After a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks (2-2-1), the San Jose Sharks are off to their best start in team history winning 5 straight games to open the season. The previous best was 4 straight by the 2008-09 Sharks.
In what was a chippy and brutally physical game between to top Western Conference contenders which had 3 fights and a game misconduct, the San Jose Sharks came out on top yet again. The first line did all the damage with Joe Pavelski scoring 2 goals, Joe Thornton netting his 3rd of the year, and Patrick Marleau with a goal and an assist as well.
San Jose’s penalty kill had it’s best showing to date denying all 7 of the Canucks’ power play opportunities. Great defense mixed with key saves by Antti Niemi were able to give the Vancouver power play fits all game long.
Ryane Clowe ended the game with 8 penalties for 35 minutes including a game misconduct for smashing his stick in the penalty box at the end of the second period. Before being kicked out of the game he got into a fight against Zack Kassian at the end of the first period beating him by a decent margin.
The other two fights came in the third period when emotions were at a boiling point; both Douglas Murray and Andrew Dejardins were in those scraps. The game was a very physical and it showed in the box score with a total of 46 hits, although the Canucks outhit the Sharks by a 2 to 1 margin.
Setting the tone for the game was San Jose’s power forward Ryane Clowe. Before the puck dropped both Logan Couture and Alex Burrows were jawing at each other in the face off circle. Then, once the puck dropped, Burrows and Ryane Clowe were each given unsportsmanlike conducts for getting in each others faces and most likely having a few choice words with one another.
On the insuing 4 on 4 Joe Thornton scored the first goal of the game with assists credited to Vlasic and Stuart and from there the Sharks never looked back. San Jose added another goal in the first when Joe Pavelski intercepted an errand pass and beat Cory Schneider with a great shot.
Midway through the second period Vancouver cut San Jose’s lead in half when Burrows fired a wrister passed Niemi in what would be the only goal of the game for the Canucks. The Sharks countered with a goal of their own when Marleau deflected a shot from Dan Boyle on the power play, scoring his league leading 9th goal of the young season.
In the third period San Jose added one more tally to the board as Pavelski scored his second goal of the game and the season once again on the power play with the Thornton getting his league leading 10th assist and Marleau adding his 4th assists of the season. More fisticuffs insued and in the end it was the Sharks getting the better of the Canucks both in fights and goals winning the game with a final score of 4-1.
My Three Stars of the Game
1. Joe Pavelski (2 goals)
2. Joe Thornton (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Antti Niemi (24 saves, 1 goal against)