The Sharks (17-11-1) came into the second night of a back-to-back against the Senators (16-11-2) on the heels of a sloppy shootout win against the Maple Leafs last night. San Jose was able to bounce back with a much better display of hockey, winning 4-3 in another shootout tonight inside Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre.
After trading early interference penalties in the first the Sharks struck first against the Senators after giving up the first two goals in last week’s match-up. Joe Pavelski wristed a wide open shot passed Sens’ goalie, Mike Condon’s blocker thanks to a gorgeous set up by a no-look backhand pass from Logan Couture who was positioned right in front of the net. The goal was Pavelski’s 10th on the year.
The Senators answered right back with the help of an old nemesis in Bobby Ryan, who ended his 17 game scoring drought to tie the game at one. Ryan slid right to the front of the net and wristed a pass from behind the net right through Martin’s five-hole. The rest of the period was a sloppy back and forth between the two teams with the only real scoring chance coming on a two-on-one opportunity by Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc, but Thornton’s pass tied up Labanc who couldn’t get a solid shot off.
After a slow first half of the second the bearded wonder that is Brent Burns had, had enough of the tie score and took a pass from Brenden Dillon in the neutral zone all the way to crease and jammed it home in a brilliant display of power hockey to put the Sharks up 2-1. The goal put Brent Burns’ season total at 13 and moved him atop the NHL’s defender goal scoring list, furthering his case for the Norris Trophy.
The pesky Senators battled back though, after Mark Stone ripped a no-look pass through Jones’ crease to a waiting Kyle Turris who ripped a one-timer into the top of the net that Jones never had a chance to save. With the score tied at 2-2 the chippy-ness that ended the last matchup between the two clubs resumed and Kyle Turris earned an instigator penalty in a skirmish with Marc-Edouard Vlasic with about 20 seconds left in the second period.
The third period wasn’t short on physicality as the Sharks and the Sens traded hits the entire 20 minutes. The hits culminated at the mark when Mike Hoffman took things a little too far on a vicious retaliatory cross check to Logan Couture’s head. Couture was down on the ice for awhile with trainers attending to him and the play resulted in a five minute major and a game misconduct that ended Hoffman’s night. Couture was forced from the game and into the locker room to undergo the NHL’s concussion protocol. For a moment it looked like the Sharks would make Hoffman pay as Patrick Marleau notched a power play goal, but it was waived off due to a prior missed offside call.
After Ottawa killed Hoffman’s five minute major, the Senators’ wily veteran defensemen Dion Phaneuf buried a goal off a masterful Erik Karlsson dish as he was streaking behind the net. With the wind completly taken out of the Sharks’ sails after failing to score on a five minute power play, losing Logan Couture to injury, and surrendering a goal with just over three minutes left in play, the hockey gods responded by giving the Sharks a bounce that landed squarely in front of an attacking Chris Tierney who buried his shot in the back of the net to knot the game back up at 3-3 and sent the Sharks into overtime for the second consecutive night.
The OT period didn’t provide a winner so the Sharks and the Senators headed to the shootout. After not participating in a shootout all season going into last night’s game in Toronto the Sharks would play for the win via shootout for the second consecutive game. Martin Jones again displayed his shootout prowess stopping all four shots that he faced moving him to 7-for-7 on the season. The Sharks’ fourth shooter, rookie Kevin Labanc, didn’t miss on his attempt and snuck a shot passed Condon to give the Sharks the win and sweep of their back-to-back games.
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who sat out last night after being shaken up against Carolina on Saturday, returned to the lineup, but the Sharks then scratched Joonas Donskoi for unknown reasons. Michael Haley replaced Donskoi.
- Sharks bench boss Peter DeBoer opted to go with Martin Jones in net for the second night in a row rather than give Aaron Dell another start after his solid play in the Sharks 4-3 win against Carolina on Saturday.
- Brent Burns’ second period goal gave him the NHL lead for goals by a defensemen.
- Logan Couture didn’t return to the ice after leaving due to Mike Hoffman’s cross check.
Fear The Fin’s 3 Stars of the Game
- Martin Jones
- Kevin Labanc
- Joe Pavelski
The Sharks continue their road trip on Friday at 4:30 PST in a matchup with the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Canadiens.
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