After losing 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues over a week ago, the San Jose Sharks pitched a 4-0 shutout to go 3-1 on their current homestand.
In the first period, the Sharks were in control of the puck with a 66 percent corsi for, leading to 13 shots for and nine scoring chances, but Chad Johnson was able to keep them off the scoresheet. Aaron Dell was no slouch, either. Despite the Blues losing the possession battle, they were able to record eight shots and eight scoring chances, which Dell was able to deny.
Then in the second came the moment every Sharks fan has been waiting for since his arrival: Erik Karlsson tallied his first goal as a Shark on the power play. Karlsson wasn’t done there, picking up an assist after having a give-and-go with Evander Kane, who added the Sharks’ third unanswered goal of the night.
Finally, the Sharks were able to ice the game, with Joe Pavelski picking up his second goal to make it 4-0. Although they were down by four goals, the Blues still made a push offensively, but there was Dell to preserve the shutout.
Over a week ago, the San Jose Sharks put out a less than stellar performance against the St. Louis Blues to conclude their two-game road trip. Tonight, the Blues are in San Jose, as the Sharks continue their six-game homestand and are looking to give a better showing in front of the SAP Center crowd.
Newcomer Ryan O’Reilly leads the Blues in goals (10) and points (23) while Vladimir Tarasenko is right behind him with six goals and 16 points; however, the team as a whole is underachieving with a 7-7-3 record, which puts them in last place in the Central Division.
The Blues are a team who continuously chase the puck, sitting in the bottom ten of the league in Corsi for percentage. That's a weakness the Sharks can take advantage of this go around.
As for the Sharks, they’re looking to continue their strong performance, despite their loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They’ve also quietly moved up into first place in the Pacific Division, so although some may not like how they’re playing, the team is remains atop the division.
When it comes to the lines, there’s some shuffling going around with Tomas Hertl is out of the lineup. Timo Meier and Logan Couture will have Joe Pavelski join their line. Joe Thornton will anchor the second line, and the other significant change is Evander Kane moving down the lineup to play with the Finnish tandem of Jonas Donskoi and Antti Suomela.
On defense, Peter DeBoer is insistant on keeping Marc-Édouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson apart, so it’s another game with less than ideal defense pairs. The second pairing is one of consistency, as Joakim Ryan and Brent Burns remain together.
For the Blues, they’re going to rely on their tandem of O’Reilly and Tarasenko to continue to produce, while the team looks to end their road trip on a high note.
Per NHL.com, here are the projected lines for the Blues:
Jaden Schwartz -- Ryan O’Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko
Robby Fabbri -- Tyler Bozak -- Brayden Schenn
Zach Sanford -- Robert Thomas -- David Perron
Ivan Barbashev -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Sammy Blais
Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo
Vince Dunn -- Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson -- Jordan Schmaltz
In net, the Sharks are giving Aaron Dell a chance at redemption. His last start came against the Blues, so expect a motivated Dell in net tonight. Although it’s not official, the Blues will expect to counter with Chad Johnson, as they’re on the back end of a back-to-back, so it will probably be a battle of the backups.
Finally, here are some key head-to-head stats for both teams:
Where to Watch
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. PT / 10:30 p.m. ET at SAP Center and can be seen on NBC Sports California along with radio coverage on 98.5 KFOX. If you can’t do either of those, you can always join us here on Fear the Fin, where we’ll be live blogging as best we can. We can’t promise a good game, but we can promise good coverage.
Hey everyone! Eddie here and I’ll be with you on this Saturday night to liveblogging the Sharks and Blues, so lets get started.
20:00: And. Here. We. Go!
19:12: Not the ideal way to start a game as the Sharks get called for tripping
17:12: Sharks kill the Logan Couture penalty
15:32: Lebanc comes close to giving the Sharks the lead, but alas it was a no go
12:16: Joe Thornton fires the puck to the net with Lebanc waiting for a rebound but Chad Johnson is able to gobble it up
11:58: Timo Meier had Johnson beat but couldn’t put it in the back of the net!
9:00: Johnson again gobbles up the puck after Donskoi fires the puck
5:51: Dell is making some key saves, looks like both backups came to play
:37: Joe Pavelski sets up Meier whose shot goes wide
:21: Looks like the Sharks are heading to the power play on a penalty by David Perron
:03: Erik Karlsson comes close to getting his first goal as a Shark but Johnson says no
End of the First Period
No surprise, the Sharks controlled the puck with a 66% Corsi For Percentage in all situations which led to 14 shots for and 10 scoring chances. However, Chad Johnson has helped make some key saves in the first period particularly against Lebanc and Karlsson. Also, Timo Meier had two opportunities to give the Sharks the first goal of the game but wasn’t able to find the back of the net. All in all, good period but Johnson is making some good saves to deny the Sharks, hopefully this doesn’t continue into the second period.
19:08: Karlsson’s shot goes wide, he’s so unlucky!
18:20: Just as the power play was over the Blues take another penalty, this time for slashing
16:26: GOAL! Karlsson gets his first as a Shark!!!!
13:30: GOL!! a pin ball type of play and it’s Pavelski who puts it in the net! it’s 2-0 Sharks
12:15: GOAL! Karlsson and Kane with the give and go and Kane scores to make it 3-0!
12:15: As the Blues are in a timeout, it’s a perfect time to remind everyone that Erik freaking Karlsson is a San Jose Shark
2:57: Dell again making some quality saves, keeping the Blues off the score sheet
End of the Second Period
Well, that was a memorable second period! Erik Karlsson was involved in two of the Sharks three goals in the period including getting his first goal as a San Jose Shark. Despite scoring three goals in the first eight minutes of the period, the Blues were dominating possession of the puck with 54% CF during 5v5 play. Dell is making key saves and not getting too comfortable even though he has three-goal lead. Overall, solid period from the Sharks as they look to finish strong in the third period.
19:51: Sharks have a small miscue leading to a Tarasenko shot but Dell is there to stop him
16:37: Johnson fights off two shots from Vlasic, looks like the Sharks are trying to ice the game and put it out of reach
10:22: Dell makes yet another key save this time on David Perron, quietly having a solid night
8:01: GOAL! Pavelski makes it 4-0!
5:21: Dell makes a save on Tarasenko, think he wants to pitch a shutout here
:50: Dell is close to getting his shutout!
Final Score: Sharks 4, Blues 0