Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks won their seventh straight game 5-1 against the Calgary Flames Saturday. Sharks goals came from Brenden Dillon, Jannik Hansen, Evander Kane, and Justin Braun. Brenden Dillon came away with a Gordie Howe hat trick, while Kane missed one by an assist. The lone Flames goal came from Michael Stone.
Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 37 saves for the win, while Flames goaltender David Rittich made 28 saves in a losing effort.
Of the importance of this winning streak, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:
I think this is the time of year you want to be playing well, you want to get hot. For me, it’s about our game. You know, the results are nice, the wins are nice. You know, out of the seven games, this was probably our sloppiest of the seven but we found a way to win and our goaltender was great. So we’ll clean a few things up but you’re never going to complain too much about winning.
Despite the recent additional injuries, the Sharks have kept up their momentum with the help of some good depth. Stepping in for Joakim Ryan is Paul Martin, who has missed most of this season with an injury.
Brenden Dillon scored the first go, at 7:52. Chris Tierney caught a short pass from Timo Meier and made a beautiful behind the back pass to the trailing Dillon, setting the Sharks defenseman up perfectly in the slot. It was Dillon’s fourth goal of the year. After the game, Chris Tierney talked about how he saw that play: “I just saw him coming in late and Timo dropped it too me and I thought their guy was kind of stepping up on me. So I thought he’d be the trailer coming in late, hopefully, he found it.”
Jannik Hansen scored next, his second of the season, and his second in the last three games. Hansen deflected a Burns shot that was going well wide of the net. Hansen’s deflection was at such a sharp angle that Rittich did not see it in time. Assists went to Burns and Barclay Goodrow.
Michael Stone got Calgary on the board at 12:17 with a slap shot from the blue line that found its way through a lot of traffic. Assists went to Micheal Ferland and Chris Stewart.
At the end of the first, the shots on goal were 11-9 Calgary.
The next goal came in the second period at 8:26. The Sharks were on a power play when Kevin Labanc was called for holding, ending the power play and putting the teams on a four-on-four. Neither team scored then, but after the Calgary penalty expired and the Sharks were short-handed, Chris Tierney skated almost to the goal line with the puck. He hovered around there for a bit, looking like he might take the shot, but instead he made a pass to Evander Kane who had an open net. It was Kane’s fourth short-handed goal of the season.
In all, the teams took eight penalties in the second period, after taking none at all in the first. Two of those penalties overlapped at least in part, and two went to Evander Kane as double minor for roughing. Despite the overlaps, it was a rowdy period.
The shot count for the second period was 17-14 Calgary.
Evander Kane’s trips to the penalty box were not over with the second period. He went back there at 3:15 of the third for a fight with Travis Hamonic. In addition, both Hamonic and Kane received minors for unsportsmanlike conduct. None of those penalties resulted in a man advantage. Before those penalties had expired, Mark Giordano was called for cross-checking Melker Karlsson–awarding the Sharks the first power play of the period–for the fifth penalty of the period.
Justin Braun extended the Sharks lead to 4-1 at 10:09 of the third period. Braun caught the puck just as it crossed the Calgary blue line and, after just a couple of strides, took the shot from above the faceoff circle. The shot beat Rittich over the right shoulder. Assists went to Logan Couture and Melker Karlsson.
San Jose’s lead grew again at 12:10. Joe Pavelski tipped a Dillon shot at the net from a ways out, using Evander Kane and Hamonic as a screen. The puck touched Kane on the way in, giving him his second of the game. Assists went to Pavelski and Dillon.
Brenden Dillon left the game a bit early after a fight with Garnet Hathaway at 15:02 of the third. Both left the game as the fight took place in the final five minutes.
The Sharks next play on Monday at 5:00 pm PT in Chicago against the Blackhawks.