San Jose, CA–Tonight the San Jose Sharks Played host to the NY Rangers for the first time since the 2011 NHL season. In fact, the New York Rangers last traveled to the south bay on March 12, 2011. The last time the Sharks played at the Mecca of sports the Madison Square Garden was on October 31st Halloween night. San Jose defeated the Rangers by a final score of 5-2.
This game would be a night for 19 year old Tomaš Hertl to remember for a long time.
Early in the game, San Jose took penalties when defenseman Brad Stuart who recently made his return after missing the last two games administered a elbow shot to Rick Nash’s head. While San Jose was shorthanded, they were sloppy on a line change, giving the visiting New York Rangers a two man advantage. It did not take long for the Rangers to convert when Brad Richards connected on deflected shot by Derrick Bassard and gave the Blue Shirts an early 1-0 lead at 3:27 of the first.
However, San Jose responded with a goal of their own while they were still shorthanded. Joe Pavelski found Marc-Eduord Vlasic in the high slot and fired the puck on the open Rangers net to tie the game at at 4:23 of the opening stanza to make the score 1-1. Moments later San Jose was not done scoring when San Jose’s Pavelski won the face off in the Rangers zone, defenseman Dan Boyle cashed in the loose puck and fired a knuckler past Lundqvist to give San Jose the 2-1 lead at 7:56 of the first.
In the second period, San Jose basically put the game out of reach against the Rangers as they scored four times in a span of just under 5 minutes.
Rookie forward Matt Nieto opened the scoring during San Jose’s four goal outburst. Nieto recorded his first ever NHL goal when a Tommy Wingels pass deflected off of a Rangers player skate to put the Sharks up 3-1 at 8:16 of the middle frame. Seconds later San Jose would add to their lead when Tomaš Hertl scored his first of the contest at 9:19 from a deflected shot by Andrew Desjardins to make the score 4-1. Ten seconds after Hertl’s tally, Couture batted the puck out of midair at 9:39 and made it 5-1. That goal would force the Rangers to make a goaltending change as the Sharks chased Lundqvist from goal to insert backup Martin Biron.
That did not matter because Captain Joe Thornton found Hertl on the Rangers side of the neutral zone and went in on breakaway and literally undressed Biron to give San Jose a five goal lead at 6-1.
Enter the third period of the contest as Hertl once again answered the call for this club.
When Hertl scored his third goal, beating Martin Biron at 9:02 of the third on a power play, hats started flying out of the stands and onto the ice. Cameras cut to shots of his mother in the arena, in tears. But Hertl wasn’t satisfied with a hat trick; at 12:05, he scored on a breakaway from close range, dropping the puck back between his legs and beating Martin Biron for a highlight-reel goal.(Courtesy of NHL.com)
Rangers Dorsett would add another goal for his team.
Justin Braun would add the final Sharks goal of the night on the power play as the final score read 9-2 on the power play.
The last time San Jose recorded nine goals was back on Jan. 18, 2010 against the Calgary Flames.
The man of hour had this to say after the Sharks 9-2 blowout win over the Rangers.
“It’s crazy,” said Hertl, who was the 17th player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft out of the Czech Republic. “This is a dream. Four goals. I never [scored four] in the Czech League, I never had three. In the NHL, it’s crazy.” (Courtesy of NHL.com)
Stat Fact: Hertl became the youngest NHL player to score four goals in a game since March 20, 1988, when Jimmy Carson accomplished the feat with the Los Angeles Kings. Carson was 19 years, 254 days old when he scored four goals against Calgary. Hertl, who turns 20 on Nov. 12, scored four goals at the age of 19 years and 330 days. (Courtesy of NHL.com)
After tonights contest, San Jose will embark on a 10 game span with 8 of those on the road as they will face off against the Canucks in Vancouver this Thursday night.
Ryan Bayer Bay Sport Report Sharks Reporter @81Bayer
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