The Sharks-Winnipeg Jets matchup has been touted as a potential playoff series. It lived up to the hype on Tuesday night.
San Jose captain Joe Pavelski ended a back-and-forth contest in epic fashion, as he scored the overtime marker to give the Sharks a 3-2 victory.
THE CAPTAIN WINS IT IN OT 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/jlHWVvJGq1— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 6, 2019
Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' third straight overtime win:
San Jose did work on Winnipeg’s home ice
You have to give the Sharks credit for coming out of the gate strong at Bell MTS Place. The Jets entered Tuesday with a staggering 20-6-2 record on home ice, including a 9-3 pummeling of the Anaheim Ducks in their last game.
Granted, San Jose didn’t look as sharp in the second period, only managing six shots on goal through 20 minutes. Nevertheless, the Sharks were able to hold the Jets to one goal that period.
On that note …
They have to stop giving up the early goal
Here’s an area the Sharks have to fix: Having jump in their game right at the start of the period – no matter which period it is. They’re second in the league in allowing goals without in the first five minutes of a period, doing so 48 times so far this season. On Tuesday, Winnipeg scored its first goal 3:08 minutes into the first period, and their second goal 52 seconds into the middle frame.
No matter which period it is, giving up goals so early can have a major effect on both teams' momentum. This was incredibly clear in the second period, when the Jets control of the game after scoring within the first minute.
San Jose got a lifeline from Sharks’ video coach Dan Darrow later in the period. He caught that Winnipeg’s would-be power play goal was offside, and the goal was overturned after San Jose challenged the call. That allowed the Sharks to close the gap later in the game.
Shout out to the fourth line
This was one of the strongest games the fourth line has played in 2019. They were speedy and physical, creating good chances throughout the game and challenging Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyck. Recent call-up Dylan Gambrell was particularly noticeable alongside Barclay Goodrow and Melker Karlsson, playing a more physical game up at the NHL level than he did earlier this season.
The Sharks needed a strong effort from all four lines in Winnipeg to counter the Jets' depth. As the stretch run of the regular season goes on, it becomes more crucial for all lines to be about to contribute. The mix of strength and speed shown on Tuesday night can help give the whole team a boost on a nightly basis.