Back to back wins have been a rarity for the
San Jose Sharks this season. Leading up to Monday night's contest with the
Washington Capitals, the Sharks had one back to back games just once this
season. They replicated that feat with a nice 2-1 win over the Capitals,
extending their point streak to three consecutive games. Playing their 5th game
in 8 days, it was a prime opportunity for the Sharks to lay down. Perhaps
they're starting to enjoy winning enough to do the little things to collect 2
points that are there for the taking.
MacKenzie Blackwood made 33
saves for the Sharks to lead the team. While his teammates were trying to
figure out how to generate some offense against Alex Ovechkin and company,
Blackwood was making big saves. Especially in the opening period.
Sharks netminder helped keep the Sharks even after a Kyle Burroughs hooking
penalty 2:@4 into the contest, denying two quality chances for the Capitals on
the power play. Tom Wilson had a wide open net as he received a pass while
perched on the doorstep, but he didn't get enough on the redirect. That allowed
Blackwood to sweep it away with his leg pad.
He would follow that up
by squaring himself up to a point blank Anthony Manta one time chance on the
same power play.
San Jose survived those Capitals chances, then
grabbed the lead.
Fabian Zetterlund scored his 6th goal of the season,
and 2nd in consecutive games to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 10:23. Zetterlund
put a shot on Darcy Kuemper from the top of the right circle on the rush, but
the puck was deflected back out to the front of the net where Nikita Okhotiuk
kicked it out to the right side where Zetterlund collected it and lifted a shot
over Darcy Kuemper.
Washington out-shot San Jose 13-11 in the opening
period but had nothing to show for it.
The Sharks seem to have things
in order defensively for most of the 2nd period, but a late lapse allowed the
Capitals to tie the game at 16:25. With the Capitals finally buzzing around the
Sharks net, Evgeny Kuznetsov converted from the doorstep after his shot attempt
clipped Okhotiuk and deflected past Blackwood for the 1-1 tie.
MacDonald took the Sharks 3rd minor penalty of the night at 85 seconds later
after he tripped John Carlson. Washington put two shots off goal posts on the
ensuing power play, but that's as close as the Capitals power play unit would
Washington created problems for themselves by taking
a pair of penalties in the 3rd period. First Joel Edmundson was sent off for
interference, although he could have received a cross checking or boarding
penalty for face planting Kevin Labanc into the end boards. The Capitals killed
that penalty, but they wouldn't be so lucky on a high sticking penalty to
Luke Kunin converted on the latter penalty with a
one time shot from the inside edge of the left circle off a setup pass from
newly signed Shark Justin Bailey. The goal came with 7:12 left in regulation,
which forced the Capitals to push in the offensive zone.
pull Kuemper with 1:15 to play, but it would not tilt the scoreboard in
Washington's favor. Game Notes:
* Tomas Hertl was an
injury scratch after suffering what's being reported as a "mid-body" injury. No
clue what that means, so make your own conclusions.
* The Sharks
signed right wing Justin Bailey to a 1-year two-way contract on Monday
afternoon, and he was in the lineup on Monday night. Bailey was drafted by the
Buffalo Sabres in 2013 and has bounced around the league, playing for three
teams before inking a deal with the SJ Barracuda earlier this year. Bailey
leads the Barracuda in goal scoring this season with 6 goals in 16 games.
* Filip Zadina was officially moved to the injured reserve. He did not
play in San Jose's 4-3 win over Vancouver on Saturday night after he was
injured in the Sharks shootout loss to Montreal on Friday.
Zetterlund led the sharks with 6 shots on goal. Tom Wilson matched that number
* The Sharks head out on the road for a season-long
6-game trip. They will play two 5-game sets away from SAP Center as well, but
the upcoming sojourn will take them to Boston, New Jersey, Manhattan, Long
Island, Detroit and Vegas.