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Sharks blow late lead and lose again
No answers for SJ as they fall to another doormat
4/2/19 - By Mike Lee -

The good news is, Captin Joe Pavelski made his return to the Sharks lineup on Tuesday night in Vancouver. The bad news is the Sharks didn't have 20 more guys like him on the ice, as the Canucks rallied for 3 goals in the 3rd period to comeback and beat the suddenly hapless Sharks 4-2 at Rogers Arena. San Jose lost for the 9th time in their last 10 games and don't seem to have any answers. One goal leads aren't something the Sharks can trust right now, but they also don't seem to have the fortitude to build any buffer.

This one stung, because the Sharks hadn't lost to Vancouver in 11 games, and their hosts have nothing to play for but pride as they'll be on the sidelines come playoff time. The Sharks will join them in due time if they don't figure out how to right the ship.

A lack of any killer instinct prevented this one from going down as a victory. The Sharks allowed the Canucks to grab and early lead, but they battled back to take a lead. Then they quit putting any pressure on Vancouver.

The Canucks took advantage of the sharks inability to get out of the gate on time, when Tanner Pearson scored 1:28 into the game. Bo Horvat chased down a puck along the end boards and flipped a backhand pass out to the front of the net, where Pearson swooped in to deposit a shot past Martin Jones. Defenseman Jacob Middleton was late to pick up Pearson, allowing the Canucks forward to convert his scoring chance unimpeded.

Micheal Haley recognized the lethargic start so he engaged Luke Schenn in a bout that looked more like punching practice for the Sharks forward. Schenn never got a fist up as Haley fired several jabs.

Kevin Labanc squared things up less than 4 minutes later, when he deflected a Brendan Dillon shot from the front of the net. Dillon wound up at the blueline and cranked a blast that Labanc got a thigh high stick on to beat Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko.

The Sharks were awarded the rare first power play of the game at 9:34, when Adam Gaudette was called for hooking. The Sharks wasted little time converting on the man-advantage, when Joe Pavelski scored his 38th goal of the season. After missing the last 7 games with an injury, Pavelski made his presence felt when he tapped home a rebound after Tomas Hertl tried jamming a puck home from the left side.

San Jose had another power play carry over into the 2nd period, but nothing came of it. The Canucks read the scouting report on Sharks propensity to give up juicy scoring chances at the start of a period. Loui Eriksson had a golden opportunity to take advantage of that trend when he found himself on a breakaway chance in the first minute of the period. Only a Jones glove save kept the Sharks lead intact.

Neither team would score in the 2nd period, although the Sharks out-shot the Canucks 11-7 in the frame.

The Sharks complacency came back to bite them in the 3rd period. The Sharks had the scoring chances, but they couldn't get anything past Demko. The Canucks finally solved Jones at the 11:18 mark when Pearson jammed home a puck from the crease that Jones didn't cover up.

Eriksson pushed a shot on net that Jones controlled, but Jones tried to get his glove over it, but he fumbled it in the crease. Timo Meier was the first skater on the scene, but he never aided in the coverage, allowing Pearson to swoop in and punch it out of the scrum and into the Sharks net.

Vancouver grabbed the lead 2 minutes later when Markus Granlund swept a puck home after it slipped past Jones while a scrum was whirling in front of the net. Tim Schaller pushed a shot that hit Jones, but fluttered past him, sitting precariously in front of the goal line. The Sharks goaltender tried to reach back to grab it, but Granlund got there first.

A late Canucks penalty gave the Sharks one last chance to scratch out a point in this game, but they couldn't control the puck on a 6-on-4 power play after DeBoer pulled Jones. Troy Stetcher sent a rink length shot down the ice and into the empty net to put the final nail in San Jose's coffin.

Game Notes:

* Rookie defenseman Jacob Middleton made his 2nd NHL start for San Jose.

* San Jose entered play with a 11-0-1 record against the Canucks in their last 12 meetings.

* Linesman Lonnie Cameron worked his 1,554th and final regular season game.

* Micheal Haley had a tough night. He landed a punch off of Luke Schenn's helmet, then used the same hand to get in the way of a shot that stung him. The Sharks forward finished his shift with the mitt dangling by his side.

* Joe Thornton tied Steve Yzerman for 9th on the all time assists list (1,063). He also tied Niklas Listrom for 12th on the all time games played list.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 0 0 2
VAN 1 0 3 4
1st period - 1, VAN, Pearson 15 (Horvat), 1:28. 2, SJ, Labanc 16 (Dillon, Thornton), 5:09. 3, SJ, Pavelski 38 (Hertl, Thornton), 10:47, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, VAN, Pearson 16 (Eriksson, Horvat), 11:18. 5, VAN, Granlund 11 (Schaller, Biega), 13:39. 6, VAN, Stecher 2 (Edler), 18:39, (sh)(en).
1st period - Haley, SJ (fighting major), 1:52; Schenn, VAN (fighting major), 1:52; Gaudette, VAN (hooking), 9:34; Edler, VAN (slashing), 18:23.
2nd period - Middleton, SJ (tripping), 5:03; Granlund, VAN (slashing), 16:39.
3rd period - Kane, SJ (hooking), 7:07; Edler, VAN (slashing), 17:34.
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 22 19
SJ - empty net 1 0
VAN - Demko 35 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 11 12 35
VAN 6 7 10 23
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 4
VAN 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Tanner Pearson
Joe Thornton
Thatcher Demko
Rogers Arena - 18,524
Referees: Skilliter, Rehman. Linesmen: Cameron, Murchison.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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