Instant Replay: Sharks snap three-game skid with win vs Capitals

Instant Replay: Sharks snap three-game skid with win vs Capitals


The Sharks got a pair of second period goals from their defense, and began their longest road trip of the season with a 3-0 win over Washington at Verizon Center on Tuesday.

San Jose snapped its three-game losing streak, while Washington saw its five-game winning streak come to an end.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic opened the scoring with his second goal. The defenseman’s offering from high in the zone hit Caps defenseman Karl Alzner in the slot, deflecting through Braden Holtby at 12:23 of the middle frame.
Brent Burns increased it to 2-0. After breaking the puck out to Logan Couture in the neutral zone, Burns charged ahead into the offense zone and received a pass from Couture. He powered in a wrist shot from the top of the circle at 17:26 of the second period for his fifth score.
After getting pulled for the first time on Saturday against Pittsburgh, Martin Jones stood tall in net. He stopped Andre Burakovsky early in the second, and denied Justin Williams several times in the second and third periods, getting his right pad on one Williams try five-and-a-half minutes into the final frame.
Jones finished with 24 saves for his first shutout of the year and 14th of his career.

Joe Thornton added an empty net goal with 1:32 to go. It was his second of the season, both coming with the opposing goaltender pulled.
Rookie Kevin Labanc made his NHL debut, skating on the second line with Couture and Joonas Donskoi. The 20-year-old former sixth-round pick finished with one shot and a plus-one rating.
The Sharks have won 12 of their last 13 games in Washington (12-1-0). Their six-game road trip continues in Florida on Thursday against the Panthers.
Special teams 
The penalty kill remains a strength for San Jose, going 3-for-3. The Sharks are a perfect 21-for-21 over their last eight games.
San Jose finished 0-for-2 on the power play, including a late advantage when they already had a three-goal lead. 
In goal
Jones has started 12 of the Sharks' 13 games this season. He moved his record back to an even 6-6, and is a perfect 3-0 in his career against the Capitals.
Holtby allowed two goals on 22 shots, and is 2-3-0 in his career versus the Sharks.
Matt Nieto came out of the lineup to make room for Labanc. He has missed six of the last seven games.
Up next
The Sharks will play a pair of games in the state of Florida later this week, visiting the Panthers on Thursday and Lightning on Saturday. They continue on to Carolina, St. Louis and Arizona before finally returning home to host New Jersey on Nov. 21.

The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year


The anatomy of Jannik Hansen's recently-broken scoring drought after nearly one year

Jannik Hansen's game-winning goal against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday marked the first time he scored in 355 days. 

Hansen last scored on Mar. 30, 2017 against the Edmonton Oilers, his second goal with the Sharks following an in-season trade. His scoring drought, in all, lasted 44 regular season games, 50 if you include the postseason. 

How exactly does a goal-scoring drought last nearly a year? The right (wrong?) circumstances all need to come together, and that was certainly the case for Hansen for much of the last year.

For one, the Danish forward was in and out of the lineup. San Jose played 83 regular season and postseason games between Hansen's second and third goals, and he did not play in 33 of those games. Plenty of players have had rough 50-game stretches, and that's often without not playing for weeks at a time, as Hansen has done a couple of times this season. 

When Hansen did draw into the lineup this year, however, he wasn't generating offense at the same rate he had in the past. This season, Hansen's five-on-five shot rate (6.19 shots per 60 minutes), shot attempt rate (10.53 individual corsi per 60), and unblocked shot attempt rate (8.95 individual fenwick per 60) were all down from his career averages, according to Corsica Hockey. 

That decline is natural, considering Hansen turned 32 just six days ago. Those rates were not down enough, however, to expect him to fail to score in his first 39 appearances this season. Naturally, a long run of bad luck played a big role in Hansen's dry spell.

Hansen went 0-for-66 in shots over the 50 consecutive regular season and playoff games in which he did not score. He's a career 11-percent shooter, and had he shot at his career average, he would have scored seven goals during that time. That feels about right for a bottom-six forward. 

In many ways, all of these factors fed into one another. Hansen wasn't generating shots or scoring, then was scratched, then couldn't find the back of the net when he returned and was scratched again. All the while, fellow fourth-liners Marcus Sorensen (26.7 percent shooting percentage this season), Joel Ward (14.3 percent) and Barclay Goodrow (13.2 percent) were converting on their chances, forcing Peter DeBoer's hand. 

His possession play has been solid all season (50.74 percent corsi-for, per Natural Stat Trick), but the offense hasn't followed. When it does, as was the case Tuesday night, he can be an effective fourth-line forward, and the goal on Tuesday bought him more time to prove it. 

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win

Sharks blow out Devils for season-high fifth straight win


SAN JOSE -- Jannik Hansen scored his first goal of the season and fellow fourth-liners Eric Fehr and Barclay Goodrow also scored to help the San Jose Sharks win their season-high fifth straight game, 6-2 over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Logan Couture added his 30th goal of the season, and Joe Pavelski and Mikkel Boedker also scored to give the Sharks a four-point lead over third-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division with one game in hand.

Brent Burns added three assists and Martin Jones made 26 saves.

The scoring barrage by San Jose spoiled Cory Schneider's return to net for the Devils. Schneider allowed four goals on 14 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period of his first start since March 8. Schneider has lost 11 starts in a row since his last win for the Devils on Dec. 27.

Taylor Hall scored his 32nd goal of the season and Blake Coleman also scored for the Devils, who lead Florida by just one point in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have two games in hand.

After Hansen and Fehr scored in the first period, Goodrow chipped one in midway through the second period on a surprising night of scoring from the fourth line when he beat Schneider on a 2-on-1.

Couture then scored 40 seconds later on San Jose's first shot against Keith Kinkaid for his third career 30-goal season. Boedker added San Jose's second power-play goal of the night late in the second and the rout was on.

The Sharks got off to a fast start in their first game back from a 3-0 Canadian road trip, scoring three goals in the first period and killing 1:20 of a two-man advantage for New Jersey.

The teams traded goals to start with Fehr beating Schneider over the shoulder from a bad angle and Hall answering when he stole a bouncing puck from Justin Braunand beat Jones with a quick shot.

San Jose then scored twice in a span of less than three minutes to take the lead. Pavelski tipped in a shot from Kevin Labanc on the power play to give the Sharks the lead.

Then after Jones denied Damon Severson from in close at one end, Dylan DeMelo sent a long pass that Hansen chased down and then beat Schneider on a breakaway for his first goal since March 30, 2017.

NOTES: DeMelo has 10 assists this month. ... San Jose D Brenden Dillon has a five-game point streak. ... Devils F Miles Wood (upper body) was scratched and Jesper Bratt played in his place.


Devils: Visit Pittsburgh on Friday.

Sharks: Host Vegas on Thursday.