After regrouping when the Olympics in Sochi, Russia ended last week, the San Jose Sharks play their first home game Tuesday night having won two of three games on the road.
Three members of the Sharks won medals in Sochi; Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic won gold medals as members of the Canadian team and Antti Niemi a bronze as a member of Finland’s Olympic team.
Before leaving for the Olympics the Sharks were 37-16-6 last beating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2, prior to the break. Three week NHL layoff.
Now, after beating the Flyers last Thursday and Devils Sunday in New Jersey, they’re 39-17-6.
Home is where the Sharks are comfortable, with a 22-4-3 record currently in fourth place in the Western conference with 84 points, 7 points behind the Anaheim Ducks.
“We’ve won some face offs but the goaltending has been good since we’ve got back,” Joe Pavelski said.
In the first game back, Pavelski had his second hat trick of the season against the Flyers on Thursday and two assists Sunday in New Jersey to spark the Sharks’ offense.
Going into the third period with the game tied at two goals apiece against the Devils, the coaches stressed that it was imperative to win the third period after getting outplayed in that period against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
“I knew if we won the third period we’d win the game,” Matt Nieto said.
“It’s a great way to end the road trip.”
The Sharks have scored 13 goals in three games and now look forward to a 4-game home stand starting with the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night with a Sochi Shark Poster giveaway.