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Quick Bites: Sharks hand Flyers ninth straight loss

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And Joe Thornton netted the game winner!

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks started out their four-game road trip on a high note, beating the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1. This was Philly’s ninth straight loss, dating back to November 9th, when they beat the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-1.

The Sharks started the game a little late, letting in an early one. Less than a minute after the puck dropped, Marc-Edouard Vlasic blocked a shot and couldn’t recover fast enough. It left enough of a lane open for a cross ice pass to Flyers Captain Claude Giroux, who easily put it in past Dell.

The goal seemed to wake the Sharks up, who started to tilt the ice in their favor. They got on the board about ten minutes later. Chris Tierney took the puck into the zone and looked as though he was going to make a pass. It was enough to fool Michael Neuvirth and tie up the game at one apiece.

Toward the end of the first period, the Flyers started a parade to the penalty box. Wayne Simmonds was forced to sit after getting called for a slash. Michael Raffl soon followed after he cleared the puck out of play. With more than a minute of 5-on-3 time, Joe Thornton capitalized, making it 2-1 Sharks.

The second period was filled with penalties on both sides, but amazingly neither team scored on the power play. The Sharks did manage to extend the lead late in the period. Vlasic’s shot from the point beat Neuvirth to give San Jose a 3-1 lead.

Aaron Dell was in net for the Sharks, subbing in for an injured Martin Jones. He was challenged late in the third period as Philadelphia made a final push. The Flyers pulled their goaltender with more than two minutes left in the period, but Dell and the Sharks defense stood tall and kept the Flyers off the board. A scoreless third period sealed the deal.

One worry for the Sharks, the status of forward Joonas Donskoi. He left in the second period. We’ll find out tomorrow how badly he’s hurt.

The Sharks play on Friday in Florida, facing off against a Panthers squad that shut out the Sharks two weeks ago.

Notes:

  • Joe Thornton had tonight’s game winning goal. He now has 1,406 all-time points, just three points short of Dale Hawerchuk (1,409) for 19th on the all-time list.
  • Thornton’s first period goal was the Sharks’ first 5-on-3 goal of the season.
  • Joe Pavelski is still looking for his 300th career goal. He has not scored in 11 games.
  • Logan Couture had two assists tonight and was a plus-1.
  • This was Melker Karlsson’s first game back after missing the last four due to an upper body injury. Karlsson had 11:20 of ice time, but did not get on the scoreboard.
  • Vlasic’s goal was his first ever in Philadelphia and the first in over a decade for Joe Thornton.
  • The Flyers are now on their longest losing streak since dropping ten games in 2008. The fans booed the team in orange off the ice and a chant of “Fire Hakstol” started in the third period.