All good things must eventually come to an
end. On Sunday, it was the Sharks fantastic season start that fizzled in a
morning matinee with the Boston Bruins at TD Garden Arena. A flat opening
snowballed into a deficit the Sharks couldn't overcome. Trailing 4-1 in the 3rd
period, the Sharks fought back, but would fall 4-3 as San Jose loses for the
first time this season.
Quick starts have not been part of the Sharks
makeup, but the big deficit set the tone. The Bruins were simply better in all
facets of the game. They controlled the puck for most of the game, and allowed
goaltender Linus Ullmark to enjoy a light workload early. Had the Sharks
started the game the way they finished it, Ullmark's day may have been a little
Ullmark only faced 16 shots through the first two periods,
including a paltry 5 attempts by San Jose in a 2nd period that has been the
Sharks money frame so far this season. The Sharks turned up the heat in the
last 10 minutes of the game, and started to chip away at Boston's big lead.
They simply ran out of time.
Things got ugly from the opening
faceoff, when Brad Marchand scored just 28 seconds into the contest. Boston
worked the puck out off the end boards with passes between the corners, before
Patrice Bergeron found Marchand in the slot for a one time chance that beat
Adin Hill. Marchand found a soft spot between three Shark defenders before
depositing his 4th goal of the season.
Derek Forbort doubled the lead
with a shot from the left point less than 3 minutes later. Hill's view of the
shot appeared to be unimpeded, but he just missed getting blocker up soon
enough. The shot tucked just under Hill's right arm for the 2-0 lead.
David Pasternak scored a back breaker goal with under 4 minutes left in the
period after the Sharks failed to get a clear. With Brent Burns in the penalty
box serving an interference penalty, the Sharks streak of 10 consecutive
penalty kills ended when Pastrnak one-timed a Bergeron feed as he sat parked on
the left dot. Hill was dead to rights as the shot found the upper left corner.
San Jose was able to cut into the Bruins lead before the period
expired when rookie Jasper Weatherby found a seam between Ullmark and the left
post. Andrew Cogliano raved up the left wing, before crossing with Weatherby
and sliding a setup pass as his young linemate skated to the left corner.
Weatherby whipped the puck on net as he slated out of the left corner, bagging
his 2nd goal of the season.
The 2nd period was no kinder to San Jose. The team
had little jump an Boston continued to control the tempo as well as the puck.
Jake DeBrusk made it a 4-1 game at 5:41 of the period on a fluke play. With the
Bruins entering the Sharks zone, Oskar Steen tried dumping the puck deep, but
his lob hit DeBrusk and landed right in front of the forward. DeBrusk already
had a step on Radim Simek, and was able to pick his shot, lifting it over
Hill's left shoulder for the 4-1 lead.
Sharks head coach Bob Boughner
pulled Hill in favor of James Reimer who would hold the Bruins scoreless the
remainder of the game. Boston had little incentive to push on offense with
their big lead, although Reimer would still face 20 shots.
The next 20
minutes appeared as if the Sharks were resolved to get on the plane and head to
their final stop of their current 5-game road trip, but things turned late in
Tomas Hertl made it a 4-2 game at 13:19 of the 3rd period,
when he deflected a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the low slot. Vlasic threw
the puck on net from the blueline, before Hertl got a stick blade on the shot,
lifting it past Ullmark for his 2nd goal of the season.
made the game interesting when he redirected a Logan Couture shot past Ullmark
with just under 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Couture was hovering near
the right point, when he threw it toward the low slot. Meier got his stick
blade on the shot, redirecting it between Ullmark's pads for his 3rd tally of
San Jose finally started to turn up the heat, controlling
the puck for most of the final 5 minutes, but they couldn't get the equalizer.
A pair of scoring chances in tight would fall short and so went the winning
streak. Game Notes:
* Jonah Gadjovich and Alexander
Barabanov made their season debuts for the Sharks. Gadjovich earned his first
career point with primary assist on Jasper Weatherby's goal.
Middleton dropped the gloves with Trent Frederic early in the 3rd period, which
provided a little juice for the Sharks.
* Karson Kuhlman was the only
Bruin skater who did not record a shot on goal in the game. Boston combined for
34 shots in the game, led by Patrice Bergeron (5). The Sharks had four skaters
with 3 shots each.
* Special Teams played a factor in this one. The
Bruins converted on 1 of 3 chances. The Sharks filed to convert on their 2
power play opportunities. The Sharks had scored power goals in each of their
first 3 games, but have gone scoreless in their last 2 games.
Sharks will wrap up their 5-game road trip with a date in Nashville on Tuesday
night. Nashville has struggled early, dropping 4 of their first 5 games.