SAN JOSE, Calif. Two of the hottest teams in the NHL met Thursday night, but the outcome wasn’t even close.
Ottawa, which had registered 17 points in its previous 10 games, rode a pair of goals from Colin Greening to a 4-1 win over the home-standing San Jose Sharks, who themselves had totaled 16 points in their previous 10 games.
The Senators scored their four goals on just 21 shots. “We had some chances to score early on,” said Sharks captain Joe Thornton, “and we felt we probably could have had a couple that could have changed the look of the game. But it seemed like they only had six or seven chances and they made good on a lot of them”
San Jose looked absolutely relentless at the start of the game, peppering Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson with five shots on goal in the first three minutes of play. Brad Winchester scored on a one-timer 3:10 into the game, but the Sharks offense seemed unable to finish anything after that.
Anderson has been scalding on the road lately; he won his fifth straight start on the road, and is 7-0-2 in his last nine starts away from home.
“It’s just me giving the team a chance to win,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t matter whether they get one or two right off the bat. It’s just a matter of making sure they don’t get the next one and giving our guys an opportunity to get back in the game. Our power play has been outstanding all year. [Jason] Spezza and Alfie (Daniel Alfredsson), these guys are just top-notch scorers.”
While those two forwards may be Ottawa’s premier scorers, it was newcomer Kyle Turris who tied the game midway through the first period and set the Senators on their way to victory. Ottawa is 12-2-2 since acquiring Turris from Phoenix.
Ottawa effectively put the game away with Greening’s first goal, on the power play, late in the second period to give the Senators a two-goal edge. The Senators were 1-for-4 on the power play, while San Jose was unsuccessful in three opportunities with the man-advantage.
“Our forecheck wasn’t good,” said Sharks forward Logan Couture. “We didn’t generate enough chances. Then they got a power play there and they scored and we didn’t. We just didn’t play well enough to win.”
San Jose will now go on the road for three north of the border, playing Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary in the next five days.
Anderson raised his record to 25-13-4 by stopping 36 of the 37 shots he faced, while Antti Niemi, who did not seem to be seeing the puck at all well on the evening, saw his record fall to 20-9-5. Niemi stopped just 17 of the 21 shots he faced.