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Donskoi, Hertl propel Sharks past Islanders

Burns scores first goal of season in San Jose win

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Joonas Donskoi had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Hertl had three assists to help the San Jose Sharks to a 4-1 win against the New York Islanders at SAP Center on Saturday.

Brent Burns, Timo Meier and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks (4-3-1), who won back-to-back games for the first time this season. Martin Jones made 24 saves.

The Sharks have outscored their opponents 9-2 in back-to-back home wins after a 5-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. 

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Sharks highlights]

 

"I liked how we played," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think we played some pretty good hockey all year. We didn't get rewarded on the road to start the season, but I knew it was a matter of time if we kept playing that way. We got home here, we're comfortable, we started to score, we feel a little bit confident.

"There's two good home wins for us. We go back on the road again now."

Video: NYI@SJS: Donskoi, Suomela combine for slick goal

Brock Nelson scored, and Robin Lehner made 37 saves for the Islanders (3-4-0), who finished 1-3-0 on their four-game road trip.

"I thought our battle level wasn't as good as it needed to be," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "You look at the first three goals, two turnovers, one at our blue one, one inside our blue line. They turned it into transitions and then the 4-on-4. It was a battle, and we didn't have what I call layers of support on that battle and we just made poor decisions."

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead at 4:59 of the second period on Donskoi's goal from the crease. Antti Suomela intercepted a pass and was stopped from close range, but he got his own rebound and sent the puck from below the goal line to a wide-open Donskoi. 

Burns' first goal of the season extended the lead to 3-1 at 13:50 of the second during a 4-on-4 situation. Burns won a puck battle along the right boards, took it to the net and scored on a backhand from in front of the crease. The goal extended Burns' point streak to five games (one goal, six asssists). It was the first goal of the season by a Sharks defenseman. 

"We're going to get more," DeBoer said of goals from his defensemen. "Erik Karlsson's going to score. We're going to get production there. It's not like they're not getting shots or looks, so I'm not concerned about that."

Couture scored on Hertl's rebound at 4:32 of the third period to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead. 

"I think we played pretty well tonight," said Couture, who has a three-game point streak (four goals, two assists). "I think all facets of our game was good. Special teams was good even though we didn't score on the power play. I thought we created some good looks. Obviously, the 5-on-5 game was good. We could have had a lot more than four. Goaltending was terrific. [Jones] has been great on this homestand. We're a tough team to beat when we're playing like that."

Meier extended his NHL career high point streak to five games when he scored from close range to make it 1-0 at 7:59 of the first period. 

The Islanders tied it 1-1 at 16:59 of the first on Nelson's wrist shot from the right face-off circle. 

"This is a tough building to play in, and they didn't have that real dominant first period that they usually have," Islanders forward Matt Martin said. "For the most part in the first, it was real boring; in this building, I guess in some ways you take that as a win. We were able to go 1-1 into the intermission and then a couple costly mistakes by us and then we've got to find a way to respond."

Video: NYI@SJS: Couture taps one past Lehner

 

They said it

"At times, we weren't fully engaged as a team, especially in the second. When we had a few mistakes, the bench kind of sunk. We didn't pick each other up and find a way to take the game back. That's disappointing, but I definitely think the third period, from a physical and emotional standpoint, it's a positive that we're all going to have each other's backs in here. No one's going to quit." -- Islanders forward Matt Martin

 

"We're comfortable. Training camp was quick, felt quick. We were getting up to speed for sure. Things are falling into place. Guys are getting used to the League. We have a couple of young guys filling in some important roles. Every year is a little different. This is a good short little homestand for us." -- Sharks captain Joe Pavelski

 

Need to know

Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier (ilness) did not play for the first time this season. Forward Tom Kuhnhackl took his place. ... Sharks center Joe Thornton (knee infection) missed his sixth straight game. ... Hertl hadn't had three assists in a game since March 19, 2016, against the New York Rangers. 

 

What's next

Islanders: Host the Florida Panthers on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-FW, NHL.TV)

Sharks: At the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Video: Hertl collects three assists in Sharks' 4-1 win

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