Sharks win 6th straight
Brent Burns’ night started by getting two antelope for his off-season ranch in Texas. It ended with the league’s leading scorer on defense collecting the game-winning goal.
Thanks to his big night and 27 saves from goalie Martin Jones, the Sharks extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at SAP Center on Saturday.
“A while back we were talking about our game trending in the right direction,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “We started winning two, three in a row. Lately we’ve been able to turn three into four or five in a row.”
Burns was inspired from the start following a pregame ceremony to recognize his 1,000th game, which he played Dec. 27. His immediate family was on the ice, and his son Jagger was allowed to skate through the giant Sharks’ head at the outset of the night with Burns’ teammates.
“I can’t say enough about the entire Sharks organization for what they did for my family,” said Burns, who padded his points lead with a goal and assists. “That’s one of the best moments of my life and his life to share.”
Jagger is getting used to hanging with the big boys. He was on the ice for portions of the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend skills competition in Nashville. And now this.
“He had a few good oneliners,” Burns said of his son. “He said since he was in the All-Star Game he should be able to skate a few shifts. I’m going to have to knock him down a couple pegs.”
His dad helped to knock Ottawa down after both teams started slowly with a scoreless first period. The game’s first goal didn’t come until Pavelski collected his team-leading 26th late in the second period.
Defenseman Brenden Dillon made a poised play to carry the puck through center before dishing to Tomas Hertl just inside the Ottawa line on the boards. Hertl slipped a short pass to an onrushing Pavelski, who found a soft spot in the Senators’ defense.
From the inside edge of the left circle, Pavelski picked the top far corner on goalie Anders Nilsson at 17:57.
“We’ve had five games in eight days, games against some good teams, some emotional wins and everything that goes along with it,” Pavelski said. “It was good to get a lead and play with it and that’s because of Jones.”
Burns scored his ninth goal of the season at 6:17 of the third period to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. His drive from the right boards below the hash marks was intended for teammate Kevin Lebanc, but caromed off Ottawa defenseman Christian Jaros and past Nilsson.
The visitors struck back quickly, however, when at 6:44 Ryan Dzingel scored his 18th goal with a wrist shot from the slot after San Jose forward Marcus Sorensen failed to get the puck out of the zone.
But Joe Thornton scored his ninth goal of the season at 15:43 of the third and Melker Karlsson’s eighth goal filled an empty net at 18:39.
Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi sustained an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return. … Burns also received a large silver hockey stick and a large shark tooth during the pregame ceremony.
Sharks center Joe Thornton, right wing Kevin Labanc and defenseman Brent Burns celebrate a Burns goal. San Jose extended its winning streak to six consecutive games.
Sharks goaltender Martin Jones turned away 27 of 28 Ottawa shots Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose.