For the second time this season the San Jose Sharks put up 50+ shots, with half of those came in the third period where they outshot the Senators 24-5. It was during that third period the Sharks broke a 2-2 tie on a Brent Burns goal at the tail end of a power play. Burns was the benefactor of great passing by linemate Joe Thornton who found the winger wide open in front of the net. Rookie Matt Nieto gained the secondary assist on the play.
The first goal of the game was scored by Tomas Hertl who was once again doing work in front of the net and banged home a rebound on a Matt Irwin shot from the point. That was Hertl’s seventh of the season and once again the top line was clicking on all cylinders.
However, Hertl would end up leaving the game during the second period after he took a shot to the head while in the offensive zone. It was definitely not an intentional play by Senators player Clark MacArthur who was just trying to make a defensive play. Also, just as he did against the Rangers, Hertl fell to a heap on the ice. Unfortunately he did not return and according to the Sharks he is ‘under evaluation’ leading us to believe it may be a concussion. During the post-game interview Todd McLellan did say the team kept him out for precautionary reasons, so that is some good news for the time being.
After that goal there was a fight between Matt Pelech and Chris Neil which set the tone for the rest of this game. Both teams brougth the ‘A’ games and things just got chippier and chippier the deeper the game went.
Nieto ended up filling in for Hertl on the Thornton and Burns line and did quite well and picked up a point in the process. If Hertl were to miss some extended time do not be surprised if Nieto stays on that line.
After that initial goal by the Sharks the Senators would score two unanswered goals, one each by Zach Smith and Bobby Ryan. Both came in the first period and Ryan’s was a great shot over the glove of Niemi on the power play.
San Jose’s second goal of the game came on the power play after a flurry in front of the net. Both Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski payed the price in front of the net while Patrick Marleau picked up a rebound and fired a backhand into an open net over a sprawled out Robin Lehner. That made the game 2-2, and it stayed that way going into the third period.
The Sharks definitely had their toughest game to date and had to fight through some adversity. They had to kill off an Ottawa power play with less than four minutes left in the game. After that great kill the Senators pulled Lehner for the extra attacker but Antti Niemi and the rest of the Sharks stood strong.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Brent Burns, SJ (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. Robin Lehner, OTT (47 saves)
3. Joe Thornton, SJ (1 assist)