The San Jose Sharks defeated the Phoenix Coyotes by the final score of 4-1 at the SAP Center in San Jose. Rookie Tomas Hertl was the player of the game, and scored a couple of goals in San Jose’s winning effort.
The Sharks came out strong in the first period as rookie Hertl scored his first career NHL goal less than a minute into the game. Hertl made a nice move to split the defense in the slot and fired a shot through the five-hole of Mike Smith. Just like that the Sharks had a 1-0 lead.
After that first goal the Sharks continued their first period onslaught of the Phoenix Coyotes by scoring two more goals, both of which came on the power play.
Hertl scored again, this time on a deflection in front while he was providing a screen for a Matt Irwin shot from the point.
San Jose’s third goal came on a goal by Patrick Marleau, his second of the season. Marc-Edouard Vlasic crashed the net after a Joe Pavelski shot, picked up the rebound, then fed a short pass to Marleau. Marleau was on Mike Smith’s doorstep and slammed home the easy goal to make it 3-0 Sharks.
From that point on the Sharks were in control, and only once, near the end of the second period, did things start to get a little out of hand.
That was when the Coyotes scored their only goal of the game, which came from defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The shot was a decent one but should have been stopped by by Antti Niemi, and he was visibly frustrated with himself after he let that one in. He was still great in goal, however, and finished the game with 22 saves on 23 shots.
In one last ditch effort, Phoenix pulled their goalie with less than 2 mins left in the third period and had some sustained pressure, but were unable to come away with any points. In fact, the Logan Couture scored an empty netter to put the final nail in the coffin, and secure the Sharks’ 4-1 victory.
The Sharks were in control for most of the game and ended with 51 shots on goal. They also ended the night 2-4 on the power play, much better than their 0-8 on opening night.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Tomas Hertl (2 goals)
2. Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2 assists)
3. Mike Smith (46 saves)