The San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals had a familiar result as the Sharks put on a special teams show against the visiting Caps. Despite giving up the opening goal, the Sharks went 2-for-5 on the power play and killed off all five Washington power plays as well. Braden Holtby‘s struggles against San Jose continued as he stopped only 20 of 24 shots faced.
Martin Jones finished with 25 saves in the victory for his 31st win of the season.
It was a solid period of hockey for both sides. There was plenty of clean physical play and some impressive skills on display as well. TJ Oshie’s ridiculous shooting percentage (22.7%) took a hit as he missed on a breakaway as he split the Sharks defense of Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
You don't see Oshie miss on breakaways often pic.twitter.com/bI0XtmGOen
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) March 10, 2017
The Capitals fourth line would open the scoring as Jay Beagle’s great feed set up former San Jose Shark Daniel Winnik.
The newest member of the San Jose Sharks, Jannik Hansen, immediately went to the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Hansen quickly enamored himself to the fans at SAP Center as he took the puck around the Capitals net and slid a nice pass to Joe Thornton, who scored just his sixth goal of the season.
The physical play continued, and late in the period Brooks Orpik tried to hook Melker Karlsson, who was down on his knees behind the Washinton goal line, the errant stick ended up clipping Karlsson just under the visor, and the Sharks started a four-minute power play in the late stages of the period. Vlasic, who was very active jumping up into the play in the first period, had a clear late in the last seconds but had his shot deflected as time expired.
San Jose carried the remainder of Orpik’s penalty into the start of the middle frame.
Just as the double-minor expired, Pavelski tipped Brent Burns’ point shot past Holtby to give the Sharks their first lead of the game. It was the quintessential Sharks goal: a pass from Thornton to Burns for the Shot and a deflection in front by Little Joe.
Brett Connolly tied the game at 2-2 on a give-and-go play with Kevin Shattenkirk and tipped home the return pass.
Late in the period with Jay Beagle off for a tripping penalty that looked more like a cross check, the Sharks made Washinton pay on the ensuing man advantage. Right off the face-off, the Sharks got the puck back to Burns who had his shot bounce out of Holtby’s glove. And for the ninth time this season, Logan Couture rifled a power-play shot through a traffic game in front of Holtby to get the lead back.
Blocked shot? No problem. pic.twitter.com/OUhluDu97b
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) March 10, 2017
The Capitals had a chance to head to the second intermission tied as Karlsson headed to the box with 91 seconds left, but Hansen had the best chance on net shorthanded.
The Capitals came out hard in the early going of the third period. Shattenkirk rang a shot off the post in the first minute and solidly kept turning play up ice. The momentum ended on another power play deflection of an amazing Brent Burns pass by Couture for his second of the night. It was the first time in Couture’s career he scored two goals on the power play in one contest.
— Ross McKeon (@rossmckeon) March 10, 2017
The Capitals had a chance to get back into the game down 4-2 with 6:26 left in the final period. Alex Ovechkin, who the Sharks shut down through the entire game, spent most of the time in his office on top of the left face-off dot and little else.
With Holtby out for the extra attacker, both Hansen and Patrick Marleau missed the vacated net, but the Sharks took the two points yet again from the Capitals.
Daniel Winnik (9) Assisted by Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson
Joe Thornton (6) Assisted by Jannik Hansen and Paul Martin
Joe Pavelski (24) (Power Play) Assisted by Brent Burns and Joe Thornton
Brett Connolly (14) Assisted by Kevin Shattenkirk
Logan Couture (22) (Power Play) Assisted by Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau
Logan Couture (23) (Power Play) Assisted by Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski
THW Three Stars
First Star: Logan Couture (Two goals)
Second Star: Brent Burns (Three assists)
Third Star: Joe Pavelski (Goal, assist)
San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators
SAP Center – 1:00 PM PST on Mar. 11, 2017
Broadcast Channels: CSN-CA, FS-TN, SN
Oct. 29: Sharks 4 – Predators 1
Washington Capitals vs Los Angeles Kings
Staples Center – 10:30 PM EST on Mar. 11, 2017
Broadcast Channels: FS-W, CSN-DC+
Feb. 5: Capitals 5 – Kings 0
Covering all manner of hockey on the West Coast, including the San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda, Stockton Heat, WHL, and random prospect news and notes with random SM-Liiga coverage tossed in as well.