SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Ending an 11-game stretch without a goal was satisfying enough for Paul Stastny. Doing it with his Hall of Fame dad, Peter, in town for Vegas’ father’s road trip made it even sweeter.
Stastny opened the scoring, Shea Theodore got the tiebreaking goal with 11:55 remaining and the Golden Knights beat the struggling San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Sunday night for their ninth win in 13 games.
“He’ll be off my back for a couple of hours. That’s good. A happy flight,” Paul Stastny joked. “More than anything, he’ll just be happy that we won. That’s all he cares about.”
Jonathan Marchessault also scored and Malcolm Subban made 37 saves to keep the Golden Knights tied for first place in the Pacific Division with Arizona.
Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who lost for the ninth time in 10 games. Aaron Dell made 34 saves.
“Everyone’s got to take a look in the mirror and decide, what do you want to bring for the second half of the year right now?” Couture said. “What do you want to accomplish as a hockey player? … A lot of guys haven’t had good years.”
The Sharks weathered a storm early in the third period, icing the puck four times in a span of 48 seconds, before putting pressure on for the tying goal.
Brent Burns skated around the net on a power move and fed Couture on the other side for a one-timer and his 12th goal of the season.
Dell then made big stops on William Carrier and Brayden McNabb on one sequence to preserve the tie and earn a loud ovation from a fan base that has been waiting for top-notch goalie play all season.
“I feel like I’m playing well right now and I feel like the more opportunity I get, the more experience I’m getting,” Dell said. “I think I’m taking that experience and making the most of it.”
But the tie didn’t last much longer as Theodore beat Dell with a wrist shot from the circle to make it 2-1 moments later.
Vegas added an insurance goal late in the period when Reilly Smith beat Erik Karlsson on a rush and fed Marchessault in the slot.
“We wanted to finish the road trip on a good note, having the dads in town,” Theodore said. “I thought we played a good, solid game.”
The final regular-season meeting between the Pacific Division rivals got off to a tight, defensive start with only a handful of scoring chances in the first two periods.
Nicolas Hague had a shot for Vegas deflect off both posts and out in the first period. Hague, who also hit the crossbar, is still seeking his first career goal.
Dell robbed Mark Stone with a glove save on a power play just moments after Subban stopped Evander Kane on a 2-on-1 at the other end.
Joe Thornton then had two good chances in the second for his first goal of the season but was stopped twice by Subban.
“He’s been excellent,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “He played real strong tonight. Both goaltenders were excellent in the hockey game. A 3-1 game could have been 7-5. It was strong goaltending.”
The Golden Knights finally broke through late in the second when Alex Tuch found Stastny in the slot for his ninth of the season.
Vegas nearly added to that but Dell covered up a puck on the goal line as San Jose defenseman Brenden Dillon got into a scuffle with Ryan Reaves.
NOTES: Tuch got his 100th career point with his assist on Stastny’s goal. … Tomas Hertl assisted on Couture’s goal and has points in six straight games.
Golden Knights: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
Sharks: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.
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