The San Jose Sharks looked strong this evening, especially offensively, which included an offensive explosion of five goals in the second period. Joe Pavelski netted his second career hat trick and in the process surpassed his previous season high of 31 goals by scoring his 32nd one this evening.
Torres opened up the scoring in the first period and also tallied one with under three seconds left in the second stanza. Couture scored one of his two goals while the San Jose Sharks were short-handed and looked to have a hat trick himself but after a very long review the goal was disallowed. Still, it was a strong showing for both who showed an immediate impact in their return to the lineup.
As for the goaltending it was Alex Stalock who got the start in net tonight with Antti Niemi set to go tomorrow night in Buffalo. Stalock finished with 27 saves on 30 shots and was strong once again for the Sharks.
For the Flyers, it was a rough game after they were the stronger team in the first period and left it with a 2-1 lead on goals by Andrej Mezaros and Brayden Schenn 22 seconds apart. They also outshot San Jose 10-5 and were in the driver’s seat until early in the second period.
At that point the Sharks scored what would be five goals in the second period and six straight if you include their third period goal. In that second period the Sharks turned the tables in the shot department as well and outshot the Flyers 16-8.
Amidst all that the Flyers changed goaltenders twice as well, with starter Steve Mason being pulled after allowing his fourth goal of the game about halfway through the game. However, he came back in after the Couture disallowed goal. At that point his backup Ray Emery allowed three goals himself.
And, while the Flyers have struggled all season with their defense, they were without their best offensive defenseman and puck mover Kimmo Timmonen who was no doubt out of the lineup for some extra rest due to being a competitor in the Olympics.
Overall, a great start for the San Jose Sharks who were hoping for just that after a long break for most of the guys. It seemed some questions were answered as well with the great play from Couture and Torres who were coming back from injury. They now have to get set for tomorrow night’s game against a Buffalo Sabres team which should not be overlooked.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (3 goals)
2. Logan Couture (2 goals)
3. Raffi Torres (2 goals)
1st period 4 shots
2nd period 17