Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 Tuesday at the Bell MTS Center in Winnipeg. That puts San Jose’s current win streak at six in a row. Two goals came from Gustav Nyquist, with three more from Marcus Sorensen, Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Martin Jones made 21 saves in the win, while Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for Winnipeg. Jets goals came from Andrew Copp, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perrault and Kyle Connor.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic started the scoring in the first with a goal at 8:05. Vlasic took a shot from just below the blue line, then followed it to the net and shot his rebound in. Assists went to Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen.
Winnipeg responded 32 seconds later. Andrew Copp deflected Ben Chiarot’s shot from the blue line. A second assist went to Matthieu Perrault.
They scored another 33 seconds after that. Bryan Little’s shot went off of Justin Braun and in.
The Sharks drew even again at 16:04. Tomas Hertl carried the puck through the neutral zone, weaving between defenders and finally making a drop pass in the slot to Gustav Nyquist. Nyquist put the puck in the net without hesitation. Assists went to Hertl and Joonas Donskoi.
The first period shot count was 12-10 Sharks, with the Jets winning 59% of the face offs.
In the first minute of the second period, the Jets scored on a power play. Patrik Laine passed the puck to Kyle Connor, who was below the goal line. Connor moved over the line and looked like he was searching for a passing lane. Instead, he took a quick back hand shot over Dell’s pad. Assists went to Laine and Blake Wheeler.
Nyquist tied it back up for the Sharks at 10:33 of the second. Vlasic took a quick shot off of another rebound, this one created by Tomas Hertl. Vlasic’s shot went into a crowd at the net, off of Nyquist and in. Vlasic and Hertl got the assists.
The second period shot count was 13-11 Sharks, with 52% of the face offs going to the Jets.
The Sharks took the lead back two minutes into the third with a goal from Marcus Sorensen. Joe Thornton brought the puck out from behind the Winnipeg net and found Sorensen out above the blue paint. A bang-bang play put the puck in the net. Assists went to Thornton and Kevin Labanc.
Winnipeg tied the game at 16:22 with a goal from Mathieu Perrault. The goal came soon after a failed Sharks power play, which included an excellent save by Dell on a short-handed attempt by Winnipeg. This shot came from Tyler Myers on the blue line for the deflection by Perrault. Assists went to Myers and Brandon Tanev.
The game looked sure to go to overtime as the final seconds ticked down, with play in the Sharks zone. Vlasic broke up a pass and sent the puck rocketing out of the zone. Timo Meier was right on it and Pavelski chased caught him in the neutral zone so they went in two on one against Dmitry Kulikov. Meier waited for the right moment and made the pass across to Pavelski for the game winner at 19:54. Assists went to Meier and Vlasic.
The win puts the Sharks three points ahead of Calgary, who were still playing in New Jersey against the Devils when the Sharks game ended. The Sharks next play on Thursday against the Florida Panthers in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.
Early in the first period, Radim Simek went down after a collision with Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp. The injury appeared to be to his lower leg. He did not return to the game.
On the subject of how well Simek has played with Brent Burns, Burns said after the game: “He just makes great reads. He’s aggressive. I think we read off each other well. Don’t understand him but he can make good reads out there so, I don’t know, it’s been fun.” If Simek is not available for the next game, Joakim Ryan could come back in as Burns’s partner.
Blake Wheeler also left the game early in the third. First, he had a collision in the corner with a referee’s elbow. Not long after, he fell while trying to check Couture. He left near the 11-minute mark.
Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson remain out of the Sharks lineup.