One San Jose Sharks outburst burned the Pacific Division-rival Calgary Flames at the SAP Center Tuesday, Dec. 20…
Could this be the confirmation of an offensive turnaround? A four-goal San Jose Sharks outburst in the second period burned the Pacific Division-rival Calgary Flames Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The Sharks did not score again and are still the only team without a five-goal game this 2016-17 NHL season. However, they have at least two regulation goals on a manned net in 16 of their last 17 games. They also have 30 total goals over their last 10 games.
Of course, San Jose could have won this game with its standard two goals. Martin Jones continues to defy his workload, turning away 20 of 21 shots for a .952 save percentage (sv%). He has more starts (29) than anyone but Cam Talbot (30) so far this 2016-17 NHL season. The two are likely to face off Friday when former coach Todd McLellan brings his Edmonton Oilers into town.
Jones has now played all five games over the last eight days, allowing 11 goals including two overtimes and shootouts. He has a 4-1-0 record, .919 sv% and 2.13 goals-against average (GAA) over that span.
Jones will almost certainly start three more for the Sharks in 2016. There are two days off before Friday’s game and then three more for Christmas before games next Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
The way Jones is playing, heavy work is good for San Jose’s immediate future. (What it means longterm will be discussed here before Christmas.) Forty-one points is two better with a game in hand than the second-place Pacific Division teams, the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers.
The Flames dropped to the fifth-best record in the Pacific Division with 36 points in 35 games. Despite official standings, they are a game behind the Nashville Predators (35 in 32) for the final wild card.
Calgary came into the game having won seven of its last nine games. It scored 32 goals over that span including overtimes.
That made the win significant. Meaningful Sharks were scoring the points.
Joonas Donskoi had two goals after going without for his last 22 games of the 2016-17 NHL season. One came on a great setup from Tommy Wingels, continuing his strong play since returning from a minor injury.
Patrick Marleau and Paul Martin also scored. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton stayed hot with two assists each.
All four goals came over 10:44 of the second. The Flames broke the shutout 79 seconds into the third: Matthew Tkachuk fed the slot and Sam Bennett finished.
Jones did not allow another goal. San Jose’s defenders again showed an ability to close by holding Calgary to four shots over the final 18:41.
The Sharks dominated the event summary despite milking a multi-goal lead for over half the game. They finished 28-26 faceoffs, 24-15 giveaways, 10-6 takeaways, 16-25 hits, 34-21 shots, 64-51 attempts yet still won blocks 15-14.