The San Jose Sharks keep swimming up the standings in the Western Conference. Despite the recent absence of star defenseman Erik Karlsson who went down with an injury a few weeks ago. The Sharks have still been able to pile up victories.
Their most recent win came in the form of a 7-2 route over the Vancouver Canucks in British Columbia on Monday night. This victory not only pushes the Sharks’ winning streak to six games, but it also propels them over the Calgary Flames for the top spot in the Pacific Division. As of right now, the Sharks have 75 points and a record of 34-16-7 while the Flames have 74 points and a record of 34-15-6.
A compelling fact regarding this game between the Sharks and Canucks is that OHL goaltender Michael DiPietro started between the pipes for the Canucks on an emergency basis according to NHL Discussion. This was the first NHL game for the 19-year-old. Unfortunately for him, the Sharks’ offense was firing on all cylinders.
The Sharks did not waste any time to get on the score sheet. Right-winger Timo Meier buried the puck past DiPietro only 64 seconds into the contest after receiving a behind the net feed from teammate Logan Couture. The tally gives the 22-year-old his second straight 20-goal season.
A little over two minutes later, left-winger Evander Kane notched his twenty-fifth goal of the year to put the Sharks up by a deuce. It was an unusual tally as Kane flipped the puck up in the air from the blue line and it somehow fluttered over DiPietro’s glove and into the net.
The Sharks kept pouring it on in the first period as forward Melker Karlsson redirected a shot from the point by defenseman Brent Burns to make the score 3-0. The tally came a little less than nine minutes into the game.
The Canucks would finally respond in the dying seconds of the frame. Forward Bo Horvat fired home a cross ice feed from rookie Elias Pettersson with just seven seconds left in the opening period.
The second stanza came with more goals, all of which were courtesy of the Sharks. Kane potted his second tally of the contest a little over four and a half minutes into the frame. The 27-year-old launched a rocket of a wrist shot from inside the left faceoff circle and over the shoulder of DiPietro.
Forward Tomas Hertl would extend the Sharks’ lead to 5-1 exactly 11 minutes into the second period. The Czech native fired the puck glove side past DiPietro after receiving a slick saucer pass from line mate Joonas Donskoi.
The final tally of the second came from right-winger Kevin Labanc with approximately three and a half minutes remaining in the frame. The 23-year-old unloaded a blistering slap-shot from point-blank range during a two-on-one rush with veteran Joe Thornton.
The Canucks would get a pity goal a little over 12 minutes into the third period. Defenseman Derrick Pouliot blasted a wrist shot blocker side on goaltender Martin Jones from the high slot area to put the score at 6-2.
The last tally of the game came from captain Joe Pavelski with a little under six minutes remaining. The Wisconsin native tipped home a shot from the point by defenseman Brenden Dillon to give himself his fifth season with 30 or more goals.
An important milestone that occurred during this game revolves around Thornton. His assist on Labanc’s goal tonight not only gives the 39-year-old assist number 1,050 which surpasses Gordie Howe for ninth most assists in NHL history, but it also gives Thornton point number 1,457 which is tied with Teemu Selanne for fifteenth most points of all time according to NHL Discussion.
The Sharks will try to grab their seventh win in a row on Thursday night in San Jose as they take on the Washington Capitals. The puck will be dropped at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.