Behind a 43-save night from Martin Jones, the Sharks provided an offensive showcase crushing the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1, Thursday at SAP Center.
For Jones, the 43 saves were one short of his season-high, set Jan. 31 in a shoot-out loss at Detroit. Of his goalie’s performance, head coach Pete DeBoer said:
“We needed (Jones) to be very good and he was excellent, we needed that tonight. … We got some timely goals and did just enough to win, so we’ll take it.”
Despite the largely one-sided victory, the Sharks’ power play struggles continued through the first 20 minutes, as they failed to take advantage of two chances with the man advantage. San Jose’s third-ranked power play unit — 23.3 percent — has failed to find the net in eight chances since a two goal performance against the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 8.
Potent even-strength offense was enough to top the lowly Canucks (22-30-6) this time around, though.
San Jose (31-19-8) tallied the game’s first goal when Mikkel Boedker sent a puck to Chris Tierney behind the Vancouver net. Tierney centered it back to Boedker, who wristed a shot off Canuck goalie Anders Nilsson‘s shoulder into the net.
The Sharks tacked onto their lead 4:57 into the second period after Brent Burns blasted a one-timer through the wickets of Nilsson, set up by Joakim Ryan immediately following a Logan Couture face-off win. Burns was listed as a forward on tonight’s starting lineup in the wake of injuries to forwards Joe Thornton, Joel Ward and Tomas Hertl, but he would play the majority of the night from the blue line.
“I think playing forward’s all about chemistry. … It’s fun to play in the NHL, it’s fun to play hockey, it doesn’t matter where.”
San Jose’s maintaining a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes was in large part thanks to a dominant performance from Jones, who posted 22 saves in the second period alone.
After being recalled from the Barracuda Thursday, winger Marcus Sorensen recorded his fourth goal in the game’s closing minutes.
Sorensen said he felt good being back on the SAP ice:
“I had some good speed and just hit the puck to the net and found a hole. … We found a way to win tonight and it was good.”
Long-time Canuck Daniel Sedin ruined Jones’ chance at a shutout 6:43 into the third period with a quick wrist shot.
The Sharks got their three-goal lead back as the all-purpose Burns found Tierney from the point who was able to slap the puck passed Nilsson.
After playing four games in the past four days, the Sharks will host the Dallas Stars (33-20-4) on Sunday before embarking on a four-game road trip against Central Division opponents.