Photo: John Locher / Associated Press
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LAS VEGAS — The Sharks rallied late to give their fathers a memorable night just off the Las Vegas strip.
Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi scored third-period goals 39 seconds apart, Martin Jones made 36 saves on his birthday, and San Jose beat the Golden Knights 3-2 on Thursday night.
San Jose, which earned its 1,000th victory, won its fifth straight and ended the Golden Knights’ winning streak at seven games. The Sharks leapfrogged Vegas in the Pacific Division standings and are one point behind Calgary for the top spot.
It happened with the players’ dads traveling with the club. The fathers crashed the locker room after the game to serenade Jones with birthday wishes.
“Honestly, we’re just trying to focus on the game. It’s not something you’re really thinking about out there,” Jones said, downplaying his birthday, the dads’ trip and the team’s milestone win. “That’s the team that always seems to jump out, use the crowd to their advantage. They always come out to good starts. We just stuck with it; we didn’t panic. We just kept getting pucks out, getting pucks in. It was a good, gutsy road win.”
Brent Burns’ shot from the point rebounded perfectly to Karlsson, who found a wide open net to tie it 2-2. Donskoi then was credited with the winner when the puck bounced off him and past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for a 3-2 lead with 11:57 left.
“That was the game; they’re both dirty goals where you’re going to the net and there are bodies there and there’s lots of traffic,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said. “They’re not pretty goals and we knew that we were going to have to score that way on (Fleury, who has) always played well against us. We did what we had to do to get two big points.”
Tomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks, who absorbed a 6-0 loss in their previous trip to Las Vegas in November and got over a hurdle in beating a team that has given them fits since its inaugural season.
Vegas won the regular-season series 3-1 last season, then eliminated the Sharks in six games in the Western Conference semifinals.
“It’s a special one to be a part of,” Burns said. “It’s nice to do it in a building that’s been giving us some tough games and do it with the dads here. It’s just fun.”
Tomas Nosek and Jon Merril scored for Vegas, and Fleury made 24 saves.
“Everyone’s been in this position before,” Vegas forward Max Pacioretty said. “The important thing is to move on to the next one now.”
Since opening the season 9-12-1, the Golden Knights are 18-4-3 and hadn’t lost a game in regulation at home since a 4-1 loss to St. Louis on Nov. 16.
W.G. Ramirez is an Associated Press writer.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sharks/article/Sharks-rally-to-top-Golden-Knights-13525689.php.