~ AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
~ By Pearl Allison Lo
~ San Jose had no even-strength goals in their win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday.
I wonder if Tomas Hertl likes penguins as animals as he certainly had no mercy for the team. Back when the teams played January 15 in a 5-2 victory, on he was the first star again with a hat trick that included an empty-netter.
This time he started the scoring just 57 seconds in.
Martin Jones was a perfect 26-for-26 in net on the other end of the ice. This included shutting down Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby who was on another season-high six-game points streak. Jones plus the Sharks’ defense held Crosby to three shots on goal.
Hertl last had two goals February 7 and the Penguins were last shutout February 5. The last time San Jose shut out a team was back on December 18 versus the Minnesota Wild by the identical score of 4-0.
Brent Burns was the second star of the game with one goal and two assists.
The Sharks finished 3-for-6 on the power play, taking advantage of their opportunities.
Hertl’s first goal came just one second after Jack Johnson was called for tripping.
Evander Kane doubled the lead short-handed at 10:01.
Hertl reappeared at 13:19, with his second power-play goal of the period. Kevin Labanc assisted on both of Hertl’s goals as the goal came on another tripping penalty by the Penguins.
This provided a tough hill for Pittsburgh to climb.
Neither team scored in the second with each taking nine shots on goal. The Penguins had two more penalties and San Jose another one.
That penalty action escalated in the third. It started with Hertl and Tanner Pearson called for roughing minors at 2:20. 15:24 was the highlight, with Pittsburgh’s Marcus Pettersson, Crosby and the Sharks’ Brenden Dillon and Micheal Haley, all receiving 10 minute misconducts. At that same time, Kane and Pearson again received a five minute fighting major. Two seconds later, Phil Kessel was called for a high stick. Kris Letang, who led with six shots on goal, received a cross check minor at 15:17 and Evgeni Malkin capped the period off at 19:47 with a 10 minute misconduct.
Burns managed to capitalize at the height of this in between as he scored at 16:51.
Up Next: San Jose plays the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday at 2 pm.