Expansion Knights sink Sharks to reach Conference finals
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots for his fourth shutout of the postseason as the expansion Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the Western Conference final with a 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. It is another stunning development in the evolution of the NHL’s newest franchise as the Golden Knights are off to the league semi-finals after eliminating the more experienced and playoff battle-tested Sharks in six games. “I got lucky a few times. They missed the net, they hit the post,” said Fleury, who won three Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. “I am a little bit tired. They made it tough for me. I am happy and proud of the way our guys played tonight.” The Golden Knights started the year as a team of rag-tag castoffs but quickly jelled into the hardest working team in the league that allowed them to get into playoff mode by mid-season. Jonathan Marchessault, Nate Schmidt and Cody Eakin scored goals for Vegas, who became the third team in NHL history to win multiple playoff series in its inaugural season, joining the Toronto Arenas (1918) and St. Louis Blues (1968). The Arenas won the Stanley Cup in the first post-season in league history and St. Louis won two rounds to win the all-expansion West Division 50 years ago. Marchessault opened the scoring, Schmidt added an insurance goal that was only detectable by video replay and Eakin scored into an empty net. Fleury recorded shutouts in games one and six against the Sharks.