Couture leads Sharks past slumping Senators 5-0
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) One game after needing a dramatic comeback to win, the San Jose Sharks started fast and rolled to a lopsided victory.
Logan Couture scored in the first period and added two assists to eclipse 400 career points, and Aaron Dell made 25 saves as San Jose blanked Ottawa 5-0 on Saturday night to hand the Senators their third shutout in four games.
”I thought we really wanted to concentrate on having a good start,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ”Obviously last game, getting down 3-0 early against Carolina wasn’t the way we wanted to start here at home. I thought we fixed that tonight. I thought we had a great first period and that kind of set the tone for the night.”
San Jose gave up three quick goals Thursday to the Hurricanes before rallying from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime. On this night, the Sharks picked up where they left off and posted another five goals against Ottawa.
Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Melker Karlsson scored the other goals for San Jose.
The Senators took more than 12 minutes to get a shot on goal and were thoroughly outplayed during their 11th loss in 12 games. After showing some grit in an overtime loss at Los Angeles on Thursday, Ottawa reverted back to its poor form in back-to-back shutout losses against Winnipeg and Anaheim.
”Obviously, right now we’re not playing the way that we want to, we’re not feeling the way we want to and we’re trying to find a way out of the rut that we’re in,” captain Erik Karlsson said. ”Sometimes when that happens, you start overthinking stuff and making decisions that you don’t want to make.”
Craig Anderson made 45 saves in his seventh straight defeat but got little help from his teammates.
Playing in place of regular starter Martin Jones, Dell was barely tested in the first two periods. His second shutout of the season was preserved when Vlasic knocked a puck off the goal line during a power play in the third period.
”He’s been great every time he goes in the net,” Vlasic said. ”We have a lot of confidence in him and he has confidence when he goes in. He doesn’t play as much as Jonesy does, but when he’s in it’s like he’s there every night.”
The Sharks broke the game open with two goals in the second. Vlasic beat Anderson from the point just seconds after a San Jose power play ended early in the period for his third of the season.
Joe Thornton and Pavelski then wore down Ottawa on a shift late in the period. Pavelski set up Karlsson, who was left alone in front for his fifth goal of the season to make it 3-0.
Pavelski and Hertl scored on power plays in the third. Couture assisted on both goals to give him 401 career points.
”It’s nice to hit a milestone like that,” he said. ”I’ve played with some very good players on the power play over the years.”
The Sharks had the first 10 shots on goal but were kept off the scoreboard thanks to a couple of big saves by Anderson. Pavelski hit the crossbar, too.
San Jose finally broke through shortly after Ottawa managed its first shot when Couture beat Anderson between the pads off a give-and-go with Kevin Labanc for his team-leading 15th goal of the season.
NOTES: Ottawa’s Ryan Dzingel fought Marcus Sorensen early in the third period. Alexandre Burrows was given a fighting major and game misconduct later in the period after going at Dylan DeMelo with a stick to the face. … Sharks D Paul Martin (ankle) was sent to the AHL on a conditioning assignment. Martin played Thursday in his first game since Oct. 7.
Senators: Visit the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Host the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
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