The San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets got their season series underway in a matinee at SAP Center. The Sharks lack of secondary scoring is a narrative that has lasted most of the season. The shaky Jets goaltending continued to fuel the fire on what to do with Michael Hutchinson and Connor Hellebuyck.
Once again the Sharks came out on their heels in the opening minutes. The Jets came out flying early in the game with six shot attempts in the first 90 seconds of action. As is customary for the Sharks, Martin Jones provided steady goaltending to stem the early push by Winnipeg.
David Schlemko headed to the penalty box for crosschecking Mathieu Perreault at 11:39. During the ensuing Jets power play, Joel Ward charged down the right wing and wristed a shot past Hutchinson for the opening Tally. Hutchinson never was set on the play and appeared off his angle as well, allowing Ward to get his second shorthanded marker of the season and fourth goal overall.
The Sharks dominated the final third of the opening frame. The San Jose defense did not allow a shot on goal in the last 6:39 of play and no shot attempts at all in the final 5:01 of the period. Shawn Matthias had two glorious chances to get the Jets on the board in the period, but Jones was equal to the task.
Joel Ward again got on the scoresheet in the opening minutes of the middle stanza. Chris Stewart stepped up at the Sharks blueline and laid a thunderous check on Joel Ward just as Ward slid the puck to center ice. Timo Meier took the pass and went in on Hutchinson with a quick move and a backhander that beat the Jets goalie for his second goal of the season. Brent Burns would add a power play goal to make it 3-0 on another out of position goal allowed by Hutchinson.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 16, 2017
Whatever fight the Jets had left the building after the Burns goal. They killed off the majority of Dustin Byfgaulin’s double-minor for high-sticking Joe Thornton late in the period to keep the game from getting out of hand. It was an ugly period for Winnipeg as they were outshot 15-4 in the period.
The Sharks started the period with the man-advantage, but the Jets killed off the 57 seconds before the game settled back into its rhythm. Score effects were evident for the San Jose Sharks with just eight shot attempts during the period and the Jets with 14 attempts, but Martin Jones was sharp again with his biggest stop of the night.
The Jets rookie defenseman Josh Morrissey broke the Jones shutout on a strange play that deflected behind Jones and trickled over the goal line. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer challenged to play to preserve the shutout for his netminder, but the call on the ice stood.
The Jets cut the Sharks lead to two goals when Mark Scheifele intercepted Jones’ attempt at an empty-net goal. The Jets centerman gloved down the puck and slid it home to bring Winnipeg within two. However, Joe Thornton would score his third empty-net goal of the season to ice the game and send the Jets home with another road loss.
SJS – Joel Ward (4) (Shorthanded) Assisted by Justin Braun
SJS – Timo Meier (2) Assisted by Joel Ward
SJS – Brent Burns (18) (Power Play) Assisted by Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau
SJS – Chris Tierney (4) Assisted by Timo Meier and Marc-Edouard Vlasic
WPG – Josh Morrissey (2) Assisted by Mark Scheifele
WPG – Mark Scheifele (20)
SJS – Joe Thornton (3)
THW Three Stars
First Star: Joel Ward (Goal, Assist)
Second Star: Timo Meier (Goal, Assist)
Third Star: Mark Scheifele (Goal, Assist)
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
Staples Center – 7:30 PM PST on Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Broadcast Channels: NBCSN
October 12, 2016: Sharks 2 – Kings 1
November 30, 2016: Sharks 4 – Kings 1
December 31, 2016: Kings 3 – Sharks 2
January 3, 2017: Kings 2 – Sharks 1 (OT)
Arizona Coyotes vs. Winnipeg Jets
MTS Centre – 7:30 PM EST on Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Broadcast Channels: SNW, FS-A
November 10, 2016: Jets 3 – Coyotes 2
January 13, 2017: Coyotes 4 – Jets 3