Instant Replay: Burns' third period goal keeps Sharks perfect
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SAN JOSE – Brent Burns’ third period goal broke a 2-2 tie, and the Sharks remained perfect with a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
It wasn’t all good news, though, as rookie sensation Tomas Hertl left the game late in second period after a hit by the Senators’ Clarke MacArthur. No immediate updates were given on Hertl’s condition. The 19-year-old scored his league-leading seventh goal early in the first period.
The winning goal came just one second after a Sharks power play expired, when Burns skated to the front of the net by himself and Joe Thornton found him at 7:08 to give San Jose a 3-2 lead. The goal was Burns’ third of the season.
The Sharks have won their first five games, all in regulation, for the second straight season. In 2013, San Jose started the season 7-0-0, with the final two wins coming via the shootout.
Ottawa erased an early deficit with two first period goals to take the lead before the intermission.
A shot by Chris Philips went well wide after deflecting off of Tommy Wingels, but the puck ended up in the slot on the tape of Zack Smith, who tied it at 1-1 at 15:21.
Andrew Desjardins’ high-sticking penalty put the Senators on the power play, and they capitalized on a Bobby Ryan goal after a perfect feed through the slot by Jason Spezza at 18:31.
San Jose was without a power play until late in the second period, but Milan Michalek was called for tripping Logan Couture at 15:10. Patrick Marleau was able to backhand in a loose puck after Matt Irwin tossed it on net to make it a 2-2 game. Marleau is the only Sharks player with a point in each of the first five games, with four goals and an assist.
The Sharks had a decisive edge in the opening minutes, and took a 1-0 lead on Hertl’s marker. The rookie found the rebound of a Dan Boyle shot just 55 seconds into the game.
San Jose couldn’t sustain its momentum through the first period, though, and Ottawa seemed to wake up after Chris Neil fought the Sharks’ Matt Pelech at 7:41. The Senators’ agitator also knocked over Desjardins minutes later, after a whistle, but went unpunished.
The Sharks reached the 50-shot plateau for the second time this season, outshooting the Senators for the game, 50-23. San Jose’s 24 goals are the most it has had through five games in franchise history.
Ottawa, on a six-game road trip to open the season, fell to 1-1-2.
Special teams
The Sharks officially finished 1-for-5, although on Burns’ goal, Spezza was still stepping out of the box as the puck hit the back of the net. San Jose had a chance to put the game away when goalie Robin Lehner was called for a double minor for high-sticking Burns at 10:50 of the third, but the Sharks couldn’t capitalize.
Ottawa was 1-for-3 on the power play. The Senators failed to score after Joe Pavelski’s holding-the-stick minor with 3:52 left in regulation.
In goal
Antti Niemi has played all of the Sharks’ first five games, and made 21 saves. He has not allowed more than two goals in any of the five games.
Lehner, who had played in 25 career NHL games before Saturday, was facing the Sharks for the first time in his career. He looked shaky to start, but settled in and finished with 47 stops.
Brad Stuart served the second of his three-game suspension. For Ottawa, Spezza returned from a one-game absence with a groin injury.
Up next
The Sharks visit St. Louis on Tuesday and Dallas on Thursday. Their next home game is on Saturday, Oct. 19 against Calgary.