It’s been a long couple of weeks for the San Jose Sharks. The team has played six games in nine nights and two back-to-backs within a week. Yet somehow, the Sharks have managed to win six straight games and prove themselves as one of NHL’s most durable teams. That feat was accomplished tonight as the Sharks (31-16-2) defeated the Jets (22-25-4) 4-3 on Tuesday night at MTS Centre.
Winnipeg took two penalties within the first few minutes and gifted San Jose with a 5-on-3 opportunity. The Sharks took advantage of it and grabbed the game’s first goal after Brent Burns fired home his 21st goal of the season.
Bryan Little would tie things up for the Jets just minutes later. Receiving an extended pass from Morrissey, Little got past Ward and slid it right through Dell’s pads. The Jets kept that momentum for the rest of the period, which allowed the Sharks to look a slow and sloppy to finish up the period.
Logan Couture put matters into his own hands to begin the second period. Mikkel Boedker’s pass found a wide open Logan Couture in front of the net, and Couture buried the puck past Pavelec. It was Couture’s second point on the night after assisting on the Burns goal.
The Sharks appeared to be heading into the second intermission with a 2-1 lead, but Winnipeg changed those plans in the final minutes. Andrew Copp blasted a bullet slapshot past Dell’s glove side. That set us up for an entertaining third period.
Although San Jose got loads of chances to begin the third period, they weren’t the ones to break the ice. Bryan Little scored his second goal of the night to give Winnipeg their first lead.
Melker Karlsson tied the game after a bizzare sequence of events. On a breakaway, he was “questionably” slashed by Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba. That led to a penalty shot where Karlsson wristed a goal past Pavelec’s glove. Aaron Dell managed to hold off several Winnipeg chances and keep the game tied.
That momentum led to one more goal for San Jose. After exploding for four goals in the third period last night, Patrick Marleau stayed hot and scored his 498th career goal to give the Sharks a very important 4-3 lead.
Controversy struck again in the dying seconds of the game. Dustin Byfuglien appeared to score in the final minute, but the goal was immediately waved off because the whistle had already been blown. After a review, this was made official, and San Jose hung on for its sixth straight victory.
- Jet’s rookie star Patrick Laine returned to action tonight after missing three weeks with a concussion. He had an assist on Bryan Little’s second goal.
- Burns is making his case for the Norris Trophy (and possibly the Hart Trophy) very clear. With his 21st goal of the season, Burns recorded his 50th point of the year, good enough for 4th place in the NHL.
- Aaron Dell once again proved his brilliance tonight. He made 31 saves in the win and came up big several times when his defense let him down.
Fear The Fin Three Stars
- Aaron Dell
- Patrick Marleau
- Bryan Little
After a lengthy stretch of games, the Sharks have one more game before the All-Star Break— Thursday against Edmonton.