If you missed last night’s game or were simply too disappointed in the way the team is playing lately to watch, I’m here to give you the highlights and lowlights of the night.
The win that almost wasn’t
But holding on to that win in the final minutes of the game was tough. Chicago’s Brandon Saad scored with 3:02 left in the third period to make the score 3-1 and then with the goaltender Robin Lehner pulled, Duncan Keith scored with 1:54 left in the game. Suddenly, it was 3-2 and it seemed like it could be 3-3 pretty easily.
Luckily, the Sharks pulled it together and Timo Meier tapped in an empty netter to secure the two-goal lead.
Sharks win 4-2, barely.
The return of Radim Simek
The Radim Simek hot streak is alive and well. In his first game back since his knee injury on March 12, the Sharks won! Team teal is now 30-9-3 with Simek in the lineup.
Simek did very well in his return. He finished the game with four blocked shots and five hits. He played 22 shifts and had 20:37 of ice time, mostly alongside Brent Burns.
All in all, it was a quality outing for Simek.
The Sharks’ third line
The loss of Dylan Gambrell and Melker Karlsson to injury forced Head Coach Pete DeBoer to do something a lot of fans have been hoping he’d do: shuffle the lines. DeBoer dropped Patrick Marleau down to the third line alongside Joe Thornton and the combination added some depth to the Sharks’ attack.
The trio of Marcus Sorensen, Thornton and Marleau finished with 12:24 of total on ice time and a 75.48 corsi for at 5-on-5 when adjusted for score and venue (Natural Stat Trick). The third line was by far the best line possession wise for the Sharks last night.
Here’s to hoping DeBoer keeps the line together on Thursday night.
During its five-game losing streak, the Sharks’ play at 5-on-5 was abysmal. Last night, it was pretty good.
Score- and venue-adjusted Corsi at 5-on-5 for the Sharks was 65.91 percent.
This game aside, the Sharks have not done well on 5-on-5 play this season. They have done well in special teams. Last night, Evander Kane scored the Sharks’ third short-handed goal of the season and put the Sharks up 2-0.
The team is averaging a shortie about once every five games.
Take the win with a grain of salt
And while the win is a step in the right direction, you need to take it with a grain of salt. The Blackhawks weren’t in much better shape when it comes to wins and losses than the Sharks. Martin Jones got the “W,” but only had 21 saves and a .905 save percentage.
Patrick Marleau’s ironman streak
Finally, I almost don’t want to talk about it because I’m worried I’ll jinx it, but Patty played in his 800th consecutive game last night. For most NHL players, it’s tough to reach the 800 game mark period, but for Patty, he’s achieved 800 games straight, that’s pretty impressive no matter how you feel about his presence on the team.
Marleau is sixth on the all-time list of consecutive games played, but the guy ahead of him, Keith Yandle, still has an active streak of his own going, so it’s going to take some work to move up. He’s also number five on the list of all-time games played in the NHL.
Marleau scored the first goal of last night’s game and finished with a plus-1.
According to the Sharks, “Marleau (age 40) is the oldest player in MLB, NBA or NHL history to have a consecutive games streak of 800 games.”