2019 is the gift that keeps on giving. The Sharks have yet to lose in the new year, extending their winning streak to six with tonight’s 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
In their first two games in California, the Senators played well — albeit against equally as bad competition. They rode that confidence into the first period of tonight’s game.
When adjusted for score and venue at 5-on-5, the Senators had a good showing in the first period, with a 61.55 percent Corsi-For. Though the Senators were attempting shots, the Sharks edged them 9-7 in scoring chances through the first twenty minutes. Nonetheless, Martin Jones and Anders Nilsson kept the game scoreless after one period.
After losing the possession battle in the first, the Sharks took a commanding 68.97 percent Corsi-For at 5-on-5 in the middle frame. With about two minutes left in the period, Joe Pavelski broke through and scored the first goal of the game, going top-shelf to beat Nilsson.
After being honored for playing in his 1000th NHL game, Brent Burns found his way to the scoresheet. Early in the third, Burns received a lucky break, his shot going off a Senators’ skate to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.
A few seconds later, Ryan Dzingel cut the Sharks’ lead to one. Then as the power play expired, Joe Thornton regained the Sharks’ two-goal lead. Melker Karlsson iced the game with an empty net goal to give the Sharks a 4-1 win.
Hey everyone, Eddie here and I’ll be with you tonight liveblogging tonight’s action as the Sharks take on the Sens!
20:00: Let’s drop the puck and see if the Sharks can make it six wins in a row.
18:23: Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl combine for a scoring chance, but Anders Nilsson is there to deny them.
16:22: Lukas Radil with a scoring opportunity, but Nilsson says no.
13:17: Mark Stone with a good shot.
7:02: Sens with a scoring chance, but Jones is there with the pad save on Rudolfs Bulcers.
6:17: Jones denies a breakaway chance.
2:50: Timo Meier with a backhand shot, but cannot beat Nilsson.
1:40: Joonas Donskoi tries to set up Kane, but the pass can’t connect.
:51: Jones makes the save to deny the Sharks a rebound opportunity.
End of the First Period
18:02: Kane with the set up, but Hertl was unable to put together a quality shot.
17:25: Penalty. Barclay Goodrow heads to the box for tripping.
16:00: Balcers with a scoring chance, but the puck stays out of the Sharks’ net.
15:25: The Sharks are able to kill the Goodrow penalty.
14:15: Radil gets another scoring chance, but he’s unable to control the puck to get off a quality shot.
12:05: Karlsson’s shot goes off the post!
11:46: Jones uses the pad to deny Brady Tkachuk.
9:55: Logan Couture tried to connect with Radil for a goal, but the shot goes out of play.
7:17: Meier generates a turnover, but Pavelski is unable to get a shot off.
5:47: Penalty. Tim Heed heads to the penalty box for tripping.
4:59: Couture with a short-handed chance, but Nilsson denies him.
3:47: Sharks are able to kill the Heed penalty.
2:04: GOAL! Captain America opens up the scoring for the Sharks, going top-shelf to beat Nilsson.
End of the Second Period
19:39: Karlsson with a shot, but Nilsson knocks it down with the glove.
18:27: Mad scramble around Nilsson’s crease, but the Sharks are unable to put it in the net.
17:05: Pavelski goes to the net, but his redirect is off target.
15:18: Kane and Meier with some scoring chances, but none are able to beat Nilsson.
13:44: GOAL! Brent Burns fires a shot from the blueline and it looks as though it goes off a Sens defenseman.
13:16: Goal. Sens respond quickly, as Ryan Dzingel cuts the Sharks lead to one.
10:34: Balcers takes it himself into the Sharks’ zone, but he’s unable to beat Jones.
10:16: Penalty. Pavelski heads to the box for slashing.
8:16: The Sharks are 3/3 on the penalty kill.
6:36: Power Play. Sharks will head to the man-advantage for the first time tonight.
4:36: Senators are able to kill their penalty.
4:18: GOAL! Jumbo Joe gives the Sharks a two-goal lead.
3:07: The post denies Christian Jaros.
2:28: Extra attacker for the Senators.
1:50: Senators use their timeout.
1:21: GOAL! Melker Karlsson ices the game with an empty net goal.
Final: Sharks 4, Senators 1
It’s a Marvel Super Hero Night at SAP Center. The San Jose Sharks face Erik Karlsson’s former team, the Ottawa Senators, for the second and final time this season.
The Sharks remain undefeated in 2019, posting a 5-0-0 record and impressive wins against the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning. Karlsson and Brent Burns are at the forefront of the Sharks' offense. Both players are in the top five for points by defensemen and the duo are terrorizing opponents from the blueline.
Up front, the team appears to have found the right line combination after rotating line combinations for much of the season. The new year appears to have done some good. The team is gelling and performing to the level many expected at the start of the season.
As for the Senators, they’re in their first year of a rebuild, so it’s been a tough season. However, they’re looking for the California sweep after taking out their basement roomates, the Los Angeles Kings, and John Gibson's Anaheim Ducks, so there's momentum on both ends while the Sharks try to extend their own win streak to six tonight.
After participating in morning skate, Justin Braun is looking like a game-time decision. His defensive partner, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, remains out of the lineup. Other than that, the top four pairings are as usual, with Karlsson and Brenden Dillion together and a reunited duo of Radim Simek and Brent Burns. When it comes to the forward lines, they remain the same with no changes to them. Finally, in net, it looks as though Martin Jones will get the call.
#SJSharks projected lines for tonight. Braun is a game time decision, but did take part of practice this morning. pic.twitter.com/PhS3gxOXnO— Fear the Fin (@fearthefin) January 12, 2019
Meanwhile, the Senators will have three former Sharks in their projected lineup for tonight. Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo and Mikkel Boedker will make their returns to the Shark Tank after being dealt in the off-season to the Senators in two separate deals. In net, it looks as though they’ll go with Anders Nilsson, who was recently acquired from the Vancouver Canucks.
Sens Lines vs SJ— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) January 12, 2019
Tkachuk Smith Stone
Dzingel Pageau Ryan
Balcers Tierney Boedker
Paajarvi Paul Archibald
Where to Watch
Puck drop from SAP Center is at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET, with television coverage on NBC Sports California. The radio call will be on 98.5 KFOX. Check back then for live updates and reactions.