The San Jose Sharks moved back to .500 after defeating the New York Rangers 4-1 tonight. In front of a good performance by goaltender Martin Jones, the Sharks took advantage of an ailing Rangers squad that now drops to 2-7-2 and remains in last place in the Metropolitan division following this loss.
The Sharks struck first on a goal by Logan Couture with the extra attacker out for a delayed high sticking call against the Blueshirts. Mikkel Boedker provided a screen that allowed Couture's shot from the point to open the scoring less than two minutes into play.
Though Brent Burns has lacked his usual offensive production early in the season, he single-handedly prevented a goal by tying up Rangers winger Chris Kreider and prevented an easy tap-in of a puck lying unattended behind Martin Jones in the crease early in the first.
Tim Heed made it 2-0 at 12:45 of the first period, scoring his first NHL goal on a bad angle shot from below the faceoff circle that somehow found its way through fellow Swede, Henrik Lundquist.
With less than a minute remaining in the second, Joonas Donskoi widened the Sharks’ lead to 3-0. Joe Pavelski took advantage of a turnover in the defensive zone, throwing the puck up to Joe Thornton who loosed Donskoi on a partial breakway. Henrik Lundquist appeared shaken up after making contact with Donskoi on the play, but remained in the game.
Melker Karlsson increased the Sharks lead to four at 2:51 of the third. Logan Couture picked Lundquist's pocket behind the Rangers’ net and tossed it to the goal mouth, allowing Karlsson to score on the open net.
The Rangers finally showed signs of life, with Mika Zibanejad scoring and trimming the lead back to three just a minute and a half later. A fortunate bounce found its way onto Pavel Buchenivich's stick following Brent Burns failed attempt to clear the zone, Buchenivich moved it quickly to Zinanejad, who sneaked the only puck past Martin Jones all night.
The Rangers play again on Thursday night, drawing the similarly struggling Arizona Coyotes. The Sharks also have two days off before facing the Boston Bruins on Thursday. San Jose will then close out its road trip against the Buffalo Sabres with a matinee game on Saturday, before returning home to the Bay Area to face a resurgent Maple Leafs squad on October 30th.