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
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
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
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.
* 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.
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
* 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.