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The road continues to be a haven
Sharks win third straight game with 4-1 win in Winnipeg
1/12/15 - By Mike Lee -

The road continues to be a safe haven for the Sharks this season. Even skating against a team that beat them soundly at SAP Center ten days earlier, San Jose played another solid road game, scoring a couple of goals, then clamping down defensively to stymie the host Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. The Sharks misfired on 5 of 6 chances on the power play, but converted on a big chance late in the game to secure a 4-1 victory at MTS Centre in Saskatchewan.

Skating against the most penalized team in the NHL, the Sharks could have made things mush easier on themselves had they converted on the bushel of power play chances they knew were coming. Special teams has been a point of emphasis for the Sharks in December and January after they plummeted in the league rankings in both the power play and penalty kill through the first two months of the season.

After climbing their way back to 10th in penalty kill rankings, the three goals Calgary scored on the man-advantage bumped the Sharks 7 places down the ladder. Not converting early in the game made things a little tougher than it should have. The penalty kill also came up short early.

Chris Tierney staked the Sharks to a short-lived 1-0 lead 15:18 into the opening period after Dustin Byfuglien turned the puck over at center ice. The Jets defenseman made a half-hearted attempt to move the puck with a backhand that hit Tierney in the midsection while Winnipeg was on a power play. Tierney scooped it up and skated into the Jets zone before cutting across the slot from right to left and whipping a shot past Connor Hellebuyck.

That power play continue and the Jets responded 23 seconds later. After winning a faceoff in the Jets zone, the Sharks dropped the puck back to the right point where Justin Braun whiffed on a chance to move the puck toward the Winnipeg zone. Drew Stafford picked up the puck and raced up the left wing before sliding a pass to Nikolaj Ehlers on the right wing. Ehlers beat Patrick Marleau to the spot where Stafford's pass ended up. With the period winding down, the Sharks took advantage of the Jets defense when Joe Pavelski hit Tomas Hertl with a long pass to the Jets blueline. Hertl raced past Tyler Myers to get a shot on net from the Jets doorstep. Heelbuyck stopped the shot, but Joe Thornton chipped home the rebound after Toby Enstrom overskated the puck.

Tyler Myers put his team in a hole by responding to a check by Tommy Wingels by cross checking the Sharks forward in the back of the head earning a major penalty and a game misconduct. The Jets appeared to overcome the penalty when Blake Wheeler scored after goaltender Alex Stalock inexplicably tried to play a puck 15 feet out of his net. Wheeler gained control of the puck behind the Sharks net, and deposited it into the Sharks goal, but officials deemed that he tripped the Sharks netminder to negate the goal.

Boos rained down on referees Chris Rooney and Brad Watson, but the fact was it was a trip and the call was the right one.

The bigger issue for San Jose was how they allowed the Jets to create a scoring chance on such a lengthy power play with a one-goal lead. Braun's gaff earlier in the game should have been a point of emphasis for the Sharks when it came to details on the power play.

By virtue of Wheeler's penalty, the Sharks were now skating with a two-man advantage for a full two minutes. That did little to motivate the Sharks who couldn't get out of 1st gear.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer called a timeout to wake up his special teams unit, complete with his scowl that finally got his skaters moving.

Joe Pavelski converted with 16 seconds left before the 5-on-3 expired, pumping a one-timer from the left side after Logan Couture slid a pass from the slot. The tally was Pavelski's 22nd of the season.

Winnipeg was forced to pull Hellebuyck in an attempt to get back into the game, but that setup a Joel Ward empty-net goal.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 0 2 4
WPG 1 0 0 1
1st period - 1, SJ, Tierney 4 (unassited), 15:18, (sh). 2, WPG, Ehlers 7 (Stafford), 15:41, (pp). 3, SJ, Thornton 9 (unassisted), 19:13.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 22 (Couture, Burns), 15:59, (pp). 5, SJ, Ward 13 (), 19;06, (en).
1st period - Brown, SJ (fighting major), 8:43; Stuart, WPG (fighting major), 8:43; Enstrom, WPG (holding), 9:08; Wingels, SJ (hooking), 14:30; Lowry, WPG (cross checking), 20:00.
2nd period - Stuart, WPG (delay of game - puck over glass), 1:50; Martin, SJ (tripping), 15:42; Dillon, SJ (fighting major), 17:47; Ladd, WPG (fighting major), 17:47.
3rd period - Nieto, SJ (hooking), 3:37; Stuart, WPG (roughing), 8:32; Myers, WPG (cross checking major), 12:55; Myers, WPG (10 min misconduct), 12:55; Wheeler, WPG (tripping), 14:12.
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 22 21
WPG - Hellebuyck 26 23
WPG - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 6 10 27
WPG 7 8 7 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 6
WPG 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
Chris Tierney
Nikolaj Ehlers
Referees: Rooney, Watson. Linesmen: Rody, Alphonso.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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