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Young goaltender learns a tough lesson
San Jose rolls with 7 goals against Canucks
2/11/19 - By Mike Lee -

There's not stopping the Sharks right now. If you could bottle the Sharks current hot streak, it would be a big seller. San Jose continued to roll on Monday night, winning their 6th game in a row, with a lop-sided 7-2 victory over the host Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. With the win, San Jose leap-frogged past the Calgary Flames for the top spot in the Western Conference. Evander Kane led the Sharks with a pair of goals in the big win.

San Jose took advantage of rookie goaltender Mikey DiPietro, who made his first NHL start, after getting plucked out of Juniors by the Canucks. DiPietro's inexperience was evident from the get go. The first shot he faced from an NHL opponent slipped past him.

That opponent was Timo Meier, who punched a one-time change from the slot past Dipietro after Logan Couture fished the puck out of a scrum behind the Vancouver net. Couture grabbed the puck and flipped it out to Meier, who was flanked by three Canuck defenders.

The visions of his first NHL start probably did include the next goal, which was scored two minutes later. The Sharks were buzzing in the Canucks zone, but Evander Kane was trying to keep the puck from clearing the blueline when he lofted a puck on net from the right point. DiPietro tried to deflect the puck with his blocker as it floated over his head, but he ended up knocking into his own net for the 2-0 Sharks lead.

The netminder's evening went from bad to worse when Melker Karlsson deflected a Brent Burns shot into the Canucks net at the 8:48 mark of the opening period. DiPietro finally settled down, but the damage was done. It was a deficit that the Canucks would not overcome.

Bo Horvat scored the first of two Canucks goals with 7 seconds left in the period. The Canucks forward one-timed a cross ice feed from Elias Pettersson, who whipped a pass from the outside of the left circle to his linemate on the right side.

The Sharks kept the pressure on Dipietro in the 2nd period where they would score three more goals. Kane used a more conventional method to score snapping a shot from just on top of the left dot after he and Tomas Hertl skated the puck up ice.

Hertl got in on the scoring action at the 11 minute mark of the period. Joonas Donskoi setup the goal with a pretty backhand flip that split two Canuck defenders as Hertl got a stop on the two. Hertl gathered Donskoi's feed as he raced in on the left side and lifted a shot past DiPietro for his 26th goal of the season.

Kevin Labanc followed up his big hat trick performance against Edmonton on Saturday night with his 10 goal of the season at 17:30. The young forward skated up the left wing before one-timing a cross ice feed from Joe Thornton.

Derrick Pouliot scored his 3rd goal of the season 12:06 into the 3rd period to cut the Sharks lead to 6-2, but there was no chance of a comeback. To the Canucks credit, the young team continued to battle.

It was a lousy consolation prize.

Joe Pavelski tacked on a 7th goal for San Jose with 6 minutes to play, deflecting a Brendan Dillon shot. Pavelski was lurking in front of the Vancouver net when Dillon sent a puck that would have sailed wide left, but the Sharks captain got his stick in the path. The goal was Pavelski's 30th of the season.

DiPietro finished the game with 17 saves on 24 shots. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the Sharks, who won their 34th game of the season.

They will return home on Thursday to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. The Sharks beat the Capitals 7-6 in their stunning come from behind overtime win on January 22nd.

Game Notes:

* Joe Thornton had a busy night. Thornton passed Gordie Howe for sole possession of 9th on the NHL's all-time assist list, tied Teemu Selanne for 15th on NHL's all-time points list, and passed Shane Doan and Jeff Bucyk for sole possession of 15th on the NHL's all-time games played list.

* The Sharks became the 6th team in NHL history to sweep four Western Canadian Teams in consecutive games.

* Even with the 7 goal output, four Shark skaters finished the game with a negative plus/minus for the game. Joe Thornton, Marcus Sorensen, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Kevin Labanc all finished the game a minus-1.

* Evander Kane recorded 5 of the Sharks 24 shots on goal.

* The Sharks elected on to retaliate after Tyler Motte leveled Joonas Donskoi with a hit from behind late in the game. The two teams will square off on Saturday, so there could be some retribution then.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 3 3 1 7
VAN 1 0 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Meier 20 (Couture, Pavelski), 1:04. 2, Kane 25 (Couture, Braun), 3:22. 3, SJ, M. Karlsson 9 (Burns, Goodrow), 8:48. 4, VAN, Horvat 20 (Pettersson, Stecher), 19:53.
2nd period - 5, SJ, Kane 26 (M. Karlsson, Hertl), 4:36. 6, SJ, Hertl 26 (Donskoi, Burns), 11:00. 7, SJ, Labanc 10 (Thornton), 17:30.
3rd period - 8, VAN, Pouliot 3 (Macewen, Goldobin), 12:00. 9, SJ, Pavelski 30 (Dillon, Heed), 14:05.
1st period - Kane, SJ (double minor - roughing), 15:41; Stecher, VAN (roughing), 15:41.
2nd period - Tanev, VAN (hooking), 13:51.
3rd period - Braun, SJ (tripping), 0:45; Boesner, VAN (slashing), 1:38.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 27 25
VAN - DiPietro 24 17
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 10 5 9 24
VAN 9 13 5 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
VAN 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Tomas Hertl
Evander Kane
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Rogers Arena - 18,576
Referees: Joannette, Hebert. Linesmen: Alphonso, Cameron.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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