LAS VEGAS — After allowing a goal 58 seconds into their previous playoff game Friday, it seemed unlikely the Sharks would get off to a worse start Sunday night.
But sure enough, they did.
Vegas wing Mark Stone scored 16 seconds into play, the first goal in his first regular-season or postseason hat trick, and the Golden Knights took it from there in a 6-3 win over San Jose in Game 3 of the teams’ Western Conference first-round series.
Vegas leads the series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Tuesday at T-Mobile Arena.
Stone, who has six goals in the series, also had two assists. On Sunday, Paul Stastny added two goals and three assists for Vegas in the latest high-scoring matchup with San Jose. Max Pacioretty had a goal and an assist, defenseman Shea Theodore had three assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves.
The Knights and Sharks scored 15 times while splitting the first two games in San Jose.
Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Tim Meier scored for San Jose, and Martin Jones stopped 34 shots.
Photo: David Becker / NHLI Via Getty Images
Image 1 5
Vegas grabbed the lead — for good, as it turned out — when Nate Schmidt went blue line to blue line with a perfect feed through traffic to Stone, who beat Jones with a backhand for the first goal. At 16 seconds into play, it was the fastest goal in the playoffs since San Jose’s Joe Pavelski scored 15 seconds into a first-round game in 2007.
Trailing 5-1, San Jose rallied in the third period. Couture got his second goal of the series when his pass intended for Pavelski was tipped in by Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb. Then Meier knocked in a rebound after Gustav Nyquist’s shot was stopped, making it 5-3 with a little more than 14 minutes remaining.
Stone got his third goal when he took a pass from Pacioretty, skated in alone and went forehand-backhand to beat Jones with a 6:03 left.
W.G. Ramirez is an Associated Press writer.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sharks/article/Sharks-find-early-goal-a-harbinger-in-playoff-13767439.php.