(photo: Getty images)
The New York Rangers in their second game in 2 days could not keep pace with the offensive onslaught of the San Jose Sharks. It was an evening of firsts for the Sharks with Tomas Hertl getting his first NHL career hat trick at the tender age of nineteen and the first Sharks player to net more than 5 goals in the first three games of the season. Rookie Matt Nieto recorded his first NHL goal along with 2 assists before the evening was finished.
The Sharks began the first period on rough ice as Brad Stuart, in his first game back, was called for an elbowing penalty on Rick Nash. Nash eventually left the game with an undisclosed injury and Stuart became a marked man for the rest of the game. The Sharks then went down another man for too many men and the Rangers picked up the 2-man advantage, quickly capitalizing on the power play. Ryan Callahan set up a nice screen in front of Niemi and Brad Richards tipped it in off a feed from Derick Brassard to put the Rangers up a goal. The Sharks quickly answered back with a blast by Marc-Eduard Vlasic on a set-up by Pavelski and Marleau. The Sharks turned on the jets and didn’t look back. Dan Boyle would send another one by Henrik Lundquist from a slick pass from Matt Nieto, his first NHL point of his career and Logan Couture nearly netted another on a shorthanded breakaway attempt that the King neatly stuffed. San Jose closed the first period, outshooting the Rangers 15-7 and up 2 goals to 1.
The second period began on a penalty kill for the Sharks but the Rangers couldn’t get anything rolling. San Jose rolled all four lines and the third line of Wingels-Pavelski-Nieto would open the period with a neat tic-tac-toe to give Nieto his first NHL goal of his career. The Sharks were far from done as the rookie Hertl put it past Lundquist from a feed by Andrew Desjardins to send the King packing for the evening. The Rangers put in Biron for relief but the Rangers wouldn’t find it as Couture slapped the puck in on a bounce from behind the net 20 seconds after Hertl’s and the first shot Biron faced in net. Tomas Hertl closed out the second period with another goal, with Desjardins, again assisting with the rookie’s net theatrics and the score favoring San Jose 6-1.
New York’s Derek Dorsett took advantage of a broken play by Sharks defenceman Matt Irwin and slipped one by Niemi to give the Blue Shirts another goal early in the third. New York would try to make a go of it in the third period but ultimately it would be “too many Hertl’s for the Rangers to overcome”.
Ranger’s Brian Boyle, who had been after San Jose’s Stuart all night, got called on a double minor to put the Sharks on the man advantage for four minutes, and netted Hertl the Hat Trick. Tomas would score another baffling goal, one that must be seen to truly appreciate the skill this young man has. You can watch the between the legs goal here.
Justin Braun would close out the scoring for the Sharks, a player who struggled last year and netted his second goal of the season with a wrist shot in from a pass from Nieto. The Rangers were outplayed in every zone and the Sharks outshot New York 46-19. The final score 9-2.
The Sharks fly to Vancouver to face the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Thursday and will return home Saturday to face the Ottawa Senators.