The Sharks have kicked off their eastern road trip with a big win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, putting them back into second place in the Pacific Division (until the end of the Ducks game, anyway).
The Sharks got off to a slow start in the first period, not recording a shot for the first six minutes of the game. They were able to catch up to Tampa's eight shots by the end of the period, but not without giving up a goal.
The second period went better for San Jose. Joel Ward tied the game at one apiece with his fifteenth goal of the season:
Joe Pavelski gave the Sharks their first lead of the game shortly after with his twenty-sixth goal of the year:
Unfortunately San Jose couldn't escape the period without giving one up to Tampa. Goals were even at two at the end of the second period, and shots were pretty close at 21-18 in favour of the Lightning.
The Sharks played solid hockey all through the third period, but they were awarded early with a goal from Matt Nieto to put them ahead 3-2.
The Sharks killed off a Lightning power play midway through the period, and had two power plays of their own in the latter half of the third that certainly helped them hang on to the lead. No power play goals were scored in the game.
Melker Karlsson potted the insurance goal with less than two minutes left (off a beautiful pass from Joe Thornton) and it would be more than enough to secure a big two points for San Jose. After a slow start, the Sharks ended up leading Tampa in shots 31-27. The Atlantic Division leading Florida Panthers are next up for San Jose on Thursday night.
Fear The Fin's 3 Stars
1) Joel Ward
2) Joe Thornton
3) Martin Jones