnny Sauter 6
7 98 Grant Enfinger 7
8 4 Todd Gilliland 11
9 2 Sheldon Creed 12