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Canadiens outstruggle Sharks

Logan Couture leads San Jose to 5-2 win
10/17/17 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks needed something to light a fire under their lethargic season opening homestand. After whiffing on three of the first four games to start the season, San Jose received that something in the form of an equally struggling Montreal Canadiens hockey team. The Canadiens 1-3-1 record entering Tuesday night's game mirrored the Sharks struggles. Little offense and shaky goaltending have been the story out of the gate, but it was San Jose that took advantage of those struggles on Tuesday night, as they dispatched the Canadiens 5-2 at SAP Center.

San Jose took advantage of a slew of 2nd period penalties with a three-goal outburst, then held off the Canadiens after taking four minor infractions themselves. Martin Jones helped stave off three big breakaway chances by the Canadiens to keep Montreal at bay.

Both teams traded goals 16 seconds apart in the opening period. Logan Couture opened the game's scoring with a deposit from the doorstep after a Justin Braun shot from the right point that deflected off Tomas Hertl in the slot before bouncing off the end boards. Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was sliding to his left to cover Hertl's shot, and was committed as the puck landed on Couture's stick to the right of the net. Couture cut across the slot as Price was headed in the opposite direction for the easy deposit.

San Jose fell asleep on the following faceoff though. Jonathan Drouin potted his 2nd goal of the season after Montreal forced a Sharks turnover at San Jose's blueline. Arturri Lehkonen scooped up a Karl Alzner pass along the left wing boards then slid a pass to Drouin in the slot. Drouin lifted a shot over Jones' left shoulder to knot the game at 1-1.

The Sharks entered the game having scored two goals total in the 2nd and 3rd period in the first four games of the season. They would double that output on Tuesday night. JoePavelski was credited with the first of three 2nd period goals for San Jose just 53 seconds into the period.

Pavelski's goal was of the pinball variety after Kevin Labanc ripped a shot from the blueline that hit the Sharks captain in the skate then bounced off Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber's shin pad and into the Montreal net.

Hertl pushed the Sharks lead to 3-1 after Ales Hemsky and Phillip Danault committed penalties within 56 seconds of each other. San Jose worked the puck to the right point when Joe Thornton tried feeding Hertl on the right post. The puck hit Hertl's stick and redirected between the forward's skates, slipping past Price. Hertl looked as if he was going to put the puck on his forehand, but his misplay resulted in his 2nd goal of the season.

Joonas Donskoi returned the favor to Montreal by taking a tripping penalty midway through the period, setting up one of 6 Canadien power play chances on the night. It would be the only one Montreal would capitalize on. Weber ripped a one time feed fom the left side, beating Jones for his 1st goal of the season.

tripping Thornton. The Sharks attacked Price forcing the puck to the front of the net where it deflected off a series of bodies before Couture plucked it out of the pile and rifled a shot from just outside the left post.

The Sharks went into lockdown mode in the 3rd period, limiting the Canadiens to 7 shots in the period. One of those was a big breakaway stop that would have cut the Sharks lead down to a single goal.

Thornton finished things off with an empty net goal from the blueline late in the contest. The centerman tried to find Couture to help cap off a hat trick for his teammate, but the Canadiens forced the matter as two defenders tried to collapse on him.

It was just what the doctor ordered for San Jose. They will head out on a 5-game road trip starting on Friday, starting in New Jersey.

Game Notes:

* San Jose continued the trend of netting positive results when out-shooting their opponent. The Sharks recorded 20 of their 35 shots in the 2nd period. Tomas Hertl led all players with 6 shots on goals.

* Logan Couture finished the evening with 2 goals and 2 assists. Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl all finished with a goal and an assist each.

* The announced crowd of 17,377 did not reflect the sparsely attended game. An eyeball estimate put actual people in the building at around 14,000.





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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MTL 1 1 0 2
SJ 1 3 1 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 2 (Hertl, Braun), 3:50. 2, MTL, Drouin 2 (Lehkonen, Alzner), 4:06.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Labanc, Burns), 0:53. 4, SJ, Hertl 2 (Thornton, Couture), 8:03, (pp). 5, MTL, Weber 1 (Mete, Drouin), 10:37, (pp). 6, SJ, Couture 3 (Pavelski, Heed), 13:24, (pp).
3rd period - 7, SJ, Thornton 1 (Couture, Vlasic), 19:17, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Plekanec, MTL (slashing), 6:14.
2nd period - Hudon, MTL (tripping), 2:06; Hemsky, MTL (slashing), 6:02; Danault, MTL (high sticking), 6:58; Donskoi, SJ (tripping), 10:11; Thornton, SJ (hooking), 11:03; Hudon, MTL (tripping), 13:18; Ryan, SJ (slashing), 13:56; Pavelski, SJ (high sticking), 16:35.
3rd period - Braun, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 1:55; Morrow, MTL (cross checking), 12:10; Plekanec, MTL (hooking), 16:15; Hansen, SJ (slashing), 19:31.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
MTL - Price 34 30
MTL - empty net 1 0
SJ - Jones 30 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MTL 11 12 7 30
SJ 8 20 7 35
Power Play Conversion
MTL 1 of 6
SJ 2 of 7
3 Stars of the Game
Logan Couture
Martin Jones
Tomas Hertl
Attendance
SAP Center - 17,377
Officials
Referees: Lee, Meier. Linesmen: Mach, Sericolo.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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