The San Jose Sharks survived an onslaught of early pressure and a one-goal first period deficit to defeat the host Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Tuesday night. The win was the Sharks’ 19th road victory on the season, and it raised their overall record to 30-20-5 and 65 total points, just four back of the first-place Los Angles Kings with the Sharks holding a game in hand.
Matt Nieto scored the game-winning goal in the third period off a beautiful cross-ice pass from a streaking Patrick Marleau. Melker Karlsson added an insurance goal late in the third off a no-look backhand pass from center Joe Thornton. It was Thornton’s second assist of the game, and he now has points in 16 of his last 17 games.
Too fast for Tampa. 🚨 pic.twitter.com/YBXNz7MeTZ
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) February 17, 2016
Joel Ward and Joe Pavelski both scored in the second period, Ward netting his 16th on the season, Pavelski his 26th. Goaltender Martin Jones made 28 saves for his 27th victory of the season. Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic recorded an assist on Ward’s goal, and extended his points streak to eight consecutive games.
The game featured fast-paced, end-to-end action, with almost all of the play coming five-on-five. The Sharks killed off both of their minor penalties and the Lightning did the same with their three shorthanded opportunities. While the Sharks were outhit 23-15, they held a 32-21 advantage in the face-off circle.
The Sharks didn’t enter the third period with the lead, but Nieto’s marker came at the just 1:17 into the period. The Sharks then kept the pressure on full, as they have throughout this first season under head coach Pete DeBoer. When leading after two periods, the Sharks are 21-0-2.
The Sharks continue their five-game road trip on Thursday in Miami against the Florida Panthers. They then have games at Carolina (Friday), at St. Louis (Monday) and at Colorado (Wednesday) to finish the trip.
Photo Credit: Scott Audette/Getty Images
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