The San Jose Sharks once against pounded an opponent with more than 40 shots and once again came away with a convincing win. This time they took it to the Los Angeles Kings 3-1, marking the second consecutive win against a Pacific Division rival and a second straight game giving up just one goal.
Saturday night was another example of diversity in the Sharks scoring. The four goals against Anaheim in the opener were from two different lines and a defenseman. On Friday night, three different lines contributed, with the tallies coming from Devin Setoguchi, Tomas Plihal and Joe Pavelski
“Any time you get three different lines scoring and the defense continuing to help, it makes it a lot easier,” said Pavelski. “It makes (the opponent’s) job that much harder. We talk about it among the guys. We never had two lines going last year. You can win a lot more games with a lot of lines going.”
Pavelski’s insurance goal came on a two-on-one rush with Jonathan Cheechoo, but he held the puck the entire way.
“Cheech scores goals with the best of them, he’s not a decoy,” said Pavelski. “The defenseman was cheating over to him and the puck found the back of the net. In a 2-1 game, it’s good to get the scoring chance. I think he jumped on it. If he stands square, it probably hits him right (in the stomach).”
Setoguchi is the only player to have scored in both Sharks contests this season.
“The D has been getting shots to the net and we’re in front,” said Setoguchi. “It was similar to my and Cheechoo’s goal last night.”
The 40+ shots two nights in a row could be sign to come with the firepower on the backend.
“Anytime you get that many shots on net, you’re bound to get three or four goals,” said Setoguchi.
Plihal posted the Sharks first shortanded goal of the season and said the forwards have a free run to go for it when the opportunity presents itself.
“It’s always nice to score,” said Plihal. “Coach says if you have a chance on the forecheck, spend some time in the offensive zone. I was just trying to put it on net and just made a move.”
It was Plihal’s first NHL shorthander and his last previously may have been a while ago.
“It was probably a couple of years ago,” said Plihal of his game winner. “It’s never happened here. Maybe in junior hockey. I may have had one in the AHL.”
“We needed that,” said McLellan.Marc-Edouard Vlasic
set up the game-winner.
“I saw him at the blueline,” said Vlasic. “I did my job to get it to him and he did the rest. He did a good job to get the goal in and give us momentum.”
A great night for the Sharks can mean a slow night for the Sharks netminder. Evgeni Nabokov did not face more than five shots in a period and just 13 on the night.”
The Sharks will play their first back-to-back set of the season with Sunday’s return contest in Los Angeles, but they will be in the same boat as the Kings as both clubs flew to Southern California immediately after the game.
The Sharks won’t alter what they do, but will be prepared for a more energized Kings club playing their first home game of the season.
“We know the Kings are a young, good team,” said Pavelski. “As a team, we’ve got to learn to play every night and play patient in our system.”
There could be come possible lineup changes for Team Teal and fans will see if McLellan has an inkling to play backup netminder Brian Boucher in back-to-back situations.
“We’ll likely change a few (things regarding the lineup),” said McLellan. “We know there will be a lot of energy in their building.”
FAST SEASON START
It’s way too early to make judge an 82-game season, but three of the Sharks division rivals have already lost and the Sharks have seen Dallas lose twice already.
“A win is a win and we want to get them early,” said Pavelski. “They’re going to get tougher. We’re learning what we can and can’t do. It’s really important to get off to a good start.”
San Jose hit at least three posts on the evening, but that is not a downer for this club.
“It’s creates more momentum,” said Vlasic. “The guys feel like the next one will go in.”
The Sharks did not lead from start to finish like the previous contest, allowing a Kings power play goal in the first.
“The first 10 minutes we were a little too fancy,” said Vlasic.
“I didn’t think we played poor in the first by any means,” said McLellan. “I think we did a good job of playing patient. I think we played a better than in the Anaheim game. L.A. earned their goal and Nabby couldn’t do anything about it.”
One shot that would have gone in, but didn’t register on the shot clock came from in close with a bulk of the net open, but Douglas Murray
block it while down a man with less than a minute to go in the second.
The Sharks have outshot their opponents by a total of 40-6 in the second period of the first two games this season.
Injured Sharks center Torrey Mitchell
was put on the video board and received a big ovation from the HP Pavilion fans.
VISITING HEAD COACH TERRY MURRAY
“The Sharks got their first goal, and they really dug in from there. They’re one of the better teams in the game. They know how to play the game in the right way. The battle on the boards, they come up with loose pucks, they make sure that pucks are going deep and they’re relentless on their foot speed.”
“We need to learn a lot from this game, but we need to dig in and compete at a higher level.”
“They had forty some odd shots on net, but I’m going to look at the game and I’m sure I’m able to pull 20 of those shots coming off plays where we had the puck and we turned it over. We gave it away, we weren’t able to clear the puck out of our own zone. We iced the puck and the faceoff is right back in our own end and they’re right back at our net again.”