The Sharks kicked off a 5-game span against
Eastern Conference power house opponents on Saturday, with a date against the
Tampa Bay Lightning at SAP Center. It was the only game on home ice, but it if
was a preview of what their next four games are going to look like, the Sharks
may want to call in sick. Tampa ran roughshod on the overmatched Sharks,
pummeling them 7-1 in a laugher.
The defending Stanley Cup Champions
simply outclassed the Sharks. It wasn't even close. Tampa jumped out to a 4-0
lead in the 1st period and never looked back. After losing big to the Anaheim
Ducks just 24 hours earlier, the Lightning addressed their issues and took it
out on a Sharks.
That opening period was just a gut punch.
Ross Colton inflicted the first cut 3:17 into the game when he tried to make a
pass across the slot, but Marc-Edouard Vlasic tried to block the attempt by
laying his stick flat. Instead of hitting it's mark, the puck deflected towards
the Sharks net, slipping inside the right post for Colton's 7th goal of the
Steven Stamkos put a puck past James Reimer 4 minutes later,
lifting a shot from just outside the left dot. Reimer was distracted by two
players in front of him and never saw the shot.
Mathew Joseph made it
3-0 at 11:04, pushing a loose puck across the goal line after Stamkos blew past
Brent Burns on the left side and tried jamming a scoring chance home from in
tight. Nobody saw the puck as it sat perched in the crease just inside the left
post. Joseph kept pushing and got a stick on it for his 7th goal of the season.
San Jose was stung by a fluke play at 12:32 when old nemesis Corey
Perry converted on a bad bounce. Ryan McDonagh tried to wind the puck around
the boards from the left point, but it hit referee Bard Meier and deflected out
to the center of the left circle. With the Sharks all looking for the puck wrap
around the end boards, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare pounced on the puck and put a
shot off Reimer, but it deflected right to Perry on the right side for the easy
Sharks head coach Bob Boughner pulled Reimer, inserting Adin
The Sharks were able to get a goal back before the intermission
when Jaycob Megna threw a puck on net that deflected off Victor Hedman and past
goaltender Brian Elliott. It was the 1st goal of the year for Megna.
Elliott is the Lightning backup goaltender. Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper
elected to sit starter Andrei Vasilevskiy who played in Anaheim. The Lighting
could have stuck a tree stump in goal and the outcome would likely have been
Braydon Point pushed the Lightning lead back to 4 goals at
6:24 of the 2nd period. The Tampa Bay moved the puck up ice on a 3-on-1 after
Anthony Cirelli pushed the puck past a pinching Ryan Merkley. Nikita Kucherov
took a pass from Cirelli up the right side before dropping to a trailing Point
who picked a spot and beat Hill. Jasper Weatherby let up on Point as he
expected Kucherov to shoot, which turned out to be a big mistake.
The Sharks appeared to score a goal with 8:40 left
in the period after a dog pile ended with the puck crossing the goal line. A
vehement declaration by referee Tom Chmielewski suggested he saw everything,
but a video review deemed that someone "used a distinct kicking motion" on the
play, which nullified the goal.
Alexander Barabanov made things even
easier for Tampa Bay by taking a hooking penalty 3:04 into the 3rd period. The
Lightning scored at will 5-on-5, so it was no surprise that they converted on
their lone power play opportunity of the night. Alex Killorn redirected a
Hedman shot for his 13th goal of the season.
Colton scored his 2nd of
the game 33 seconds later on a rebound after Taylor Raddysh bounced a shot off
Game, set, match. Game Notes:
Karlsson was scratched for what's being reported as an upper body injury.
Karlsson is day-to-day.
* The Lightning had six players with
multi-point games. Only Colton Ross had multiple goals.
* Radim Simek
made his way back into the lineup after missing 6 games with an upper body
injury. Simek was a -3 on the night, skating 27 shifts.
Sergachev was a +4 for Tampa Bay.
* San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was
boo'd by the 14,193 in attendance when the Sharks played a video of him
declaring January 28th as SJ Sharkie Day in celebration of the Shark mascot's