Cutting Deals in the Shark Tank; Washington Capitals vs San Jose Sharks

GoaltenderRecordGAA / SV%
Washington Capitals Ilya Samsonov10-2-52.45 / .914
San Jose SharksAdin Hill8-7-13.11 / .894

SAP Center in San Jose, California is the next stop for the Washington Capitals on this West Coast Roadtrip. These two teams last met back in January of 2020, where the Capitals defeated San Jose, 5-4. Unfortunately for Washington, and much in favor for the Sharks, the Caps are historically pretty bad against this team, no matter at home or on the road; in their last 30 meetings (dating back to 2000), the Capitals are just 8-18-4, though they have won three straight since 2019, and five of their last six.

On Wednesday night, in an ultra-late episode of Washington Capitals hockey, the Caps defeated the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 2-0, courtesy of two goals from Garnet Hathaway. Washington was looking for its 10th win of the season after dropping their last game against the Anaheim Ducks, less than 24 hours prior. Ilya Samsonov got the start for the back-end of the back-to-back, and it was Jonathan Quick in net for the LA Kings. This one was essentially a chess match. Very little offensive movement, defensive line-matching by both teams. It wasn’t until the third period was nearly over that the first goal of the game was scored, either. Although a variety of penalties were called, including matching minors on two separate occasions, both Samsonov and Quick were operating at peak performance.

The Kings got their first opportunity with the man-advantage just short of the nine-minute mark of the first period, but the Capitals killed that off. Then, just over halfway through the second period, Washington got its first power play as Blake Lizotte went off for high-sticking. They would not convert either.

With 3:30 remaining in the game, Garnet Hathaway scored his 3rd goal in four games to finally break the ice and put the Caps on top.

The Kings would pull their goaltender in hopes of tying it late, forcing overtime, and extending their point streak. But Hathaway potted an empty-net goal with just over 60 seconds left to make it 2-0.

John Carlson tallied assists on both goals and Evgeny Kuznetsov earned his 21st point in 17 games with the secondary assist. The win ended the Kings’ eight-game point streak and Jonathan Quick’s four-game win streak. It marked Samsonov’s 2nd shutout of the season and the 5th of his career.

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The San Jose Sharks were last in action on Thursday as they fell to the St Louis Blues, 4-1, ending a four-game winning streak for the Sharks. James Reimer was in between the pipes for the Sharks, and was 4-2-1 heading into the match.

A mere three seconds into the game, Robert Bortuzzo of the Blues and Jake Middleton of the Sharks dropped the mitts. Both were given five-minute majors for fighting.

The Blues got their first power play of the game when Kevin Lebanc was sent to the box for tripping. Brandon Saad would score just as the penalty would expire making it 1-0, Blues. Robert Thomas would add to St. Louis’s lead just one minute and 35 seconds into the middle frame with his 2nd of the year.

Jonathan Dahlen finally got the Sharks on the board as he scored his 7th of the season at the 8:16 mark of the second period. But just two minutes later, Brandon Saad went on to tally his 2nd of the game, improving St. Louis’ lead to a mark of 3-1, all but sealing the win for St. Louis. The Blues would go on to earn another three power play opportunities, but the Sharks killed off all three. Jordan Kyrou potted his 8th of the season 69 seconds into the third period, making it 4-1. It is worth noting that San Jose’s goaltender, James Reimer, managed to keep the score respectable, as he went on to stop an astounding 44 of 48 shots against.

The Sharks’ penalty kill is the best in the league, killing off just over 90% of all penalties taken. However, the team ranks 15th overall in penalty minutes, average 9.2 per game. San Jose has the 12th best power play, operating at just under 21% efficiency, compared to the Caps’ 17% power play. The Sharks, though, were not given a single power play opportunity in their last match against the Blues.

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The San Jose Sharks are without Kevin Lebanc (OUT; suspension), Lane Pederson (DTD; lower body), and Nikolai Knyzhov (IR-NR; lower body). Evander Kane is ineligible for play. For the Washington Capitals, TJ Oshie and Nic Dowd were both full-contact participants in Friday’s practice. Oshie has missed the last 10 games with a lower-body injury; Nic Dowd has played just nine games this season. Lars Eller is still in COVID-19 protocol, and Nicklas Backstrom does not yet have a timeline to return.

Kassie’s Noteworthy Remarks

  1. Logan Couture and Timo Meier are tied for goals, assists, and points on the team (6G, 8A, 14 points). Meier, however, has played four fewer games.
  2. Garnet Hathaway, who scored both goals for the Capitals on Wednesday, has four goals over his last four games, and has two, multi-goal games in the same span.
  3. It was announced Friday evening that Kevin Lebanc would be issued a one-game suspension for slewfooting Tyler Bozak. This means, Lebanc wilk be out versus the Capitals. He was issued a two-minute minor for tripping for the offense. The penalty can be seen below.

The Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks will play on Saturday, November 20th, at 10:30pm EST, and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports California.

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