That period wasn’t the first, where the score remained empty despite the Sharks’ 12 shots on goal and eight from the Blues. Early in the period, the Sharks took a bench minor for too many men that they successfully killed against the Blues’ weak power play (16.3 percent, 28th in the league).
The Blues took a penalty of their own. Scottie Upshall sat for hooking, giving the Sharks a man advantage heading into the third period.
While the Sharks didn’t convert on the power play opportunity, they did open scoring. Six and a half minutes into the second, just after a penalty for holding on the Blues’ Jaden Schwartz expired, Logan Couture netted his 24th of the season. While putting the puck on the backhand and shifting to the forehand after receiving a pass from Mikkel Boedker, Carter Hutton thought Couture was shooting his shot and dove. With a wide open net, Couture lifted the puck over Hutton.
The lead would only last two minutes. Rookie Ivan Barbashev tied the game at one for the Blues.
Luckily, the Sharks never had to play from behind. Joonas Donskoi gave the harks the lead back just over the 12 minute mark of the period.
A few minutes later, Mikkel Boedker was on the score sheet again, this time in the goal column off a Chris Tierney rebound.
With thirty seconds to go in the period and a two goal lead, a questionable tripping call was made on Brent Burns. Vladimir Tarasenko was able to pounce on the power play opportunity, cutting the Sharks’ lead down to a less comfortable one-goal going into the third.
The Blues gave it their all in the final frame, putting up 12 shots on goal to the Sharks’ five, but neither team found the back of the net. Martin Jones guarded the crease like his life was on the line, with an exception being a very close call save made by Brent Burns with four minutes left.
Justin Braun missed an empty net opportunity, but it wouldn’t have changed the result — the Sharks took the win to open their road trip.
- Martin Jones made 31 saves while his counterpart, Carter Hutton, stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced.
- Carter Hutton was a former Sharks prospect that the Sharks have never been able to win in regulation against until now. Going into tonight, Hutton led the NHL in save percentage (.940) and goals against average (1.81).
- Vlasic now has assists in each of his last five games.
- Speaking of streaks, Mikkel Boedker is on a four-game goal streak and has seven points in his last four games.
- The Blues dominated large parts of tonight’s game and had the better scoring chances. Goaltending and defense kept the Sharks alive in a very tight game.
The Sharks continue their four-game road trip in Nashville, where they will be joined by new teammate, Eric Fehr, before taking on the Predators on Thursday.