SAN JOSE -– One game after a nightmarish special teams performance, the Sharks got a boost from the return of a key power player in a much needed home win over the Flyers, 4-2, on Wednesday.
Taking his rightful place on the top unit, Logan Couture assisted on each of the Sharks' first two power play goals, including a fancy setup of Brent Burns in the third period in helping the Sharks end a four-game losing streak at SAP Center. They’re back in second place in the Pacific Division at 18-16-2.
Couture, who endured a pair of injuries that have kept him out of all but six games, wasn’t too concerned about appearing on the score sheet, though.
"It feels good when you win,” said the 26-year-old, who has four helpers on the season but is still looking for his first goal. “I could have went pointless and still been very happy. We needed that. That was a big win for this team at this rink in front of a great crowd. [We] need to build on this. It feels good to come back and win a game."
The Sharks scored three power play goals in six chances and killed off all three Flyers power plays. Against Colorado on Monday, they allowed four power play goals and went 0-for-3 with a man advantage in a 6-3 defeat.
“Both our special teams were excellent. That was the difference in the game,” Pete DeBoer said.
The third period is when most of the action took place, after each team scored once over the first 40 minutes.
Brent Burns’ misplay led directly to the Flyers taking a 2-1 lead when he was pressured into a turnover by Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier raced in for a breakaway score, but the burly blueliner got it back on the power play about a minute and a half later thanks in part to Couture’s dish.
Couture gained control of the puck at the side of the net, and delivered a soft backhander to Burns’ tape. The Wookiee quickly released a powerful wrist shot that Steve Mason had no chance at stopping to knot the score at 2-2.
"Great play by Cooch,” Burns said. “We talked about coming down and making low plays coming in, and it was a great pass by him."
Couture said: “Burnzie’s goal, that's one that we've had here for a while. It's tough to defend. … He was able to make a great shot."
Burns seemed a little extra pumped up after the score, likely due in part to his earlier mistake. While he continues to pile up the points offensively, he’s been involved in a number of plays that have resulted in opposition goals, too.
DeBoer seems fine with the risk and reward that the fan favorite Burns brings on a nightly basis.
“Yeah, I am overall,” he said, mentioning Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, the 2015 Norris Trophy winner, as a comparison. “You have to live with a little bit of that. For the most part I think he’s walked that line very well for us this year.”
As he’s been doing all season, Joe Pavelski provided the hammer with his seventh game-winning goal. It came on a pretty pass through the slot by Justin Braun, and Pavelski made no mistake in directing the disc into the open net at 13:45 of the third period.
In the final minute, Pavelski softly fluttered a backhander over Mason on another power play to put the game away.
“The intensity was there all night,” said Pavelski, who recently got over an illness. “The power plays were there. It was a fun game to play in, that’s for sure. The crowd was great. The biggest thing is guys really responded with some good intensity.”