If we could only play the Caps every game…
Another matchup versus Washington and another win. For the second time in a week, the Sharks broke through in the third period to knock off the Capitals. The victory kept the Sharks unbeaten at home against Ovi and his bunch in the last 11 meetings and begs the question, why can the Sharks not play this team more? The Wild West is jammed pack with contenders and the standings are more volatile than Jim Mora at a press conference. Every game right now feels like a playoff game, which is not the best thing for the Sharks, so playing a few games down the stretch against their personal punching bags would be extremely helpful. Luckily, the Sharks have 15 of their last 24 games at home and are playing their best hockey of the season. For those true Sharks fans who only start watching come playoff time because let’s face it, the regular season does not really matter, this is the time to start tuning in. Currently, they are tied for fourth place in the division and need to reassert their home dominance down the stretch if they are going to earn a high seed, or simply just make the playoffs.
Last night was a giant stride in that direction after Dan Boyle put the Sharks ahead for good by firing a shot that hit everything and everyone on its way to the back of the net. Heatley was credited with the goal as he tipped the puck last before it crossed the goal line and ended the Sharks power play struggles. The Sharks had failed to convert on their past 12 power plays before this pinball goal and they could not have picked a better time to end that drought. The goal gave the Sharks enough cushion to fend off the Caps as they added a goal with less than two minutes to go to cut the lead to one. However, it was too little too late. Ryan Clowe started off the third period scoring by handling a feed from Kyle Wellwood in front of net and then went to his patented backhand to give the Sharks a 2-1 one lead. His goal signified the first scoring of the game since the flurry of goals to end the first period. The two teams traded goals thirty seconds apart in the final minute of the first period on the Capitals power play. Pavelski began the scoring with a top cheese every time wrist shot over the goalie’s glove. However, Ovechkin came right back and showed that he can shoot a wrist shot as well. Fortunately, his goal was the Caps only one until the final minutes of the game and was not enough to prevent the Sharks ownage of the Capitals.