Despite an early morning (10 a.m. Pacific) start, the San Jose Sharks came to play.
San Jose scored first, with the Joe Thornton-less top line getting on the board. Brent Burns activated from the point and was down below the face-off dot. He played the puck below the red line for Joonas Donskoi. Donskoi passed it to the slot, where Timo Meier one-timed it past Cam Ward to make it 1-0.
While the Sharks dominated the play for the first half of the first period, Carolina pushed back in the final 10 minutes. The push paid off when Sebastian Aho quickly capitalized on a mistake by Danny O’Regan. O’Regan was trying to move the puck out of the Sharks’ zone, but his pass was intercepted by Jordan Staal. Staal tapped it to Aho, who fired it past Aaron Dell and tied things up, 1-1.
Despite the mistake, the fourth line went right back to work and pushed the momentum back in the Sharks’ favor. Less than 90 seconds later, San Jose put another one past Cam Ward. This time it was the Sharks capitalizing on a mistake by the Hurricanes. Melker Karlsson passed the puck out in front of the Carolina net, where Chris Tierney was waiting to put it home. Sharks headed to the locker room with a 2-1 lead.
At the top of the second period, the Sharks continued to push the pace of the game. It paid off, when at the 2:03 mark of the second, Brent Burns put a no look shot on net. Barclay Goodrow was out front screening Cam Ward, who didn’t even see the puck coming.
Things got a little chippy about five minutes later when Brenden Dillon dropped the gloves with Brock McGinn. Dillon got in a quick flurry of punches, but no take down.
Dillon received an extra two for cross-checking. Presumably that’s why the whole fight started.
Carolina was unable to capitalize on the power play and the second period ended with a 3-1 score in favor of the Sharks.
As expected, the Hurricanes came out firing in the third, trying to tie things up. The Sharks weathered the storm and even fought off more than two minutes of 6-on-5 play after Carolina pulled Cam Ward for the extra attacker.
Nothing got through, and the Sharks won 3-1.
Aaron Dell finished the game with 29 saves and a save percentage of .967%.
Team teal will hop a plane later today and head to Colorado. They’ll play the Avalanche on Tuesday at 6:00 PT.
- Danny O’Regan worked hard to make up for his first period mistake. For the rest of the game, he and the rest of the fourth line (Joel Ward and Barclay Goodrow) pressured the Hurricanes and created a number of scoring chances.
- Remember when we were all worried about Brent Burns? Seems like the Wookie is putting himself back into Norris Trophy conversation. Burns now leads the entire league (forwards and defensemen) in shots on goal. He’s second among defensemen with points — 42 before today’s game — eight points behind Dallas’s John Klingberg.
- According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Joonas Donskoi, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Chris Tierney combined for 30 goals in 2016-17. After two more in this game, those four players have combined for 49 goals.
- In case you were wondering, Brock McGinn is the younger brother of former Sharks Jamie McGinn and Tye McGinn. Jamie is currently playing for the Florida Panthers. Tye is currently playing for the Arizona Coyotes’ AHL affiliate, the Tuscan Roadrunners.
- If you have a spare minute, check out the tribute the Hurricanes paid to former Hurricane and current Sharks’ broadcaster Bret Hedican.