PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tomas Hertl completed his hat-trick in 24 seconds in overtime to lift the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Brent Burns assisted in all three goals and Timo Meier made two assists for the Sharks, who ended the four-game road trip 2–2. Edin Hill stopped 29 shots.
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James van Rimsdieck scored both goals for Philadelphia, with five consecutive losses. Martin Jones had 44 saves.
In the extra period, Hertl defeated Jones 2-on-1, choosing to shoot for his team’s leading 20th goal, giving them 18 points (12 goals, six assists) in the previous 12 games. He was also the winner in overtime in the Sharks’ 3–2 home win over Philadelphia on December 30.
“It’s nice to see that I can help the team,” said Hertle.
The Flyers continued to play without key players due to COVID-19 protocols and injury. Captain Claude Giroux, forward Travis Konecki and defensemen Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov sat out due to health and safety protocols.
San Jose were missing captain Logan Couture and center Nick Bonino for the same reason.
“I’m very proud of those guys,” said Sharks coach Bob Boffner. “There are so many reasons, excuses – every team has got them: injuries, COVID, the way the road trip started. We ended on a positive note. A lot of guys played well; we needed 20 guys tonight “
Boffner said Hertl scored a boost with more than just his scoring.
“What I loved was even when we went down 2-0, he took a big lead role (saying), ‘We’re still in this, we got it, let’s keep working,’ ‘” Boffner said. “He was quite inspiring.”
The Flyers introduced backup goalkeeper Jones against his former team. The Sharks bought the final three years of Jones’ contract in the summer after three subpar seasons, in which he had a .896 saving percentage. Jones won 170 games in six seasons at San Jose and helped the club reach its only Stanley Cup final in 2016.
“I think it’s always special to play against your former team,” Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo said before the game. “He obviously played great hockey for that organization. Those things happen in this business, we’re all aware of that. Plus, there’s a sense of pride against your former team.”
Jones blocked the first 35 shark shots before scoring three runs in the final 12:37 of regulation and OT.
“It doesn’t feel great that we lost; That is it,” he said.
Van Rimsdieck broke the 1:06 draw in third place. He dodged Marc-Edouard Vlasic near the center ice, ran into the offensive zone and then shot through the wrist toward Hill’s glove for his eighth half of the season.
Philadelphia scored two goals with 13:13 remaining in regulation, when Van Rimsdieck was credited for his second. Cam York took a shot from that point that propelled Van Riemsdyk high into the air and then removed Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro and over the goal line. York earned his first NHL point playing in his sixth career game.
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After Jones turned down San Jose’s first 35 shots, Hertl got the shark on board a minute later, ending from close range after a pass from Meyer. And Hertl tied it with a backhander from in front of the crease, with 5:31 left in the third.
“You see in the third period when the game is on the line and things are tense, that’s when your habits come into play,” Yeo said. “And I thought that’s when a lot of our bad habits came out.”
Earlier on Saturday, San Jose put Evander Kane forward on an unconditional waiver to terminate his remaining $49 million, seven-year contract. The Sharks said they took the move because Kane violated COVID-19 protocol in the AHL, where he currently plays for Barracuda.
Kane, 30, scored 22 goals and 22 assists in 56 appearances for the Sharks last season. Kane has also played for the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise and Buffalo since being drafted in fourth place by the Thrashers in 2009. Kane has 264 goals and 242 assists in 769 career games.
“For a head coach do you want your best offensive player in the lineup? Of course,” Bonner said. “But I understand the situation. Am I personally disappointed for him? Yes, it would be the same for anyone. For me it’s just business as usual. I can’t focus on that, I can’t focus on that. Focus on what we have, not what we don’t have.”
Flyers traditionally attract one of the top crowds in the NHL, but the Wells Fargo Center was filled to only half of its 19,500 capacity. The Philadelphia Eagles also hosted the Dallas Cowboys on the street at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday night, creating a challenging traffic and parking situation for fans.
Normally, the Wells Fargo Center lot is used for Eagles parking, but it was reserved only for fans with Flyers tickets. Still, many Flyers fans apparently stayed home to avoid traffic and parking issues.
Sharks: D Erik Carlsen (upper body) missed out on his second straight contest. … Couture sat for the third straight game while Bonino lost his first game. … G James Reimer (lower body), De Jacob Middleton (upper body) and De Radim Simek (lower body) also did not play. … Jonah Gadjovich (upper body) was injured in the first period and did not return.
Flyers: Giroux and Provorov have missed three in a row while Sanheim and Konecki are sitting two straight. … Derrick Brassard (hip) was knocked out of the lineup after playing in a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday. Before Thursday’s match, Brassard last played on 8 December due to a hip injury. Yo said brassard is day to day. …D Nick Sealer returned from health and safety protocols.
Sharks: Host Detroit on Tuesday nights to open a four-game homestand.
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Flyers: Host Carolina on Tuesday nights.