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Sharks set franchise mark in futility
5th straight loss for SJ, kicking off east coast swing
10/18/2022 - By Mike Lee

In their 30 years in the NHL, they never started a season 0-5. That can be said no more. San Jose established a new franchise record in futility by losing for the 5th consecutive game to open the season. Starting a 4-game road trip with a stop on Long Island, the host Islanders continued the trend of bum-rushing the Sharks in the 2nd period, taking a 5-2 decision at UBS Arena. Attention to detail continues to bite the Sharks, who made mistakes in key situations that always seemed to find the back of their net.

Sharks head coach David Quinn has been preaching speed to the puck as his team struggles to claw out of the hole they've dug for themselves. They do that for a portion of the game, then the pressure seems to wane. If you need any evidence, simply look at the scoring discrepancy after the first 20 minutes of any game.

The Sharks grabbed the 1-0 lead 12:50 into the contest when Nico Sturm lifted a shot past Semyon Varlamov from the left side. Sturm started the sequence by driving the puck to the net from the right win boards, but was hooked off the play. The puck cycled around the end boards to the left side where Jaycob Megna fired the puck at the front of the net. Varlamov made the initial stop, but the puck kicked over to Sturm who was parked outside the left post where the new forward lifted it home for his 2nd goal as a Shark.

The little shop of horrors, also known as the 2nd period would not disappoint.

The Islanders overtook the Sharks with three goals in the frame, starting with a deflection goal by Anders Lee midway through the period. Adam Pelech gathered a faceoff win on the left side, before firing the puck in from the blueline. Pelech's shot would have gone well wide of the net, but Anders got his stick blade out and redirected the puck past James Reimer for his 1st goal of the season.

Zach Parise gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead 4 minutes later, when he deflected a shot wih his left skate past Reimer. The goal was identical to Sebastian Aho's skate-aided tally last Friday night in the Sharks loss to Carolina. Parise established inside position on Marc-Edouard Vlasic in front of the net and stuck his foot out as Noah Dobson came screaming in from the right point.

San Jose looked as if they would get to the 2nd intermission tied after Evgeny Svechnikov scored with 2:50 remaining in the frame. The Sharks forward knocked down a Matt Benning deflection from the front of the Islanders goal.

That would not be as San Jose surrendered another go-ahead goal with 55.4 seconds left in the period. Oliver Wahlstrom gathered a faceoff win on the left side, took a stride toward the slot and ripped a shot past Reimer. The goal was defendable, but Steven Lorentz decided to slide away from the action rather than take away Wahlstrom's shotting lane. The Islanders winger snapped his shot from 15 feet out, slipping the shot between Reimer and the right post.

An Anders Lee slashing penalty 1:29 into the 3rd period provided the Sharks with a slight advantage, but Logan Couture was called for holding 34 seconds later to negate the power play opportunity.

San Jose is 1-for-19 on the power play to start the season. The lack of 5-on-5 scoring is not being offset by special teams opportunities, which is setting up the team for failure. Why they can't convert on the man-advantage comes down to one thing. Talent. The Sharks simply don't have the personnel to be effective regardless of how many defenders are on the ice.

Cal Clutterbuck added an empty net goal to cap the game's scoring and send the Sharks to a new franchise record in futility.

Game Notes:

* Noah Gregor was a scratch for the second consecutive game. Oskar Lindblom was also scratched for the first time this season. Scott Harrington sat for the 4th consecutive game.

* James Reimer stopped 40 shots and was the best player on the ice for San Jose. The defense continues to hang him out to dry, and the peppering he's taking night after night is going to catch up statistically.

* The one bright spot for San Jose continues to be the penalty kill, which remains perfect this season. The Islanders had 3 power play chances on the night, although one was offset by their own penalty that overlapped a Sharks power play in the middle period.

* All of the Sharks scoring came from the 4th line. While that may be nice for those 4th liners, it also means the top lines are being held in check. It's no mystery that opposing teams have had success against San Jose by snuffing out any scoring from the top two lines. The team leaders in goals scored though 5 games are the two players who scored for San Jose tonight: Nico Sturm and Evgeny Svechnikov (2 goals each).

* Not only is he a goal scorer, but Nico Sturm owned the Islanders in the faceoff circle, winning 12 of 14 draws (86%). Other than he and Evgeny Svechnikov, who won his single draw, every other Shark was sub-50% in the faceoff circle.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 0 2
NYI 0 3 2 5
1st period - 1, SJ, Sturm 2 (Svechnikov, Megna), 12:50.
2nd period - 2, NYI, Lee 1 (Pelech, Nelson), 10:03. 3, NYI, Parise 1 (Dobson, Pageau), 14:48. 4, SJ, Svechnikov 2 (Benning), 17:10. 5, NYI, Wahlstrom 2 (Nelson), 19:04.
3rd period - 6, NYI, Wahlstrom 3 (Dobson), 5:24. 7, NYI, Clutterbuck 1 (Martin, Pelech), 17:34, (en).
1st period - Pelech, NYI (interference), 13:18; Benning, SJ (holding), 16:25.
2nd period - Sturm, SJ (holding the stick), 6:36.
3rd period - Lee, NYI (slashing), 1:29; Couture, SJ (holding), 2:03; Nelson, NYI (tripping), 5:51.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 44 40
SJ - Empty Net 1 0
NYI - Varlamov 29 29
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 8 12 29
NYI 11 21 13 45
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
NYI 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Oliver Wahlstrom
Cal Clutterbuck
Semyon Varlamov
UBS Arena - 13,892
Referees: #26 Jake Brenk, #48 Beau Halkidis . Linesmen: #90 Travis Toomey #86 Jesse Marquis .

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