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Quick Bite: Sharks dominate Devils

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San Jose controlled the game from start to finish, and ended a three game losing streak.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

SAN JOSE — The Sharks ended a three-game losing streak, and opened their five-game homestand with a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. Chris Tierney, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, and Brent Burns all scored, while Martin Jones stopped 26 shots in his second shutout of the season.

San Jose controlled play from the opening puck drop, and generated quality chances within the game’s first minute-and-a-half. 104 seconds in, the Sharks were shorthanded after Matt Nieto interfered with Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid. 15 seconds later, Chris Tierney picked the top corner on Kinkaid’s glove side, and gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 1:59 into the first period.

Patrick Marleau nearly doubled San Jose’s lead soon after, ass he wristed a shot into Kinkaid’s chest on a partial two-on-one. Less than five minutes after Tierney’s goal, Marleau’s persistence paid off. He batted his own rebound in out of mid-air past Kinkaid and into the net, and provided San Jose a 2-0 lead.

San Jose added a third goal with 9:27 remaining in the the second period. Joe Thornton attempted to pass to Joe Pavelski, but the puck bounced off of Devils defender Andy Greene’s skate directly to Logan Couture’s stick. Kinkaid could not react in time, and Couture wristed a shot into the gaping net to put the Sharks up 3-0.

Brent Burns scored San Jose’s fourth goal of the night 7:38 into the third period, with a helping hand from the Devils defense. Burns skated backwards across the slot to create a shooting lane, followed up his own rebound and pushed a shot wide. That is, until Kyle Quincey misplayed the puck into his own net. But, the goal counted the same as any other for Burns, and was his first in 11 days.

San Jose almost made it 5-0 in the game’s final minutes, but the 4-0 scoreline held, and the Sharks picked up their first win since beating Tampa Bay nine days ago.

Fear the Fin’s Three Stars

  1. Patrick Marleau
  2. Martin Jones
  3. Brent Burns

Notes

  • This was arguably San Jose’s best game of the season, as the Sharks controlled pretty much every aspect of the game.
  • Decent debut for Daniel O’Regan. He nearly set up Wingels with a hard cross-ice pass in the second period, but passed it into his skates. He mentioned this morning that he prides himself on his play in all three zones, and we got a small taste of that tonight as he demonstrated strong positional sense. With Hertl out indefinitely, O’Regan will get an extended look. So far, so good though.
  • I thought the top line was excellent tonight. New Jersey was missing some substantial firepower, but Marleau, Thornton, and Pavelski were the Sharks’ best line. There have been signs that father time has caught up to Marleau and Thornton, but perhaps playing together can stave off its effects.
  • Martin Jones had as quiet of a shutout as you’ll ever see. Without Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, and Mike Cammalleri, the Devils were unable to generate much offense. But, Jones made saves when called upon, and put in a nice bounce-back effort.
  • A pair of milestones tonight, as Patrick Marleau moved into 48th place on the NHL’s goal-scoring list with the 486th goal of his career and Joe Thornton picked up his 900th assist as a Shark and moved into a tie for 25th all-time in points. Thornton’s reaction to both accomplishments says it all.