Sharks fall to Golden Knights in belated home opener

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Peter DeBoer won his first game against the San Jose Sharks as coach of the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-1 at SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday.

The Sharks played their first home game this season after playing their previous 12 on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions in Santa Clara County, California, that included a ban on contact sports.

It was the Sharks’ first home game in 342 days, since March 8, 2020, a 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The NHL paused its season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus four days later, and San Jose was not among the 24 teams to compete in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in the NHL’s Return To Play plan.

DeBoer, who coached the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, was behind the bench for 361 games (198-129-34) in San Jose until he was fired on Dec. 11, 2019. He was hired by the Golden Knights on Jan. 15, 2020.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves in his third consecutive start, improving to 6-1-0 this season. Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson each scored on the power play for the Golden Knights (9-2-1), who got their fourth win in five games.

Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose (5-7-1), and Martin Jones made 23 saves.

Marchessault scored at 13:13 of the first period to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead, his third goal in five games.

Stone made it 2-0 at 9:56 of the second period with a backhand off a rebound.

Hertl cut it to 2-1 at 18:39 of the second period on a 2-on-1.

Stephenson made it 3-1 at 6:45 of the third period when the puck deflected off his skate.

The Golden Knights finished 3-for-5 on the power play.

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