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Sharks outclassed late in Denver
Late tie ends in 4-2 loss
3/31/2022 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks continued the "playing out the season" parade with a stop in Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. The Sharks went toe-to-toe with the league's best team, but in the end, the Avalanche simply outclassed the Sharks. The teams were tied 2-2 with 8 minutes to play, before Colorado's deadly power play took advantage of the Sharks.

The Avalanche entered play having scored a power play goal in 8 straight games. The Sharks looked as if they might suppress the Colorado special teams unit.

The two teams played a fast paced 1st period, which saw the Avalanche out-shoot San Jose 15-7. Colorado enjoyed the period's only power play after Ryan Merkley was whistled for hooking. The sharks managed to keep the Avalanche off the board even with the large disparity in shots.

They wouldn't be sol lucky in the middle frame. Alex Newhook staked Colorado to the 1-0 lead just 1:54 into the period. The Avalanche cycled the puck around the left wing boards, then to the slot where Newhook gathered a pass and pivoted to face the net and fire a shot through traffic.

The Sharks challenged the play, citing interference on Kaapo Kahkonen, but it was ruled to be a clean goal. The Sharks earned delay of game penalty for the unsuccessful challenge. San Jose killed the penalty to keep the deficit at a single goal.

Timo Meier evened things up at 12:09 when he whipped home a loose puck from the right side. Tomas Hertl drove to the net and was tripped up, but the puck floated over to Meier who lifted a shot past goaltender Pavel Francouz. It was Meier's 31st goal and 67th point of the season, which established career high's in both categories.

Colorado regained the lead 3:05 into the 3rd period when Darren Helm converted on a Sharks turnover. Defenseman Erik Karlsson made a half-hearted attempt at clearing a puck as he slated up the left wing, but he made the poor decision to push the puck to the middle rather than the safety of the boards. Vaerli Nichushkin gloved the clearing attempt then slid it to the slot where Helm had Kahkonen dead to rights.

Brent Burns tied it at 2-2 3 minutes later with a long shot from the high slot that beat Francouz through the five hole. The goal was Burns 8th tally of the season.

A Nicolas Meloche slashing penalty at 11:09 would cost the Sharks dearly. Colorado's red hot power play had been held in check for mot of the night, but a fourth power play opportunity was one chance too many for the Sharks.

Mikko Rantanen converted the man advantage after Nazem Kadri gathered a big rebound and sent the puck over to the right side for a slam dunk goal. It was simply something the Sharks could not contain.

Andre Burakovsky ended any chance of a comeback when he scored with 4 minutes and change left in the game. Ryan Merkley had defensive responsibility to contain the big forward, but he just wasn't quick enough to respond to a rebound that Burakovsky punched home.

Game Notes:

* Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen deserved a better fate for his play on Thursday night. The Sharks goaltender made 42 saves, but was hung out to dry in that 3rd period.

* Nazem Kadri was banged up in the 3rd period when Tomas Hertl pushed him into the back of Timo Meier. Kadri was down on the ice for a moment then slammed his helmet on the ice to dispute the absence of a penalty call. There really was nothing to call, except for a misconduct that Kadri should have received for his tantrum.

* Erik Karlsson has 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) since returning from injury on March 10th, but the defenseman has been a turnover machine. He is a -7 in that span, due in part to carelessness with the puck all too frequently.

* The Sharks finished the month of March with a miserable 5-7-2 record. The Sharks Two three-loss spans doomed the Sharks in the month.

* Rudolfs Balcers led the Sharks with 4 shots in the game, but the Sharks forward is invisible on the ice. The forward hasn't recorded a point in 6 games. Balcers was moved up to the top line late in the game, but it made little difference.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 1 2
COL 0 1 3 4
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, COL, Newhook 12 (Macdermid, Johnson), 1:54. 2, SJ, Meier 31 (Hertl, Barabanov), 12:09.
3rd period - 3, COL, Helm 6 (Nichushkin), 3:05. 4, SJ, Burns 8 (Hertl), 6:29. 5, COL, Rantanen 34 (Kadri, Makar), 12:17, (pp). 6, COL, Burakovsky 19 (Johnson, Kadri), 15:16.
1st period - Merkley, SJ (hooking), 8:28.
2nd period - Bench, SJ (delay of game - unsuccessful challenge), 1:54; Toews, COL (hooking), 8:06; Compher, COL (delay of game - puck over glass), 15:43.
3rd period - Meloche, SJ (slashing), 11:09; Hertl, SJ (roughing), 17:31; Barabanov, SJ (roughing), 17:31; Makar, COL (roughing), 17:31.
Shots Saves
SJ - Kahkonen 46 42
COL - Francouz 27 25
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 7 15 5 27
COL 15 12 18 46
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
COL 1 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Mikko Rantanen
Darren Helm
Nazem Kadri
Ball Arena - 18,013,
Referees: #46 Brandon Schrader, #18 Tom Chmielewski . Linesmen: #64 Brandon Gawryletz, #81 Ryan Daisy.

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