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A night of firsts for several Sharks
SJ scores a trio of 3rd period goals to beat Ottawa 6-3
11/24/2021 - By Mike Lee
After beating the best team in the NHL on Monday night, the Sharks got a crack at statistically the worst in the Ottawa Senators on Thanksgiving eve. With only 9 points in the standings, Ottawa sits at the bottom of the NHL standings (although they have played 3 fewer games than the Arizona Coyotes). San Jose had to work for 2 points, but three 3rd period goals help propel them to a 6-3 win at SAP Center.

It was a back and forth affair, that would have been an utter failure had the Sharks not built on their big 2-1 overtime win over Carolina 48 hours earlier.

It was a night of firsts for a trip of Sharks.

Matt Nieto finally got on the score sheet, scoring his 1st goal of the season 7:16 into the contest. The winger traded passes with Kevin Labanc as the Sharks worked a 3-on-2 break up the ice. Nieto drew the puck to his forehand as he skated on the right side and lifted a shot that sailed past Senators goaltender Matt Murray's right shoulder.

Ottawa tied the game at 13:38 when Josh Norris put back a rebound from the top of the crease. Brady Tkachuk fired a shot on net from the top of the right circle that goaltender James Reimer denied, but the rebound kicked right out to Norris for the easy deposit. Erik Karlsson was the closest defender, but he floated out too far to be able and interfere with Norris.

Tomas Hertl helped San Jose reclaim the lead 47 seconds into the 2nd period when he gathered a Timo Meier feed on the break and ripped a shot from the left dot that tucked between Murray and the left post for this 8th goal of the season.

Jake Middleton setup Ottawa with an opportunity to immediately counter when he took a slashing penalty 20 seconds after Hertl's goal. That was followed by a bench minor for too many men. The Sharks killed both penalties, but it wasn't the response the Sharks were hoping to see. Alexander Barabanov almost added to the Sharks lead 9 minutes into the period when Erik Karlsson hit him with an incredible 50 foot pass as the forward was cutting toward the net. Barabanov tried forcing the puck in from in tight, but Murray held his ground to deny him.

Things would turn late in the period.

The Sharks insistence on leaving the front of their own net undefended bit them again when Brady Tkachuk redirected a Thomas Chabot pass past Reimer from the Sharks doorstep.

Ottawa grabbed the lead with just under 4 minutes to play in the period when Connor Brown finished a sequence that had the puck circling the Sharks zone. Brown floated to the slot where he gathered a Chabot feed from the right wing boards. He was able to lift a shot into a wide open net as Reimer was caught on the left post.

Tkachuk took high sticking penalty at 18:52, then Nick Bonino recorded his first point as a Shark when he wristed home a shot from the slot. The veteran centerman celebrated the end to his epic dry spell by raising his arms and looking up to the rafters in mock relief.

Things got testy at the start of the 3rd period. Tkachuk was hit in the Ottawa zone but retaliated by slashing Brent Burns to earn a 2 minute timeout. The Sharks failed to generate much on the power play, and should have been in a position to work another man advantage after Austin Watson was sent off for boarding Marc-Edouard Vlasic, but Barabanov was called for slashing Brown on a breakaway 10 seconds in to the Sharks power play.

Meier gave the Sharks the 4-3 lead 11:18 into the 3rd period on a blast from the high slot. The Sharks worked the puck off the end boards when Rudolfs Balcers slid a feed to Meier who cranked home his 7th tally of the season.

The Senators were forced to pull Murray with 90 seconds left. Logan Couture capitalized by picking Chabot's pocket as the Senators defenseman tried exiting his own zone. The Sharks captain stole the puck at the top of the left circle, then whipped around and fired it into the vacated net.

Jake Middleton scored his 1st NHL goal with 32 seconds left, also of the empty net variety.

Game Notes:

* Nick Bonino played in his 700th career NHL game, and celebrated with his first point as a Shark. It took Bonino 19 games to finally record a point for San Jose. Bonino's family was in attendance, including a 5th month old who is the youngest of his three children.

* Nikita Ziatsev cross-checked Tim Meier in the face preceding the 3rd period exchange that resulted in Austin Watson's boarding penalty. It will be interesting to see if the league decides to impose any penalties on the Senators defenseman.

* The Senators are the only team in the NHL to go winless after entering the 3rd period tied or trailing (0-11-1).

* Senators captain Brady Tkachuk took four minor penalties in the game. The Sharks converted on one of the man advantage chances they were awarded as a result.

* San Jose special teams finished the evening 1-for-5 on the power play. They were a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

* Mario Ferraro recorded 7 blocked shots, which all came before the game's midpoint.


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1 2 3 T
OTT 1 2 0 3
SJ 1 2 3 6
1st period - 1, SJ, Nieto 1 (Labanc, Karlsson), 7:16. 2, OTT, Norris 8 (Tkachuk, Thomson), 13:38.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Hertl 8 (Meier, Ferraro), 0:47. 4, OTT, Tkachuk 4 (Chabot, Zub), 14:38. 5, OTT, Brown 3 (Chabot), 16:11. 6, SJ, Bonino 1 (Meier, Couture), 19:29, (pp).
3rd period - 7, SJ, Meier 7 ()Balcers, Vlasic, 11:18. 8, SJ, Couture 7 (unassisted), 18:56, (en). 9, SJ, Middleton 1 (Cogliano, Karlsson), 19:28, (en).
1st period - Watson, OTT (fighting major), 2:04; Middleton, SJ (fighting major), 2:04; Tkachuk, OTT (roughing), 8:38.
2nd period - Middleton, SJ (slashing), 1:07; Bench, SJ (too many men), 4:12; Formenton, OTT (slashing), 13:13; Gregor, SJ (tripping), 13:59; Tkachuk, OTT (high sticking), 18:52.
3rd period - Tkachuk, OTT (slashing), 0:31; Watson, OTT (boarding), 4:16; Barabanov, SJ (slashing), 4:26; Tkachuk, OTT (roughing), 19:11; Nieto, SJ (roughing), 19:11.
Shots Saves
OTT - Murray 27 23
OTT - empty net 2 0
SJ - Reimer 29 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
OTT 12 13 4 29
SJ 11 11 7 29
Power Play Conversion
OTT 0 of 4
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Timo Meier
Thomas Chabot
Nick Bonino
SAP Center - 10,076
Referees: #26 Jake Brenk, #49 Reid Anderson . Linesmen: #62 Mitch Hunt, #58 Ryan Gibbons.

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