Sharks’ offense goes silent again as Golden Knights sweep series

SAN JOSE — Marc-Andre Fleury and the Vegas Golden Knights weren’t going to allow the shorthanded San Jose Sharks to come back from another big deficit Saturday night.

The Sharks fell behind by three goals after two periods and couldn’t come up with the same kind of response as they had the night before, losing 4-0 to the Golden Knights at SAP Center.

The Sharks allowed two goals by Alex Tuch and one to both Mark Stone and Reilly Smith and were stymied by Fleury at the other end as they lost their season-worst third straight game.

Fleury finished with 24 saves to improve to 12-3-0, as the Sharks were shut out for the second time in three games. San Jose also lost 4-0 to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

Dubnyk, in his first start since Feb. 27, faced 28 shots in the first two periods. All four of the Golden Knights’ goals came at even strength, as the Sharks fell to 1-4-1 on their seven-game homestand that concludes Monday against the St. Louis Blues.

The Sharks erased deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 on Friday night against Vegas, rallying to tie the game with two third-period goals, including one by Kevin Labanc with 1:07 left in regulation time. The Golden Knights won the game 5-4, as Max Pacioretty scored at the 1:25 mark of overtime.

The Sharks were without forward Timo Meier, who was a late scratch Saturday night with what the team called a lower-body injury. Meier is considered day-to-day.

Noah Gregor took Meier’s spot in the lineup, and started Saturday’s game on a line with Patrick Marleau and Ryan Donato. The Sharks’ second line at the start of the game featured Dylan Gambrell with John Leonard and Rudolfs Balcers.

Meier had been playing some of his best hockey of the season of late. He is third on the Sharks with 15 points, with eight points in his last five games.

Meier was just the latest forward to become unavailable for the Sharks. Tomas Hertl and Marcus Sorensen are both in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol and rookie Joachim Blichfeld is serving the second game of a two-game suspension.

After Monday, the Sharks’ next games are March 12 and 13 in Anaheim against the Ducks. The Sharks could have Hertl and Sorensen back by that point, although their status remains unclear.

Saturday, the Sharks were outshot 7-1 in the first eight minutes of the first period. Dubnyk finished the period with 13 saves, but allowed a goal by Stone at the 15:02 mark.

Just moments after Joel Kellman’s breakaway shot was denied by Fleury, the Golden Knights created their own scoring chance.

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was caught up ice as he tried to knock a loose puck away from Max Pacioretty. Instead, Pacioretty chipped it up to Stone across the Sharks blue line. Stone fed it across to Chandler Stephenson, who passed it back as Stone beat a helpless Dubnyk for a 1-0 Vegas lead.

Stone scored his goals, both unassisted, at the 5:01 and 16:38 marks of the second period.

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