Sharks play well dominate Senators 5-1

Ottawa Senators center Mark Kastelic (47) punches San Jose Sharks defenseman Nick Cicek during the second period at SAP Center in San Jose on Mon Nov 21, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

Monday night’s game between the San Jose Sharks (7-11-3) and the Ottawa Senators (6-11-1), was a matchup of two teams struggling to get something going this season. The Senators entered the game with a record of six wins, ten losses, and one tie, good for 12 points. They found themselves in last place in the Atlantic conference. The Sharks’ record before Monday’s game was six wins, 11 losses, and three ties. The Sharks’ 15 points landed them in seventh place in the Pacific conference.

Sharks’ coach Dan Quinn was not happy with his team’s performance last Saturday night when they lost 2-1 to the visiting New York Rangers. Quinn wanted his team to be more physical Monday night. Quinn was hoping the Sharks could find a way to win, as they had won just once at home in 11 games. They didn’t do well in the first period, but they dominated the next two periods to get the win. The Sharks made Quinn’s wish come true as they played one of their best games to beat the Senators 5-1.

The Senators dominated play in the first period. They had 13 shots on goal, and the Sharks had three—however, shots on goal don’t count. The Sharks’ Noah Gregor had a breakaway, but the shot hit the bar on the top of the goal and went into the corner.

The Sharks found a way to get the puck back to Gregor. Gregor’s wrist shot beat Ottawa’s veteran goalie, Cam Talbot, for the tally. Gregor’s shot went over Talbot’s left shoulder. The time of goal happened with 13:38 left in the period. It was Gregor’s first goal of the year. Luke Kunin and Matt Benning assisted. The Senators evened the score with 6:46 left. Tim Stutzle beat Kaapo Kahkonen for the tally. Brady Tkachuk recorded the assist. Stutzle recorded his seventh goal of the season.

The Sharks went on a power play late in the period. The Senators were able to kill the penalty. The referees called Kevin LaBanc for tripping with 1:52 left in the period. The Senators failed to score but have eight seconds left when the second period starts. The score is tied 1-1.

The Sharks thoroughly outskated the Senators in the second period. The Sharks scored three times to end the second stanza leading 4-1. San Jose had 19 shots on goal and held the Senators to eight. Timo Meier tallied with just 1:!8 played. Meier’s scored two seconds after Talbot blocked his last shot. Eric Karlsson found Meier to Talbot’s right. Meier had the smallest of cracks on the left side of the goal. His wrist shot found the opening to put the Sharks ahead 2-1.

San Jose scored their third of the night 3:35 later. Matt Nieto tipped Matt Bennings’ wrister from the point for the score. Nieto’s goal was his fourth of the season. Benning and Alexander Barabanov assisted. The Senators’ coach, D.J. Smith, replaced Cam Talbot in goal with Alex Forsberg.

Talbot allowed three goals on seven shots. With 5:59 left in the period, the Senators’ Travis Hamonic went to the penalty box for two minutes for tripping. The Sharks capitalized with just six seconds left on the power play. Tomas Hertl tipped in his fifth goal of the year to make it 4-1. Logan Couture and Eric Karlsson assisted on the goal. Sharks’ coach Dan Quinn saw his team play one of the best periods of play this season.

Ottawa knew they had to get some goals to get back in the game. The Sharks’ defense, along with Khakonen, had other thoughts. The Sharks held the Senators scoreless over the last 20 minutes of the game. With about three minutes left, the Senators pulled their goalie. They controlled the play, but the defense and the Sharks’ goalie did not fold. With 58 seconds left, Logan Couture sent the puck the length of the ice into the Senators’ goal to make it 5-1. The game was over.

Game Notes: The Sharks had Kaapo Kahkonen make his sixth start of the year. Kahkonen’s record was one win, four losses, and one tie before tonight’s win. Kahkonen was a force in goal as he made 37 saves. Eric Karlsson, the Sharks’ outstanding defenseman, assisted on two goals. Karlsson tallied 19 points this month and has 30 for the season. He trails the NHL scoring leader, Conor McDavid, by five points. 

Gregor, Timo Meier, Matt Nieto, Tomas Hertl, and Logan Couture scored for San Jose. Couture also had an assist.

Tim Stutzle scored Ottawa’s only goal. Brady Tkachuk assisted. Brady Tkachuk’s father is a former NHL great, Keith Tkachuk.

The Sharks scored one for three on the power play. The Sharks killed both of Ottawa’s power plays.

There was a fight in the second period between the Sharks’ Nick Cicek and Ottawa’s Mark Kastellic. Kastellic’s shoulder hit Cicek in the head. Tempers flared, and after a relatively short battle, both players were penalized five minutes for fighting.

The Sharks are on their way to Seattle to face the Kraken Wednesday night. San Jose returns home to play the Los Angeles Kings Friday night at the SAP center.

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