Sharks Start 2014 With a Bang

After a disappointing loss in Anaheim to bring in the New Year, the San Jose Sharks regrouped on the second and beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-1 at the SAP Center.

The five Sharks’ goals were made by five different players, demonstrating the depth within the the Sharks’ lineup. Goals were made by Brent Burns, Patrick Marleau, Bracken Kearns, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski. Antti Niemi solidified their win, by making 23 saves for the night.

Burns scored his 13th goal of the season at 14:37 in the first. The assists came from line mates, Pavelski and Captain Joe Thornton. Then, 49 seconds later, Marleau scored the second goal of the game. Marleau’s goal was unassisted, stealing the puck along the boards and taking the shot through traffic. It was his 422nd goal of his career, tying him at 73rd on the NHL’s all-time list with former Shark captain, Owen Nolan.

In similar fashion, Kearns and Couture scored goals within two minutes of each other in the second period. Kearns got his third goal of the season, as well as his NHL career, at 7:18 in the second. Couture scored at 8:45, giving the Sharks a 4-0 lead. Kearns and Couture now have a goal in three consecutive games.

Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov responded to the four goal deficit, getting on the scoreboard at 15:39 to make it 4-1 at the end of the second period.

Pavelski furthered the gap with his 17th goal of the season at 5:44 in the third period. Fans in the Shark Tank began chanting “USA! USA!” after Pavelski’s goal, in acknowledgement of his inclusion on the U.S. Hockey Olympic team’s roster for the second time.

The win was their fifth straight victory on home ice, improving their home record to 15-1-3. The Sharks are now five points behind Anaheim for first in the Pacific division.

These two teams will meat later this month in Edmonton. In the mean time, Sharks begin a three game road-trip, starting in Colorado on Saturday the 4th. They will continue on to play Western Conference Leader, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Saturday and the Nashville Predators on the following Tuesday.