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Offensive Outburst Powers the Sens Past the Sharks

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The game was all about Karlsson going in, but the Sens made sure it was all about the win coming out

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Before getting to the game itself, let’s get some of the Erik Karlsson talk out of the way. It was as packed of a house as we’ve seen this season for EK’s return. The Sharks obliged everyone by giving Karlsson a hot lap during warm-up before joining him on the ice, and Peter DeBoer had him in the starting line-up.

The video tribute ran during the first TV time out, which TSN stayed with instead of going to commercial. The fans were on their feet cheering for the whole thing, and Karlsson jumped back on the ice briefly after the video for a twirl to salute the crowd in response.

If you missed the video, the Sens also released it on Twitter and


The game itself started slow. The Sharks had the better start and Ottawa found their legs a bit towards the end of the period when they finally got set up in the San Jose end. Both teams had their chances, but neither managed to look especially dangerous.

Probably the best chance for either side came when Karlsson saw Evander Kane all alone beside the net and fed him a cross ice pass from the the far point. Kane couldn’t quite settle the puck down, which gave Anderson time to adjust and Ceci time to get his stick in the way.

The only other somewhat notable thing to happen in the first was the Sharks having to shorten the bench a bit for the last few minutes when Karlsson’s partner Brenden Dillon didn’t have another shift after a hit from Matt Duchene, and then when Christian Jaros cleared the zone by banking the puck off of Joe Thornton’s face instead of the boards as intended. Both players were missing from the bench at the start of the second, though Thornton was back in time for his line’s first shift of the period and Dillon was back a few minutes in.

Ottawa had a better start to the second period with some sustained early on, hemming the Sharks into their own end for a shift. Brady Tkachuk made his presence felt by getting a few whacks at the puck in front of the net while surrounded by white and teal. The kid is the team’s next honey badger. The Sharks pushed back with some pressure of their own, but Evander Kane gave the Senators the first power play of the night with an offensive zone trip.

The power play was a bit of a mixed bag. It spent more time out of the Sharks end than you’d like to see, but when they did have things set up they were generating quality chances. It was more bursts of chances than real pressure, and with the last one of those bursts Ryan Dzingel opened the scoring. It was technically after the penalty ended, but it was a power play goal in spirit.

The Sharks immediately pushed back, and were rewarded with their first power play of the night when Joe Pavelski was up-ended by Ceci right in front of Anderson, then a 5 on 3 when Tom Pyatt was sent to the box for tripping. Just as Ceci stepped back on to the ice after his penalty, the Sharks found the back of the net to tie the game up.

Something clicked, and the game opened up. After the game of little pressure or excitement in the first period, it turned into a game where both teams were getting pressure - and then that pressure being broken up with rushes to the other end. Dzingel had what was almost a clear break, except Karlsson is one of the few defenders in the league who has the speed to catch up. Dzingel got the shot off, but it clipped Karlsson’s stick and the puck went bar down and out.

That one wasn’t to be, but the next two rushes were. It was milestone goal #1 for Ben Harpur, who jumped up to create a 3 on 2 and fired the puck past Jones from the top of the circle to give the Sens the lead. Less than a minute later it was Mikkel Boedker getting out ahead of Brent Burns, charging the net and slipping the puck through the five hole for the insurance marker.

The rest period was all San Jose - Ottawa went nearly five minutes without a shot attempt. Anderson came up with a few big saves to maintain the two goal lead, and the team did a good job keeping the Sharks from getting follow-up chances. The period ended with a San Jose power play after Mark Stone cleared the puck over the glass.

From one technical penalty to another, shortly after the Sens killed off Stone’s delay of game the Sharks were caught with too many men on the ice to send the Sens to their second power play of the game. It wasn’t much to write home about either, until a 3 on 1 with only Karlsson back. Mark Stone took a pass from Boedker and dragged the puck just long enough to let Chabot and Boedker get set up on either side of the net. When Karlsson hesitated just a moment trying to decide which pass to take away, Stone fired the puck past Jones.

The next 10 minutes saw San Jose mostly controlling the play, but not really getting much on net to show for it. In hopes of digging out of the three goal hole, DeBoer pulled Jones with over five minutes left in the game. The Sharks weren’t able to gain possession though, and Magnus Paajarvi picked up his third of the season with a 128 footer into the empty net.

While that iced the game, it wasn’t the end of the scoring. Barclay Goodrow deflected a point shot from Dillon past Anderson to make it 5-2 with two minutes to go. A minute later the Sens responded with a deflection of their own, by Bobby Ryan on a Cody Ceci shot to restore the four goal lead, and that was actually the end of it.

Notable Performances

  • Ryan Dzingel had himself a game this afternoon. He opened up the scoring, his foot race with Karlsson where he rang it off the post, forcing a diving paddle save by Martin Jones to keep the game tied at 1... he was one of the most noticeable forwards on the team today.
  • Ben Harpur’s first NHL goal earns him a mention, and it was with a shot you might expect to see from 61 instead of 67.
  • Know what else is a safe bet to get you mentioned? A four point effort like Mikkel Boedker had. He ended up with the game winner, plus assists on the first goal, the insurance goal, and the final goal.
  • Craig Anderson faced 38 shots today, and came up big.
  • The Sens held Erik Karlsson off the score sheet, but not for lack of trying on his part. Several of the Sharks best chances came off of Karlsson passes, and he registered a whopping 15 shot attempts himself.

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The Sens visit the Habs on Tuesday night.