photo from nhl.nbcsports.com: San Jose’s Joe Pavelski goes for the victory skate in front of the Sharks bench after scoring his season’s 18th goal as the Sharks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes at SAP Center on Wednesday night
By Matthew Harrington
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks won on the road for the second-straight game, shelling the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 at SAP Center on Wednesday night. Well, not quite. Despite the Sharks wearing the road whites and feeling the parts of weary travelers, they were actually the home team.
Joe Thornton and Timo Meier each had three points for San Jose, Martin Jones made 39 saves and Radim Simek picked up his first career NHL point in just his second game. Joe Pavelski scored his team-leading 18th goal and Meier, Marcus Sorensen, Tomas Hertl and Barclay Goodrow all scored for Team Teal. Lucas Wallmark scored the lone goal for the Canes.
The Sharks returned from a six-game road swing Sunday night, playing their first home game since November 23rd, but their bags really never had a chance to be unpacked, with San Jose off to Dallas for a Friday night contest before a trip to the Desert for a Saturday showdown with the Coyotes.
Both teams entered play 1-2 in high-danger scoring chances, so offensive fireworks were expected. The fact that they were completely one-sided came as a bit of a surprise though. Goodrow opened the scoring taking a Kevin Labanc feed and going top shelf just 3:44 into the game for his fourth goal of the year. Tomas Hertl scored a power play strike after Logan Couture’s cross-ice pass to Labanc pulled NHL journeyman Curtis McElhinney to his left. Labanc connected with Hertl just to the right of the netminder in the crease for the easy redirect and a 2-0 lead halfway through the first period. The Canes would pepper Jones with 17 shots in the frame but he stood tall to hold down the shutout after 20 minutes.
Timo Meier continued to blossom as San Jose’s best power forward since Owen Nolan, buzzing McElhinney right as Simek ripped a point shot. The naked eye gave Simek his first career goal, but by the grace of video review, Timo Meier was awarded his 14th goal. Simek had to settle for an assist for his first NHL point and a 3-0 Sharks lead 8:42 into the second. Thornton would pick up his first of three assists, notching the secondary helper on the final three San Jose goals.
Joe Pavelski scored what has to be the most fortuitous goal of his season, attempting to flip a puck on McElhinney that looked like it would be harmless. Instead the puck glanced off Jordan Staal and redirected into the Canes net for a 4-0 Sharks edge.
Carolina would finally crack Jones in the waning minute and a half of the middle stanza with Wallmark beating Jones glove side on the power play to score on the Hurricanes 26th shot of the contest. Marcus Sorensen got the goal pack after Meier threaded a pack hand pass that allowed the Swede to rip a shot past McElhinney with just 4:17 left in regulation.
San Jose has now collected a point in three-straight home games and is on a two-game win streak after a five-game skid. They’re off to the Big D for a showdown with Tyler Seguin and the Stars next.