The NHL has no shortage of fun nicknames, and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has certainly earned his title as the King of New York. With over 400 wins in his career and 19,000 saves, the King presented a significant challenge to the struggling San Jose Sharks in Mondays night’s matchup.

In Couture we trust

To say that Sharks’ center Logan Couture is hot is like saying the ocean is damp. After a hat-trick in Saturday’s loss to the New York Islanders, Couture seemed determined to single-handedly get the 2017-18 on track. Coming into Monday’s game the Sharks were 3-4 and needed a good win to begin building momentum.

Couture didn’t wait long to continue his climb to the top of the NHL leaderboards. On a delayed high-sticking penalty Couture slid up to the point, just above the right face-off circle, and buried a laser off a pass from defensemen Brent Burns. Lundqvist was just a bit slow in moving to block the puck, and San Jose quickly had a 1-0. The goal was Couture’s seventh of the season, tying him for third among league leaders.

Sharks start frenzy

When a guy like Logan Couture sets the pace, he is easy to follow. The Sharks smelled blood on the ice after the first goal, and went into full attack mode. Just ten minutes after their first goal, rookie Tim Heed took another bite out of Lundqvist with a shot that snuck in over the right blocker.

Heed saw an opening along the boards and took off like a bolt of lightning past the Rangers defense. His wrist shot was so quick that the King didn’t have time to cover all the holes. Heed’s goal gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead going into the second period.

San Jose wouldn’t end the scoring there, though. Joonas Donskoi would notch a third goal in the 2nd, and Melker Karlsson netted a fourth at only 2:51 of the third.

Karlsson’s goal was built on the individual effort of Logan Couture, who fought off Henrik Lundqvist against the boards behind the Rangers’ net.

Usually, netminders are quick to get a puck out from behind their net and get back into goal, but Couture saw an opportunity and muscled the puck away from Lundqvist before he could clear it.

He then slid the puck to Karlsson, who was waiting for the puck along the goal line, who buried the puck into the open net.

Jones’ goaltending and Sharks’ defense hold the line

You would think that in a game where the Sharks were dominating on the scoreboard that they were playing a clean game. That was not the case on Monday night. San Jose took six penalties in Monday’s matchup. Meaning, they spent the equivalent of over half a period of play shorthanded. Thankfully, though, the Sharks defense was up to the task of killing all six penalties. This raised them to an 88.9% penalty kill, good for third best in the NHL.

The largest contributor to the Sharks defensive success was goaltender Martin Jones.

Jones recorded 33 saves on 34 shots. The lone goal came at 4:23 of the third from New York Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad, who scored off a steal from Brent Burns right in front of Martin Jones. While Jones isn’t among the top goaltenders in the league, currently, his performance in his last two games shows he is settling into the season. Jones has only allowed one goal in his last six periods of play.

What’s next?

San Jose looks to build on the momentum established in Monday’s game this Thursday against the 3-3-1 Boston Bruins. Boston is always a brutal matchup for the Sharks, so we will all but be guaranteed an outstanding matchup Thursday at 7 pm EST.