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Sharks miss chance to upset Panthers
Ugly 3rd perod dooms San Jose
1/29/2022 - By Mike Lee

After beating the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night, the Sharks had two full days to prepare for the Florida Panthers. For a moment, it looked as if that preparation would pay off, but in the end, the Sharks would drop a 5-4 overtime decision to one of the East's top teams. San Jose allowed Florida to score 3 goals in the 3rd period to erase a big Sharks lead, then handing the Panthers the win in the extra period.

The Sharks took the lead 6:10 into the context off a strong forecheck. After goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky tried to wind the puck along the end boards, Tomas Hertl intercepted it on the right wing. He fed to Rudolfs Balcers behind the end line on a give-and-go play that allowed Hertl to skate in on net and jam the puck past Bobrovsky.

A goaltender interference penalty on Anthony Duclair put the Sharks on the power play at 15:52. Jonathan Dahlen doubled up the Sharks lead with a power play goal with 35 seconds left on Duclair's trip to the penalty box. Noah Gregor kept the puck alive near the blueline, sliding a pass to Dahlen at the point. Dahlen then skated toward the net, whistling a shot from between the circles that beat Bobrovsky low to the glove side.

San Jose gifted the Panthers a goal with less than a minute left in the period, when Brent Burns whiffed on a clearing attempt behind his own net. Sam Reinhart fed the puck out to the slot where Gustav Forsling snapped the one time chance from the slot passed James Reimer. The goal was Forsling's 2nd of the season.

Matt Nieto pushed the Sharks lead back to a pair of goals 1:31 into the 2nd period, after he one-timed a Nick Bonino feed from the inside of the right circle. The Sharks pushed the puck into the Panthers zone, working it to the left side where Bonino grabbed it off the boards and saw Nieto cutting on the off wing toward the net.

The Panthers made their push in the 3rd period, starting with Aleksander Barkov's goal just 1:26 into the frame. The Panthers skated circles around the Sharks on a relentless forecheck, ending with Jonathan Huberdeau sliding the puck to Barkov in the slot for a shot that beat Reimer.

A Brandon Montour holding penalty at 3:10 setup Dahlen's 2nd goal of the contest. San Jose moved the puck around the perimeter up top, ending with a pass to the young Shark on the right side. Dahlen took one stride towards the right dot, then picked the top left corner, beating Bobrovsky with his 11th goal of the season.

Dahlen's goal pushed the Sharks lead back to 2 goals and should have been enough with 15 minutes to play, but Florida showed the Sharks why they sit near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Mason Marchment made it a 4-3 game at 7:30, after the Sharks failed to clear a puck from behind their own net. Rather than winding the puck around the end boards, Jaycob Megna pushed the puck out past the right post where Sam Reinhart intercepted it and tried jamming it on Reimer from the right side. Logan Couture failed to find the puck as it slipped behind Reimer and Marchment stuck his stick in the scrum, jamming it into the net.

Huberdeau tied the game with 10:22 left in regulation after the Sharks swarmed to cover Carter Verhaege in the slot. Brent Burns tried to block what he assumed would be a shot by Verhaege, but instead, the Panthers centerman slid a pass under Burn's right skate to Huberdeau on the left post. All Huberdeau had to do was get his stick on the puck for the easy tap in.

Florida took care of business early in the overtime period. The Sharks aided the Panthers by having all three skaters on the ice, standing motionless around their own net at Huberdeau held the puck behind the net, waiting for Sam Bennett to skate down the slot. Once Bennett slipped into position, Huberdeau fed the puck to the front of the net for the slam dunk goal.

Game Notes:

* The game marked the first time the Sharks faced Joe Thornton since he left the club following the 2019-20 season. Thornton only skated 11:41 of ice time and did not factor into any of the Panthers scoring.

* Brent Burns finished the game with a -4, but his defense on the game winning goal was the centerpiece of a forgetful evening of hockey.

* Radim Simek was a -3, struggling to help Reimer defend against the high powered Panthers offense.

* The Sharks finished a perfect 2-for-2 on the power play and killed the only Panthers power play in the game.

* Mario Ferraro was hit in the face with a deflected puck in the 1st period and did not return.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 2 1 1 0 4
FLA 1 0 3 1 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Hertl 22 (Balcers), 6:10. 2, SJ, Dahlen 10 (Gregor), 17:17, (pp). 3, FLA, Forsling 2 (Reinhart, Marchment), 19:06.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Nieto 4 (Bonino, Vlasic), 1:31.
3rd period - 5, FLA, Barkov 20 (Huberdeau, Verhaeghe), 1:26. 6, SJ, Dahlen 11 (Burns, Bonino), 4:50, (pp). 7, FLA, Marchment 6 (Reinhart), 7:30. 8, FLA, Huberdeau 17 (Verhaeghe, Weegar), 9:38.
Overtime - 9, FLA, Bennett 21 (Huberdeau, Forsling), 1:08.
1st period - Burns, SJ (hooking), 0:51; Lomberg, FLA (embellishment), 0:51; Duclair, FLA (goaltender interference), 15:52.
2nd period - Megna, SJ (tripping), 2:15.
3rd period - Montour, FLA (hooking), 3:10.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 50 45
FLA - Bobrovsky 34 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 16 10 8 0 34
FLA 17 20 12 1 50
Power Play Conversion
SJ 2 of 2
FLA 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Sam Bennett
Jonathan Huberdeau
Jonathan Dahlen
FLA Live Arena - 18,152
Referees: #8 Francois StLaurent, #10 Kyle Rehman. Linesmen: #97 Kory Nagy, #98 Dan Kelly .

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