The Ottawa Senators continue their head-to-head dominance as the San Jose Sharks fall a fifth straight time Wednesday, Dec. 7…
Some teams just have another’s number. Case in point—the San Jose Sharks fall for the fifth straight time to the Ottawa Senators Wednesday, Dec. 7.
The Sharks earned just one head-to-head point in three home games since their last win in October of 2013. The Senators won both their home games in regulation, with another scheduled for next Wednesday.
Ottawa got underway early Wednesday. Tommy Wingels took a penalty for hooking 3:09 into the game and Mark Stone backhanded home a loose puck 33 seconds later. Erik Karlsson got a secondary assist on that score and buried a wrister through traffic 3:37 later.
For the first 28-plus minutes, San Jose could not solve goalie Mike Condon. He turned multiple grade-A chances away among those first 13 saves before Logan Couture beat him on the power play.
That score held up until Brent Burns ripped a wrister past Condon 6:30 into the third. It seemed the Sharks would earn at least one point until just over a minute remained.
A bad bounce became a breakaway goal for Chris Kelly. Karlsson earned a game-high third point on the play with another secondary assist. The Senators added an empty-net goal with 16 seconds remaining to cap off scoring.
The event summary reflects the extra attack time San Jose enjoyed. The 36-29 faceoff edge was more than lost with 10 more giveaways (16-6) and a 7-8 takeaway deficit. The slight 24-21 edge in hits might even suggest more time defending.
However, Ottawa faced over twice as many shots (37-17) and attempts (78-36). Thus even its 21-12 edge in blocks represents an inferior ratio of shots per block (1.76 to 1.42) and percentage of attempts blocked (26.9 to 33.3 percent).
Individually, Burns played well for the Sharks. His goal came on five shots and 13 attempts. He added one hit, three giveaways, a takeaway and three blocks over 26:46 ice time.
Unfortunately, fellow Norris Trophy finalist Karlsson was better. He had a goal, two assists, two shots and four attempts. He also had two hits, two giveaways, two takeaways, a block and a minor penalty over 26:19.
San Jose captain Joe Pavelski continues to lead the forward unit. He had an assist, seven shots and 12 attempts. He added three hits, two giveaways and a blocked shot while winning nine of 13 faceoffs.
The Sharks visit the four-time defending Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks Friday. They will immediately return home Saturday to host the Carolina Hurricanes.
That leads to a four-game road trip. It will be the third of the 2016-17 NHL season with at least four games two or more time zones east.
San Jose currently owns the best record in the Pacific Division by point percentage (.596). Its 31 points in 26 games sits half a game ahead of both Anaheim (31 in 27) and the Edmonton Oilers (32 in 28).