SAN JOSE - When Sharks winger Evander Kane opened the scoring 50 seconds into Sunday’s game against the Calgary Flames, it looked as though San Jose was already on the way to notching a victory.
But as captain Joe Pavelski pointed out afterwards, getting out to a quick lead doesn’t always result in keeping it.
“We’ve proven it this year, if you don’t keep playing it can disappear quick.,” he said. “It’s not the end of the game if you get off to a good start or fall behind.”
Sunday night’s 3-1 win over the Flames was different, though. The Sharks kicked off a season-long, six-game with a better collective effort than they had in their previous games. They didn't sag in the defensive end, and kept the Flames from making a big push.
“I thought we tightened things up and played a better brand of hockey than we’ve played the last couple of games,” coach Peter DeBoer summarized. “More characteristic of how we want to play.”
“I thought we played a consistent game throughout,” Kane agreed. “Working for one another, supporting one another. Fast and just moving our legs. That was the key to success for our entire team – and especially with our line tonight.”
That line was, without a doubt, a catalyst in Sunday’s victory. The combination of Pavelski, Kane, and Joonas Donskoi was responsible for all three of San Jose’s goals on the evening, generating the kind of offense they did together late last season after Kane was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres.
It has taken a couple games to get that chemistry going again, but it was on full display Sunday. Kane's spectacular dish from behind Calgary's net set up Donskoi for a one-timer in the second period, adding the eventual winning goal to the trio's growing highlight reel.
“I think yesterday we had a good practice and talked a little bit before the game about getting back to what we did well last year,” Kane explained. “We started off really well, obviously with getting the goal and everybody touching the puck. Had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t finish on tonight as well.”
“We got to play in the o-zone, it’s more fun that way than getting it stuffed down your throat every night,” Pavelski said.
The captain added he thought that offensive surge was something they could build off of. The Sharks will need thatas the homestand continues.
After losing two straight on the road last week, San Jose needs positive momentum with tough competition like the Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs coming into town. There’s no denying getting the home win after the tough road trip was a big deal.
“It’s a huge win, reset our game,” DeBoer said. “This league is about limiting your losing streaks and extending your winning streaks. We want to make sure we nip we nip that in the bud tonight.”