HP PAVILION — The Sharks haven’t won three straight since the truncated season began back in late January. Now they’re riding high after not allowing a goal in two games as Team Teal blanked the Detroit Red Wings 2-0.
Goalie Antti Niemi stopped 27 shots and hasn’t allowed a puck into the net on consecutive nights for the first time in his career. It’s the third time he’s pitched shutouts in two straight games.
The Sharks had lost six of seven and appeared to be ready to trade in their hockey sticks for golf clubs. But after winning four of five, they’ll hopefully be pushing back those tee times for at least another month.
Sharks coach Todd McLellan
“We’ve come to a little bit of an agreement. Guys have come to come to the conclusion we need to play a certain way to be successful. Each of the lines is doing that and we’re getting good goaltending. A lot of nights we’ve talked about not scoring enough. Two was enough tonight because we did a lot of the other things right.”
There weren’t many scoring chances for either team, but San Jose made the most of its few opportunities.
It appeared that both teams would head into their dressing rooms tied at zero after the first 20 minutes, but a lucky bounce put the Sharks in the lead.
Joe Pavelski skated around the Detroit net and his wraparound goal deflected off the left skate of defenseman Niklas Kronwall and past netminder Jimmy Howard to put the Sharks up 1-0.
The second period was a defensive struggle. The Red Wings kept the puck in the Sharks zone for much of the time but San Jose played mistake-free hockey to keep it a one-goal game.
Early in the third, Joe Thornton caused a turnover when he stole the puck away from rookie Brian Lashoff in the slot. Thornton passed the puck to Brent Burns who wristed it top shelf for a 2-0 Sharks cushion. For Burns, it was his third goal in three games.
Sharks forward Brent Burns
“I think a lot of it is linemates (Thornton and Martin Havlat) who are both playing well. They’re both so smart. A lot of the times I’m just running around trying to cause chaos. Those two are making great plays. Tonight it was just a great pass by Jumbo.”
Other than a questionable hooking call against T.J. Galliardi, this game had no penalties. It was only the third time in Sharks franchise history they did not allow a power play opportunity to the visiting team.
Red Wings post-game video
The Red Wings came in red hot having won five of six entering play. They had a good road trip but this loss prevented them from going 4-0. Howard told SFBay:
“I think it was a good trip. We had a chance to make it a great trip but it just wasn’t in the cards. I think we’re on the right path here. We’ve been playing really well away from the Joe (Joe Louis Arena) and that’s a good sign.”
Niemi set a Sharks franchise record by becoming the first goaltender to record shutouts on consecutive days. It was Niemi’s third shutout of the season and 22nd of his career. … Pavelski now has goals in three straight games. It is his second three game goal streak of the season (1/27 vs. VAN thru 1/31 vs. EDM). … Thornton now has 35 points (13-22-35) in 37 career games against Detroit. … Burns has 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in the nine games he has played as a forward