The Sharks gave defenseman Brent Burns the best gift he could've asked for in his 1,100th NHL game. Other than a pair of antelope, that is.
San Jose came back to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Friday night, thanks to a pair of quick third-period goals from Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier. The Sharks turned a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead in just under 90 seconds, opening their two-game road trip with a well-earned victory over a team desperately pushing for a playoff spot. The Jets nearly forced overtime, but Kyle Connor hit the post with just under 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' third straight road win.
Sticking with it
The Sharks entered the third period with a 24-14 advantage on the shot clock and nothing to show for it. Then, the third period happened.
Melker ties it up 🙌 pic.twitter.com/KD6nxtH2Um— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 15, 2020
Timo with the rebound and the Sharks lead 😱 pic.twitter.com/SF0P5g3Jwn— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 15, 2020
Karlsson and Meier scored 1:29 apart early in the final frame, all while the Jets couldn't sustain any offense. Winnipeg didn't attempt a third-period shot until San Jose goaltender Aaron Dell stopped Patrik Laine's wrister 8:17 in.
The Sharks will welcome that change of pace, despite the Jets' late flurry as they pushed for a tying goal. San Jose has given up a higher share of 5-on-5 shots and quality chances under interim coach Bob Boughner than predecessor Peter DeBoer, but the Sharks had massive edges in both areas Friday and that set up their third-period comeback.
Penalty kill nearly a killer again
Connor's between-the-legs beauty nearly swung the game. He evened things up with a stunning power-play goal, and Blake Wheeler gave the Jets a 2-1 lead soon after.
Kyle Connor oh my pic.twitter.com/wOht5hhpk4— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 15, 2020
Connor's goal was just enough to briefly get the Jets back in the game, and the Sharks continued an ugly trend, too. San Jose has now allowed 10 power-play goals in the last 11 games, killing off just 22 of their 33 penalties.
The penalty kill bounced back by keeping the Jets off the board in the third period, but a downward slide down the stretch could spell trouble. Dominant 5-on-5 efforts like Friday's more than makeup for short-handed struggles, but San Jose's penalty kill needs to start pulling its weight.
A long time coming
Marcus Sorensen's first goal in over two months was befitting of a long wait. The Swedish-born forward first needed to poke a loose puck past Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck in the first period, then wait for the results of a coach's challenge and then rely on the scorekeeper crediting him with his sixth goal of the season after briefly giving it to Sharks rookie Alexander True.
Sharks take the lead 1-0 🦈 pic.twitter.com/mjXiPLJEOX— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) February 15, 2020
Sorensen managed just two assists over his previous 25 games before scoring Friday. He found strong chemistry with new linemates True and Dylan Gambrell early, and the trio pinned Winnipeg in its own end during their limited looks with one another.
The Sharks entered Friday with the fourth-fewest goals scored this season (145), and Sorensen's struggles after scoring a career-high 17 in 2018-19 have played a role. He won't reach that this season, but Sorensen's play alongside True and Gambrell bodes well for the Swede improving the rest of the way.