The San Jose Sharks are off to yet another successful National Hockey League season start, as a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames at the SAP Center on Saturday night pushed the team's record to a league-best 7-0-1 mark on the new year.
After dropping a 4-3 decision in the overtime shootout Thursday night in Dallas, San Jose returned home after its first loss of the season for the Calgary game -- and now heads out on a five-game road trip through Detroit, Montreal, Boston, Ottawa and Los Angeles starting Monday night.
The Sharks have a three-point lead in the Pacific Division standings, and they lead the NHL in goal differential with a +23 mark currently.
In the Dallas game, San Jose got off to a hot start when Tyler Kennedy scored just nine seconds into the game, and after the first period, the Sharks led, 2-1. But San Jose struggled defensively in the middle frame, giving up a goal less than two minutes into the period and then after taking a one-goal lead later, the Sharks gave it right back 28 seconds later.
After a scoreless third period and overtime, the Stars scored the only goal in the shootout for the two points.
San Jose got off to a fast start again at home against the Flames, scoring just 59 seconds into the game and never looking back -- despite slowing down a bit in the third. The Sharks led 2-0 after one and 4-1 after two, but Calgary scored twice in the first four minutes of last period to make it close.
San Jose scored twice more to put the game away, and overall, the Sharks held the Flames to just 19 shots on goal.
The road trip ahead could be tough, though:
- Detroit leads the Atlantic Division with a 6-3 record;
- Boston and Montreal trail the Red Wings by just two points in the division standings;
- Ottawa (3-3-2) has played only two home games thus far, so the Senators are itching to give the hometown fans something to cheer about against the Sharks;
- Los Angeles (6-3) sits behind San Jose in the Pacific standings, and the Kings are always tough to beat.
The Sharks don't return home until Saturday, November 2, when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.