The Sharks are still undefeated in 2019 after a strong 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The third line (which I was surprised to learn was the third line and not the second) of Evander Kane, Tomas Hertl and Joonas Donskoi led the hunt. Hertl completed a hat trick on the empty net, and Kane assisted on each of his goals. Four of the Sharks’ defenders recorded at least one point.
The Penguins took the lead midway through the first period, but the Sharks ended the period with a 2-1 lead. The Penguins couldn’t find a lead again for the rest of the game, which is how I like it.
The Sharks’ next game is away in Arizona, and they will be on the road for the rest of the month, before coming home to host the All-Star Game next weekend.
18:32: Hertl and Kane get into the zone and Kane hits the post. Best look for either team so far.
17:52: Timo Meier to Logan Couture across the width of the ice can’t beat Matt Murray.
15:35: Hertl attempted a diagonal pass to Justin Braun at the blue line. A one-timer could have been a good scoring chance; Braun mishandled the puck and play went back to the neutral zone.
9:43: “No score, we’re halfway through the first period.” Three seconds later, Kris Letang gets a backhand goal.
9:18: Donskoi and Hertl make an odd-man rush at the net from within the offensive zone, but the pass to Hertl bounces away.
8:00: Erik Karlsson flings the puck on net, and fellow Swede Marcus Sorensen tips it past Murray. It’s 1-1.
5:55: Hertl knocks over Evgeni Malkin on the right wing boards, pushes to the circle, and scores top corner. As a Capitals fan, anyone who makes Malkin fall down is my favorite person in that moment.
1:30: Sharks go to the power play.
End of First Period
Sharks have a 2-1 lead after giving up the first goal of the game. I’m still thinking about Hertl’s goal. The last minute and a half of the period was interesting; the Penguins had a few shorthanded rushes, including one which wiped out Martin Jones, and a couple non-calls could have given the Sharks a 5-on-3. After intermission, the Sharks have up to 30 seconds of power play time.
16:48: Matt Cullen got some free ice to skate in and shoot. He’s over 40, how do you guys let that happen?
16:21: Joe Thornton scores in his 1000th Sharks game on a delayed penalty call.
10:09: Pittsburgh commits icing after several minutes of open play. Both teams had chances, but the score is still 3-1 Sharks.
5:08: Sharks to the penalty kill.
2:58: Kane gets the puck out of the defensive zone just after Donskoi leaves the penalty box, giving the two a two-on-one breakaway. Murray saved Donskoi’s one-touch shot.
0:33: The Sharks get another power play which will bleed into the next period, just like the end of the first 20 minutes.
End of Second Period
Looked like a bit more zip to that period than the first. Or maybe it just seems that way to my eastern timezone night brain.
Sharks will have a minute and a half of power play time to start the last period. Up 3-1 is a good position, but not good enough to sleepwalk through the last 20 minutes.
18:23: The Sharks’ best scoring chance so far this period came just after the power play expired.
18:01: Penguins commit an unforced icing.
17:54: The Sharks win the faceoff, get the puck on net, and then put the puck in the net. Second goal of the game for Hertl.
10:15: Joe Thornton takes a hooking penalty in his 1000th Sharks game.
3:30: The Penguins pull Matt Murray for an extra attacker.
1:50: Penguins get one. It’s still 4-2 so they’ll likely keep Murray pulled.
0:25: Hats for Hertl!
Final Score: Sharks 5, Penguins 2
The reigning Cup Champio— oh, wait.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are back in San Jose, this time with no new hardware to show off in a city that hasn’t been particularly fond of them since they broke everyone’s hearts in 2016. Even though they sit third in the Metropolitan Division, it hasn’t been easy for this year’s Penguins to find success.
In the same way, the third-overall Sharks suffered a long stretch where wins were hard to come by. But both teams are finding their footing for that big important push in the second half of the season.
This game could be a bit of a fight for the Sharks, who are looking to keep their six-game win streak rolling.
Let’s make it seven, fellas.
Chomp chomp, as the #SJSharks continue to feed their winning streak against some flightless birds. pic.twitter.com/aL8n6wEA7P— Fear the Fin (@fearthefin) January 15, 2019
No big surprises here. We miss you, Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The recently recalled Dylan Gambrell will be a healthy scratch.
Jake Guentzel — Sidney Crosby — Bryan Rust
Tanner Pearson — Evgeni Malkin — Dominik Simon
Riley Sheahan — Derick Brassard — Phil Kessel
Garrett Wilson — Matt Cullen — Derek Grant
Brian Dumoulin — Kris Letang
Olli Maatta — Jamie Oleksiak
Marcus Pettersson — Jack Johnson
Healthy scratches: Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel
Injured: Patric Hornqvist (concussion), Zach Aston-Reese (broken hand, IR)
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.