OTTAWA – Guy Boucher saw more of what he wants from his team on Wednesday, despite the fact they couldn’t pull off the win.
Kevin Labanc scored the only goal of the shootout in the fourth round as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3, one day after Boucher blasted his team at practice for their recent poor play.
“It’s definitely a solid game,” said Boucher. “We had a lot of character…We showed the players were dedicated and they wanted to pay the price and they wanted to be better than our previous game.”
Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns and Chris Tierney scored in regulation for the Sharks (18-11-5) as Martin Jones made 29 saves.
Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris and Dion Phaneuf scored for the Senators (16-11-3), who have lost three in a row for the first time this season. Mike Condon, making his fourth straight start, made 26 saves.
After 40 minutes it was tied 2-2, and the Senators had a tough final 20 minutes just to earn a single point.
Ottawa was without Turris for much of the third as he sat in the penalty box after being handed a 10-minute misconduct at 19:40 of the second. And midway through the period things got ugly as Mike Hoffman cross-checked Logan Couture up high from behind and was given a five-minute major and game misconduct.
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said he had no update on Couture post-game.
“It’s the way it is sometimes, emotions get high,” said Joe Thornton. “Hopefully (Couture) is OK, I haven’t seen him yet. It’s an emotional game, what can I say.”
Patrick Marleau appeared to score on the ensuing power play, but the goal was challenged and upon review was ruled offside. The Sharks were 0 for 7 on the power play.
Phaneuf gave the Senators the lead with a power-play goal at 16:14, but just over a minute later the Sharks tied it as Tierney beat Condon with a wrist shot.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic got tangled up with captain Erik Karlsson and appeared to spear him late in the second period. Turris went after Vlasic and ended up with a minor penalty for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.
“I’m down in the corner battling and I lose my stick and the play is gone and I’m reaching for it and he tries to pitchfork me in the face and I’m lucky that I’m looking down,” said Karlsson. “As far as I’m concerned that’s a dangerous play. It’s intentional and I’ve got to give it to Turris for sticking up for me.”
Boucher had no issue seeing one of his top players sticking up for the captain.
“I think sticking up for his teammate when a guy has a two-hand spear to the throat I think guys on the bench are definitely sticking together and they saw that,” said Boucher. “Guys want to kill (that penalty) and we did and I think Turris had a very good game, had a big goal and was certainly one of the guys that showed up and had great leadership.”
Turris admitted he was a little surprised to get the additional penalties on the play, but felt Vlasic needed to be dealt with.
Down 2-1, Mark Stone made a great cross-crease pass to Turris, who buried it to tie things up with under three minutes in the second.
Burns had given the Sharks a 2-1 lead midway through the second on a great individual effort as he easily got around Ben Harpur, playing just his sixth NHL game, and put it behind Condon.
San Jose opened the scoring at 5:57 of the first period as Couture dropped a no-look pass to Pavelski all alone at the side of the net.
The Senators tied it less than two minutes later as Ryan Dzingel found Ryan in front and he beat Martin Jones far side. It was Ryan’s first goal since Oct. 30th and just his fourth of the season.
Prior to the game the Senators recognized Chris Neil for playing 1,000 NHL games. Neil becomes just the third player in Senators franchise history to reach the milestone.
Neil had an opportunity to win the game in the shootout, but was unable to beat Jones.
“It was an emotional night for me,” admitted Neil. “(The team) were all behind me doing their hardest to get the two points.”
Notes: Ottawa D Mark Borowiecki sat for the second of his two-game suspension. D Andreas Englund was a healthy scratch. San Jose RW Joonas Donskoi, D Mirco Mueller and D Dylan Demelo were healthy scratches.