The Sharks kicked off a 4-game home stand at
SAP Center on Saturday night and showed the near sellout crowd that they have
some work to do if they want to make any serious run at a playoff appearance
this coming spring. The visiting Washington Capitals completed their California
sweep with a resounding 4-0 victory over the Sharks.
The game was
marred by an injury to Sharks forward Jonathan Dahlen, who suffered an apparent
shoulder injury after colliding with the end boards behind the Capitals net in
the opening period. Dahlen appeared to be tugging at his arm, which suggested a
separation. The forward would try and skate in the 2nd period, but after a pair
of shifts, he called it a night.
That was the last thing the Sharks
struggling offense needed to hear. They had little success against Capitals
goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who stopped all 22 shots he faced. Samsonov's
workload was relatively light, but he made the big saves when he needed to.
The same couldn't be said for Sharks netminder Adin Hill, who
surrendered a pair of goals on the Capitals first 5 shots. Conor Sheary scored
on the first shot of the game after he blew passed Brent Burns and Jonah
Gadjovich on the left side and snapped a shot that beat Hill via the 5-hole. It
wasn't a particularly difficult shot to handle, but Hill was late to get his
The Capitals capitalized on a Sharks penalty 13:58 into
the contest after Marc-Edouard Vlasic was sent off for lofting a puck over the
glass. Washington scored a patented Alex Ovechkin one-timer from the left side
after John Carlson made the feed from the top of the right circle. It was
textbook Ovechkin, but surprisingly his first goal off the one-timer this
Noah Gregor was making his season debut for the Sharks after
being called up to replace Kevin Labanc, who was suspended for one game for
slew-footing Tyler Bozak in the Sharks loss to the St Louis Blues on Thursday.
Gregor made use of his time with the big club by cross checking Garnet Hathaway
with 2:26 left in the period. The Capitals were already rolling, but Gregor
responded by taking a penalty in the middle of the ice after getting beaten by
Hathaway as the Capitals entered the Sharks zone.
Luckily for Gregor,
T.J. Oshie was whistled for an interference 26 seconds later to negate the
Sharks penalty, but Justin Schultz setup the Sharks to scratch back into the
game when he ran Hill to take a goaltender interference penalty 56 seconds into
The Sharks fumbled and bumbled their way through the
64 seconds of 5-on-3 time, whiffing on a golden opportunity to cut into the
Washington lead. Schultz penalty would carry over into the 2nd period, but San
Jose's power play could not muster a single shot once play resumed.
Carl Hagelin gift-wrapped another chance for the Sharks to make an appearance
when he cut Gadjovich with a high stick to the face at 14:49 of the period. The
Sharks used the ensuing 4 minutes to generate a total of 4 shots, but Samsonov
kept the puck out of his own net.
The missed opportunities on the
man-advantage would doom the Sharks. They were spoon fed chances to make a game
of it, but they just couldn't solve Samsonov.
Sheary put the game out
of reach with 4:50 to play by slipping a put-back chance through Hill's pads
once again. This time the Sharks goaltender failed to contain a Carlson shot
form the right dot. The puck kicked out to Sheary, who got a follow up shot off
as he was falling backwards. Hill couldn't squeeze those pads shut in time and
Washington was well on their way.
Ovechkin padded his own stats with
an empty net goal that he scored by sending a blind shot down the entire length
of the ice with 1:04 to play. Game Notes:
* The Sharks
were mum on Dahlen's injury following the game. If the injury was a shoulder
separation, Dahlen's prognosis will depend on if there was any ligament damage.
* Both teams participated in the NHL Fight's Cancer event. The team
skated in white and purple jerseys which will be auctioned off for charity.
* Defenseman Santeri Hatakka was scratched and Radim Simek was
reinserted into the lineup. Simek only saw 14:09 of ice time, recording 5 hits
and a takeaway. He was not on the ice for any of the 4 Capital goals.
* The Sharks placed Lane Pederson on the injured reserve. The forward sustained
a lower body injury, thought to be a knee, in the Sharks loss to Winnipeg and
had been a scratch for the last three games. San Jose recalled Noah Gregor and
* Nick Bonino may be a cursed man. The Sharks veteran
missed on a slam dunk chance to score a goal during the double minor in the 2nd
period. He also missed out on an assist when Loan Couture also missed on a
setup by Bonino. The forward has yet to record a point for the Sharks in his
first 17 games with San Jose.