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The lights go out on Blue Jackets
Tomas Hertl scores a pair in Sharks win
10/27/16 - By Mike Lee -

Early season games don't always seem like must win game, except when they come against teams in rebuilding mode like the Columbus Blue Jackets. Those are games that you need to put in the bank as automatic wins. The Sharks did that on Thursday night, taking their season series with the Blue Jackets with a 3-1 win at SAP Center. San Jose overcame a brown-out and Sergei Bobrovsky en route to their 5th win of the season. Tomas Hertl scored a pair of goals and Martin Jones turned aside 24 shots to lead the Sharks.

The Sharks approach was best described as methodical. They played a typical Sharks game, slow playing their hand as they waited for the opportunity to strike. Special teams was the big differentiator as the Sharks went 2-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. Both skills rank in the middle of the pack in the NHL, which is a far cry from the start of the season when the penalty kill was ranked at the bottom of the league.

San Jose's kill was forced to go to work early in the contest after Paul Martin was sent off for hooking David Savard a minute in. Columbus generated 6 shots on their man advantage, but Jones stayed calm between the pipes, turning aside everything.

Markus Nutivaara put the Sharks on the power play midway through the period after he was called for holding Joel Ward. San Jose converted when Joonas Donskoi took a David Schlemko at the right dot then whipped a shot past Bobrovksy for his 1st goal of the season.

Hertl was whistled for tripping Sam Wagner with 4:10 left in the period, but the Sharks held their ground once again.

The 2nd period was more typical of the Sharks, but it was Bobrovsky who stood tall, turning aside 11 shots in the middle frame. Ward had a particularly tough time, missing on a breakaway chance early in the period, then followed that up by missing on a one-time chance from 10-feet out just moments later.

The Blue Jackets started to tilt the ice in their favor toward the end of the period, but Scott Hartnell missed on a wide open chance 6 minutes to play. Things may have played out much differently for San Jose had a technical glitch forced a premature intermission after the bank of lights which provides the playing surface with its lighting went dark with 2:42 left in the period.

It was decided to send both teams to their respective locker rooms and hold the intermission break while the electrical situation was sorted out. Both teams returned to finish out the period, then promptly switched attacking zones and started the 3rd period.

Brendan Dillon appeared to push the Sharks lead to 2 goals early in the 3rd period, by blasting a shot from the blueline that deflected off a pair of Blue Jacket skaters before beating Bobrovsky. Blue Jackets head coach John Tortarella challenged the play for an offside infraction. After a review that last a good 8 to 10 minutes, officials ruled that Chris Tierney was offside. Video showed Tierney's trailing skate lifting off the ice while his lead skate was in the Blue Jackets zone, negating the goal.

Jack Johnson's overzealous play on Patrick Marleau behind the Blue Jackets net sent the Sharks forward head over heels. That would send Johnson to the penalty box for tripping with 9:11 to play.

San Jose made good on their 2nd power play chance of the game when Hertl punched home the puck from the doorstep after a Schlemko shot hit him in the torso and dropped to his feet. Hertl got away with a cross check on defenseman Zach Werenski that cleared out the shooting lane and eliminated and defensive opposition.

Hartnell scored with 2:50 to play to make it a one-goal game again, giving Tortarella a reason to pull Bobrovsky. The Sharks missed on a handful of empty net chances until Hertl capped the game with his 4th goal of the season with .8 seconds left.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks cleaned up their faceoff woes to a degree, winning 26 of 53 draws (49%), which was a far cry from their 30% performances the past three games. Joe Pavelsk won 8 of 12 draws to lead San Jose.

* Brent Burns led all skaters with 5 shots on goal. Burns just missed on his own open net chance in the 1st period.

* San Jose blocked 21 shots, led by Burns with 7.


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1 2 3 T
CBJ 0 0 1 1
SJ 1 0 2 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Donskoi 1 (Schlemko), 12:59, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Hertl 3 (Vlasic, Schlemko), 12:05, (pp). 3, CBJ, Hartnell 2 (Sedlak, Saad), 17:10. 4, SJ, Hertl 4 (Thornton), 19:59, (en).
1st period - Martin, SJ (hooking), 1:02; Nutivaara, CBJ (holding), 11:20; Hertl, SJ (tripping), 15:50.
2nd period - Karlsson, SJ (high sticking), 19:10.
3rd period - Johnson, CBJ (tripping), 10:39.
Shots Saves
CBJ - Bobrovsky 28 26
CBJ - empty net 1 0
SJ - Jones 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CBJ 13 4 8 25
SJ 10 11 8 29
Power Play Conversion
CBJ 0 of 3
SJ 2 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Martin Jones
Tomas Hertl
Sergei Bobrovsky
SAP Center - 17,229
Referees: Pochmara, Morton. Linesmen: Heyer, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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