SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Nic Hague and Nicolas Roy scored in the final 2 minutes of the second period and the Vegas Golden Knights spoiled San Jose’s season opener by beating the Sharks 4-1 on Thursday night.
The teams were locked in a tight game before Vegas broke it open with the goals from Hague and Roy 53 seconds apart.
Michael Amadio also scored and Brayden Pachal added his first career goal to help the defending champions win their second straight to open the season. Logan Thompson made 22 saves.
Filip Zadina scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who lost their fifth opener in the last seven seasons. Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves in his first career season-opening start.
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The Sharks, who missed the playoffs for a fourth straight year last season for the first time in franchise history, opened the season in front of a rare sellout crowd.
There was good energy in the building early even if the intensity from this rivalry has died down while the Sharks have struggled and the Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup last season. There was even an early fight with Keegan Kolesar taking on Kyle Burroughs after the San Jose defenseman delivered a hard hit to Amadio.
The teams traded goals in the first period with Vegas getting the goal from Amadio seconds after killing off their second penalty of the period and Zadina answering for San Jose late.
Vegas defenseman Alex Pietrangelo left the game late in the third period after he was hit in the side of the head by a shot from Hague that deflected off a defenseman’s stick. He started bleeding immediately and the trainer rushed onto the ice with a towel as Pietrangelo hurried to the dressing room.
The ice crew then came out to clean the blood from the ice.
Both teams were missing key forwards. San Jose captain Logan Couture is still sidelined by a lower-body injury and Vegas’ Brett Howden is serving a suspension.
Couture got hurt over the summer and resumed skating last week but had a setback and is now considered week to week.
Howden got suspended two games for an “illegal check to the head” of Seattle forward Brandon Tanev in the season opener on Tuesday.
Vegas was also without forward William Carrier, who left the opener with an upper-body injury, and injured defensemen Alec Martinez and Zach Whitecloud.
Golden Knights: Host Anaheim on Saturday night.
Sharks: Host Colorado on Saturday night.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl