A pair of goals by Brent Burns helped snap a four-game skid as the Sharks came from behind to top the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. San Jose fell behind early despite leading heavily on the shot clock, but Burns scored back-to-back goals in the second period to give the Sharks a lead they did not surrender.
San Jose scored (34-18-5) three of its goals at even strength (its fourth, scored by Tomas Hertl, came with New Jersey’s net empty) on a very poor day for the power play. The Sharks got a nearly two-minute 5-on-3 look that generated shots but not much in the way of great chances. San Jose went 0-for-6 on the power play.
The Devils got their only goal of the game following that long 5-on-3. Blown coverage by just about everyone on the ice led to PA Parenteau’s 13th tally of the season. Brenden Dillon was checked off the puck behind the San Jose net and Micheal Haley didn’t pick up Taylor Hall in front of the net when Chris Tierney went back to support Dillon. David Schlemko didn’t provide good enough coverage on Parenteau who received Hall’s pass. Hall, the former Oiler, sits at 23 assists and 36 points in 45 games with the low-scoring Devils.
While nothing worked for the Sharks on the power play in terms of scoring, they got everything they needed at even strength. Both of Burns’ goals were of the spectacular variety and involved kissed iron and a frustrated Corey Schneider in net. He now has 24 tallies on the season, just six behind league-leader Sidney Crosby.
Joe Thornton got in on the action as well, scoring his fifth goal of the season and his second on a manned net. This led to Schneider’s most visibly frustrated reaction of the day, understandably. Being scored on by Thornton must be absolutely soul-crushing.
The Devils put on a bit of a push to start the third period, but Martin Jones kept them off the scoresheet and San Jose recovered. Once the Sharks survived the first chunk of pressure from New Jersey, it was all about seeing out the string. From here, San Jose heads home to face the Florida Panthers for the final time this season on Wednesday on NBC Sports at 7:30 p.m.
The Sharks have 73 points in 57 games. Not too shabby, friends. They managed to get through a four-game road trip that included Buffalo, a back-to-back with two morning games and a game against a heavily motivated (and underrated) Boston team with four points under their belt. It could have been more, but it could have been worse. Let’s move on.