The San Jose Sharks jumped out to a 5-1 lead over the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night, and they needed every bit of that lead to eventually hold escape with a 6-4 victory, snapping a four-game losing streak.
Logan Couture scored twice for the home team, with Joe Pavelski, Tommy Wingels, Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto adding tallies. It was the first time the last ten games the Sharks scored four goals or more.
The victory lifts the Sharks’ record to 11-10-4, and their 26 points leaves them in fifth place in the Pacific Division, seven points behind the Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks.
Some Shark bites from Saturday:
- The Sharks 11-10-4 record includes losses to sub-.500 teams Buffalo (twice), Columbus (twice), and Arizona. But, on the other side, it also includes victories over Anaheim (twice), the Los Angeles Kings and the Tampa Bay Lightening – each team contending in their divisions and with only 19 losses among them.
- When the Sharks started the season, they made a regular habit of scoring first and outscoring opponents in the first period. They did it again Saturday, scoring first and heading into the intermission with a 3-1 lead. It’s a good thing too – in games where the Sharks’ opponents have scored first, they are 2-8-2, with a winning percentage of just .167, 25th out of 30 teams in the NHL.
- The last time these two teams met, the referees doled out 165 total penalty minutes in the Sharks’ 4-1 victory in Anaheim on October 26. In response, head coach Todd McLellan set the Sharks’ lineup as heavy as it can get, dressing both Mike Brown and John Scott, who together entered the game with a total of 581 NHL games played, 38 total points and 1,125 penalty minutes. Neither player figured in the scoring, although they both chipped in with penalties – Brown with six minutes, Scott with two.
- Forward Nieto provided the insurance goal, scoring an empty netter with 50 seconds remaining. It was Nieto’s second goal of the season, and his first since the opener against the Los Angeles Kings on October 8.
- Defenseman Brent Burns skated 23:47 during the game, but didn’t help his statistical line at all. He was held without a point, and posted a minus-2 on the night, leaving him at minus-9 for the year, last on the Sharks.
- Against one of the better faceoff teams in the league, the Sharks held the edge on he draw 44-33, establishing puck possession, particularly early in the game as they built a commanding 5-1 lead.
Photo Credits: Don Smith/Getty Images
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