SUNRISE, Fla. — Pete DeBoer evened the score with his former-assistant coach Bob Boughner Friday as the Sharks picked up their third-consecutive win.
After getting beat in their first meet up with Boughner, who left the team in the offseason to take the Florida Panthers head coaching job, the Sharks found a way to win the rematch while playing without offensive catalyst Joonas Donskoi, who went down with an injury Tuesday.
Here’s what we learned at the Sharks (14-8-2) picked up a 2-1 win over the Panthers (10-13-2) in Sunrise.
1. The Sharks finally catch a break with video review.
After losing five video reviews in a nine-day span last month, including two against the Panthers on Nov. 16, the Sharks finally caught a break from the NHL’s Situation Room when it upheld Joe Pavelski’s tying goal in the second and awarded the game-winning goal to Tierney in the third.
“It’s been tough seeing goals go in and getting called back. It ruins your momentum,” Tierney said. “To actually get a goal gave us a little jump, a little boost there.”
The Sharks thought it was a case of deja vu all over again when the Panthers challenged Pavelski’s goal at 11:20 of the second on the basis of goaltender interference. The video replay showed that Pavelski’s left skate made contact with Roberto Luongo’s skate as the Sharks captain was dragging the puck into the crease to stuff it into the net.
The Sharks had an apparent go-ahead goal pulled off the board in Las Vegas on Nov. 24 after replay showed that the skates of Donskoi and Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban touched in the crease before Logan Couture fired in a shot from the left circle.
But this time, the Situation Room ruled that, “no goaltender interference infractions occurred before the puck crossed the goal line,” presumably because the contact didn’t impede Luongo’s ability to make the save.
“I think it was six straight there, it felt like it was going to be seven. It really did,” Pavelski said, referring to the Sharks misfortune with video review this season.
“I had the puck, I think that was probably the biggest thing that saved me is just that I had it. I had it for a second, I was coming in. That’s probably the only thing that saved it because there definitely was a little contact.”
At 7:15 of the third, the Situation Room gave Tierney the go-ahead goal, his seventh of the year, after the referees on the ice ruled that Luongo had saved his bank shot off the goalie’s back. The replay showed that the puck had crossed the goal line for a fraction of a second before the Panthers netminder pulled it back out.
“We’ve had enough of those go the other way and it’s cost us some points,” DeBoer said. “It all evens out.”
2. Pavelski gets the monkey off his back, scores 300th career goal.
After being stuck on career goal No. 299 for a full calendar month, Pavelski became just the second player in Sharks history, along with Patrick Marleau, to score 300 goals.
The Sharks captain also joined Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg as just the second player selected outside of the first round of the NHL Draft to score 300 goals since 1999.
“That’s a cool stat to hear,” Pavelski said. “I’m proud of that number, a lot of hard work. But we’ve seen so many great milestones recently, the last year or two, with (Marleau) and (Joe Thornton). It’s one of those things where it’s a good number, but I believe there’s so much more hockey out there (for me).”
More importantly, Pavelski snapped an 11-game goalless drought with the tally, his first since Nov. 1.
“He’s been really close the last few games, getting better and better. You could see it coming,” DeBoer said. “That’s a lot of goals.”
3. Aaron Dell likes to play guitar.
It’s getting hard to write about Dell because the story never seems to change: he gets tossed into a new situation, rises to the challenge and gets the job done.
On Friday, he started back-to-back games for the first time in his career and made 39 saves to improve his goals-against average to 1.98 and save percentage to .931 in 30 NHL appearances.
His lone blemish came at 18:11 of the first when he surrendered a goal to Colton Sceviour on a rebound after making three-straight remarkable saves.
In lieu of the recurring narrative, here’s a new factoid about Dell: he likes to play guitar.
His favorite song to play: Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy”.
“I did not know that,” DeBoer said with a chuckle. “Good to know.”