Sharks look to keep series alive in Game 6 vs. Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights get a second chance at clinching their Western Conference quarterfinal with the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas. And if they needed any extra motivation, all they have to do is watch the video of Tomas Hertl's post-game conversation following San Jose's 5-2 home victory on Thursday night.
An excited Hertl, who had two goals in the win, was selected to do an interview following the three stars that was broadcast on NBC Sports California and also over the public address system for the fans in the SAP Center.
"We know we have one more game and then come back for Game 7, and I believe it, because we are a better team than them," Hertl said as the crowd roared.
But after practice on Friday, Hertl said he wasn't pulling a Broadway Joe Namath and guaranteeing a victory Sunday at T-Mobile Arena where San Jose was outscored, 11-3, while dropping Games 3 and 4.
"I said I believe in this team because I think we showed twice how good we can play," Hertl said of the Sharks, who still trail 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, to the San Jose Mercury News. "But I believe we can come back. For sure, not guarantee, but I guarantee that everybody will put everything in the game in Vegas and try and come back.
"We know it will be really hard, but we're ready for the challenge. We want to show that we can beat them there, too."
The return of defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who went down early in Game 2 with an upper-body injury after getting hit by a Shea Theodore shot that sidelined him for Games 3 and 4, helped the Sharks finally slow down the Golden Knights "second line" of Mark Stone, Paul Stastny and Max Pacioretty, who failed to garner a point and finished minus-2 for the night. That trio combined for 12 goals and 28 points in the first four games.
"I don't think it's an accident that you add a world-class defenseman back in your group and you defend better," said San Jose coach Peter DeBoer. "That's not coaching."
DeBoer is hoping a rare two-day break between games, caused because the Jordan Brand Classic high school all-star basketball game that was already booked for Saturday at T-Mobile Arena, will give his team extra time to heal and also prepare for what figures to be a very intense environment on Sunday.
"I think we're going to have to find another level in our game, obviously, to win Game 6 there, and that's what the two days have to be used for, too," DeBoer said.
Vegas is 4-1 in five playoff games against San Jose in Las Vegas with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury garnering shutouts in two of the victories, including a 28-save performance in a 5-0 win on Tuesday in Game 4.
"It's not over till it's over," Fleury said of trying to clinch the series. "We've got to keep battling for the next one. The earlier the better, obviously, but we've got a great opportunity going home in front of our fans to finish it off."
--Field Level Media
Updated April 21, 2019