The Sharks (29-16-2) barely won their fourth straight over the Colorado Avalanche (13-30-1) in a surprisingly close affair in San Jose. In Spencer Martin’s NHL debut, the Avs hung on through regulation, just to give up the overtime winner to David Schlemko, continuing what has been a disastrous season thus far, coming in last in the NHL with 28 points, 6 behind the Arizona Coyotes. In fact, Colorado came into Saturday’s action last in the NHL in goals (87), goals per game (2.02), and goals allowed per game (3.35), and are now 2-14-1 in their last 17.
A trend continued Saturday night, as the Sharks won their 15th of their last 16 games against Colorado at the Tank, outscoring the Avs 57-28 in that span.
Joel Ward put the Sharks on the board early, cashing in on a Joe Thornton power play pass for his fifth of the season, second of the week, at 5:36 of the first. Colorado’s penalty kill was 24th in the NHL coming into this game, but that did not prepare me for how helpless they looked shorthanded. The Sharks put on a few sloppy passing drills with very little resistance before Jumbo’s magic pass found a wide open Joel Ward to Martin’s left. Joe’s 991st career assist, start the countdown.
The Sharks were outshot 13-9 in the first, as the Sharks maybe played down to their competition a bit. Colorado stayed with the Sharks through the second, and Mikhael Grigorenko made good on their efforts at 10:30 of the second. Nathan MacKinnon took advantage of a miscommunication on the back check, stickhandled past a diving Paul Martin, and threaded a cross-crease pass to Grigorenko for his fifth of the season. It was MacKinnon’s seventh point in his last six games.
MacK with the move. Grigo with the finish. pic.twitter.com/N2AdqG0RgH— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 22, 2017
The stalemate wouldn’t last, as Melker Karlsson tipped a Ryan Carpenter shot home at 15:01. Cody Goloubef makes a misplay in the corner, and a fortunate bounce off the boards found Carpenter at the faceoff dot. He snapped it toward the net, and the puck deflected off of Karlsson’s stick and in for his fifth of the season. That makes Carpenter’s second point in as many games, and 15 points in the last eight games for the Sharks’ revolving fourth line cast.
Francois Beauchemin scored his second of the year at 10:24 of the third to tie the game up at two. Beauchemin loves playing against the Sharks, and scored his 11th goal against San Jose, with a blistering short side slap shot from the face off circle from an unfortunate bounce off of Marc Edouard Vlasic’s stick past Jones and in.
The two teams locked down the rest of the third to ensure the loser point, and the Sharks put it away early in OT off of a Logan Couture rebound straight to David Schlemko and in. The Sharks took advantage of an ill advised change in the Colorado end of the ice, and snuck away with two points that they just barely earned.
- Ryan Carpenter is a great addition to that fourth line, he fits right in and looks pretty consistently dangerous
- The Sharks spent maybe too much time looking at the standings today, they looked tired and sloppy especially in the neutral zone.
- Nathan MacKinnon is insane. At this point he’s got to be auditioning for trade deadline scouts, right? He must know the season has been over for weeks.
- Brent Burns did not score a goal tonight. What a bum.
FTF Three Stars
- Ryan Carpenter
- David Schlemko
- Nathan MacKinnon