SAN JOSE – The Sharks capped off their homestand with a 2-1 overtime win over Arizona Tuesday night, thanks to goals by Chris Tierney and Brent Burns. Three takeaways from the game…
1 – Finally getting past Arizona
The Coyotes remain in a rebuild and almost certainly won’t make the playoffs this year, so the last thing the Sharks wanted was to lose to them for the third time this month. While there were getting plenty of shots on Mike Smith – again – they finally realized in the second period they were going to have to get a little dirtier in front of the net if they were going to beat him.
The fourth line put together a couple dangerous shifts, creating havoc around the net, before Tierney finally found a way.
“Huge goal by Tierney there to tie it up 1-1 at the end of the second. That gives us a little shot,” Joe Pavelski said.
It’s encouraging that even when the Sharks are struggling for offense, they rarely take unnecessary risks that put them in a bind defensively. That’s been a theme all season long, and it’s why they find themselves in first place in the Pacific Division on Wednesday morning.
“I think the guys did a good job of not cheating for offense, were really working back, and making sure guys were above,” Tierney said. “They’ve got a lot of speed they can burn you in two-on-ones, and off the rush if we’re not careful. I thought we stuck the course, and ended up getting the win.”
2 – Boedker gets on the scoresheet
After he was benched in the third period of Saturday’s loss to the Ducks, Mikkel Boedker had his most effective game in weeks. He recorded an assist on Tierney’s goal and had one shot and three attempts in 13:16, and just seemed to be more involved in the play after coach Pete DeBoer questioned his compete level.
“I thought he was moving his feet well,” Tierney said. “He’s got great speed, and he was really getting in on the forecheck I thought, and turning pucks over. He made a great play on the goal, he kept it in and got it down to me there. I thought his speed was real effective tonight and his compete level was good.”
3 – Scrums aplenty
Likely a result of the clubs seeing one another for the third time in just four weeks, there were a number of pushes and shoves exchanged after the whistle, even if there weren’t any outright fights. Rookie Kevin Labanc showed a bit of feistiness, getting into it with Jamie McGinn, and Brenden Dillon quickly jumped in to aid his teammate.
“For us, we stick together as a team, and he's a young guy coming up,” Dillon said. “[A] couple guys, [Shane Doan] and whatnot, are probably 20 years older than him, and he's not shying away.”
As for Dillon, he was pleased to see his teammates kill off an interference minor with 7:29 to go in the third period on a call he didn’t agree with.
“One goal game, I'm just trying to come back to the blue line and we're both kind of entitled to that space,” he said. “That happens I don't know how many times in a game, two guys going to each other. One fell over and he was still able to be up. Big kill, and it was nice that we were able to capitalize on the power play [in overtime].”