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First road trip of the season starts well
Sharks wear down Devils in 3-0 win
10/20/17 - By Mike Lee -

After a disappointing 5-game home stand to start the season, the Sharks kicked off their first road trip of the year in New Jersey on Friday night. The Sharks played a solid two-way game to subdue the red-hot New Jersey Devils 3-0 at the Prudential Center. The Sharks distributed the scoring across three players and withstood some tense pressure by the upstart Devils to win in consecutive games for the first time this season.

The Devils entered Friday's game with the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference at 6-1-0. A young team with plenty of team speed showed flashes of what will soon become a dangerous team to deal with. Led by Taylor Hall, New Jersey was simply faster than San Jose, but their youth may have led to enough distractions to allow the more disciplined Sharks group to capitalize on their chances.

New Jersey frequently held the advantage because of that speed, including several instances while the Sharks were on the power play. The Sharks enjoyed five Devils minor penalties, but they generated only 4 shots in that 10 minutes of man advantage time.

Martin Jones came up big in the period, stopping 13 Devil shots. The Sharks netminder stopped a big breakaway in the period and really shined on secondary chances the could have been problematic for his team.

San Jose didn't panic, and used their experience to slowly chip away at the Devils.

The Sharks grabbed the lead 14:11 into the contest when Melker Karlsson punched home a Tomas Hertl field from outside the left post. The forecheck behind the New Jersey net kept the puck deep in the Devils zone. Hertl fished it out of the left corner then dropped a pass to Karlsson as he skated behind the net.

Logan Couture was injured on the ensuing faceoff, and had to be helped to the dressing room. He would receive treatment for the remainder of the period, but returned to start the 2nd period.

The Devils picked up the pace late in that opening period, pressing the Sharks back on their heels. That included during a San Jose power play that resulted in more puck possession time for the Devils than Sharks.

Joe Pavelski pushed the Sharks lead to 2-0 six minutes into the 2nd period on a redirect from the doorstep. Justin Braun cranked a shot from the blueline with his captain sliding to the front of the net from the right post. Pavelski got his stick blade on the shot, deflecting it to the right to beat Keith Kincaid for his 2nd tally of the season.

Joonas Donskoi made it a 3-0 game with just over a minute to play in the period off a great extra effort chance. The young Shark took a Justin Braun pass up the right wing and put a shot on Kincaid from just outside the right post. The Devils netminder made the stop, but the puck kicked out back to Donskoi as he was cutting across the top of the crease from right to left. Donskoi gathered the puck and put a backhand chance into an empty net.

The clock was the only thing that stood between the Sharks and two points in the standings, but the Devils inexperience exposed itself over the final 20 minutes. San Jose committed a pair of minor infractions that gave the Devils the chance to fight back, but the penalty kill anchored by Jones held New Jersey at bay. The Sharks held the Devils to single digits on the shot counter in the period, keeping the puck away from Jones.

San Jose will have a quick turnaround, playing in Brooklyn on Saturday night. The Sharks will get a chance to avenge their loss to the Islanders that they suffered last week at SAP Center.

Game Notes:

* Rookie defenseman Joakim Ryan was born in New Jersey and had several family members and friends in attendance. Ryan turned in a solid game, logging 14:02 of ice time on 20 shifts. He tied two other Sharks for the team lead in shots with 4, added 3 hits and a pair of blocked shots.

* Tim Heed recorded an assist on the Karlsson goal, giving him two points in as many games. Heed and Ryan are getting a chance to show their mettle while Paul Martin and Dylan DeMelo nurse injuries.

* A big reason for the control the Sharks displayed on Friday night may be attributed to their ability to control the puck. San Jose owned the faceoff circle, winning 38 of 60 draws (63%). Tomas Hertl won 14 of 18 faceoffs (74%).


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 2 0 3
NJ 0 0 0 0
1st period - 1, SJ, Karlsson, 1 (Hertl, Heed), 14:11.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 2 (Braun, Thornton), 5:49. 3, SJ, Donskoi 1 (Braun), 18:50.
3rd period - None.
1st period - Labanc, SJ (slashing), 2:09; Moore, NJ (holding), 9:48; Pavelski, SJ(high sticking), 14:32; Wood, NJ (holding the stick), 17:19; Hansen, SJ (holding), 19:21.
2nd period - Palmieri, NJ (holding), 6:07; Wood, NJ (high sticking - double minor), 13:59.
3rd period - Burns, SJ (cross checking), 3:22; Donskoi, SJ (slashing), 5:43.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 28 28
NJ - Kincaid 33 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 11 9 33
NJ 13 6 9 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 5
NJ 0 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Martin Jones
Justin Braun
Melker Karlsson
Prudential Center - 14,381
Referees: Hebert, Joanette. Linesmen: Murray, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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