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Couture Takes It in OT for Sharks 3-2

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The San Jose Sharks are back!

They welcome the Los Angeles Kings into SAP Center for the pre-season opener. Luke Kunin got the Sharks going off a beautiful Tomas Hertl pass. Timo Meier deflected in another, and the Sharks pulled off a 2-1  victory over LA’s B-team.

Period 1

1 in: Good 1st shift from Eklund. Turns back puck cooly in DZ despite LA pressure, then diagonal dump-in, clear intention of bouncing to incoming Labanc. Doesn’t work, but smart with puck.

Followed by Eklund-Couture, Suess-Svechnikov. Simek-Benning on D. Harrington-Onyebuchi get a whirl here too.

First Sharks power play unit is Karlsson-Hertl-Couture-Meier-Labanc. 2nd unit was Bordeleau-Eklund-Kunin-Simek-Benning. They appear to alternating net front, but Karlsson consistently up top, Meier on flank driving shots. Double drop option on entry. Kunin high slot on second unit, Eklund net front. Another interesting use of Eklund on PP after Rookie Faceoff where they had him high slot. A lot of opportunity for Eklund to make plays in tight net front.

From Weatherby, he’s great winning puck battles, but have to see that growth with pace of play, connecting on that next play, even if it’s a safe one, to advance offense.

Time winding down on PP, Eklund gets it at goal line, opts for one-timed shovel pass to Kunin in slot, which is batted away. There’s a place where I don’t think San Jose Sharks would mind if he just attacked the net, tried to jam/surprise Quick, then everybody crashes net. Shooting more will make him a more effective power play option, a double threat.

Bordeleau has looked slick out there, very comfortable on the half wall on the PP. Also, wonder why they opted for Simek and Benning on PP over Nutivaara.

Period 2

Raska has been at the center of a lot of mayhem. He and Lizotte got “tangled up” too beforehand.

Weatherby just stepped in front of Byfield to loose puck, clearing it on PK. Just powered past Byfield in short area.

Simek-Benning has been a consistent pairing tonight, now on PK, so they’re getting a long look together as are Karlsson-Nutivaara.

Now they’re working on 3-on-5 with Couture with Benning and Simek.

Kaliyev looked up after Kahkonen gloved his one-timer blast.

Period 3

This goal was off of a bad Eklund turnover up high, he was in trouble, forecheck on him, he didn’t squirt it out past line at least. He was in a tough spot, but he’s got to make a better NHL play.

5 in: Viel curling behind net, does good job finding Benning I think up high.

7 in: Do like that Eklund attack, it was 1-on-5, he kept it too outside to be safety, a little move against not-sure which King, but bought him space for a little backhand shot. Territory win, if anything.

5 left: Eklund aware, gets a stick on Andersson’s in slot as Lias tries to tie game.

4 left: Liked that Bordeleau shift, hampered Chromiak up high, got the puck high, then loose puck at center, just one-hand sticks it in for the dump-in. Safe, smart play to protect lead.

San Jose Sharks win OZ draw, Karlsson loses it in his feet at blueline, LA has a clear-cut 2-on-1, Grundstrom to Lizotte.

OT

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