The good news was on the scoreboard where the Sharks kept their perfect record intact with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Ottawa Senators on a third-period goal by Brent Burns. But maybe the better news came after the game Saturday night when Sharks coach Todd McLellan said a collision that sidelined prized rookie Tomas Hertl for the entire third period did not appear to do serious damage. "He's a little bit sore but I think he'll be fine tomorrow" McLellan said of Hertl who left the game with 2:07 remaining in the second period. The 19-year-old Hertl skated through two Ottawa defenders and was cutting into the slot in front of the Senators net when he stumbled and fell awkwardly into forward Clarke MacArthur. Though replays showed contact with Hertl's head McLellan said the shoulder was the primary area of concern. Hertl notched his NHL-leading seventh goal of the season to open the scoring just 55 seconds into the game but Ottawa came back to take a 2-1 lead on an even-strength goal by Zack Smith and a power-play tally by Bobby Ryan. That's where the score stood after 20 minutes -- the first time this season that the Sharks trailed as a period ended. But San Jose came back with a power-play goal by Patrick Marleau at 16:12 of the second period and won the game when Joe Thornton threw the puck to Burns just outside the crease and he fired it past Ottawa backup netminder Robin Lehner who was getting his first start of the season. Could Burns have hit that puck any harder just 7 feet from the goal line? "No" he laughed through a gap in his teeth caused when he took a high stick from Lehner. "Those are in my wheelhouse. I've got those in my bag empty netters. It was just a great play by Joe. I didn't have to do much but I wasn't going to miss." The Sharks reached the 50-shot mark for the second straight home game and got 21 saves from goalie Antti Niemi in winning their fifth straight game. After starting the season with four convincing wins the Sharks found themselves in a tight physical contest with the Senators who lost in regulation for the first time in four starts. "Yeah they played hard" Thornton said citing Ottawa's speed as well as its toughness. "They came at us even though we scored the first goal they came back. That's a real good team over there." The play that sent Hertl to the locker room didn't appear to be a dangerous one but the Sharks rookie hurriedly left the ice dropping his stick and gloves in the Ottawa zone.
Sharks defeat Senators for fifth straight win
San Jose Mercury News | Oct 13