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Rough 3rd period sinks Sharks
Home stand starts with a thud
10/25/2022 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks returned home after their recent 4-game road trip, starting with a date with the Vegas Golden Knights. San Jose held a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes, but they fell apart in the 3rd period, allowing the Knights to score 3 unanswered goals in the final frame to take the 4-2 decision. The loss was the 7th in 9 games for the Sharks, who failed to follow up their 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

The opening period was all Golden Knights. Sharks netminder James Reimer held Vegas at bay for most of the period, but his teammates hung him out to dry with just over 4 minutes remaining in the period. Phil Kessel took a Brett Howden lead pass just outside the Vegas blueline, then raced up ice, beating defenseman Matt Benning before lifting the puck over Reimer's right shoulder.

The goal was the 400th of Kessel's career, but it was odd to see the less-than-speedy forward beat Benning. The Vegas forward was playing in his 990th consecutive NHL game, which set a NHL record.

The Knights would finish the period with a 14-6 advantage in shots.

The Sharks tied the game 5:33 into the 2nd period when Nico Sturm deflected an Evgeny Svechnikov shot past former Sharks goaltender Adin Hill. Sturm slipped to the front of the net as Svechnikov fired a shot in from the right point. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tried to fill the space occupied by Sturm, but the veteran forward got his stick blade to the puck first.

The goal was Sturm's 4th of the season, which leads all Sharks skaters this season.

The Knights went on the power play 4:46 into the 2nd period with the game's first penalty. Nico Sturm was sent off for interference, setting up the league's 19th ranked power play unit. True to form, the Sharks 4th ranked penalty kill denied Vegas, stopping their 9th consecutive penalty on home ice this season.

The Sharks grabbed the lead with 35 ticks remaining in the period, when Tomas Hertl found Matt Nieto lurking at the Vegas blueline. Hertl sprung him with a 60-foot pass from the Sharks zone. Nieto had nothing but ice between him and Hill, so he raced in and lifted a shot that caught the upper right corner of the net for his 1st goal of the season.

Vegas wasted no time to open the 3rd period. Shea Theodore fired a puck from the blueline that weaved through several skaters before finding the back of the sharks net to tie that game at 2-2. The goal was the defenseman's 2nd goal of the season.

Nicholas Hague was sent off for goaltender interference at 1:56, but the Sharks could do nothing with their power play opportunity. San Jose has converted twice in 26 chances this season.

Chandler Stephenson missed on a breakaway chance 7:30 into the period, but Reimer denied him with a blocker save.

Vegas grabbed the lead at 13:13 when William Karlsson raced past a flat-footed Erik Karlsson then raced into the Sharks zone and roofed a shot for his 3rd tally of the season.

Mark Stone put the game away 62 seconds later when he tapped home a Stephenson feed. The Knights captain established position on Logan Couture, who looked disinterested in defending. Stephenson sent a pass through the slot from the left side.

Game Notes:

* Nick Bonino was scratched for the second straight game, as he nurses the upper body injury he sustained in New Jersey. Scott Harrington and Jonah Gadjovich were healthy scratches.

* Timo Meier recorded 8 shots in the game, but as has been the case all season, he failed to find the back of the net. The Sharks forward is trying everything to pot his 1st goal of the season. His best chance came in the 2nd period when goaltender Adin Hill fell to the ice, exposing the net. Meier rushed the shot and hit a defender in the leg, missing the wide open net.

* One stat of note was the 26 blocked shots by Vegas. Numbers like that are an indication that the Sharks were trying to generate offense from the perimeter, rather than forcing the issue in tight.

* The announced tickets sold was 12,003. Not that you'd expect a big crowd on a Tuesday night, but there should be some interest in October and the second home stand of the season. 2 wins in 9 games won't help the gate numbers.

* Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore were both +3 in the game. Matt Nieto was the only Sharks to record a positive plus minus.


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1 2 3 T
VGK 1 0 3 4
SJ 0 2 0 2
1st period - 1, VGK, Kessel 1 (Howden), 15:51.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Sturm 4 (Labanc, Svechnikov), 5:33. 3, Nieto 1 (Hertl, Vlasic), 19:25.
3rd period - 4, VGK, Theodore 2 (McNabb, Marchessault), 0:55. 5, VGK, Karlsson 3 (Smith), 13:13. 6, VGK, Stone 2 (Stephenson, Theodore), 14:15.
1st period - None.
2nd period - Sturm, SJ (interference), 14:14.
3rd period - Hague, VGK (goaltender interference), 1:56; Stephenson, VGK (roughing), 19:32.
Shots Saves
VGK - Hill 31 29
SJ - Reimer 31 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VGK 14 7 10 31
SJ 6 15 9 31
Power Play Conversion
VGK 0 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Shea Theodore
Phil Kessel
Matt Nieto
SAP Center - 12,003
Referees: #33 Kevin Pollock, #20 Mitch Dunning . Linesmen: #62 Mitch Hunt, #58 Ryan Gibbons .

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