The San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl is jubilant after nailing the game winning goal in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia on Sat Jan 8, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime, again, on Saturday. It was the same score as on December 30 in San Jose. Tomas Hertl scored all three Sharks goals and Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win. Brent Burns had 3 assists and led the team with 29:35 TOI. James van Riemsdyk scored both Flyers goals and Martin Jones made 44 saves in the loss.
Logan Couture and Lane Pedersen are still out on the COVID list. Erik Karlsson, James Reimer, Rudolfs Balcers and Jacob Middleton are all out with injuries.
After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how Tomas Hertl helped balance out those absences:
“What I loved about it, even when we got down 2-0, even in the last two games, he’s taken on a huge void, leadership role, And he’s saying ‘it’s alright, we’re still in this, we’ve got this, let’s keep going, let’s keep working. We’re playing well.’ So Tommy was just more than being the player of the game, you know, he was pretty inspirational in the locker room and on the bench tonight.”
The games was scoreless for 40 minutes. The shots were close, 15-13 Flyers in the first, 13-10 Sharks in the second. Each team had one power play. The Sharks power play had two shots and their penalty kill gave up one. With the teams so close in so many aspects, it was no wonder they were tied at 0 going into the final frame.
The Sharks had some good chances in the first minute of the third, but, just as that minute expired, James van Riemsdyk got around Marc-Edouard Vlasic and broke away for a shot from the face-off circle. The puck went by Adin Hill and into the top corner. Assists went to Oskar Lindblom and Kevin Hayes.
The Flyers scored again at 6:47, this time on the power play. Cam York sent the puck to the net and it went off of van Riemsdyk, then bounced over Hill. Assists went to York and Cam Atkinson.
Tomas Hertl got one back for the Sharks at 7:47. Timo Meier made a quick back-hand pass from just above the goal line. Hertl was at the net ready to put it away. Assists went to Meier and Brent Burns.
Hertl put the puck in the net again at 14:29. In the midst of net-front traffic, he kicked the puck to his stick for a backhand past Jones on the far side. Assists again went to Meier and Burns.
The Sharks out-shot the Flyers 20-5 in the third period. Each team had a power play. the Sharks had two shots on theirs and the Flyers got one that went in.
Hertl completed his hat trick with the Sharks’ first shot in overtime, 24 seconds in. Brent Burns won the puck in the corner at the Sharks’ end and got the puck to Hertl. Hertl carried it the other way, and by the time he reached the Flyers blue line, Timo Meier was there for a two-on-one.
The face-off battle went back and forth from period to period. The Sharks won 61% in the third, but the Flyers won 52% in the first and 75% in the second, and the only face-off in overtime.
The Sharks next play on Tuesday in San Jose against the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 PM PT.
In other news, the Sharks announced that they have put Evander Kane on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. The statement specified that this was “for breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.”
If that termination goes through, the Sharks will be free from all salary obligations to Kane and his salary will come off of their salary cap.