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Hertl puts a hurting on Coyotes
Sharks pounce on Phoenix early then coast
10/5/13 - By Mike Lee -

Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl had a night to remember at SAP Center on Saturday evening. The young Czech forward scored his 1st NHL goal in the opening minute of the Sharks division matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes. Hertl would add another tally minutes later and all of a sudden, he's leading all Sharks skaters in scoring. It was only San Jose's second game of the season, but Hertl is quickly making his presence felt with the Sharks. San Jose used Hertl's offensive outburst along with another pair of goals to dispatch the Coyotes 4-1 in a shot-fest.

* Hertl didn't waste any time, scoring his 1st career NHL game just 46 seconds into the game. The young Czech took a lead pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic just outside the blueline, before splitting two Coyote defenders and lifting a backhand shot that beat Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith.

* Hertl bagged his 2nd goal of the night on the power play after Oliver Ekman-Larsson was sent off for holding. Buzzing in the slot, Hertl redirected a Matt Irwin shot from the high slot. The youngster just missed on a hat trick 5 minutes later.

* Mike Smith had a tough opening period, but he limited the damage by denying Patrick Marleau on a short-handed breakaway chance after Andrew Desjardins was sent off for a faceoff violation at 7:54. Smith also stoned Joe Pavelski on a prime scoring chance with 5 minutes to play in the opening frame.

* Marleau wouldn't miss his next opportunity, scoring at 12:30 of the 1st period on another power play chance after Kyle Chipchura was sent off for high sticking Joe Thornton. Vlasic setup the goal by pouncing on a rebound outside the left post, and sliding a pass to Marleau on the off post for the easy tap in goal.

* Marleau led all skaters with 8 shots on goal. It was the 12th time in his career that he recorded 8 shots or more.

* Speaking of shots, Smith saw a truckload of them all night, facing 18, 16 and 17 in each period respectively. It was the 9th time in team history that the Sharks put 50 or more shots on an opponent.

* The only chink in the Sharks armor came late in the 2nd period, when Ekman-Larsson turned what was another lop-sided period in favor of San Jose, on its head with a goal late. The Coyotes defenseman skated the puck into the Sharks zone up the right wing, then sent a routine shot from the right dot. The puck slipped between Antti Niemi's pads to cut San Jose's lead to two goals. Phoenix tried to press matters before the 2nd intermission as the momentum was clearly shifting their way, but they ran out of time.

* The Sharks took back control of the game in the 3rd period. Andrew Desjardins and John McCarthy set the tone with point blank shots that were denied by the right goal pipe, then Smith's stacked pads.

* Logan Couture scored his first goal of the season, albeit of the empty-net variety after Phoenix was forced to pull Smith for the extra attacker.

* McCarthy was making his season debut for the Sharks. He recorded 4 shots and was on the ice when Ekman-Larsson scored his goal.

* Joe Pavelski and Vlasic joined Hertl with two point nights. Both had a pair of assists.

* Hertl is still working to polish his English, but he was able to tell the sellout crowd that his girlfriend was sitting in the stands and that it was her birthday.

Key Quotes

Todd McLellan (on Tomas Hertl's big game): "There is isn't a secret in our dressing room by any means. We have a pretty good idea of what he can do and he's lucky to be playing with a couple of pretty good players that compliment him well. It's a big night for him, one that he'll remember for a long time. More importantly, the group played really, really well."

Patrick Marleau (on Hertl): "It's great. You can see how he's having fun with it and smiling a lot. He brings a lot of energy to this group, and it's fun to see."

Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett : "After the first five minutes-- we made a bad turnover on the first goal early on. Then we got ourselves stabilized a little bit. But then we took that first penalty and it was all downhill from there."


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1 2 3 T
PHO 0 1 0 1
SJ 3 0 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Hertl 1 (Vlasic), 0:46. 2, SJ, Hertl 2 (Irwin, Burns), 7:23, (pp). 3, SJ, Marleau 2 (Vlasic, Pavelski), 12:30, (pp).
2nd period - 4, PHO, Ekman-Larsson 1 (Michalek), 16:47.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Couture 1 (Pavelski), 19:35, (en).
1st period - Ekman-Larsson, PHO (holding), 6:34; Desjardins, SJ (face-off violation), 7:54; Chipchura, PHO (high sticking), 10:35.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Smith, PHO (delay of game - puck over glass), 8:09; Michalek, PHO (holding), 10:52.
Shots Saves
PHO - Smith 50 47
PHO - empty net 1 0
SJ - Niemi 23 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
PHO 8 9 6 23
SJ 18 16 17 51
Power Play Conversion
PHO 0 of 1
SJ 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Tomas Hertl
Mike Smith
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Referees: Kowal, Rehman. Linesmen: Miller, Racicot.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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