SAN JOSE -- The Sharks knew the Carolina Hurricanes would be a big test Wednesday night at SAP Center. If that test was being graded, you would be hard-pressed not to give them an A.
Fueled by Evander Kane's first-period hat trick and a potent power play, the Sharks played perhaps their best game to date and stymied the Hurricanes in a 5-2 win.
Here are three takeaways from San Jose's third straight win.
Evander Kane, obviously
When a player becomes the first in Sharks history to score a hat trick before the first period ended, not giving him his own takeaway would be a crime.
Kane's first goal deserves some recognition because of how quickly he scooped up the loose puck at Tomas Hertl's feet to chip it past Hurricanes netminder James Reimer.
Kane fires in the loose puck to put the Sharks up 1-0 🦈 pic.twitter.com/TUPOYq93JX— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) October 17, 2019
But his next two power-play goals were also impressive, and his third was downright Pavelskian.
FIRST PERIOD HAT TRICK 🎩 pic.twitter.com/kOPMmZ7STl— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) October 17, 2019
The Sharks struggled to get traffic in front of the net during their winless start, but Kane and his teammates have been much better lately getting in the goalie's grill. On Wednesday night, that effort paid off. Big time.
Martin Jones keeps rolling
When Jones made a swift glove save on Teuvo Teravainen 1:07 into the game, you could tell he was about to have another strong outing.
The 'Canes spent most of the game in the Sharks' zone, and Carolina dominated the shot clock for the duration. But Jones was in the zone.
The Sharks won't be happy that Jones faced a lot of strong chances, even if San Jose collectively did a better job at minimizing the turnovers in this game. At least with both goaltenders playing well, the Sharks have a better chance of keeping those mistakes out of the back of their net.
A special night for the power play and penalty kill
When the Sharks' special teams were in a rough state at the very start of the season, coach Peter DeBoer said he wasn't worried about it. He had a feeling it would figure itself out, and he was right.
In addition to Kane's two power-play goals, the Sharks penalty kill came up big in the second period when they killed off the Hurricanes' two-man advantage. Even though Carolina was visibly tired due to playing on the tail end of a back-to-back, the Eastern Conference leaders were still getting some good looks in front of Jones. The Sharks penalty kill, however, was on point.
That bodes well for Saturday when the Sharks host the Buffalo Sabres, who currently have the NHL's second-best power play.