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Lightning spank Sharks again
Tampa Bay puts another 5-spot on SJ
12/2/17 - By Mike Lee -

If you thought the Tampa Bay Lightning's 5-1 win over the Sharks in San Jose on November 8th was a fluke, the boys from South Florida left no doubt that they own the Sharks this season. Like that game a month ago, San Jose jumped out to a 1-0 lead, then sat back and let the Lightning run roughshod over them. San Jose held serve for two periods, then a poor decision by Joe Thornton turned the Sharks night upside down in a 5-2 spanking.

The Sharks have surrendered 57 goals this season, and Tampa Bay has accounted for 10 of those goals, or 17.5%. Keeping the game tied through the first 40 minutes put the Sharks in a position to rebound from what was arguably their worst loss of the season last month.

Instead, this one turned into their 2nd worst loss of the season.

The wheels fell off after a penalty that should have never happened. Playing less than 24 hours after beating the Panthers on Friday night, the Sharks had to be efficient about how they played the Lightning. The absence of Sharks team speed combined with the quickness of the Lightning meant the Sharks had to be perfect. They weren't.

San Jose fought off the shot onslaught by the Lightning in the opening period and cashed in on a big deflection off of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Rookie Danny O'Regan tried forcing matters on the right side by crashing in on net and putting a shot that kicked off the Vasilevskiy, only to land right on Barclay Goodrow's stick on the left side. Goodrow, who was called up to the big club on Friday, wasted no time with the puck, snapping it home at 16:58 for his 1st goal of the season.

Tampa Bay wasted no time to open the 2nd period. Nikita Kucherov scored 27 seconds into the period, redirecting an Ondrej Palat pass on the opening shift of the period. Palat sent a saucer pass past Justin Braun from the left wing that also eluded Marc-Edouard Vlasic who was skating along side Kucherov. The pass hit Kucherov on the tape just as it hit the ice, slipping past Martin Jones.

Thornton's selfishness costs the Sharks in the 3rd period. Late in the 2nd period, Thornton and Tyler Johnson got tied up as San Jose was trying to break out of the Lightning zone. When the pair reached the other end of the ice, Thornton took several hacks at Johnson who is about 8 inches shorter than the Sharks centerman. Thorton was sent off with 4 seconds left in the period, setting up almost a full 2 minute power play to start the 3rd period.

When play resumed, the Lightning tried to take advantage of the Sharks lack of speed by bouncing an entry dump off the end boards. That first attempt didn't work, but Tampa remained persistent. Johnson tried it a second time, easily beating Vlasic to the puck before depositing it past Jones for the 201 lead.

Things turned sour when Viktor Hedman slipped past both Brendan Dillon and Vlasic on a breakaway chance 5:49 into the period. Jones made the initial save on the breakaway chance, but Logan Couture whiffed on a clearing attempt, placing the puck right on Johnson's stick. The Lightning lifted it over Jones, who lay face down on the ice to make it a 2-goal lead.

Tampa Bay made it a 4-1 game 6 minutes later when Cory Conacher put an uncontested shot past Jones, after Braun took a puck off the ankle and left his post unmanned. Conacher walked into the Sharks zone and one-timed an Alex Killorn pass into the Sharks net for his 2nd goal of the season.

Braun put a shot past Vasilevskiy with 6:23 left in regulation, but it was too little, too late. Braun sent a long wrist shot on net from the point, but a Lightning defender tried to stop the puck with his stick and ended up interfering with the trajectory and subsequently crossing up Vasilevskiy.

Kucherov converted the 5th Lightning goal of the evening with just under 5 minutes to play when Logan Couture guessed wrong on the trajectory of a clearing attempt that resulted in a breakaway for the Lighting sniper. Kucherov skated in on Jones and parked the puck over the netminder's shoulder for his league leading 19th goal of the season.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks hit three posts during the game, including a shot by Jannik Hansen, which would have allowed the Sharks to tie the game in the 3rd period. Hansen and Logan Couture were the only Sharks without a shot on goal.

* Martin Jones made his return to the ice after sitting out two games following an injury against he sustained against the Winnipeg Jets last Saturday night. Jones looked Ok, but did not get the big saves that would have kept the Sharks in the game.

* Rookie Danny O'Regan recorded a pair of assists. The Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Carpenter, O'Regan line manufactured half the Sharks scoring. The Sharks big money forwards were essentially silenced by the Lightning.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 1 2
TB 0 1 4 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Goodrow 1 (O'Regan, Carpenter), 16:58.
2nd period - 2, TB, Kucherov 18 (Palat, Point), 0:27.
3rd period - 3, TB, Johnson 5 (Palat, Sergachev), 1:39, (pp). 4, TB, Johnson 6 (unassisted), 5:49. 5, TB, Conacher 2 (Killorn, Gourde), 11:01. 6, SJ, Braun 1 (O'Regan), 13:37. 7, TB, Kucherov 19 (unassisted), 15:37.
1st period - None.
2nd period - Dillon, SJ (interference), 7:58; Killorn, TB (slashing), 9:01; Thornton, SJ (high sticking), 19:56.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 43 38
TB - Vasilevskiy 27 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 8 8 11 27
TB 15 16 12 43
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 1
TB 1 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Tyler Johnson
Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat
Amalie Arena - 19,902
Referees: Meier, Pochmara. Linesmen: Devorski, Daisy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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