Sharks bite back, blank Golden Knights to even series



The Sharks took their first-ever two-goal lead against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first period.

They eventually took their first three-goal lead, and four-goal lead en route to a 4-0 win in Game 4 of the second round on Wednesday. The series is tied 2-2, and will thus return to San Jose for a Game 6 on Sunday.

Marcus Sorensen and Joonas Donskoi each scored in the final four-and-a-half minutes of the first period, while leading goal-scorer Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski added insurance in the second and third, respectively. Martin Jones stopped all 34 shots he faced, and rookie defenseman Joakim Ryan played 11:55 in his playoff debut

The Golden Knights had four power-play opportunities after Hertl scored five-and-a-half minutes into the second, but managed only five shots on goal. Jones stopped each one to preserve his third shutout of the playoffs.

Things got chippy late. Nate Schmidt high-sticked Timo Meier with about three minutes to go, but wasn't penalized. William Carrier and Evander Kane sat for the last 1:52 after a scrum. Carrier picked up an additional minor, and Brayden McNabb sat with him for delay of game 56 seconds later.

San Jose relied on Jones early and often. The Sharks were held without a shot on goal for 4:17, and Jones stopped five from the Golden Knights in that span.

Sorensen scored on San Jose's very next shot, and thanks in part to Jones' penalty killing in the third, the Sharks wouldn't look back.

Donskoi (lower-body) returned to his spot on the top line, but all eyes were on another first-line forward during warmups. Joe Thornton (sprained right MCL), who told reporters Wednesday morning that he would not play in Game 4, did not participate in line rushes before the game after skating on the top line at the morning skate.

The series shifts back to Sin City for Game 5 on Friday, as the Sharks aim to take their first lead of the series.

Our coverage begins with Sharks Playoff Central at 6:30 p.m. on NBC Sports California Plus. Puck drops on NBCSN at 7, followed by a postgame edition of Sharks Playoff Central on NBC Sports California Plus after the final horn.

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