October 13, 2013
(AP) Rookie Tomas Hertl scored his league-leading seventh goal before leaving with an injury and Brent Burns got the tiebreaker in the third period to lead the San Jose Sharks to their fifth straight win to open the season, 3-2 over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Patrick Marleau tied the game with a power-play goal late in the second period and Antti Niemi made 21 saves as the Sharks won a nail biter after outscoring the opposition by 16 goals in the first four games.
Zach Smith and Bobby Ryan scored for the Senators, and Robin Lehner made 47 saves in his first start of the season. Ottawa has lost three straight games after winning the first game on their season-opening six-game road trip.
After trailing for less than a minute in their last three games, the Sharks showed they could play from behind after Ottawa took a 2-1 lead late in the first period.
With the Senators playing the front end of a back-to-back, coach Paul MacLean gave backup Lehner the nod and saved starter Craig Anderson for Sunday's game in Anaheim.
Lehner played well, stopping a breakaway by Brent Burns midway through the second period but had no chance when San Jose tied the game on its first power play of the night.
Matt Irwin put a shot on net and the puck squirted out of the crease after a scramble in front of Lehner. Marleau got the puck alone to the left of the net and converted a backhander for his fourth goal of the season.
The Sharks took the lead just after the end of their third power play when Joe Thornton fed Burns, who was alone in front for a 3-2 lead with 12:52 to play.
The game was not all positive for San Jose because of the injury to Hertl, who has become a teenage sensation in San Jose after scoring six times in his previous two home games. Hertl had to be helped to the dressing room after taking a hard hit from Clarke MacArthur late in the second period and did not return. The Sharks announced he was under observation.
Another rookie, Matt Nieto, replaced Hertl on Thornton's line and got an assist on Burns' go-ahead goal.
The Sharks got off to a fast start behind their sensational rookie when Hertl knocked in a rebound of Dan Boyle's point shot for his seventh goal in five games this season.
San Jose controlled the play for much of the opening period but ended up trailing after one when Ottawa used a strong finish to score two goals. The first came out of nowhere when Chris Phillips' shot hit off the end boards and came out into the slot to Smith, who shot it past Niemi.
Three minutes later, the Senators took advantage of a high-sticking penalty against Andrew Desjardins to take the lead when Ryan one-timed a cross-ice pass from Jason Spezza past Niemi.
NOTES: The Sharks' 24 goals are their most ever through five games, surpassing last season's total of 23. ... San Jose's Matt Pelech fought in the first period with Ottawa's Chris Neil. ... D Joe Corvo was scratched for the Senators after being hit in the left eye by a puck in the morning skate. Eric Gryba played in his place.