The San Jose Sharks (6-0-0, 12 points) defeated the St. Louis Blues (4-1-0, 8 points) by the final score of 6-2 at the Scottrade Center in what was a battle of two unbeatens. The Sharks got the better of the Blues tonight in a hard-fought game, and remain one of only two undefeated teams left in the NHL.
The biggest news coming out of tonight’s game, aside from the lopsided score from two evenly matched teams, was the injury to San Jose’s top defenseman Dan Boyle. He took a check in the back from Maxim Lapierre. To his credit Boyle was falling a little bit, but his reputation preceeds him and it did seem like he had plenty of time to pull up once he saw Boyle’s name and numbers.
Immediately following the hit Andrew Desjardins raced over to Lapierre and got in his face, then the rest of the guys on the ice joined in on the pushing and shoving. One of the fights that broke out was between Matt Pelech and Ryan Reaves and afterward both guys received game misconducts. Lapierre also received a game misconduct while the guy he fought, Desjardins, got 17 total penalty minutes.
As for Boyle, he landed awkwardly into the boards with his jaw right on the dash, so there is definitely concern for a neck and/or head injury. It took a while for the staff to get him onto a stretcher, and afterwards was taken straight to the hospital. Later on it was reported from the Sharks staff that Boyle was doing alright and he had movement in his extremities, so that is good news.
Aside from a messy first period which had a total of 79 PIM (San Jose with 38 and St. Louis with 41) it was a pretty good game from the Sharks point of view. The one bad thing was that they did let off the gas a bit in the third and that is when the Blues did their two-goals worth of damage.
After that giant mess to start the game, the Sharks ended up with about 1:30 of power play time and capitalized with a goal on some nice passing by both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau near the blue line. Logan Couture ended up with the puck on his stick and fired a snapshot that got by Jaroslav Halak to make it 1-0 Sharks.
Then, while San Jose was still on that five-minute power play they drew another penalty and had a brief five-on-three man-advantage. They scored again just as that penalty was expiring on a Joe Pavelski one-timer from the faceoff dot, tallying his first goal of the season.
Todd McLellan had something to say about those two goals on the power play immediately following the Lapierre hit as well stating “Our power play is a form of toughness. It came back and scored two goals. We really want to finish the night for Boyler.”
After that goal the Blues called a timeout to stop the Sharks’ momentum, but in hindsight it did not really do much because from that point on the Sharks maintained the lead for the rest of the game.
Later on more nastiness ocurred as Brent Burns received a two-minute penalty for boarding (and it could have easily been a much great penalty) and Blues captain David Backes received a double-minor in an altercation with Jason Demers after the whistle. Demers also got two minutes.
Two more goals were scored by San Jose in the second period, one each by Tommy Wingels and Scott Hannan, and that eventually led to Halak being pulled in during the second intermission in favor of backup Brian Elliot.
However, even Elliot could not really stop the Sharks as they got two more goals in the third, with one each from Thornton and Marleau. Marleau’s came on a power play at the end of the game after Chris Stewart tried to pick a fight at the end of the game. That Marleau goal capped a 3/7 night for the Sharks on the man-advantage. Their penalty kill was just as impressive negating all four of St. Louis’ chances with the extra man.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Thornton (1 goal, 3 assists)
2. Patrick Marleau (1 goal, 2 assists)
3. Logan Couture (1 goal, 1 assist, 5 blocked shots)