Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 at SAP Center on Friday night. Three power play goals came from Logan Couture, Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson. The only even-strength goal of the game came from Melker Karlsson. Erik Karlsson had two assists along with his goal for three points on the night. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 19 saves for the win, while Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson made 20 saves in a losing effort.
After the game, Dell talked about the Sharks’ defensive success: “They were great tonight. Most of the shots they had were long, ones I could see them all the way. I don’t think they had any second opportunities the whole night. That goes to show how solid defensively we were tonight.”
Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer commented on the six-game homestand in general:
We played some tough teams during this home stand and found a way to win some games, and did it different ways too. I thought we tightened things up the last few games defensively. Got some great goaltending from Deller in a couple of the last games. Some special teams tonight, the power play. And the pk’s been solid the entire time. So, a lot of good stuff. It’s never perfect, you always want to be a little better. And heading on the road, I think we’re going to have to be a little bit better to win games.
The Sharks had three power plays in the first period and made good use of them. Logan Couture scored at 10:54 just four seconds into the second of those three. The Sharks won an offensive zone faceoff and got the puck to Erik Karlsson at the blue line. He got it right to Couture across the ice and he took the shot from above the faceoff circle for his eighth goal of the season. Assists went to Karlsson and Kevin Labanc.
Timo Meier scored their second goal, at the tail end of a four-minute power play drawn by Lukas Radil. Joe Thornton took a shot that rebounded off Nilsson’s pads, and scooped the puck back up just above the goal line. He took another shot from a very tough angle. Meier was right at the blue paint to nudge it over the line at 19:50 for his 13th goal of the season. Assists went to Thornton and Brent Burns.
The Sharks outshot the Canucks 12-8 in the first period. During the second period, the penalty scale tipped in Vancouver’s favor, but the Sharks killed all three Canuck power plays. They did lose something in the shot count, with Vancouver again getting eight shots during the period and the Sharks only getting credit for five.
Just over a minute into the third period, Logan Couture took a stick to the eye area and went to the dressing room. None of the officials observed the incident so no penalty was called. San Jose did get a power play at 2:54 when the Canucks were penalized for delay of game. The Sharks were moving the puck well when, halfway through the power play, Joe Thornton made a sneaky no-look pass to Erik Karlsson in the slot. His shot went over Nillson’s pad for Karlsson’s second of the season. Assists went to Thornton and Kevin Labanc.
The Sharks were not done yet. Melker Karlsson scored his first of the season redirecting an Erik Karlsson shot at 9:35. Barclay Goodrow’s faceoff win got to Brenden Dillon, whose pass found Erik Karlsson in the middle of the blue line.
The Sharks next play tomorrow in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights at 7:00 PM PT.