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game recap

Sharks use power play to defeat Capitals

Logan Couture scores twice with man-advantage, Brent Burns has three assists for San Jose

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Logan Couture scored two power-play goals, Brent Burns had a season-high three assists, and the San Jose Sharks defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2 at SAP Center on Thursday.

Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski also scored for the Sharks (40-19-7), who improved to 22-1-2 in their past 25 games against Washington.

The Sharks were tied for 23rd in the NHL on the power play entering the game but went 2-for-5 with the man-advantage. They almost had another but Pavelski scored a second after a four-minute double-minor ended. San Jose killed all five of Washington's power plays.

 

WATCH: All Capitals vs. Sharks highlights

 

"Two good teams going at it," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought our special teams won us the game. We haven't had many of those recently so it was nice. Guys have been putting in a lot of work at it, coaches and players. It was nice to get rewarded for that."

Forward Jannik Hansen had an assist in his first game for the Sharks, who acquired him from the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 28, and Martin Jones made 25 saves.

Video: WSH@SJS: Thornton picks the corner with one-timer

The Sharks remained seven points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.

Daniel Winnik and Brett Connolly scored for Washington (44-15-7), and Braden Holtby made 20 saves.

Washington lost its second straight game but remained five points in front of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

"We haven't lost two in a row for a while, and it does seem a little awkward," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "We'll see how they respond in L.A. [on Saturday]."

Video: WSH@SJS: Winnik flips in a backhand for early lead

The Sharks moved ahead 3-2 on Couture's power-play goal on a rebound at 18:04 of the second period. Holtby made a glove save of Burns' shot from the point but couldn't control the rebound, and Couture elevated a shot from the left circle to the far side.

Couture made it 4-2 at 8:05 of the third period.

"It felt good," Couture said of the power play. "Not just that we scored. It felt like we were going to score before the power play even started. We kind of felt that intensity throughout the group, and it showed tonight."

Video: WSH@SJS: Couture buries Burns' rebound for PPG

Winnik gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 5:26 of the first period with his ninth goal of the season.

Thornton made it 1-1 at 8:43 with his sixth goal. Hansen sent a pass from below the goal line to Thornton, who scored from the left circle.

The Sharks took a 2-1 lead when Pavelski scored at 2:32 of the second period.

Connolly scored from close range on a give-and-go with Kevin Shattenkirk at 14:40 to make it 2-2.

"We let the game get away from us," Winnik said. "Even after it was tied 2-2 it seemed like they had control of us the whole night."

Video: WSH@SJS: Connolly nets give-and-go with Shattenkirk

 
Goal of the game

Pavelski tipped Burns' point shot backward through his own legs and beat Holtby through the 5-hole for his 24th goal of the season.

Video: WSH@SJS: Pavelski redirects Burns' wrister for goal

 
Save of the game

Jones made a right-pad save at 16:27 of the first period on Evgeny Kuznetsov's backhand from close range.

Video: WSH@SJS: Jones denies Kuznetsov's one-time bid

 
Unsung performance of the game

Capitals fourth-line forward Tom Wilson had a game-high eight hits and had an assist in 15:01.

 
Highlight of the game

Couture skated in front of the crease and deflected Burns' shot from the point past Holtby for his second goal of the game and 23rd of the season.

Video: WSH@SJS: Couture tips in slap pass for second PPG

 
They said it

"Sometimes you get a team's number for a little bit. Right now we've played these guys hard, I think, is one thing. We've played solid games against them. For whatever reason we've found wins. You've got to play these teams like that. They're good measuring sticks." -- Sharks captain Joe Pavelski after San Jose's fourth straight victory against Washington

 

"Tonight we let them come at us a little bit. That's not our style. We just have to take a deep breath. We're still in a good place. We have a great hockey team and it's a matter of finding it." -- Capitals forward Brett Connolly

 

"I loved him. I like that he came as advertised. Energy, speed. He's going to really help our penalty kill. I thought he fit in real good with Joe [Thornton] and Joe [Pavelski]. He plays a man's game out there. He's really going to help." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer on Jannik Hansen

 
Need to know

Sharks center Joe Thornton, who had his 1,000th NHL assist against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday, was honored during a pregame ceremony. ... Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky (hand) missed his 11th straight game. ... Sharks defenseman David Schlemko (lower body) missed his third straight game.

Video: WSH@SJS: Sharks commend Thornton for 1,000th assist

 
What's next

Capitals: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC+, FS-W, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; SN, FS-TN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Couture, Burns unstoppable as Sharks top Caps, 4-2

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