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