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Shorthanded Sharks get shortied
Red Wings smack Sharks 6-2
1/4/2022 - By Mike Lee

After giving up 8 goals to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, the Sharks were looking to clamp down on their next opponent. That didn't happen. San Jose followed up their Pennsylvania gut punch with a disastrous performance in Detroit, falling 6-2 at Little Caeser's Arena. The loss was magnified by a pair of short-handed goals that San Jose surrendered in a 37 second span.

The Sharks have surrendered 22 goals in their last four games since returning from their COVID induced shutdown. It was another defensive meltdown that counters the supposed defensive first approach that the team is trying to implement.

Playing without captain Logan Couture and assistant captain Mario Ferraro felt like the team was playing with one arm tied behind their backs.

The Red Wings were rewarded for their early energy when Tyler Bertuzzi scored on a fluke play at 13:02 of the opening period. The Red Wings forward gathered a deflection near the end line and the left edge of the trapezoid when he slipped the puck to the front of the net with a blind, back-hand pass. The puck hit goaltender James Reimer's stick blade and deflected into the goal for his 14th tally of the season.

Givani Smith was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct after he hit Jake Middleton with a hit from behind that slammed the Sharks defenseman's head into the glass. Middleton had to be helped off the ice. The pair had fought earlier in the game.

The major penalty allowed the Sharks to score as many goals as they could muster during the 5 minute power play. They responded by allowing the Red Wings to score twice with short-handed goals by Pius Suter and Bertuzzi. Detroit had not scored a short-handed goal in their last 100 games, but potted two 37 seconds apart.

Suter bagged his goal when Brent Burns misplayed the puck at the right point, then allowed the Red Wings centerman to skate past him and race up the left wing. Suter beat Reimer on the breakaway going top shelf.

Bertuzzi capped a 2-on-1 break after Timo Meier was checked off the puck in the Red Wings zone. Carter Rowney raced up the right win, drawing Erik Karlsson to the strong side before sliding the puck over to the left wing. Reimer was late to cover the left side of the net, but Jonathan Dahlen made it easier for Bertuzzi by failing to get back defensively.

Jasper Weatherby cut the Detroit lead to 3-1 when he scored his 3rd goal of the season at 4:03 of the period. The Sharks rookie cut through the slot and got his stick blade on a Burns shot that beat Alex Nedeljkovic.

Suter would push the Red Wings lead back to 3 goals with his 2nd score of the period. The Sharks aided Detroit by turning the puck over twice on the sequence. Michael Rasmussen setup Suter by grabbing his own rebound in tight and slid a backhand pass out to the slot where Suter one-timed a shot as Karlsson and Nicolas Meloche were chasing their own tails.

The Sharks made a run at a comeback early in the 3rd period when Alexander Barabanov scored his 6th of the season just 1:40 into the frame. The Red Wings turned the puck over in their own end, and Tomas Hertl pumped a shot from the slot that Barabanov tipped past Nedeljkovic to make it a 4-2 game.

Detroit quickly squashed any notion of a comeback when Dylan Larkin scored less than 2 minutes later. The Sharks had relieved Reimer at the 2nd intermission break, but Adin Hill fared no better than his teammate. Larkin raced up the right wing and snapped a shot that sailed past Hill's left shoulder for a 5-2 Red Wings lead.

Robby Fabbri made it a 4-goal lead when Burns tried to blindly clear a puck by throwing it up the middle of the ice from the end boards. Fabbri stepped in front of the clearing attempt and buried it for his 9th of the season.

Tempers flared with 8 minutes left, resulting in early showers for Jonathan Vial and Bertuzzi.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks faced the only unvaccinated player in the NHL in Tyler Bertuzzi. The Red Wings forward cannot play in any NHL games hosted in Canada, due to Canadian COVID requirements.

* The Sharks made several roster moves on Tuesday, recalling Adin Hill and Scott Reedy, and placing Logan Couture and Lane Pederson to the COVID Protocol list.

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic was scratched for the first time in his career for performance reasons. Vlasic was on the ice for 5 of Pittsburgh's 8 goals on Sunday. The defenseman's game has been sub-par the last two seasons and was not unwarranted.

* Jacob Middleton suffered what appeared to be a concussion after he was checked from behind by Givani Smith.

* It was reported by SJHockeyNow that Evander Kane suffered a bad case of COVID in late December and has been in quarantine.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
DET 1 3 2 6
1st period - 1, DET, Bertuzzi 14 (Lindstrom, Larkin), 13:02.
2nd period - 2, DET, Suter 7 (unassisted), 2:04, (sh). 3, DET, Bertuzzi 15 (Rowney, Seider), 2:41, (sh). 4, SJ, Weatherby 3 (Burns, Viel), 4:03. 5, DET, Suter 8 (Rasmussen, Leddy), 9:32.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Barabanov 6 (Hertl, Meier), 1:40. 7, DET, Larkin 16 (Raymond, Lindstrom), 3:51. 8, DET, Fabbri 9 (unassisted), 5:01.
1st period - Middleton, SJ (fighting major), 2:30; Smith, DET (fighting major), 2:30; Burns, SJ (hooking), 6:43; Smith, DET (boarding major). 18:16, Smith, DET (game misconduct). 18:16.
2nd period - Meloche, SJ (roughing), 11:00; Gagner, DET (roughing), 11:00; Erne, DET (interference), 15:52; Viel, SJ (hooking), 18:47.
3rd period - Viel, SJ (roughing), 11:35; Viel, SJ (roughing), 11:35; Viel, SJ (game misconduct), 11:35; Bertuzzi, DET (roughing), 11:35; Bertuzzi, DET (game misconduct), 11:35; Raymond, DET (hooking), 12:47.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 24 20
SJ - Hill 7 5
DET - Nedeljkovic 26 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 6 12 8 26
DET 10 14 7 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
DET 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Pius Suter
Tyler Bertuzzi
Dylan Larkin
Little Caesars Arena - 14,524
Referees: #4 Wes McCauley, #30 Kendrick Nicholson . Linesmen: #51 Andrew Smith, #87 Devin Berg.

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