The San Jose Sharks playing their third game in four nights put an early thumping on the Montreal Canadiens and held on for the victory after two late goals by the Habs made the game interesting. After stealing four points in a pair of shootout wins over Toronto and Ottawa, a statement was made against the best home team in the NHL.
The Canadiens came into the night allowing less than two goals per game at home, but could not get out of the first period without being lucky to only give up three.
The Sharks‘ road power play ranked 28th in the NHL with just 4 goals on 49 attempts, but two goals with the man-advantage got San Jose to the early 2-0 lead. David Schlemko would wrist the shot past Carey Price from the top of the left face-off circle and an excellent screen by Kevin Labanc helped the puck sail through the best goalie on the planet. Just 2:10 of play had elapsed before Patrick Marleau would net his eighth of the year on a brilliant pass from behind the net by Joe Thornton, who waited until Alexei Emelin bit on the play, giving Marleau space for the one-timer.
Then the newest Shark, Timo Meier, would knock in a rebound to get his first NHL goal on his first shot and against Carey Price. Not bad.
Timo Meier scores on his first NHL shot. pic.twitter.com/3oNV539uTh
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) December 17, 2016
The second period would not be nearly as exciting as the first, but the Sharks would keep on scoring goals. At 6:44, a hardworking, gritty shift by San Jose’s fourth line would be the last shot of the night for Carey Price.
Melker Karlsson would keep the play alive on the right boards before a centering pass from Micheal Haley would be shot home by Karlsson. After a staredown by Price as he exited the ice, the Canadiens showed some signs of life and had much better looks on Martin Jones, who was forced to hold tight to his post on two plays and made a big stop on Arturri Lehkonen late in the period to keep Montreal off the bear.
The Sharks would almost take a 5-0 lead as Kevin Labanc would take a pass and go in alone on Al Montoya but ring his shot off the post for the best of his chances on the evening. Shea Weber would show his frustration by throwing Joe Pavelski down to the ice at 3:13 of the third period, sending the Sharks back to the power play that Montreal would kill off.
Canadiens third-liner Paul Byron had the best chance of the evening for Montreal in the eighth minute of action, but Jones would be equal to the task. Byron has been hot of late with five points in his last four games, but even his hot hand could not get the Habs going on this night. Brian Flynn would finally get Montreal on the board as Marc-Edouard Vlasic would miss on his attempt to intercept the cross-ice pass from Zach Redmond. Flynn would swat at the pass, and it would go under Jones to break-up the shutout. The momentum would swing to the Canadiens as Jeff Petry would get two shots on net. The first was blocked by Haley, but the second went off Vlasic’s glove and past Jones to make the game 4-2.
SJS – David Schlemko (1) (Power Play) Assisted by Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi
SJS – Patrick Marleau (8) (Power Play) Assisted by Joe Thornton and Brent Burns
SJS – Timo Meier (1) Assisted by David Schlemko and Joonas Donskoi
SJS – Melker Karlsson (3) Assisted by Micheal Haley
MTL – Brian Flynn (3) Assisted by Zach Redmond and Tomas Plekanec
MTL – Jeff Petry (5) Assisted by Daniel Carr and Michael McCarron
THW Three Stars
First Star: David Schlemko (goal, assist)
Second Star: Martin Jones (26 saves)
Third Star: Timo Meier (first NHL goal)
San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks
United Center – 7:00 PM EST on Sunday, December 18, 2016
Broadcast Channels: CSN California
Season Series: 1-0-0
November 23, 2016 – Sharks 2 Blackhawks 1