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Close is one letter added to lose
Sharks comeback from 3 goal deficit, still fall
3/28/19 - By Mike Lee -

The losing streak reached 7 games on Thursday night, and by the look of things, there's no reason to believe it's going to end anytime soon. San Jose dropped a fourth straight game against a team that is on the outside looking in at the teams that are in playoff spots. This time it was the Chicago Blackhawks, who sit 6 points out of the last spot in the Western Conference. Chicago opened the game with a roundhouse kick that floored the Sharks. San Jose battled back, only to lose 5-4 at SAP Center.

The Sharks uncanny ability to surrender a goal within the first 5 minutes continues to bury San Jose. Martin Jones simply can't keep the puck out of his own net, and the Sharks do the little things that result in a loss. This was the recipe on Thursday night.

The Sharks flat out face planted out of the gate. Penalties got them off on the wrong foot. Marcus Sorensen was called for goaltender interference 2:33 into the contest, followed by Brent Burns who got careless with his stick, taking a high sticking penalty 43 seconds later.

Alex Debrincat cashed in on the 2-man advantage by lifting a backhand chance with one foot in the crease after Jonathan Toews tried pumping a shot past Martin Jones from the right side.

Chicago made it a 2-0 lead at 6:19 when Connor Murphy fired a shot from the blueline that hit Tim Heed in the skate, redirecting it past Jones. Heed was skating toward his own net and had his back to Murphy, never seeing the shot. Unfortunately for San Jose, Jones saw it too late.

Toews punched home a deflection off another Sharks defender. San Jose couldn't get a clear, allowing the Blackhawks to cycle the puck around the net three times before Brandon Saad pumped a shot that deflected over to the bottom of the left circle for Toews easy put back.

Lukas Radil salvaged something from an otherwise putrid period, when he put a puck on net at 11:59. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford got his glove on the puck, but it bounced out and over his left shoulder. The puck crossed the goal line before a Blackhawks defender could swoop in and prevent Radil's 7th goal of the season.

The Sharks used the power play to climb back into the contest. A Slater Koekkoek hooking penalty 42 seconds into the period setup a Gus Nyquist power play goal to cut Chicago's lead to a single goal. Kevin Labanc fed Tomas Hertl on the right post, drawing Crawford and a Chicago defender over to that side of the net. Rather than shoot the puck, Hertl sent a blind backhand pass through the crease to the left side where Nyquist banged it home for his 20th goal of the season.

Debrincant answered less than 2 minutes later to push the Chicago lead back to a pair of goals.

Seabrook and Murphy took penalties 36 seconds apart to setup a 2-man advantage for San Jose. Hertl cashed in at the 6:29 mark when Joe Thornton held the puck at the bottom of the right circle until a defender slid up high to cut off a pass. Thornton fired a pass to the front of the net, where Hertl deflected it past Crawford for his 34th goal of the season.

Timo Meier tied the game at 4-4 with just under 4 minutes left in the period, when the Sharks forward slipped past the Chicago defense as Logan Couture jostled for a puck along the left wing boards. Couture led Meier with a pass as the Swiss foward streaked down the slot. Meier slid the puck around Crawford for his 29th tally of the season.

Chris Kunitz put the Blackhawks back on top with 1:52 to play in the period. Patrick Kane bounced off Jones, which then pin-balled off Kunitz who was trying to screen the Sharks netminder. The Sharks challenged the score for goaltender interference, but it was an ill-advised challenge as the replay showed no contact between Kunitz and Jones.

The Blackhawks went into prevent mode and were content to simply kill clock. The Sharks would muster 9 shots on goal in the period, but they never challenged Crawford.

Game Notes:

* Gus Nyquist cracked his two front teeth in the 2nd period when his skates were taken out from under him and he couldn't get his hands out in front of him to break his fall. His face smashed to the ice, cracking his chicklets.

* The Calgary Flames have given the Sharks every opportunity to let the Sharks back in to the race for the top spot in the Western Conference. Calgary lost on Wednesday night, but the Sharks just haven't been able to answer.

* Alex Debricant bagged his 40th goal of the season. He and Patrick Kane are teh second set of US born teammates to record 40 goal seasons.

* Evander Kane demonstrated why he's never been part of a winner, when his half hearted attempt to clear the zone in the 3rd period put the Sharks offside as San Jose was trying to scratch out a tying goal. Kane was a -2 and never a factor offensively.

* Five Sharks skaters finished the game with a -2 plus/minus.







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Scoring
1 2 3 T
CHI 3 2 0 5
SJ 1 3 0 4
1st period - 1, CHI, Debrincat 39 (Toews, Kane), 4:10, (pp). 2, CHI, Murphy 5 (Saad, Anisimov), 6:19. 3, CHI, Toews 33 (Saad, Gustafsson), 10:59. 4, SJ, Radil 7 (Hertl, Burns), 11:59.
2nd period - 5, SJ, Nyquist 20 (Hertl, Labanc), 2:33, (pp). 6, CHI, Debrincat 40 (Strome, Kahun), 4:21. 7, SJ, Hertl 34 (Thornton, Couture), 6:29, (pp). 8, SJ, Meier 29 (Couture, Nyquist), 16:06. 9, CHI, Kunitz 4 (Kane, Gustafsson), 18:08.
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - Sorensen, SJ (goaltender interference), 2:33; Burns, SJ (high sticking), 3:16; Seabrook, CHI (interference), 13:27; Seabrook, CHI (tripping), 17:53.
2nd period - Koekkoek, CHI (hooking), 0:42; Seabrook, CHI (high sticking), 4:46; Murphy, CHI (delay of game), 5:22.
3rd period - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CHI - Crawford 30 26
SJ - Jones 27 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CHI 14 5 8 27
SJ 9 12 9 30
Power Play Conversion
CHI 1 of 2
SJ 2 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Jonathan Toews
Tomas Hertl
Alex Debrincant
Attendance
SAP Center - 17,364
Officials
Referees: L'Ecuyer, Rooney. Linesmen: Murchison, Mach.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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