It wasn’t pretty, nor was it perfect, but the San Jose Sharks managed to grind out a 4-3 shootout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Joe Pavelski scored in the second round of the shootout, while Sharks’ goaltender Alex Stalock stopped all three Blue Jackets’ attempts. Stalock played well, stopping 38 shots on 41 attempts.
The Sharks had to play come-from-behind twice in the game. After Ryan Johansen scored just five minutes in, Logan Couture found Patrick Marleau for a deflection that found the back of the net to tie things up at 1-1 at the 10:53 mark of the first period.
The low point in the game for the Sharks came late in the second period, when they failed to score on a 5-on-3 power play, then gave up a shorthanded breakaway goal to R.J. Umberger, streaking out of the penalty box. San Jose, however, did not waver and responded with two big goals in the third. Matt Nieto tied the game just 15 seconds in to the period. Then, at the 5:56 mark, Patrick Marleau netted a power play goal, putting home a wrist shot on the counter-attack after Stalock had stymied a Jackets’ two-on-one.
Columbus tied the game late on a James Wisniewski wide open slap shot, after the Sharks had some miscommunication on defense. That forced a shootout, where the Sharks would eventually prevail.
A couple things to note:
1) The Sharks did score a power play goal, but they were still just 1-for-3 on the man-advantage tonight, making them three for their last 57 overall. As mentioned, they allowed a shorthanded breakaway goal on a five-on-three power play, which is simply inexcusable. For a team that possesses the skill and firepower of the Sharks, their struggles on the power play are baffling.
2) With the win, the Sharks pull into a first-place tie with the Ducks atop the Pacific Division. Both teams have 93 points, but the Ducks are slumping while the Sharks have won four straight and are peaking at exactly the right time.
Tale of the Tape
- Shots on goal: 27
- Power play: 1-for-3
- Hits: 17
- Giveaways: 5
- Takeaways: 5
- Faceoffs won: 33
- Shots on goal: 38
- Power play: 0-for-3
- Hits: 48
- Giveaways: 3
- Takeaways: 6
- Faceoffs won: 31
Good to Know
Marleau’s power play goal snapped an 0-for-22 stretch for the Sharks over the last 7 games.
— Darin Stephens (@SharksStats) March 14, 2014
What’s on Tap
There is no rest for the weary, as the Sharks take on the Islanders on Friday night on the back-end of a back-to-back.