Martin Jones returned to form and the Sharks got just enough offense to take the first game of their east coast road trip in Detroit. It wasn’t a pretty win by any stretch, but the Sharks have lost so many games in which they handily outshot their opponent in recent years that I don’t think anyone will mind.
All the problems that have plagued the Sharks of late surfaced early in the first period when a defensive breakdown gave Tomas Tatar plenty of time to get in on Martin Jones. Jones was unable to stop the shot, and just like that, the Sharks were once again down 1-0 less than five minutes into the game. They’d get a chance on the power play less than a minute later when Jonathan Ericsson tripped Nikolay Goldobin, but as has happened all too often this season, they couldn’t get anything going with the man advantage.
The Sharks got the goal back at 7:40 when Melker Karlsson tapped in a pass from Joe Thornton for his first goal of the season. Matt Tennyson set up Thornton, who took the puck into the Detroit zone but couldn’t get off a shot against Jimmy Howard. Thornton then took the puck behind the net and put it on the stick of Karlsson, who knocked it past Howard to tie the game at 1–1.
Karlsson ties the games for the Sharks pic.twitter.com/XuMcU6UJID— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 14, 2015
Matt Nieto gave the Sharks the lead just over ten minutes later when he lifted his own rebound over Howard’s blocker at 17:53. The goal was similar to the first one; Nieto tried to wrap the puck around the net and Howard was only able to stop the initial shot. It was Nieto’s third goal of the season but his first at even strength—he scored the first two shorthanded and into an empty net.
Nieto goal, 2-1 Sharks pic.twitter.com/UE0EnvN1Hu— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 14, 2015
The Sharks extended their lead to 3–1 halfway through the second when Joe Pavelski deflected a Paul Martin shot for his ninth goal of the season and 499th career point. The third goal of the game was a welcome one for the Sharks as it was only the sixth time they’ve scored as many in 13 games without Logan Couture, and it turned out to be vital when Teemu Pulkkinen got another puck past Jones with Howard pulled and 1:52 left.
Fortunately for the Sharks, that was as close as the score would get. They were outshot 27–14 and out-Corsi’d 53–27 on the night, but a win’s a win. They’ll gladly take it and get ready for tomorrow night’s game in Buffalo.
Sharks goals (assists): Melker Karlsson (Joe Thornton, Matt Tennyson), Matt Nieto (Brenden Dillon, Marc-Edouard Vlasic), Joe Pavelski (Paul Martin, Justin Braun)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Martin Jones
2) Joe Pavelski
3) Matt Nieto