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Moral victory just another loss
San Jose returns home only to drop 4th straight
11/1/19 - By Mike Lee -

Good teams find a way to win. Conversely, bad teams find a way to lose. The Sharks are simply a bad team right now. Returning home after a dismal 5- game road trip, San Jose limped backed to SAP Center and promptly lost a 3-2 decision to the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. The Sharks showed signs of life, but they couldn't convert on a flurry of shots, and allowed three defensive lapses to bite them. Good effort wasn't great effort, which translated into the 4th consecutive loss and 10th in 14 games this season.

Winnipeg hasn't been a world beater this season, so this game was ripe for the picking for San Jose. The Jets entered play with a 6-7-0 record, and 3-3-0 on the road. The Sharks won the moral victory, but their inability to stop the other team from scoring would lead to their eventual demise.

The Jets jumped out to a 1-0 lead 13:34 into the game after Brent Burns turned the puck over in his own zone. Kyle Connor found himself in possession of the puck along the right wing boards, where he slid a pass to Gabriel Bourque in the high slot. Bourque gathered Connor's feed, then snapped a shot from 40 feet out, beating Martin Jones for hi 1st goal of the season.

San Jose killed a weak interference penalty to Logan Couture late in the period, which carried over into the 2nd frame. The Sharks countered at 3:18 when Barclay Goodrow took a Jonny Brodzinski feed on the left side and snapped a shot past Connor Hellebuyck for his 4th of the season.

The Sharks appeared to grab the lead 4 minutes later when Evander Kane lifted a loose puck past Hellebuyck from the right post. but Jets head coach Paul Maurice challenged the play, contending goaltender interference. The challenge was upheld, even though it wasn't clear where the interference occurred.

The NHL later clarified that Kevin Labanc's stick pushed Hellebuyck's pad, "impeding him from making the save." Given the contact that Martin Jones has endured without interference ever coming into play, it was simply an odd call. The only thing that was clear about the situation is that the NHL doesn't understand what the word consistency means.

Winnipeg responded off the ensuing faceoff, gaining the Sharks zone and then scoring when Blake Wheeler slipped past the Sharks defense and deposited a Mark Scheifele feed from the front of the net. Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic were drawn over to the left side to defend Scheifele, allowing Wheeler to find a seam for his linemate.

Tomas Hertl tied the game at 2-2 just 49 seconds into the 3rd period. The Sharks forward sat perched outside the right post, and deflected a shot by Kane from the right dot to earn his 4th tally of the season.

The Sharks were credited with 28 shots in the 2nd period, which was a bit generous by the official scorekeeper. That kind of shot count would mean Hellebuyck was stopping a shot more than once a minute. That simply wasn't happening.

They would add another 14 shots in the 3rd period, but that was all moot after Nikolaj Ehlers bagged the go-ahead goal with 84 seconds left in regulation. Tomas Hertl coughed up the puck deep in the Sharks zone, then Jack Roslovic drew three San Jose defenders to the end boards before he threw the puck out to the slot where Ehlers pinched and punched home his 7th goal of the season.

Burns was chasing his tail as he tried to defend Roslovic on the, and ended up being on the ice for all three Jets goals. The defenseman continues to flounder defensively, and DeBoer's dependence on Burns offense continues to burn the Sharks.

Game Notes:

* Dylan Gambrell was an injury scratch after he was injured in the 2nd period of the Sharks loss in Boston on Tuesday night.

* The Sharks recorded 28 shots in the 2nd period, falling one shot shy of a franchise record for shots in a period, which was set in 2014 against the Florida Panthers. 14 skaters had 2 or more shots. Evander Kane led San Jose with 7 shots in the game.

* San Jose will get a quick turnaround, as the Vancouver Canucks come to town on Saturday night. Vancouver lost to Anaheim in overtime on Friday night.

* Jonny Brodzinski battled through shoulder issues all night and was limited in his availability.

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Erik Karlsson, Tomas Hertl and Kevin Labanc are a -11 or worse, which positions them all in the bottom 8 in the NHL. Brent Burns is a -9 and Evander Kane is -8. San Jose has 7 skaters in the bottom 50 in plus/minus.

* The Sharks sit one point from the Western Conference basement.


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1 2 3 T
WPG 1 1 1 3
SJ 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, WPG, Bourque 1 (Connor), 13:34.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Goodrow 4 (Brodzinski, Vlasic), 3:18. 3, WPG, Wheeler 5 (Scheifele, Connor), 7:53.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Hertl 4 (Kane, Labanc), 0:49. 5, WPG, Ehlers 7 (Roslovic, Little), 18:36.
1st period - Couture, SJ (interference), 19:06.
2nd period - Kulikov, WPG (slashing), 4:24; Kane, SJ (hooking), 9:41; Perreault, WPG (tripping), 17:11.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
WPG - Hellebuyck 53 51
SJ - Jones 19 16
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
WPG 6 9 4 15
SJ 11 28 14 53
Power Play Conversion
WPG 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Connor Hellebuyck
Kyle Connor
Tomas Hertl
SAP Center - 15,117
Referees: MacDougal, McCauley. Linesmen: Rody, Driscoll.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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