Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Matthew Harrington
SAN JOSE–The San Jose Sharks finally won in the 2019 preseason, besting the Calgary Flames 4-1 Thursday night at the SAP Center. Dylan Gambrell helped his cause to make the opening night roster by scoring two goals, line mates Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl scored a goal apiece and Brent Burns notched assists on all four goals.
Both teams were scoreless entering the third period, but Kane opened the flood gates by beating Flames netminder Artyom Zagidulin 3:17 into the third. San Jose then scored three goals in a span of 2:58. Tomas Hertl tipped a Burns blast past Zagidulin at the 10:59 mark then Gambrell beat Zagidulin twice for a 4-0 lead.
Gambrell opened the game on the second line with Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl, but couldn’t take advantage of his opportunities and found himself on the potential fourth line with Melker Karlsson and Goodrow. His odds of factoring into the opening night roster, be it as a skater or a scratch were dwindling, especially with Lukas Radil excelling with Kane and Hertl throughout the preseason. The pressure coach Peter DeBoer has put on the young Gambrell paid off in spades with his performance down the stretch, with production from the fourth line being a necessity this year as the Sharks try to replace Joe Pavelski’s production.
One of the many Sharks assured a spot in the lineup October 2nd, Brent Burns still turned in a stellar performance, collecting four assists in a period. The feat would match a franchise record were the game to have counted.
The Sharks got solid goaltending from Martin Jones with the incumbent starter making 24 saves on 25 shots. The lone goal came with 4:02 left in regulation after Justin Kirkland punched home a rebound to cut the lead to 4-1. The same could not be said of Calgary’s goalie Zagidulin. The 24-year-old former KHLer gave up four goals on 12 shots, entering the game to start the third period. Cam Talbot was perfect to open the game, turning aside 24 Sharks shots to enter third tied 0-0.
Up next for the Sharks are some roster decisions and a match-up with the same team the Sharks will face twice in the season’s first two games. San Jose will face the Vegas Golden Knights Monday on the road before opening the season at T-Mobile Arena on October 2nd.