The Boston Bruins won their second game in a row for the first time this season at SAP Center, where they took down the San Jose Sharks, 3-1. With a substantial Injured Reserve, the healthy bigwigs on the Bruins stayed quiet tonight, getting some unfamiliar names on the score sheet, while the Sharks were looking for anybody at al to get them some goals.
At first glance, it seemed as though the Sharks had learned a lesson from their loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. They came out of the gate swinging and it didn’t take long for that to pay off. Just over a minute into the first, Joe Pavelski made a move for his 300th NHL goal, but Joonas Donskoi appeared to get a piece of it with definitely-not-his-stick. For the third straight time, there was a challenge, initially for goaltender interference and upon review, the judgement was made that Donskoi gloved the puck in.
Uh? Where exactly?
The Sharks still opened scoring, with excellent work from recent AHL call-up, Daniel O’Regan, who set up Timo Meier and brought some of that Barracuda chemistry back to life. Timo got a much-needed second goal of the season — his first in over a month — and O’Regan earned his first NHL assist.
It didn’t last long. The Bruins answered back, with a goal from Peter Cehlarik that somehow wasn’t goaltender interference because Jake DeBrusk was pushed into the net by Joakim Ryan. Allegedly.
Unique angle these refs use to review nowadays. pic.twitter.com/ZafWYjzAmz— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 19, 2017
Just as a tripping penalty on Riley Nash expired, Jake DeBrusk went back at it, getting past Brent Burns and going in five-hole past Aaron Dell. Despite being down by one goal, the Sharks dominated the period, out-shooting the Bruins 17-5.
As high as the Sharks’ compete level was in the first period, it dropped off in the second, but luckily it seemed to for the Bruins, as well. Only eight shots for the Sharks and nine for the Bruins in a scoreless period made for a bit of a bore.
By the start of the third period only three Sharks didn’t have a shot on goal: Joel Ward, Brenden Dillon, and Aaron Dell (shocking, I know). Scoring depth has been a concern for the Sharks this season and there was a concentrated effort to get chances all through the line up. O’Regan moved up to center the third line, maybe as an attempt to bolster Mikkel Boedker, who had a couple of shots on goal earlier in the game.
Though the Sharks doubled up on the Bruins for shots in the third, they couldn’t crack back-up netminder, Anton Khudoin, even with a brief 4-on-3 power play opportunity opening up the ice. Bruins Rookie Danton Heinen netted his fourth goal of the season (the first of which came against San Jose earlier this season) halfway through the period. Down by two, the Sharks were given a late power play chance after Khudobin tripped Logan Couture, but even pulling Aaron Dell for a 6-on-4 power play was fruitless.
The Sharks lost their second in a row on home ice, handing Boston both wins in this regular season series.
- O’Regan looked far more NHL capable tonight than in any of his showings last year. His addition to the power play was exciting and hopefully that sparks something soon, because the power plays needs anything at this point.
- Meier and O’Regan seem to benefit each other. Splitting them up in the third certainly was a choice that was made.
- The Sharks played responsibly tonight and that’s the main thing I’m impressed with. They only took one penalty while drawing three. Even with a good penalty kill, they have issues to address at 5-on-5 and that’s difficult to do if you’re always a man short.
- Joakim Ryan had a neat little defensive play that went under the radar.
- Jannik Hansen wasn’t terrible in this game or anything, but a choice was still made to put him in over Kevin Labanc and I’m still not sure I agree with it.
- They seem to be addressing the lack of offense, with contributions through out the line up. Tonight really felt unlucky more than anything. Still, if you have to rank them, the top six (plus Burns) not producing is a bigger concern than scoring depth. Something’s gotta give.