It only took 4 games into the 2016-17 season for Aaron Dell to make his first career NHL start. He made the most of it, helping his Sharks (3-1-0) defeat the New York Islanders (1-3-0) at the Barclays Center Tuesday night.
The Sharks 4th line got the scoring going early in the first period, as Tommy Wingels picked up the puck behind the net and fed a great pass to Melker Karlsson in front, who put it in the net. Each player on that 4th line (Karlsson, Wingels, Haley) got their first point of the season. The Sharks continued to control play at both ends of the ice, holding the Islanders to 0 shots in the final 12 minutes of the period. They entered the break with a 1-0 lead.
The Sharks continued their offensive firepower early in the second, but the Islanders eventually found their way back in the game. They got on the board halfway through the second period after Anthony Beauviller’s shot trickled past Aaron Dell. It was his first career NHL goal. Minutes later, Anders Lee received a perfect pass from Jason Chimera, putting the shot in the top right corner. That gave the Islanders their first lead of the night. Late in the second, Joe Thornton threw the puck at Tomas Hertl in front of the net, as it bounced off his body and evened the game at 2.
After being outplayed in the second period, the Sharks found themselves deadlocked with the Islanders for most of the third period. Each team had several chances before a game changer late in the 3rd. Working in the offensive zone, The Sharks finally broke through when Joe Thornton’s shot was re-directed by Joe Pavelski for his second goal of the season. That gave them a 3-2 lead with 2:11 left. The Sharks managed to kill off a delay of game penalty in the final seconds and hold on for the 3-2 win.
- It was good to see the 4th line score that first goal. So far this season, the Sharks’ top two offensive lines have been carrying the team, so the step up from the latter lines was much needed.
- Aaron Dell looked just fine in goal. He had a quiet first period, but then allowed two goals in the second. He also played great down the stretch in the third, preserving the Sharks’ 3-2 lead. His positioning and rebound control looked great throughout the night.
- Both Joe Thornton and Brent Burns picked up 2 assists tonight.
Fear The Fin Three Stars
- Brent Burns
- Joe Pavelski
- Aaron Dell
The Sharks have a day off before a Stanley Cup Final rematch on Thursday against the Penguins.