The Sharks improved their record to 12-8-1 in a thrilling 3-2 win over the New York Islanders (6-10-4) at home on Friday, continuing their strange three game streak streak.
The Sharks improved their home record to 7-2, and dropped the Isles road record to 1-6-1 on the season, lending some credence to the power of the Barclays Center’s Lucky SUV. In a rare appearance by Aaron Dell, credited perhaps to his solid performance against these very Islanders earlier this season (a .913 win on October 18), the Sharks exposed a few of the many weaknesses of this year’s thin Islanders squad. A bit rattled by the injury bug, missing Tomas Hertl and Melker Karlsson, the Sharks fought through, and earned two important points.
The Islanders came into this contest after two exciting games in southern California, including a 14 round shootout in Anaheim, but their California adventure ended in disappointment, as former Shark Thomas Greiss struggled in the Islanders’ net early and often.
The Sharks looked dull early, struggling to shake off the hedonistic excess of yesterday’s holiday in the beginning of this game, and they were forced short-handed by a slashing penalty to Brendan Dillon. The Islanders’ power play wasted little time, as a point shot from Josh Bailey deflected off of a quick stick by a red hot Anders Lee in front of the net past a Frozen (sorry) Aaron Dell’s five-hole to make it 1-0 Islanders at 3:59 of the first.
Later in the first, Joe Thornton was awarded a penalty shot on a soft hooking call, but he tried to pass it anyway and just missed the net. The Sharks controlled play for the most part throughout the first, outshooting the Isles 11-5, but trailing on the scoreboard 1-0.
The second period started in much the same way as the first ended, with the Sharks continuing to dominate the Islanders, until Joe Pavelski made it 1-1 at 5:09 of the second. Thomas Greiss bit a little too hard on a Chris Tierney fake, and the cobra continued his point streak as he fed the puck back to his captain, who lagged his break out into an open passing lane at the left faceoff circle, placing a perfect wrister past Greiss’ short side.
Brent Burns launched an 8 million dollar slapper from the red line 32 seconds later to make it 2-1, as bouncing the puck off of Calvin DeHaan’s stick was enough to fool an unfortunate Greiss into letting the go ahead goal past him at 5:43 of the second period.
Luckily for our Sharks, John Tavares missed a wide open net with Dell miles out of position later in the period, and the tie held through the end of the period, San Jose outshooting New York (Long Island? Brooklyn?) 18-15 through two.
Dell stood tall through an action-packed third period, making stops on a few great chances by Tavares et al.
Nick Leddy ensured the Islanders would not go quietly into the night however, converting a slick John Tavares pass from the office at 19:02 with Greiss pulled for the extra attacker to tie the game at two.
Fortunately, Patrick Marleau hates 3-on-3 overtime, and he tipped home a beautiful Brent Burns pass with 22.5 seconds left in the third period, seconds after New York’s tying goal, to seal the win. What a dagger this one was, and the Islanders are headed to Calgary empty-handed.
Boom Baby! Patty Marleau!#SJSharks pic.twitter.com/chd3myJqhm— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 25, 2016
- David Schlemko was spectacular today, and his signing is starting to look a lot less like Vegas bait.
- Kevin Labanc played 11:45, like a real NHLer, and did not look at all out of place, I think his play without the puck is really improving.
- What’s the over/under on Jack Capuano’s remaining tenure on the Island? Is it in days? Hours?
- Tommy Wingels only played 3:10, leaving the bench partway through the second. His absence probably doesn’t affect the team much, but it does leave a hole in my heart.
- Can we requisition a rescue mission to get John Tavares out of this wasteland? He signed an absurdly team friendly contract at an AAV of 5.5 million in 2012, and has spent his prime years dragging this team to mediocrity despite their management’s ineptitude ever since.
Fear the Fin 3 Stars
- Brent Burns
- Patrick Marleau
- Aaron Dell