It’s been eight years since the San Jose Sharks opened a season with five consecutive victories. And, nearly as long since they beat the Boston Bruins.
The Sharks look to continue their undefeated start when they visit the Bruins on Sunday.
NHL Game Day: Sharks vs Bruins (1 PM ET)
San Jose has been one of the surprise teams through the early days of the 2021-22 campaign. Logan Couture had two goals with an assist and Adin Hill made 30 saves as the Sharks won a third straight game on the road, 5-3 at Toronto on Friday.
Outscoring opponents 16-7, San Jose is trying to go 5-0-0 for the first time since the 2013-14 season. It’s a pleasant beginning for a club that felt good about itself entering this season, despite not having made the playoffs since 2018-19.
“It’s huge to start like this,” Couture, who’s recorded all three of his goals in the last two games, told the official NHL website. “That was the main focus in training camp, to get off to a good start this year.
The Bruins have won two of their first three games of the season, and halted Buffalo’s 3-0-0 start with Friday’s 4-1 road victory. Members of Boston’s famed “Perfection Line,” David Pastrnak tallied his first goal of the season Friday while Patrice Bergeron assisted on the first-period score for his first points of 2021-22.
Boston could again be minus veteran forward Nick Foligno, who is in his first season with the team, but missed Friday’s game with an upper-body injury.
“We should know by Sunday,” Cassidy told the Bruins’ official website of Foligno’s availability. “I suspect he’ll miss Sunday, as well.”
Predators vs Wild (6 PM ET)
The Wild will look to extend their season-opening winning streak to five games when they play host to the Nashville Predators on Sunday in St. Paul, Minn.
Ryan Hartman scored with 13 seconds remaining in overtime as the Wild defeated the visiting Anaheim Ducks 4-3 Saturday.
“There’s a lot of belief in our group, so I think whether we’re down or we’re up, the message is pretty much the same,” D-man Jon Merrill said. “Once we get to our game, which I think is the offensive zone, getting in on the forecheck, kind of seeking their D and our big, heavy forwards turning pucks over, and we kind of get the spin cycle going and we get things moving around in the offensive zone, we’ve had some success that way early on. So we know that once we get to that game, we can play with anyone in the league.”
Remarkably, Minnesota has allowed the first goal in every game this season.
The Predators suffered a 6-4 loss at Winnipeg on Saturday in their first road game of the season.
Nick Cousins had a goal and two assists for Nashville and goalie Juuse Saros made 23 saves.
“Not good enough,” Cousins said. “I think defensively, we’re just doing it to ourselves. I think through the neutral zone we had the puck on our stick and we’re trying to go east-west more so than north-south.”
Red Wings vs Blackhawks (7 PM ET)
Chicago is saddled with an 0-4-1 record, with its most recent loss coming on Thursday. Vancouver downed the Blackhawks 4-1, the same score as Chicago’s loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, when they began a four-game homestand.
“Frustrating, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. Got to find a way to dig ourselves out of a hole,” forward Patrick Kane said. He has since been added to the COVID list.
The Blackhawks don’t know what it’s like to play with a lead. The opponent has scored first in every game this season and never trailed.
“If you score the first goal, it’s a different game. They got it, and we battled back and couldn’t get the next one. It’s hard to chase the game,” coach Jeremy Colliton said.
The Red Wings allowed a power-play goal in the first period to the Canadiens on Saturday and surrendered three more goals in the second period.
“We took three offensive zone penalties,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s something that’s plagued us throughout the early part of the season. We’ve taken too many penalties. We’ve talked about it. We’ve got to stay out of the box.”
Islanders vs Golden Knights (10 PM ET)
As the two NHL teams who fell in the semifinals in June, the New York Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights entered this season with high expectations. But both teams understand why they’re not quite yet looking like Stanley Cup contenders.
The Islanders are scheduled to continue the longest road trip in franchise history Sunday, when they visit the Golden Knights in the first game between the teams in more than 20 months.
The Islanders will be concluding their first back-to-back set after Ilya Sorokin stopped all 26 shots he faced in Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
The Golden Knights were off Saturday after suffering their third straight loss Friday, when the visiting Edmonton Oilers overcame a pair of one-goal deficits on their way to a 5-3 win.
First-line mainstays Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone have each missed the last two games with injuries suffered against the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 14, while Alec Martinez, a top-two defenseman, was sidelined Friday after getting hurt against the St. Louis Blues. In addition, third-line winger Alex Tuch isn’t expected to play until January as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
“We’re working some guys in, in different units and different looks,” Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer said Friday night. “It can be frustrating, but if you go down that road and jump on that train, it’s a long season. We’ve got time here to get it right and get it figured out.”
–Field Level Media