The Associated Press
JOSE, Calif. — William Karlsson and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights proved they can handle some adversity just as well as they can thrive as front-runners like they did most of their inaugural season.
The Golden Knights bounced back after allowing a late tying goal in regulation when Karlsson scored 8:17 into overtime to lead Vegas to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night and a 2-1 series lead.
“I think it’s good for the morale,” Karlsson said. “We showed great attitude. Again, they came back. It was tough, too, but we gave someone a chance to be an overtime hero.”
Karlsson was that hero — just as he has been so much this season. He scored 43 goals in the regular season and has added three more this series, but none was bigger than the wrist shot in transition that beat Martin Jones high to the stick side, sending the Golden Knights into a wild celebration around the player knows as Wild Bill.
It was an impressive bounce back from their first loss of the playoffs in double overtime at home in Game 2 and wouldn’t have been possible without Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 39 saves to hold off an early push by the Sharks and then robbed Logan Couture with a glove save in overtime.
“I was looking at the guy with puck. I just tried to follow the pass and get out there a bit and I had a little time to react on it,” Fleury said. “It was a good feeling.”
The Sharks rallied to tie the game and force a second straight overtime with two goals in the third period. Evander Kane scored just seconds after the end of a power play midway through the third to set the stage for Hertl.
Hertl drove to the net with a strong power move. With the Sharks swarming in front of Fleury, Hertl whacked at a loose puck and knocked it in for the equalizer with 1:57 to go, sending the towel-waving crowd into a frenzy.
“I believe our game’s there and I think everyone in here would tell you that,” captain Joe Pavelski said. “We got caught on the wrong end of it tonight. We had a big one the other night.”
Lightning 4, Bruins 2
TAMPA, Fla. — Brayden Point had an empty-net goal and three assists and Tampa Bay Lightning found a way to slow Boston’s high-scoring line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to beat the Bruins in Game 2 of their second-round playoff series.
The victory evened the best-of-seven matchup between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Game 3 is Wednesday night in Boston.
Point assisted on Tampa Bay’s first three goals before sealing the win with his empty-netter with 25.2 seconds left. Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning, which rebounded from a 6-2 loss in Game 1.
Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand combined for three goals and 11 points in the opener. They had four more points in Game 2, but were unable to take over the game.
Charlie McAvoy scored for the Bruins late in the first period. Torey Krug’s late goal trimmed Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-2 with just over four minutes remaining.