Bay Area

Sharks open trip with weekend sweep

The San Jose Sharks opened an early-season six-game eastern road trip with a weekend sweep, sneaking past the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Friday night and following up Saturday night with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Buffalo Sabres. 

Hockey clubs often find early season road trips an opportunity to bond cohesively as a team and find an identity. The Sharks started the season playing five of their first six on the road, and they won three of them on the way to a 4-0 start to the season.

But, since the quick start, the Sharks have settled into a slump, going just 3-8 heading into the road trip, and posting just a 3-5 record at home at SAP Center. In the extremely tough Western Conference, if the Sharks aim to make the playoffs, they’ll have to finish at least third in the balanced Pacific Division. Currently fourth, there would be no better time to start staking a claim than by completing a successful road trip.

Sharks 3-2 over the Red Wings (Friday)

The Sharks managed just 14 shots on goal against the Red Wings and goaltender Jimmy Howard, but three of them found the back of the net and it was enough to squeeze out a hard-fought 3-2 win at Joe Louis Arena. 

Photo Credit:  Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Melker Karlsson, Matt Nieto and Joe Pavelski scored the goals, while goalie Martin Jones recorded 26 saves in a bounce back appearance for him.

Jones was pulled after giving up two goals in the first 3:30 of the Sharks’ last game, a 4-2 home loss to the New York Islanders last Tuesday. Friday’s game started ominously, as Jones surrendered a goal to Tomas Tatar just 3:13 into the first period. After that, he settled in, and when Karlsson scored his first goal of the season, the Sharks were off to their eighth win in Detroit since 2009 (8-1-1).

 

Sharks 2-1 (OT) over the Buffalo Sabres (Saturday)

Whereas the Sharks seem to do well in Detroit, their fate is typically reversed in Buffalo, where they’ve only won once in their history.

Make that twice. With the Sharks’ 2-1 overtime win on Saturday, they now can boast of a 2-15-1 mark when visiting Buffalo.

Patrick Marleau scored on a rebound of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot at 2:59 of overtime to give the Sharks a weekend sweep and break an eight-game losing streak to the Sabres. Vlasic had a busy night, as he opened the scoring in the first period, netting a power play goal less than two minutes into the game.

Jones saw his second game in goal in as many nights and responded with 31 saves to help shut the Sabres down. With the win, the Sharks (9-8) posted consecutive wins for the first time since jumping out to four straight wins to start the season.

The Sharks resume their road trip on Tuesday, visiting the Boston Bruins.

Photo Credit:  Bill Wippert/Getty Images)

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Ray Hartjen

A Public Relations pro by day, by night @RayHartjen follows parallel - yet somehow still often conflicting - paths searching for hair metal guitar legend status, a career as a journeyman 4th line center in the NHL, and the treasured laminates to be a hanger-on in the circus that is Formula 1.
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