Reimer's timely saves and special teams lead Sharks past Senators, to third straight win

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

KANATA, Ontario — Kevin Labanc’s second-period power-play goal proved to be the difference as the Sharks continued their perfect start to the season with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Labanc, set up near the top of the circle to the right of the Senators’ net, took a pass from Erik Karlsson and ripped a slap shot past goalie Matt Murray at the 14:36 mark of the second period for a 2-1 Sharks lead.

Logan Couture also scored and goalie James Reimer made 30 saves as the Sharks improved to 3-0-0, their best start to a season since 2015-16 when they won their first four games.

The Sharks’ road trip continues Friday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.

Some takeaways from Thursday’s game.

— PENALTY KILL: The Sharks and Senators were playing 4 on 4 midway through the third period when Brent Burns was whistled for interference. The Sharks were absolutely gassed at that time and Burns and his teammates on the ice had been out there for over 90 seconds.


The Sharks then went out and killed the Burns penalty, with Couture winning a defensive zone faceoff to start. San Jose then limited the Senators to one shot on goal.

The Sharks were 4 for 4 on the penalty kill Thursday and are now 9 for 9 on the season. With Reimer making three saves. He also made seven saves during 4-on-4 play.

— MORE BELIEF: The Sharks were 8-17-3 last season when they allowed the first goal and 3-16-2 when they trailed after the first period. Now, the Sharks are 2-0-0 on both fronts after Ottawa opened the scoring at the 10:06 mark of the first period with a wrist shot from the right circle that got through Reimer.

— OVERTURNED GOAL: Labanc scored what appeared to be his second of the season with just over six minutes left in the first period as he fired a wrist shot past Senators goalie Matt Murray. But after a coaches challenge by Ottawa, it was determined that Nick Bonino was offside.


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