Golden Knights defeat Sharks, become first to clinch playoff berth

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LAS VEGAS — The Vegas Golden Knights became the first team this season to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth with a 5-2 win against the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday.

Vegas (33-11-2) got the one point it needed to assure its place as one of the four qualifying teams from the Honda West Division.

Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and two assists, and Mark Stone scored to extend his point streak to six games for the Golden Knights, who tied their record with their eighth consecutive win. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves.

Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl scored, and Josef Korenar made 35 saves for the Sharks (18-23-5), who lost their seventh in a row (0-6-1).

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau had an assist in his 900th consecutive NHL game. Marleau, who played his 1,768th game here Monday to pass Gordie Howe for the most all-time, joined Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (913) as the only active players to play 900 in a row.

Meier scored on a deflection in the crease at 2:38 of the first period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

Marchessault tied it 1-1 at 6:51, ending a six-game goal drought.

Hertl gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 11:07 of the second period.

Stone tied it 2-2 on the power play at 12:52. Max Pacioretty had an assist for his 600th NHL point, becoming the 10th active United States-born player to reach that mark.

Alex Tuch scored at 19:10 to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead.

Marchessault scored his second at 13:18 of the third to make it 4-2, and Mattias Janmark scored into an empty net at 19:04 for the 5-2 final.

Vegas has made the playoffs in every season since entering the NHL in 2017, including an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final during their inaugural season.

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