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Sharks 4, Canucks 1: San Jose ate well tonight

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With the standings race as tight as ever, the Sharks came up big.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Before tonight, the Sharks were going through a rough patch with their home games, losing four in a row, the latest loss to the Arizona Coyotes of all teams. To win tonight was imperative for not only stopping the skid, but for staying solidly in second place in the Pacific Division—not tied with the Calgary Flames. With the recent injuries to the Sharks roster and a move of Brent Burns from defense to forward, the Sharks got to work in search of a win.

Immediately off the first faceoff, the Vancouver Canucks opened shooting, playing aggressively, but their fire soon went out, only notching three shots on goal in the first half of the first period. At 3:54 of the first, the Canucks took a penalty for having too many men on the ice, and while the Sharks didn’t score on the power play, it was clear that San Jose was dominating play throughout the period. Mikkel Boedker opened scoring at 8:41 of the first after a sneaky pass from Chris Tierney.

And how fitting that the You Can Play ambassador notched an assist on the Sharks’ Hockey is for Everyone Night? Why, I think the only thing that would have been better would be, perhaps, a goal from Tierney? But I’m getting ahead of myself!

At 16:25 of the first period, the Canucks took another penalty; Alexander Edler went off for hooking Chris Tierney, but the rest of the period played out in a fairly ho-hum fashion. Shots on goal totals were almost even: 9 for the Canucks, 10 for the Sharks.

The hungry, hungry Sharks started the second period explosively with a near-goal from Timo Meier that never quite crossed the goal line. Look how close!

For a few shots afterwards, Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson was playing noticeably more aggressively, like the fire from the beginning of first period was back for the Canucks. Off a faceoff at around the five-minute mark, Brent Burns did his thing and slapped the puck right into the back of the net... from a defensive position? Why was he back at the blueline? Dylan DeMelo went off for a bit after taking a tumble forehead first into the stanchion and getting a little bloody, Pete DeBoer needed to fill a defense position for a moment, Burnzie was already out there playing every position under the sun, he went back to defense, and things just worked out as they do sometimes. The score was 2-0, Sharks.

For the next entire fifteen minutes or so, no one so much as breathed wrong, and there wasn’t a single penalty all through the second period. San Jose Sharks, the kings of discipline? I think so. Notable, however, is that the Canucks shot a bunch this period, 22 shots on goal to the Sharks’ 11, and Martin Jones was out there stopping everything. He looked to be in a position to shut out the Canucks.

Early in the third period, Marcus Sorensen notched a third goal for the Sharks, proving he’s certainly feeling better after missing a bit thanks to an injury earned with the San Jose Barracuda.

Around 6:43 of the third, roughly three minutes after Sorenson’s goal, Daniel Sedin dashed Martin Jones’ hopes of a shutout and tallied the first and only goal for the Canucks all night.

Though the hopes of a shutout were gone, all was not lost! The Sharks were still winning, after all, and Chris Tierney answered my hopes specifically and got a goal on Hockey is for Everyone Night. The score was 4-1, and the game would end that way.

Only two more penalties were taken in the third period: Michael Del Zotto slashed Joonas Donskoi’s stick, and Barclay Goodrow tripped Bo Horvat. The shots on goal totals at the end of the game were a monstrous 44 for the Canucks, and 30 for the Sharks. Jones was, rightfully, the first star of the game tonight as his goaltending really pulled through for the teal guys.

Notes

  • The Sharks’ home losing streak was snapped tonight. The last game they won at home was on January 20, 2018 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The score was 2-1.
  • Brent Burns hadn’t started as a forward since 2014.
  • Though he came close to getting one tonight, Martin Jones’ last shutout was on December 23rd, 2017 against the Los Angeles Kings. The final score was 2-0. He has three shutouts on the year so far, one more than the amount of shutouts he had last season, and tying his shutout total for the 2014-2015 season.
  • The Sharks didn’t take a single penalty until 18:40 of the third period (Barclay Goodrow’s trip against Bo Horvat).
  • Martin Jones had a career high in 43 saves for a regulation game tonight.
  • Brent Burns’ notched his 40th assist of the season on the Chris Tierney goal.
  • Vancouver goalie Anders Nilsson hasn’t won a game since November 30, 2017.