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Sharks blow yet another 3rd period lead
Road trip performance is simply average
10/14/18 - By Mike Lee -

Mediocre teams find a way to be mediocre. The Sharks are a mediocre team at best right now. As has become a troubling trend, the Sharks failed to put a team away in the 3rd period in the last leg of their 5-game road trip and end up losing 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon. San Jose coughed up a 3rd period lead by allowing a pair of goals in the final frame, losing for the third time in five tries on the trip.

The Devils had only played two games entering play on Sunday afternoon, but they've made the most of their chances winning all three games. Kyle Palmieri has been their go-to guy, and it was Palmieri that delivered for New Jersey. The Devils forward scored a pair of goals, including the goal that tied the game just 37 seconds into that fateful 3rd period.

Palmieri tied the game when he jammed home a loose puck while perched on left post as defenseman Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic tried to play the puck rather than clear out the Devils forward. The Sharks lack of physicality cost them during their east coast swing, but that one play in particular was a glaring example of how San Jose's finesse first approach doesn't work in front of their own net.

San Jose gagged up the lead less than three minutes later as an Antti Suomela penalty expired. Jean-Sebastien Dea swept home a shot that squeaked past Martin Jones, sitting in the crease behind the Sharks goaltender.

The Sharks grabbed the 1-0 lead 3:51 into the 2nd period when Pavelski stuffed a rebound past Keith Kinkaid from the front of the goal. Brent Burns sent a shot on goal from the right wing boards that hit Kinkaid in the chest, but the puck dropped out in front where Pavelski was positioned. The Sharks captain gathered the rebound and slid the puck around Kinkaid's right pad for his 700th career NHL point.

Melker Karlsson created a quandary for the Sharks when he bulldozed Kinkaid for a goaltender interference penalty. That was followed by a phantom high sticking penalty to Tomas Hertl 44 seconds later to setup a 5-on-3 power play for New Jersey.

Kyle Palmieri tied the game with his 5th goal of the season on the ensuing power play. The Devils took advantage of the chance when Palmieri gathered a feed on the left side then sized up Martin Jones for a moment before sniping a shot low and to the glove side.

San Jose reclaimed the lead with 4:25 left in the middle frame, when Timo Meier jammed home a deflection after Logan Couture lost the handle on the puck in the high slot. Meier was skating toward the net when the puck deflected over to the left side. Lightning quick hands netted the Sharks winger with his 3rd tally of the season.

Two penalties by the Devils late in the game gave the Sharks some home, but their special teams play this season has been an abomination, and it simply served to wipe time off the clock. San Jose pulled Jones in the final minute to setup a 6-on-4 advantage, but the power play unit was resolved to sit on the perimeter, passing the puck around the horn rather than attacking the Devils goal.

Game Notes:

* Erik Karlsson finished the game with a negative plus/minus once gain. His -3 is the worst on the team.

* Karlsson's high sticking double minor came after the one-ice officials saw the replay on the jumbo-tron. The crew was down a man after refereee Garrett Rank suffered an upper body injury.

* Antti Suomela, Tomas Hertl and Rourke Chartier were a combined 5-for-15 from the faceoff circle. Puck control was certainly an issue for the Sharks, especially in the 3rd period. San Jose won only 39% of draws in the game combined.

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlson accounted for 12 of the Sharks 39 shots on goal. Defenseman accounted for 17 shots in total, confirming the fact that the Sharks have yet to move away from their fruitless "bomb from the outside" offensive approach.

* Devils winger Miles Wood lost a couple of his front teeth when a puck caught him in the face.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 2 0 2
NJ 0 1 2 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 1 (Burns, Kane), 3:51. 2, NJ, Palmieri 5 (Hall), 7:06, (pp). 3, SJ, Meier 3 (Couture, Hertl), 15:35.
3rd period - 4, NJ, Palmieri 6 (Greene, Severson), 0:37. 5, NJ, Dea 2 (Mueller, Hall), 3:25.
Penalties
1st period - Greene, NJD (tripping), 3:14; Suomela, SJ (tripping), 10:47; Burns, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 17:14.
2nd period - M. Karlsson, SJ (goaltender interference), 5:27; Hertl, SJ (high sticking), 6:11.
3rd period - Suomela, SJ (high sticking), 0:56; Braun, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 6:13; E. Karlsson, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 11:52; Noesen, NJ (holding the stick), 15:44; Bench, NJ (too many men), 18:10.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 36 33
NJ - Kinkaid 39 37
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 16 13 10 29
NJ 9 9 18 18
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
NJ 1 of 8
3 Stars of the Game
Kyle Palmieri
Jean-Sebastien Dea
Taylor Hall
Attendance
13,809 - Prudential Center
Officials
Referees: Rank, Chmielewski. Linesmen: Bisebois, Jesse Marquis.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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