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Sharks feeling blue after trip ends with loss
Motivated St Louis runs over Sharks 4-1
11/18/2021 - By Mike Lee
The second 5-game road trip of the season is done. Unlike the first go around, the Sharks dropped the majority of game played, which was capped with a dismal 4-1 loss to the St Louis Blues in Missouri on Thursday night. The Sharks failed to capitalize on early momentum, and ended up getting out-classed by a team motivated to win.

Both teams came out swinging. Literally. Jake Middleton and Robert Bortuzzo dropped the gloves immediately after the opening faceoff, in an attempt to light a fire under their respective benches. The Blues lost to the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, and the Sharks have been inconsistent enough to slip out of playoff contention a month into the season, so it was reasonable for the two to try and motivate more inspired play from their teammates.

A pair of Shark mistakes would help the Blues carry a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Logan Couture appeared to give the Sharks the early lead 7:21 into contest after he beat rookie goaltender Ville Husso, but a replay challenge revealed that rookie winger Jonathan Dahlen was offside.

Kevin Labanc's inability to stay on his skates resulted in a Blues power play at 8:59 of the period when he took out Tyler Bozak after losing his feet in the Sharks zone. The league's 2nd ranked power play used the opportunity to take the lead when Brandon Saad tapped home a deflection after James Reimer valiantly tried to defend a slew of shots from in tight.

A failure to come out of the gate to start the 2nd period would cost the Sharks. Robert Thomas doubled the Blues lead by chipping a pass past Reimer while three Shark defenders stood around the crease watching.

Dahlen made up for his gaff earlier in the game by scoring his 7th goal of the season at 8:16. Timo Meier held the puck along the end boards with a defender draped all over him, but found a way to slide the puck to the front of the net as Dahlen raced up the slot. The rookie punched home Meier's feed to halve the Blues lead, going five-hole on Husso.

The deficit would work right back to 2-goals 2 minutes later when Saad finished on a 2-on-1 chance that exposed the Sharks defense. Matt Nieto was positioned at the Sharks blueline while the Sharks tried to work the offensive zone, but after a turner, the forward was late to get back allowing Saad to slam dunk an Oskar Sundqvist pass past Reimer.

The Sharks repeated the habit of showing up late to start the period, by surrendering the game's 5th goal 69 seconds into the 3rd period. Jordan Kyrou took a David Perron lead pass up the left wing before cranking a shot that beat Reimer to the glove side.

That's all she wrote. The Sharks had neither the talent or motivation to try and claw their way back into this one. You couldn't find 22 people who wanted to get on a plane as bad as the Sharks in the 3rd period of this one.

Reimer would end the game with 44 saves. The problem of course, is that San Jose allowed the Blues to take 48 shots. The score would have been much worse had it not been for Reimer's performance.

Game Notes:

* Kevin Labanc's play continues to be a point of focus. The winger was called out by head coach Bob Boughner earlier in the week, and his 1st period penalty led to the Blues first goal. He would be moved onto the 1st line in the 3rd period because Rudolfs Balcers played himself out of that spot. Balcers made a couple of questionable passes when he was in a position to take a quality shot.

* The Blues enjoyed four power play chances, while San Jose did not draw a single power play on the evening. Not that they deserved one, but there were plenty of instances where interference could have been called.

* Rookie Santeri Hatakka made his second straight start in place of Radim Simek, who was the odd man out after San Jose's loss to Colorado last Saturday. Hatakka was limited to 12 minutes of ice time. He was a -1 with no shots or blocks.

* Jake Middleton's 1st period fight with Robert Bortuzzo was clearly an attempt by both teams to generate some energy. It worked for St Louis. The Sharks seemed to run out of steam after Brandon Saad scored his second goal of the night.

* Saad had gone 5 games without recording a point, before he scored his two goals. Teh Blues forward has 4 goals in 2 games against San Jose so far this season. He has scored 6 goals total this season.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
STL 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, STL, Saad 5 (O'Reilly), 10:25, (pp).
2nd period - 2, STL, Thomas 2 (Buchnevich, Perunovich), 1:35. 3, SJ, Dahlen 7 (Meier, Couture), 8:16. 4, STL, Saad 6 (Sundqvist, Barbashev), 10:17.
3rd period - 5, STL, Kyrou 8 (Perron), 1:09.
1st period - Middleton, SJ (fighting major), 0:03; Bortuzzo, STL (fighting major), 0:03; Labanc, SJ (tripping), 8:59.
2nd period - Gadjovich, SJ (tripping), 2:13; Burns, SJ (tripping), 13:48.
3rd period - Weatherby, SJ (cross checking), 14:18.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 48 44
STL - Husso 27 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 13 8 6 27
STL 16 19 13 48
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 0
STL 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Enterprise Center- xx,xxx
Referees: #21 TJ Luxmore, #13 Furman South . Linesmen: #92 Mark Shewchyk #90, Travis Toomey.

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