Igor Shesterkin is a name the Sharks will have
no problem not seeing on a lineup card for a while. The New York Rangers
goaltender has faced the Sharks twice this season and has denied San Jose from
doing any scoring his appearances. The Russian netminder made 37 saves on
Thursday night at SAP Center to shutout San Jose in a 3-0 game.
Shesterkin got lots of help from the iron that guards the outer perimeter of
his goal, but he also leaned on a defense that played heavy against the Sharks.
San Jose doesn't have the same size and strength as the Rangers and it showed.
The Sharks tried to outwork the Rangers early, but a pair of mistakes would
cost them and Shesterkin kept the puck out of his own net.
it took. Game, set, match.
The Sharks enjoyed a power play midway
through the opening period after Ryan Strome was sent off for cross checking
Rudolfs Balcers. The ensuing power play exposed the Sharks special teams play.
New York forced a turnover in their own zone before Mika Zibanejad carried the
puck up the right wing. Defenseman Brent Burns and Jonathan Dahlen gravitated
to Zibanejad while Chris Kreider crept up the left wing. Zibanejad slid a pass
over to Kreider who slapped a shot past Adin Hill for the short-handed goal.
The 2nd period was filled with missed opportunities for the Sharks.
Time Meier, Tomas Hertl and Mario Ferraro all had golden chances to put a puck
past Igor Shesterkin, but they would fall short each time.
the best chance, swatting a waist high puck out of the air as he sat perched
off the right post. Hertl had another shot ring off the crossbar early in the
3rd period, aiding Shesterkin in his shutout bid.
The Sharks tried to
get physical with the Rangers. Meier mixed things up with Jacob Trouba in front
of the New York net. Jeffrey Viel tried to reiterate the point by dropping the
gloves with Trouba on the next shift.
The turnover issue that seems to
sting the Sharks every game bit them early in the 3rd period. After Erik
Karlsson coughed up the puck in the Sharks zone, Ryan Strome made a feed out to
the slot for a blast by Braden Schneider for the 2-0 lead. Schneider was making
his NHL debut, converting for his 1st goal at the top level.
What was most frustrating about the goal was the
fact that Karlsson was only 8 feet from the blueline when he turned the puck
over. Those little errors just always seem to bite the Sharks hard. This was no
Trouba's 3rd penalty of the night came with 3 minutes left
in regulation, but the Sharks could not generate any serious scoring chances.
They pulled Hill toward the end of the power play.
Kreider would add an
empty net goal later to cap the game's scoring. Game
* Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin came off the COVID
Protocol list to make the start for the Rangers. Shesterkin had missed the
previous 4 games for New York.
* Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin
made 37 saves to earn his 6th career shutout.
* Andrew Cogliano played
in his 1100th career NHL game.
* Rudolfs Balcers returned to the
lineup after missing the last 13 games after suffering a lower body injury in
early December. 17:05 of ice time on 22 shifts and recorded 2 shots and 1 hit.
* Nick Bonino came off the NHL's COVID Protocol list. Alexander
Barabanov was added to the list however. He is reported to be asymptomatic.