Photo credit: @NBCSSharks
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks extended their win streak to six games with a 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators Saturday. The game was scoreless through almost two periods, but starting with a goal at the end of the second, the Sharks found their scoring touch. Sharks goals came from Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Joe Thornton and Melker Karlsson. Martin Jones made 27 saves in the win. Ryan Dzingle scored the lone goal for Ottawa, while goalie Anders Nilsson made 28 saves.
Sharks defenseman Justin Braun was back in the lineup after missing a few games due to injury. With Radim Simek also back recently, only Marc-Edouard Vlasic is still out from the Sharks’ blue line. Early in the first period Saturday, though, forward Joonas Donskoi was injured. Donskoi did not return after a collision with Mark Borowiecki. After the game, their was little news about the injury apart from the fact that it was an upper body one.
All these lineup adjustments have not slowed the Sharks down as they made their way through this winning streak. After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski credited the team’s structure for their resilience: “We’ve got a good structure. I think the group understands what we’re trying to do. Guys are able to slot in, just playing hard, doing things the right way. You need that, for a stretch like this right now, against some good teams.”
The game was scoreless for most of two periods Saturday. The Sharks took and killed two tripping penalties in the first two periods but that was it for the score sheet until late in the second.
The Sharks scored the first goal with just over two minutes left in the second period. Joe Pavelski caught a pass a little awkwardly as he skated into the zone. As soon as he had the puck settled, he took the shot and beat Anders Nilsson with a shot to the top corner. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Brenden Dillon.
The Sharks scored again at 6:17 of the third period. Brent Burns took a shot from the boards and it went off of Nilsson and then Christian Jaros and in. Kevin Labanc and Justin Braun got assists on the goal.
The Senators got one back 21 seconds later from Ryan Dzingle. The Senators intercepted a clearing attempt by the Sharks and Bobby Ryan found Dzingle on his way across the slot. His shot got past Jones’s glove and went in. Assists went to Bobby Ryan and Zach Smith.
The Sharks had another penalty to kill at 9:44 of the third. Joe Pavelski was called for slashing Chris Tierney after Pavelski’s stick got tangled up in Tierney’s legs. Painful as the result was for Tierney, it did look closer to another trip than a slash.
The Sharks got their first power play at 13:26 of the third, a holding penalty to Jaros. The Sharks did not score on the power play but they did score just after it expired. A blue line shot from Timo Meier hit an Ottawa defender and then went under Nilsson’s pad and in. Joe Thornton helped the puck make its way in for his ninth goal of the season. Assists went to Timo Meier and Brent Burns.
Melker Karlsson added an empty-net goal at 18:39.
The shot count was close throughout the game, and in the end the Sharks held a small edge at 32-28. In the face off circle, the Sharks prevailed 65% of the time.
The Sharks will next play on Tuesday against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 PM PT.