Washington Capitals came into San Jose Tuesday night to make sure the Sharks November success did not carry over into December immediately by scoring five consecutive goals in their 5-2 victory.
“They play the right way, you know? There are a few teams that have that mindset,” said Sharks defenseman, Brendan Dillon. “They’re not trying to be fancy, they are trying to get the puck in. They’re trying to get grind time. That’s the difference-maker.”
Sharks are now 7-3-0 in their last 10 games and have allowed 29 goals in that stretch.
Dillon skated up the ice and bounced the puck off the boards close to center ice to assist forward Melker Karlsson on his third goal of the season to open up the scoring.
Prior to Tuesday night’s games, Sharks were 10-2-1 when scoring first.
Capitals did not hesitate to remind the Sharks why they have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference as they scored 3 consecutive goals to end the first period.
“We got to be better, they are one of the top teams in the league. You got to bring your best game to beat them,” said Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer, “I thought we pushed back and played more of our game in the third period but too little, too late.”
Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway deflected the shot from the point right before what looked to be contact with Sharks Goalie Martin Jones to even the score at one.
Capitals did not take their foot off the petal as they scored another goal within 0:53 seconds from the first goal. Goal was scored by forward Jakub Vrana to extend his active point streak (4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points) to five games.
Capitals defenseman, John Carlson, rifles a shot from the blue line past Jones glove hand-side for his 9th goal of the season to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Capitals.
Carlson, who is not known for his scoring as he leads the team in assists, ended the first period with three points (1 goal, 2 assists).
Hathaway, who scored 11 goals for the Calgary Flames last year, decided he was not done in the first period by scoring his second goal of the game in the second period scoring goals No. 4 and 5 on the year.
Hathaway was not the only Capital to score two goals Tuesday night as Vrana joined in on the fun to extend the Capitals lead 5-1.
With the score heavily favoring the Capitals, Jones did not come out for the third period and was replaced by Aaron Dell.
This is Jones fourth time this season allowing five goals in a game.
“We were just a little flat today. Good opportunity against a good team to have a strong game and we just didn’t quite have it tonight.” Jones said.
On the other side of the rink was Capitals goaltender, Braden Holtby. Holtby ended the night with 23 saves on 25 shot attempts.
Holtby went 8-1-1 with a 2.24 goals-against average in the month of November. That G.A.A. was his lowest since February 2017.
“Big road trip coming up. It is not getting any easier. You’re going into a couple of tough buildings. A back-to-back with Tampa [Bay Lightning] and Florida [Panthers],” Dillon said, “we can’t even worry so much what the other team is doing, it’s focusing on us.”
Sharks will begin their four-game road trip on Thursday as their first stop is in Carolina to face off against the Hurricanes at 4 p.m. PST.