Remember how the Sharks couldn’t buy a goal yesterday? Well, they cashed in tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, winning 8-2 over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Sharks continued to do well on getting high-danger shots. They owned 72 percent of high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick. Three of their five even-strength goals came from close to the crease. Go to the net and good things happen. Keep doing good things.
Joe Pavelski and Evander Kane both scored twice, the power play worked and Kevin Labanc had a career-high four assists in a stadium named for a bank. This is good, this is fun to watch and write about.
We’ve gotta be realistic for a second, though. Most games aren’t going to be like this one. But they won’t be like yesterday, either. As long as the Sharks keep doing what they’re doing, they’re on the right track for a pretty good season.
It’s the Flyers’ home opener. Things are going to be very orange. But I’m wearing my Sharks hat tonight in North Central Philly, where I’ve seen a half-dozen Flyers jerseys so far.
The last time the Sharks saw the Flyers, they won 3-1 here in late November of 2017.
So far this season, Flyers have the upper hand in traditional statistics. Their 5-on-5 scoring rate is 2.00, while the Sharks have a 5-on-5 scoring ratio of 0.75. Philly’s penalty kill is working at 85.7 percent, and even their mediocre 14.3 percent power play is, as we know, more effective than the Sharks’ man advantage so far.
However, the Sharks lead in the basic enhanced stats. They’ve taken over 65 percent of all shots in their games. Okay, it’s a small sample size since we’re so early in the season. But that’s still a good number to see. Definitely better than the Flyers, who don’t even take 50 percent of shots.
Today’s game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sportsnet and the radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX and the NHL app. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 Eastern, but the Flyers will have pregame ceremonies for their home opener; expect puck drop at 4:15 or later Pacific time.
Check back before then for updates on the line combinations and tonight's scratches.
Sharks are going with the same lineup as yesterday, aside from Dell in the cage for Jones.
The Flyers still haven’t announced their lines, though they did announce their alternate captains for the season: Wayne Simmonds (constant), Andrew MacDonald (away games), and Sean Couturier (home games).
Flyers gave their starting lineup on Twitter.
That’s Lindblom-Patrick-Konecny; Provorov-Gostisbehere; Brian Elliott in goal
20:00: Everybody stop thinking about Gritty on a wrecking ball. I said stop!
16:43: Logan Couture goal! Sharks forced a turnover and caused a 2-on-1.
16:32: Joe Pavelski goal! I barely even saw it trying to make sure I had that first goal right.
Sharks now have two goals on three shots. Much better.
15:54: Claude Giroux off for cross-checking while under offensive pressure from the Sharks. NBC Sports reminds us the Sharks haven’t scored yet.
14:15: Brent Burns has made some good defensive plays with his body...on the Sharks power play.
13:27: Timo Meier flung the puck out and that’s a bad, power play Flyers.
is inches from a second goal. scores again! They had to go back and look at it, but it does cross the line.
5:13: Mikhail Vorobyev takes an offensive zone stick penalty. Sharks to the power play again!
3:18: The Sharks did the thing, y’all! Kane tipped it in front, the Sharks score on the power play and win the season. That’s how this works right?
END FIRST: Sharks 4, Flyers 0. This is good, guys! Unless you’re in Wells Fargo Center, where they’ve booed the Flyers off.
20:00: Don’t undo the first period.
18:30: Sharks get lucky; Flyers had a two-on-one but bobbled the backdoor pass with Dell sprawling to get in position.
15:55: Joonas Donskoi to the box for interference.
15:04: Shayne Gostisbehere power-play goal. Dell made the initial save but as he scrambled to get back to his feet, puck went back to the Flyers. Gostisbehere laid into the one-timer.
12:21: Robert Hagg for interference, Sharks power play again. Not to say one power-play goal isn’t good...but I wouldn’t be against another one.
9:45: Justin Braun to the box.
7:45: Penalty killed.
7:20: Radko Gudas to the box. Everybody gets some alone time!
5:14: Evander Kane wrists it in as Gudas comes out of the box. He had some great open ice and time to pick his spot.
END SECOND: Sharks 5, Flyers 1. Jakub Voracek nearly flung one in at the last moment, saved by the far post.
Gritty’s moving eyes make me uncomfortable.
19:29: Travis Konecny went down, resulting in a slash call to Brendan Dillon.
They just noted that the Sharks have 10 goals so far this season. That means half of them were tonight. That’s interesting to say the least.
16:41: Donskoi got hooked by Travis Sanheim. San Jose power play.
16:33: Tomas Hertl tips it down and collects his own rebound. Second power play goal!
15:47: Braun penalized again. Sharks should probably stop taking penalties.
11:08: Puck goes in behind Dell. No goal, though: a Flyer deflected it from about 5 and a half feet in the air.
7:10: Sharks are up to 40 shots on goal.
4:39: Meier pokes the puck into the offensive zone, catches enough speed to split the D, and gets a pretty goal on Elliott. Happy belated birthday, Timo!
3:00: Brenden Dillon did a hold. Bad Dillon.
1:59: Sharks score on the other guys’ power play! Nolan Patrick flubbed his backhand pass, Marcus Sorensen had the speed to get to it, and Barclay Goodrow finished it off.
1:31: Wayne Simmonds pointless power-play goal. Sharks are still gonna win this one.
FINAL: Sharks 8, Flyers 2