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Quick Bite: Sharks edge Columbus

David Schlemko assisted two of San Jose’s goals, and Tomas Hertl scored twice as San Jose won its second straight.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

SAN JOSE — A power outage, a disallowed goal, and Sergei Bobrovsky’s 26 saves could not stop the Sharks tonight, as San Jose picked up its second straight win with a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Joonas Donskoi gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead on San Jose’s first power play. David Schlemko kept in a clearing attempt, and then rifled a cross-ice pass to Donskoi at the right faceoff dot. Bobrovsky got a piece of Donskoi’s shot at the dot, but couldn’t stop it entirely, and the Sharks took the lead with 8:01 left in the period.

Thanks to two first period penalty kills, Martin Jones saw a lot of rubber in the first period, but stopped all 13 shots that he faced, including a challenging deflection off of William Karlsson’s skate on the Blue Jackets’ second power play of the period.

San Jose had four strong chances to take the lead within the first ten minutes of the second period, but Bobrovsky stopped three of those chances, and got a little help from the post on the fourth. Bobrovsky closed the five hole on Joel Ward’s partial breakaway, shouldered away Patrick Marleau’s shot from the right dot, and then kicked away Brent Burns’ backdoor one-timer. About a minute-and-a-half after denying Burns, Schlemko set up Melker Karlsson in the slot, but he could only find iron, as Bobrovsky’s left post (and best friend) kept the puck out of the net.

Columbus would push for the game-tying goal soon after, as San Jose didn’t attempt a shot for nearly six minutes. During that time, a Sharks giveaway created a two-on-zero in San Jose’s end, but Hartnell pushed a tap-in just wide of the gaping net, as the home team breathed a sigh of relief.

Towards the end of the middle frame, things got weird. With 2:42 left in the second period, the lights dimmed to a darkness bright enough for pregame introductions, but not enough for actual play. Since the delay occurred within the last five minutes of the period, referees Brian Pochmara and Dean Morton sent the teams off to their respective locker rooms for intermission.

Following Rule 77.3 of the NHL rulebook, the teams played the remaining 2:42 of the second after the intermission, before the horn sounded and they switched sides for the start of the third period.

Exactly nine minutes after the second intermission, or 6:18 into the third period, Brenden Dillon’s one-timer from the blueline appeared to put the Sharks ahead 2-0. John Tortorella challenged the goal, and on replay, Chris Tierney’s skate hovered over the blueline by the thinnest of margins as Marleau carried the puck into the offensive zone.

Pochmara announced to a chorus of boos that the play was offside, and the goal was overturned.

With 7:55 to go in regulation, Tomas Hertl proved that the puck, like the ball, don’t lie. After Patrick Marleau drew a tripping penalty, Hertl doubled San Jose’s lead after he buried a rebound thanks to some quick reflexes.

Just over five minutes later, Scott Hartnell wouldn’t miss his second chance to score his sixth goal of the season. Brandon Saad fired a shot off of Martin Jones’ right pad, and Hartnell cashed in as he crashed the net looking for the rebound.

Blue Jackets head coach pulled Bobrovsky shortly after, and Marleau just missed two chances to clinch the game with an empty-net goal. Hertl, however, would clinch it with under a second to go, giving the Sharks a 3-1 win.

Notes

  • I can’t really remember any delays more strange than the one that halted the second period.
  • David Schlemko was a force tonight. The defenseman finally picked up his first two assists of the year after positively pushing play all season, and set up another dynamite chance for Karlsson. He’s fit in nicely alongside Brenden Dillon, as the third pairing’s much improved from a year ago.
  • In their second game together, the new-look third line was very good. Patrick Marleau had arguably his best game of the season. He picked up the primary assist on Dillon’s goal, drew a late penalty, Marleau’s struggled a bit so far, but demonstrated tonight that he is still capable of being an effective third line player at this stage of his career. Now, he needs to show that capability with regularity.
  • Since allowing three goals to Pittsburgh a week ago, Martin Jones has allowed four in his last three games. The Sharks’ starter is rounding into form.
  • They have a tough test on Saturday against the Nashville Predators in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Semifinal, but San Jose can finish off the homestand with a perfect 3-0 if they win.

Fear the Fin Three Stars

  1. Sergei Bobrovsky
  2. David Schlemko
  3. Tomas Hertl