SAN JOSE – Taylor Fedun’s first NHL assist came early in the third period against Colorado, in what turned out to be the game-winning goal. Fedun’s backhander got through to Reto Berra, and eventually Chris Tierney poked in the loose puck.
While that play stands out as a highlight, Fedun had some other positive moments, as well. He drew a tripping minor on Matt Duchene in the first period, and in the second, with the game still scoreless, laid out in the defensive zone to block Dennis Everberg’s shot on a three-on-one Colorado rush.
“A three-on-one like that, you can’t do everything, so you just try to force a bad shot and luckily I was able to get a foot on it,” Fedun said.
The 26-year-old had two goals in four games with Edmonton last season, and now has three points in six career NHL games.
He enjoys trying to create offense. On Tierney’s goal, he brought the puck into the offensive zone, put it on net, and had the awareness to follow up his own rebound with it bounced back towards the circle.
“If there’s an opportunity to jump into a hole I’m usually good to try to do that,” he said. “I was able to get the puck on net and we swarmed and did a good job of getting the rebound and ultimately getting it into the net."
Even before the Sharks were able to break through on the scoreboard, the team’s third line of Tierney, Matt Nieto and Tommy Wingels was the only group that was playing an effective game. The early snooze-fest remained scoreless and, at times, ugly on both sides.
Tierney’s group, though, eventually generated the game-winning goal. Since he was recalled after the trade deadline, Tierney has four goals and five assists in 14 games.
“I felt like we had a couple opportunities all game,” he said. “We got one or two shots but we didn’t get the third opportunity, so it was nice to finally cash in on one.”
The Sharks remain unlikely to make the playoffs, but have gained seven of a possible eight points in their last four games.
“We’re starting to get in a groove right now,” Tierney said. “The mindset is to keep going and take it game by game. If we keep playing the way we did and fast and supporting each other, we’ll get a lot of wins, I think.”