Burns shines as Sharks beat Devils

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY MIKE FAR­RELL

The stat line on Brent Burns re­veals all one needs to know about the San Jose Sharks’ vic­tory over the New Jer­sey Devils.

Burns scored the ty­ing and win­ning goals, played a game­high 25:46 min­utes, took 11 of the Sharks 38 shots and blocked three shots in his own end.

It pro­duced a 4-1 vic­tory on Sun­day, snap­ping the Sharks’ four-game los­ing streak.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary has be­come the norm for the NHL’s lead­ing of­fen­sive de­fence­man.

“He’s the best player on the ice ev­ery night,” said team­mate Joe Thorn­ton, who also scored a goal. “It doesn’t mat­ter who you play. It’s very im­pres­sive to watch.”

Burns has 24 goals and his 59 points are only two be­hind over­all leader Con­nor McDavid.

“No, not re­ally,” Burns said in his usual low-key fash­ion when asked if he fo­cused on the scor­ing ti­tle. “I think you look at ev­ery­thing. You’re look­ing at other guys on your team, the other guys you’re play­ing. We hear about it all the time from you guys about stats.”

Kevin La­banc added two as­sists for San Jose. To­mas Hertl had an empty-net tally late in the third pe­riod.

Martin Jones made 21 saves as San Jose bounced back from a 2-1 over­time loss to Philadel­phia on Satur­day.

PA Par­enteau scored for the Devils and Corey Sch­nei­der made 34 stops as New Jer­sey lost for the eighth time in the last nine home games.

Burns wiped out the Devils’ lead with his sec­ond-pe­riod tal­lies.

The de­fender ripped a wrist shot over Sch­nei­der’s glove at 2:27 to knot the score.

Burns un­leashed an­other of his laser wris­ters, this time off the left post and into the net, at 7:46 to give the Sharks the lead.

“Both were kind of the same,” Burns said. “Good work down low by the for­wards get­ting it up to the blue­line. Then it’s just traf­fic and shoot­ing.”

Sounds sim­ple, yet so hard to stop.

The Devils knew what was com­ing — and who was shoot­ing — but were pow­er­less to pre­vent it.

“That’s the kind of player he is,” Sch­nei­der said of Burns. “There’s not many like him, es­pe­cially from the back end who can change the course of a game. It’s plays like that. He can join rush, stick­han­dle through the whole team. There are point shots he can make that very few, if any, de­fence­man in the league can make.

“We wanted to key on him and make sure he didn’t have an im­pact on the game. But he did.”

Thorn­ton added the third Sharks goal in the pe­riod at 11:22.

The Devils tried to rally late in the pe­riod as Tay­lor Hall and Ste­fan Noe­sen had close-in chances de­nied by Jones.

San Jose played an ef­fi­cient third pe­riod, hold­ing New Jer­sey to only seven shots.

AP PHOTO

San Jose Sharks cen­tre Lo­gan Cou­ture (right) hits New Jer­sey Devils cen­tre Sergey Kalinin dur­ing NHL ac­tion Sun­day in Newark, N.J.

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