Mackenzie Blackwood to San Jose’s rescue

Edwin  - CEO January 31, 2024
Updated 2024/01/31 at 2:52 PM
5 Min Read
SEA@SJS: Blackwood posts 32-save shutout
SEA@SJS: Blackwood posts 32-save shutout

He makes 32 saves as the Sharks blank Kraken 2-0


SEA@SJS: Vlasic fires a shot through traffic to strike first


On Tuesday, Mackenzie Blackwood made 32 saves for the San Jose Sharks in a 2-0 win against the Seattle Kraken at SAP Center, Ben Ross reports for the Associated Press.


Blackwood had his first shutout since Dec. 8, 2021, when he made 25 saves for the New Jersey Devils in a 3-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was his ninth in the NHL.


“I think he’s been great all year,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “I think he’s one of the top goalies in the League and just a phenomenal teammate, too. This guy looks like King Kong in the net. He’s so athletic, he’s poised, and he’s a hell of a teammate. It makes you surprised it’s his first shutout this year.”


Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Jan Rutta scored in the third period for the Sharks (14-32-4), who have won four of their past five games.


“I think we have confidence now that we can close a game out, whereas at the start of the year, we were gripping the sticks a little too tight and making panic plays,” Blackwood said. “But we seem calm and believe we can close a game out, and we did an outstanding job.”


Joey Daccord made 20 saves for the Kraken (21-19-10), who had won two of their past three.


“He stole a game for them tonight,” Daccord said of Blackwood. “I thought we played great, generated a lot of offense, carried most of the play. Their goalie played unreal. Sometimes, a goalie of that caliber can do that.”


Vlasic gave San Jose a 1-0 lead at 7:27 of the third when Ty Emberson set him up for a wrist shot through traffic. The defenseman has scored a goal in two straight games and three goals in his past five after being a healthy scratch in 22 games this season.


“I’ve been opportunistic,” Vlasic said. “I’ve scored on my chances, and I feel good. I’m skating, creating, joining the rush, and good things are happening.”


Rutta scored into an empty net on a shot the length of the ice with 21 seconds remaining for the 2-0 final.


Seattle outshot San Jose 18-8 through the first two periods.


“We played a hard hockey game,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “They defend hard. They play hard, and we knew that was the case. We had three or four outstanding opportunities in the first two periods and couldn’t get that first goal. They found that first goal on a seeing-eye shot. I don’t think Joey probably had a chance to see that. It went through two layers of a screen. And that’s the difference in the hockey game.”


The Sharks played without Tomas Hertl, who is day to day with an undisclosed injury. With him out of the lineup, William Eklund played center for the first time at the NHL level.


“I felt like, in the first period, I was feeling it a little bit,” Eklund said. “Getting into those rush positions, especially in the D-zone, you must be more responsible. I felt like it got better and better throughout the game.”


NOTES: Vlasic scored his 13th game-winning goal, passing Dan Boyle (12) for the second most by a defenseman in Sharks’ franchise history. … Vlasic became the fifth Sharks defenseman, age 36 or older, to score in consecutive games.


The others were Boyle (three times), Gary Suter (three times), Brent Burns (twice) and Rob Blake (once). … Vince Dunn, who has 136 points (29 goals, 107 assists) during his career with the Kraken, played in his 200th game with Seattle to become the sixth player to reach the milestone with the franchise.


Jared McCann is the only player with more points for the Kraken, with 153 (86 goals, 67 assists) during their 200th game. … Seattle played its final game before the NHL All-Star break.


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