The Senators did suffer a couple of losses in the Shark Tank, however. They lost winger Kaspars Daugavins to a left leg injury in the first period and Zack Smith to what appeared to be an upper body injury in the second.
The rest rallied around their fallen friends.
Colin Greening led the way for the Senators with two goals. Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson had the others.
Jason Spezza added two assists to give him 30, and 50 points on the season, four off the league-lead currently held by Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin.
Goalie Craig Anderson turned in yet another exceptional showing, stopping 36 shots.
The win was the Senators first in six meetings with the Sharks. It also marked the first time in eight years they left San Jose with two points.
“We’re very confident right now. This shows that we’re a very good road team," Greening said. "You’ve got to be able to get points on the road, especially when we’re coming on the west coast and we have a three hour time change ... I’ve never experienced it before, but talking to the veteran guys this is a very tough place to play. Coming in here and being able to win, especially 4-1, is a testament to how resilient we are.”
The Senators are now 13-2-2 in their past 17.
The Senators lost Daugavins when he blocked a shot while killing a penalty. Midway through the second, he was followed to the infirmary by Smith, who took a shot to the head when he and Brad Winchester accidentally ran into each other in the neutral zone.
It looked like Spezza could be next man down when ex-67’s winger Jamie McGinn caught him with a knee as the two crossed paths near centre ice. A crowd converged on McGinn, including Kanata native Mark Borowiecki, who was playing his first NHL game. Spezza was okay, however, and Greening made the Sharks pay for the indiscretion when he scored 32 seconds into McGinn’s penalty on a fine wrist shot through a small opening on the short side.
It was Greening’s 10th of the season as he became the sixth Senator to reach double digits on the season. He cemented the victory near the midway mark in the third when he took a pass from Spezza and wristed his 11th by Niemi.
Earlier in the second, Karlsson broke a 1-1 tie when he took a Turris pass and one-timed a wrist shot by Antti Niemi low to the stick side.
That the Senators would not relinquish the lead had as much to do with their penalty killing — minus killers Daugavins and Smith — as it did anything else.
Whether it was just their usual slow start or a case of the Sharks coming out of the gate hard and fast once again or a combination of both, the Senators were dominated in the early going. Fact is, they had to be thrilled to be tied 1-1 after 20 minutes.
Anderson slid across his crease to make a big save off Joe Pavelski in the first minute then shot out his left leg to rob Michal Handzus in the third minute. However, he had little hope of stopping Winchester’s hard one-timer high to the glove side in the fourth minute.
Ottawa didn’t get its first shot on goal until Spezza sent a wrist shot Niemi’s way at the 6:35 mark.
As is their custom, though, the Sens bounced back.
“They had us hemmed in our own zone for a lot of the game and I want to give a lot of credit to Andy," Greening said. "He’s been playing spectacular. I’ve never seen a goalie play quite like that.”
Turris picked up his fourth goal in the new colours when he was on the tail end of passes through the slot by Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar. How he managed to put his shot through the crowd of Sharks in front of the open net was a neat feat, indeed.
“I thought it was a tough game for us to play, with the travel and the schedule we have, and I think that showed early in the game," coach Paul MacLean said. "Craig made us some saves to get us in it. Kyle Turris scored a big goal and we got better and better.
“We”re trying to grow to be a good team and we’re growing at a good rate, a better than expected rate," he said. "We just have to keep doing it. The biggest test for us is consistency. And to this point, since the Christmas break, we’ve been really consistent. We have to keep working at that.”
Meanwhile, Borowiecki did not look out of place at all in his first game. Partnered with Chris Phillips, he kept his game simple and made sharp passes to all the right options, all the while never getting caught out of position.
The one time he did lose the puck behind the Ottawa net, he quickly covered his tracks by driving San Jose’s Tommy Wingels hard into the boards.
“I felt good out there. I felt confident," Borowiecki said. "The guys were giving me a lot of help. With Philly back there, he was talking to me lots, and I felt stronger and stronger as the night went on.”
Speaking of which, McGinn went right through the boards in the first period when he took a run at Phillips and only got a piece of him. Actually, it was a door that swung open, causing McGinn to go tumbling through onto a rubber carpet.
The Senators continue their road trip Saturday afternoon, when they visit the Anaheim Ducks. Expect winger Andre Petersson to make his debut, either for Daugavins or Smith, and if both players are unable to go GM Bryan Murray will have to reach down to the farm for more reserves — unless the Senators choose to go with seven defencemen.