Sharks surge then fight off Vancouver charge
HP PAVILION — The Sharks truly are a roller coaster of a team, from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows and then back again.
Following a stretch of inconsistent play trading wins and losses, San Jose has won five straight, four of those coming against teams above them in the standings.
Facing their nemesis, the Vancouver Canucks, Team Teal scored all three goals in a 2:13 span in the second period but failed to step on their opponent’s throat, narrowly holding on after a Vancouver rally to win 3-2.
Afterwards, coach Todd McLellan told reporters he wasn’t too thrilled with the way the team played in the third period:
“I was actually pretty disappointed in our group after we made it 3-0. We took our foot off the gas, we started doing things that we weren’t doing in the first 30 minutes of the game and it almost came back to bite us so they’re happy for the win. I’m happy with the way a lot of guys played, a little disappointed in the way the team performed the second half of the game.”
Following a scoreless first period, the Sharks dominated in the Canucks zone, outshooting Vancouver 14-6.
With 12:19 remaining in the second period, San Jose scored the first of its three goals when Andrew Desjardins lit the lamp for his first tally of the season beating Vancouver netminder Cory Schneider from the slot.
41 seconds later it was a rare goal by Joe Thornton, who kept the puck and fired a wrister from the high slot over the left shoulder of Schneider. Pleasanton native Matt Tennyson — in his Sharks debut — was credited with the assist.
After a penalty to Kevin Bieksa put the Sharks on the power play, San Jose took advantage with Logan Couture crashing the net. The puck inadvertently went off his skates and past Schneider.
But the Canucks aren’t one of the best teams in the west for nothing. They scored a late second period goal and added one more midway through the third period to keep the heat on San Jose.
The Sharks held onto their one-goal lead, thanks in part to some very disciplined play. The Canucks never had a power play opportunity.
Tennyson made his debut largely because there are rumors that Ryane Clowe has likely played his last game in a Sharks uniform.
Veteran forward Clowe simply has been behind the eight-ball all season long. Without training camp to get his game into shape, Clowe has been largely ineffective. He has yet to score a goal and, other than being a physical presence, he hasn’t been much of a contributor at all.
Philly.com is reporting Tuesday morning that the Flyers are one of many teams vying for Clowe’s services. Clowe spoke to reporters at the morning skate regarding his situation.
Sharks forward Ryane Clowe
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson appears to be looking towards the future and has already dealt Douglas Murray to the Penguins and, before Monday’s game, Michal Handzus to the Blackhawks for a fourth-round draft pick.
The five-game win streak for the Sharks is their second longest winning streak of the season (7 games, 1/20 thru 1/31). … San Jose has not allowed a power play in the last five games and is 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. … The Sharks also swept the season series against the Canucks, winning all three games.