The San Jose Sharks might want to play the rest of the season on the road. Before their season-long six game road trip began, the Sharks had a record of 7-8-0. Now, after going undefeated on the trip, San Jose sits atop the Pacific Division, with a record of 13-8-0, and 10-3 away from SAP Center.
Head coach Peter DeBoer, who missed the previous night’s game in Pittsburgh due to personal reasons, was back behind the bench in Columbus. It equaled the first time in franchise history that the Sharks swept a road trip of six games, and DeBoer said the record spoke to the content of character the Sharks have in its locker room.
“I think that 6-0 at the NHL level at any time is quite a feat,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “But to go on the road and rattle off those wins in the buildings we just played in, I think is a real testament to the character of our group and the leadership of our group.”
San Jose saved its best performance for last, but made sure they didn’t spare any dramatics in the process. Trailing by two headed into the final period, the Sharks rallied back with four unanswered goals in the final frame during the 5-3 victory.
Captain Joe Pavelski got the rally started for San Jose. He redirected a long shot between the legs of Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at 6:13 of the third period. He added another, his 12th of the season, into the empty net with 1:16 remaining.
“The whole game felt good even when we were down 3-1,” Pavelski said. “It’s disappointing it gets to that because we felt liked we played a good game. No one was discouraged.”
Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist, and Brent Burns and Brenden Dillon also scored for San Jose. For Dillon, who scored the game-winner, it ended a streak of 54 games in which he had not scored. Joel Ward added two assists.
After the game, Ward spoke about how it felt to accomplish such a feat of sweeping a road trip of these means.
“It was pretty impressive,” he said. “I’ve never been part of that. Even in video games, I’ve never been part of that. To win six in a row on the road is pretty cool.”
Goaltender Alex Stalock started for the first time since beating the Panthers on Nov. 5. He allowed three goals on 31 shots.
San Jose’s power play finished the game 1-for-4. The penalty kill was perfect, killing off all three man advantages, including an impressive showing during a 5-on-3.
San Jose will return home and prepare to host the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. It will be the only meeting between the two at SAP Center this season.