The San Jose Sharks edged out the New Jersey Devils in head coach Peter DeBoer‘s return to New Jersey, but not by much as they won 2-1 in a shootout.
Logan Couture Injury
Before the game, the Sharks announced that forward and alternate captain Logan Couture would be out for 4-6 weeks due to a broken right fibula. As a result, the club called up rookie Nikolay Goldobin, who made his NHL debut.
Marleau-velous Early Start
The Sharks played pretty well out of the gate. Just 2:01 into the game, forward Patrick Marleau would convert on a backdoor feed from right-wing Joel Ward to give the Sharks the early 1-0 lead. It all started after some tremendous work by Tomas Hertl digging the puck free along the boards behind the net from two New Jersey defenders. It was Ward’s third assist on the second line, and Hertl’s first after being moved up from the third line.
Sharks Caught Sitting On Lead (Again)
While it’s the first time this season that the Sharks really showed any signs of teetering off in a game, it’s not the first time in franchise history they’d ever done it. As a writer for Blades of Teal, I’ve often emphasized how important it is to keep your foot on the gas pedal.
Unfortunately, they did let up in the second, and in the third they started running into penalty trouble. My philosophy for special teams, which stems from past playoff experiences with the Los Angeles Kings, is you don’t want to take too many penalties in a game and give the opponents that many chances on the man advantage. I don’t care how great the PK unit is. You’re playing with fire.
Tonight, the Devils had six power play opportunities, and capitalized on the final one which was Hertl’s Delay of Game penalty (puck over glass). After some really nice puck movement between the point and half wall, defenseman Damon Severson blasted a one-timer that was deflected by forward Adam Henrique past goalie Martin Jones in front to tie it at 1.
After an intense 3-on-3 overtime period, captain Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns would both score in the shootout to give the Sharks the 2-1 win. Goalie Martin Jones allowed only one goal to Henrique before stopping both forwards Jacob Josefson and Mike Cammalleri.
Martin Jones Shutout Streak
Well, it was indeed fun while it lasted. Martin Jones, whom I think the Sharks relied on a bit too much tonight, made history with the longest shutout streak in San Jose Sharks history. Per Sharks stats guru Darin Stephens’ tweet earlier tonight, Jones’ shutout streak snapped at 234:33 and stopped 104 consecutive shots.
Onto the Next One
Tomorrow, the Sharks move onto their third game of their four-game road trip, and second of back-to-backs against the New York Islanders. Be sure to check back here tomorrow on Pucknology for pregame coverage!