The three powerplay goals scored by the Sharks helped propel them to a 6-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night. Antero Niittymaki saw his second consecutive start stopping 21 of the 22 shots faced. The pieces are coming together more and more for this Sharks team, as the big trio of Thornton, Heatley, and Marleau started the game together for the first time this season.
Some fundamental errors still exist for the club, Jordan Eberle scored a great shorthanded goal because of some miscommunication between Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle. Not to take anything away from Eberle, as he made a strong play to drive the net and wait out Niittymaki, but Marleau did not allow Boyle to play the puck carrier and Eberle beat Marleau to the net.
After the mishap, the Sharks responded with a powerplay goal by Dany Heatley on a tip in front of the net from a Joe Pavelski shot. Heatley heard the boo’s from the crowd at Rexall all night but it didn’t stop him from adding an assist later in the contest. Heatley, you may recall, refused to be part of a trade to Edmonton while he was still with Ottawa.
Tied 1-1 in the 2nd period, Logan Couture scored on a nicely-placed backhand off a rebound that popped out in front of the net. The Sharks needed to improve their 5 on 5 play and did so with this shift. Jamie McGinn, Torrey Mitchell, and Couture played great together throughout the game. Their high-energy style of play allowed Couture to pressure Jim Vandermeer into turning the puck over behind his own net.
A powerplay goal by Joe Pavelski put the Sharks up 3-1 at the end of the 2nd period. Pavelski continues his hot streak as he has 5 points in two games and would assist on Ryan Clowe’s goal just 4:29 into the 3rd period to start the route.
Just 20 seconds later, the Sharks would add another powerplay goal by Dan Boyle on a blast from the point. Dany Heatley was perfectly screening the vision of Nikolai Khabibulin on the play.
2-0 on their current three-game road swing, the Sharks face-off Sunday night in Calgary before returning home to play against the Devils on Wednesday.
Notes: John McCarthy scored his 1st NHL goal in only his ninth career game. McCarthy is a former 7th-round pick by the Sharks who played his college hockey at Boston University…Taylor Hall is still in search of his 1st NHL goal but looks to be improving with every passing game…The Sharks went 3 for 5 on the poweplay improving their season percentage to 33.3% which currently ranks 2nd in the league.
About the Author
Written by Alex Wasserstrom
Native Californian, former minor league pro, and current men's league superstar, Alex Wasserstrom is ProSportsBlogging.com's San Jose Sharks correspondent. Wanna talk puck? Shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or follow him on Twitter (@Awassers).