The San Jose Sharks started out their six-game road trip this afternoon in Montreal, looking to keep the momentum going from Saturday night’s season opening win.
The Sharks came right out of the gate blazing, scoring just 1:22 into the game. Jonathan Dahlen found the back of the net early for San Jose, marking his first career NHL goal.
Brent Burns ripped a shot soaring towards the net from the blue line, that was initially tipped by Timo Meier, and then tipped a second time by Dahlen, before getting past Canadiens netminder Jake Allen. The goal was initially credited to Timo Meier but was later changed and credited to Dahlen.
Before Dahlen was even officially credited with the first goal that he scored, the 23-year-old rookie scored a second time, just 2:14 after his first goal. Logan Couture raced into the zone with the puck, creating a two on one with Dahlen to his right. Couture snapped a shot at Allen’s right pad, that ricocheted right to Dahlen’s stick, who had a wide open net to deposit the puck into.
With everything going San Jose’s way to start off the game, the Canadiens frustration grew and their play on the ice started to show it.
Shortly after Dahlen’s second goal, Andrew Cogliano was rocked to the ice after being hit by both Mike Hoffman and Adam Brooks, causing Erik Karlsson to step in and have some words and shoves with Hoffman, before he exchanged some punches with Brendan Gallagher. Just as they did last game, the Sharks sent out a message by standing up for a teammate after a questionable hit.
Throughout the opening frame, the Sharks continued to keep the pressure on Montreal, creating some good looks on the offensive side of the ice. San Jose’s defense was suffocating in the first period, only giving up three shots. Adin Hill, with the quiet but successful period, saved all three of the shots he faced.
As the opening period winded down, with the Sharks just coming off an unsuccessful power play, Erik Karlsson sent in a sneaky shot from the blue line that slid across the ice, hitting David Savard’s skate in front of the net, deflecting right between the pads of Allen. Karlsson’s first goal of the season gave the Sharks a 3-0 lead heading into the dressing room.
Just as they did to start the game, San Jose started out the second period with a lot of energy and constant pressure. All of the offensive zone pressure caused Cole Caufield to take a penalty, slashing Jonathan Dahlen.
While on the power play, Timo Meier cashed in after a tic-tac-toe passing sequence from Karlsson to Couture, then to Meier who snapped a shot short side past Jake Allen’s blocker. Meier’s goal gave him three points on the night, in a dominating performance.
Shortly after Timo’s goal gave the Sharks a 4-0 lead, Josh Anderson came flying in towards Adin Hill on a breakaway. Anderson deked a couple of times while skating in before ripping a wrist shot that deflected off Hill’s glove.
Adin Hill made another phenomenal save later in the period on a Cole Caufield wrist shot that he gloved down. Hill finished the period saving all 11 shots that he faced in the middle frame.
The Canadiens started off the third period determined to score, putting nonstop pressure on the Sharks, including a couple of shots on goal. Hill stood tall in net, fending off all of Montreal’s attempts.
After things settled down and San Jose found their game again, Ben Chiarot was sent to the box for roughing after a dangerous hit on William Eklund.
With the Sharks on their fourth power play of the night, Kevin LaBanc sent a one-timer rocketing to the back of the net off an Erik Karlsson pass to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead. Karlsson’s assist gave him three points on the night.
As the third period went on, Adin Hill made a handful of great saves to keep his shutout bid alive. In the final couple minutes of the game, Montreal pushed hard to try and get on the board, but the Sharks defense wasn’t going to let that happen.
The closing minutes of the game were full of Sharks players, especially Radim Simek, putting their bodies on the line, blocking shots to preserve Adin Hill’s first shutout as a Shark.
Hill saved all 21 shots that he faced, making him the first goalie of the 2021-22 NHL season to record a shutout.
Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson both had standout performances, both tallying a goal and two assists. Jonathan Dahlen scored twice, including his first career NHL goal and Logan Couture recorded two assists.
The Sharks move to 2-0-0 on the season and are back in action Thursday afternoon with a 4:00PM Pacific Time puck drop in Ottawa.Embed from Getty Images