The Sharks dispatched the top team in the
Pacific Division in the Calgary flames on Tuesday. They would not be so lucky
on Thursday as the Central Division and Western Conference leading Minnesota
Wild suppressed a 3rd period comeback attempt by the Sharks to win 5-2 at SAP
Center. The Sharks scored a pair of goals in the final period to cut into a 3-0
Wild lead, before surrendering a pair of empty net goals late to drop their
13th loss of the season.
The final score was misleading, because this
was a 1-goal game with a couple of minutes to play. Where the Sharks have to be
kicking themselves is in their special teams play, which was perfect on
Tuesday. On this night, it would be a complete about face as San Jose allowed
the Wild to convert on 2 of 3 power play chances.
The Wild took
advantage of a deflection off a Jon Merrill shot 6:22 into the contest. The
puck hit off Mario Ferraro and rainbowed over to Kevin Fiala on the left side
for an easy deposit and a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Brent Burns may have had a
chance to tie up Fiala's stick but tried to swat at the puck and missed.
There wasn't much for the bare bones crowd to cheer about in the
opening period. Minnesota out-shot San Jose 10-9 in the period, but they seemed
to control the puck for most of the period.
Jake Middleton was sent
off for tripping at 6:49 of the 2nd period, and the Wild used all of 15 seconds
to convert on the ensuing power play. Joel Ericksson Ek redirected a Mats
Zuccarello feed from the slot. Zuccarello threw the puck to the area out in
front of the Sharks net from the right wing boards, where Ericksson Ek changed
the direction of the puck by about 60 degrees.
Middleton's night got
worse when he was whistled for holding Nick Bjugstad at 13:33. Jordan Greenway
made it a 3-0 game when he snapped a shot inside the right post after sailing
past the Sharks defense as he attacked from the left side. Kevin Fiala
feathered a pass after entering the Sharks zone in the high slot.
they were to award penalty hat trick's, Middleton would have earned it with
another hooking penalty just 34 seconds into the 3rd period. The Sharks were
able to kill that one, but the damage was done.
The Sharks finally got
on the board at 3:29 when Jonathan Dahlen tipped an Erik Karlsson shot as the
rookie skated near the Wild crease. Karlsson uncorked his shot from just
outside the right circle near the right wing boards. The goal was Dahlen's 8th
of the season.
Jordie Benn was called for holding the stick at
9:02, but the Sharks could not capitalize.
That would not be the case
after Jonas Brodin took a hooking penalty at 13:17. The Sharks cashed in when
Tomas Hertl deposited his 13th goal of the season just 9 seconds into the power
play. The Sharks forward was loitering across the top of the crease, when
Dahlen bounced a shot off goaltender Cam Talbot. The rebound kicked over to
Hertl who swept it into the wide open net.
Sharks head coach Bob
Boughner elected to pull Adin Hill with 2 minutes to play and that backfired on
when Greenway muscled Burns off the puck and slipped home an empty net goal.
Kirill Kaprizov added another empty netter to cap the game's scoring.
* Brent Burns played in his 624th
consecutive game with the Sharks, tying him with Patrick Marleau for the
* The Jonathan Dahlen goal resulted in 3-game points
streaks for him, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl. Dahlen has 5 points in his last
5 games. That's 6 points for Hertl in his last 3 games. Karlsson has 6 points
in his last 6 games.
* The announced attendance was 10,782, which
accounts for tickets sold. It looked like a majority of those people who paid
for this game elected to stay home. The building was less than 20% full at puck
* Returning from his 1-game benching, Kevin Labanc was
noticeably present in the game. He finished the contest with 3 shots on goal
and led the team in hits with 4.
* San Jose out-hit Minnesota 31-19.
Tomas Hertl, Marc, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Erik Karlsson and Alexander Barabanov
were the only Sharks who did not record a hit in the game.