Sharks now 15-1-0 against Capitals in 21st Century
While it was more in doubt than most Sharks-Capitals games, Team Teal once again emerges victorious against the Washington Capitals.
It makes sense that the Sharks and Capitals would end their game in a shootout - they are the top two shootout teams in the NHL. It also makes sense that the Sharks would win this game - the Capitals have only won a single matchup between the two teams this millennium. But that the final score was 2-1, considering the offensive firepower and somewhat questionable goaltending both teams have? Definitely not in the cards.
The first half of the first period saw the ice tilted very much towards Niemi - there was something like a 7-1 shot disparity at one point. But then the ice suddenly tilted towards Grubauer, as the Sharks put up 9 consecutive shots. One of those shots was converted by Tyler Kennedy, who received a "world class pass" from Jason Demers (Kennedy's words, not mine) and got it past Grubauer.
The second and third period were characterized by Antti Niemi showing up the haterz and making several great saves that eventually earned him first star. While Ovechkin did end up scoring (on his first shot of the game, no less), it was a crazy angle top shelf in the corner shot that I don't think anyone could stop.
At the end of the second period it seemed as though the Sharks had taken the lead off a last-second goal by Brad Stuart. Unfortunately, as has been the case with the Sharks this season, the goal was waved off as it was scored less than a second after the clock ran out.
There was a gut-check time at the end of the third period, when Patrick Marleau took an iffy tripping call against the Capitals' top-ranked power play. However, the Sharks managed to kill of that PP - which bled over into overtime - and the game ended up going to a shootout.
Fehr missed. Pavelski missed. Ovechkin missed. Marleau scored. Backstrom missed.
After the game, Patrick Marleau told CSN that he "was trying to use Logan [Couture]'s move a little bit," as Couture has had success with that move.
Since this was sort of a last minute recap, here are some tweets some readers sent in to describe the game in case I missed anything:
@annfrazi much game. Very hockey. Such face punch. Sharks win.— CTGray (@CouchTarts) January 15, 2014
@annfrazi Antti Niemi is the cute shop owner who got blindsided by no goal support (winter in summer) but he made do with what he had.— Jacob Sundstrom (@jakesundstrom) January 15, 2014
@annfrazi At Least They Got a Point.— Sarah W. (@toasterposey) January 15, 2014
@porridgebird @annfrazi Cold cocking people seems like it is disrespecting the game.— WhatsAMataHari (@WhatsAMataHari) January 15, 2014
@annfrazi Mike Brown punches himself out of the game for a while, Sharks play better without him.— Prof Scientist PhD (@fruitsareedible) January 15, 2014
@annfrazi Another goal after the whistle but hey they won this time— Ace Neptune (@_jenmac) January 15, 2014
- That fight between Mike Brown and Volpatti was as bloody as the French Revolution, wow. Squeemish should not look it up.
- Tyler Kennedy finally scored after a long goal drought, which was good. But he was kind of a giveaway machine in the second period, which was bad.
- This was a pretty entertaining game, despite the score, with action going back and forth led by offensive dynamos. I thought the top line of Thornton, Burns, and Pavelski in particular was creating all sorts of chances.
- Joe Pavelski took 11 draws in the defensive zone and won 73% of them, including several key face offs in overtime. AMERICA.
- For some reason, Marc-Edouard Vlasic got a 10 minute misconduct at the end of overtime. I don't know what it's for, but I'd be pretty angry if I was sucker-punched in the face by Jason Chimera too.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Antti Niemi
2nd Star: Philipp Grubauer
3rd Star: Justin Braun