With the recent improvement in the play of special teams and its offense, San Jose Sharks wanted to continue to build its confidence and success. This they did just fine tonight, as strong play by the offense and nearly perfect performance by the special teams propelled the Sharks past Tampa Bay Lightning in 7-2 win.
The game was pretty much over just 15 minutes into it.
Fresh off the plane from East Coast, Worcester Sharks callup Benn Ferriero found himself on the top line next to Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. It took Ferriero just 3:26 to open the scoring in the game, on a pass from Joe Thornton. Much like Wayne Gretzky would, Thornton was with the puck behind the net, waiting for that perfect moment when his line-mate was going to open. When Ferriero did, Thornton sent him the puck, and it was in the net just a moment later.
Less than a minute after, the Sharks went on a power play. Brent Burns shot the puck on goal, Garon came up with a save, but the rebound fell right to the stick of Joe Pavelski. Sharks' forward shot it into the net with his backhand. to score 14th goal of the season.
Shark attack didn't stop there. Andrew Desjardins got on the scoreboard next. Sharks forward was rewarded for a strong fore-check by him and Andrew Murray. Murray took over the puck in the Lightning zone, and passed it to Desjardins. Garon protected the corner of the goal, but left his 5-hole wide open, with Desjardins seeing the opening and firing the puck there. Garon's night of work was over just 6:21 into the game, as Lightning replaced him with the Sharks old pal Dwayne Roloson.
Roloson terrorized the Sharks for many years, but he did not have the best start to his game either. Sharks' Logan Couture scored two more goals in the first period to welcome Roloson into the game. After just 14:41 , the scoreboard showed 5-0 to the Sharks.
With the big lead, the Sharks could have relaxed and took the rest of the night off. But they chose not too, and it was only an improved play by Dwayne Roloson that have kept the Sharks in bay.
No goals were scored in the second period, but the Sharks continued to put the pressure on the Lightning and they out-shot them 19-15.
In the third period, the one-sided game continued. Sharks recorded 11 more shots against just 4 by the Lightning. Two more Sharks scored goals in the game. First it was Brent Burns with a cannon of a shot from the blue line, after Michael Hanzus won the faceoff. It was then Patrick Marleau with his 13th goal of the season. He was the last Shark to touch the puck before it went off into the net after some confusion by the Lightning players in front of Roloson.
Besides the offense, it was Sharks' special teams who had one of the best nights of the season so far. Sharks' PK went 5-for-5 in killing penalties, while power play scored twice on four attempts.
Final score showed 7-2 in favor of the Sharks, with 43-24 shot advantage. Six different Sharks scored goals, with total of 11 players recording at least a point in the game.
After struggling to score goals in the first half of December, the Sharks scored 18 goals in the last four games. The fact that San Jose Sharks never gave up playing hard after taking a quick 5-0 lead into the game is a sign of a hungry team. It's fair to say, the team battled for all 60 minutes.
With tough road schedule in January and February, this six game home stand is turning out to be a good time to build points for the Sharks. The team has three more games remaining at home before the next road trip, with LA Kings in town on Friday.