Sharks eat a buffet of Duck in 6-0 shutout victory


Sharks eat a buffet of Duck in 6-0 shutout victory

Courtesy of Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

ANAHEIM — It took 24 games into the season, but the Sharks finally have a winning streak.

San Jose received goals from six different goal scorers and Devon Dubnyk was perfect in between the pipes as the Sharks routed the Anaheim Ducks in a 6-0 shutout win on Friday evening at Honda Center.

This marked the first time this season the Sharks have won two games in a row. It could not have come at a better time with Team Teal nine points out of fourth place and the final playoff spot in the Honda West division. They need to string together a long win streak if they want to be taken seriously about getting into the playoffs.

Tomas Hertl made his return back to the ice after missing six games with complications from COVID-19. San Jose missed the Czech center as he is argubably the team's best faceoff man, a department the team had suffered dearly from during his absence. He paid immediately dividends, scoring the game's first goal at the 7:57 mark of the first period on the power play.

"I felt pretty good," said a smiling Hertl after the game. "I thought it would've been a little worse. We'll see tomorrow right away after the back-to-back (games). You know it's really nice, especially when you win (a blowout game) like that. It's nice to be back. I was a little scared after two weeks (of) doing nothing."

A key turning point of the game was early in the second period when Sharks goalie Devon Dubnyk made a point-blank save that led to Evander Kane doubling the lead to 2-0 after finishing off a nice pass from Brent Burns.

Speaking of Dubnyk, he was actually busier than his counterpart John Gibson in the first 40 minutes. Dubnyk stopped 25 of the 34 shots he faced en route to his 33rd career shutout. He was the unsung hero amidst the six goals his team scored for him.

“It was awesome. We played hard and didn’t sit back,” Dubnyk said. “I was able to move around and saw the puck well. I wanted to give the guys a sense of calm back there and it was nice for them to feel that on the bench.”

Kevin Lebanc had a nice rebound game after getting benched for the third period on Monday night against St. Louis. He had a goal and two assists as his top line with Kane and Logan Couture continue to be the team's most successful and consistent line this season.

When asked if this game represented the potential that the Sharks offense is capable of being for the rest of the season, Sharks head coach Bob Boughner responded that his team has been spending less time in their own defensive zone which has led to more scoring chances for his offense.

"Our power play has seemed to have turned a corner a little bit. I think we have some guys picking up their game. Obviously some guys coming back healthy. As long as we stay inside our structure and play well defensively, I think that's what leads to our offense," Boughner said.

Erik Karlsson is starting to look like the caliber defenseman that earned him two Norris Trophies. He blasted a shot from the point for a power play goal in the third period. It was a period that saw the Sharks score four times and Karlsson had three shots on goal, finishing +2 on the evening.

Another player that returned to the lineup, this time from an injury, was Timo Meier. He also was invited to the scoring party with a goal and assist. When this team is healthy, they have two solid lines that can put the puck in the back of the net.

The Sharks have continued the shuffling of players up from their AHL team, the San Jose Barracuda. The latest player to get a taste of life in the NHL was Fredrik Handemark. The Swedish forward centered the Sharks fourth line and was rewarded for his hard work with the first goal of his NHL career in just his second NHL game. He scored the sixth and final goal for San Jose at the 15:03 mark in the third period.

Handemark has been one of the top players for the 'Cuda this season and has definitely earned his promotion to the parent club. If tonight was any indication, he won't be getting sent back down anytime soon. He looked poised and confident playing on a line with tough guy Kurtis Gabriel (who got into his third fight tonight with the Sharks since being called up) and the veterean Patrick Marleau.

UP NEXT
  • This is the second of eight straight weekends where the Sharks will play back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

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