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No Finish
Another 3rd period collapse results in 3rd consecutive SO loss
11/5/2022 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks started the season unable to establish any leads late in games. Now they can's hold them. For the second consecutive game, the Sharks blew a 3rd period lead. It would lead to a 3rd consecutive loss in the shootout, after San Jose was outplayed in the skills competition, falling to 5-4 to the Anaheim Ducks. San Jose ended their 6-game homestand with a single victory to show for it.

Chalk this one up as yet another lesson for a Sharks team that doesn't seem to retain all the prior lessons that they've been given the past three seasons. As Tomas Hertl would say following yet another deflating loss, "every mistake we make ends up in our net."

He wouldn't be wrong. The Sharks are finally getting around to scoring, but now they can't seem to keep the opposition from countering.

San Jose dominated the shot count, with a 21-4 advantage after 20 minutes of play. Kevin Labanc's pass attempt turned out to be the only one of those 21 shots to find its way past Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz. Labanc took a long lead pass up the right wing after Matt Benning stepped in front of a Ducks pass at center ice. Timo Meier fed Labanc who raced in on net from the right side and tried to setup Meier, but his pass attempt was deflected by defenseman John Klingberg into the Anaheim net.

San Jose should have run roughshod over the Ducks the remainder of the period, but Stolarz would deny them repeatedly. Anaheim tied the game at 12:06 of the period when Brent Leason punched home a puck from the doorstep. Klingberg tried firing the puck through the slot, but Meier got a stick on it, slowing it down, but not controlling it. The pass trickled off Meier's stick right to Leason, who had a wide open net to score his 1st goal of the season.

That was only the Ducks 2nd shot of the period.

Their 3rd came 5 minutes later when Max Comtois deposited his 4th goal of the season past goaltender James Reimer. Trevor Zegras gathered a loose puck on the left side, drawing three Sharks defenders to him. The Ducks rookie then slid a pass to the far side of the ice when Comtois was cutting on the right wing. Comtois gathered the feed and snapped a shot high to the stick side for the 2-1 lead.

Timo Meier continued his hot streak, scoring his 5th goal in the last 5 games at 8:09 of the 2nd period on a one-time chance from right side. Erik Karlsson set him up with a nifty pass from the left wing boards, whipping the puck to him from 60 feet away.

A wild sequence setup a go-ahead goal for San Jose with 4:45 to play in the period. Frank Vatrano made the peculiar decision to hold a puck that bounced up to the top of his pant leg. Nobody on the ice knew where the puck went with the exception of Meier, who hit the winger with an open ice check. The Ducks took exception and all went after Meier.

When the melee was cleared, Meier was sent to the box but the Sharks held a man advantage after Simon Benoit matched Meier's roughing penalty, and Vatrano was sent off for closing his hand on the puck. The Sharks would then score a controversial goal at 16:35, when Tomas Hertl made a perfect feed to his linemate in front of the Ducks net. Hertl's pass hit Kunin in the right shin, deflecting perfectly past Stolarz.

The controversy came when Anaheim challenged the goal for off-side, citing that Alexander Barabanov was on the wrong side of the blueline as he was trying to get off the ice. Replays showed Barabanov jumping through the Sharks bench door, which is located in the Duck's defensive zone. As the Sharks carried the puck across the Anaheim blueline, Barabanov was attempting to clear himself of the play.

An lengthy review ruled in favor of San Jose, giving them the 3-2 lead heading into the 2nd intermission.

Hertl broke a 12-game goal-less streak when he scored 9:33 into the 3rd period. The Czech forward roofed a shot after Meier carried the puck deep into the Ducks zone, before flipping it back into the slot. Labanc over-skated the pass, but a trailing Hertl was there to put it past Stolarz for his 2nd goal of the season.

That should have been enough to seal the win, but the Sharks just didn't have the juice to put the Ducks away.

Nathan McTavish was sent off for tripping at 13:51, but the Sharks could not convert on the subsequent man-advantage. To make matters worse, McTavish gathered a Dmitry Kulikov lead pass after exiting the penalty box and beat Reimer after steaming up ice unimpeded.

The opposing team pulled their goaltender late for the 2nd straight game, and once again it resulted in the equalizing goal being scored late. Anaheim tied it with 1:28 left in regulation when Adam Henrique reached around defenseman Matt Benning with the puck on the doorstep and slid it past Reimer for his 3rd goal of the season. Henrique has 3 goals in total this season, with all 3 scored at SAP Center.

Game Notes:

* It was Hispanic Heritage Night at SAP Center. Needless to say, the finish was muy malo.

* Tomas Hertl's goal was the first in 28 days for the Czech forward. His last goal came in the season opener in Prague. Hopefully the goal will kick-start Hertl overall game. Timo Meier has scored 5 goals in his last 5 games after scoring his 1st goal of the season on October 27th.

* Mario Ferraro took a puck to the face late in the 3rd period. He would head straight to the locker room, where he remained for the remainder of the night.

* Even though the Sharks matched the Ducks in regulation goals, Matt Nieto found a way to go -3 on the night. As has become all too customary, he was ineffective on offense, so even that would not counter his poor defense.

* The Sharks finish their 6-game homestand with a 1-2-3 record and now head out on a 4-game road trip which will take them to St Louis, Dallas, Minnesota and Vegas. Thos e 4 teams are a combined 26-16-2.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
ANA 2 0 2 0 1 5
SJ 1 2 1 0 0 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Labanc 2 (Meier, Benning), 3:54. 2, ANA, Leason 1 (Klingberg, McTavish), 12:06. 3, ANA, Comtois 4 (Zegras, Leason), 17:20.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Meier 5 (Karlsson, Hertl), 8:09. 5, SJ, Kunin 2 (Hertl, Labanc), 16:35, (pp).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Hertl 2 (Labanc, Meier), 9:33. 7, ANA, McTavish 1 (Kulikov), 15:58. 8, ANA, Henrique 3 (Strome, Terry), 18:32.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Couture (miss), Labanc (goal), Bonino (goal), Karlsson (miss), Meier (miss). ANA: Zegras (goal), Terry (miss), McTavish (goal), Comtois (miss), Henrique (goal).
1st period - Bealieu, ANA (fighting major), 4:49; Gadjovich, SJ (fighting major), 4:49; Jones, ANA (delay of game - puck over glass), 14:02; Shattenkirk, ANA (hooking), 19:43.
2nd period - Benoit, SNS (roughing), 15:15; Vatrano, ANA (closing hand on puck), 15:15; Meier, SJ (roughing), 15:15; Bench, ANA (delay of game - unsuccessful challenge), 16:35.
3rd period - Benoit, ANA (roughing), 3:09; Gadjovich, SJ (slashing), 3:09; McTavish, ANA (tripping), 13:51.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
ANA - Stolarz 52 48
SJ - Reimer 25 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
ANA 4 6 11 4 25
SJ 21 13 13 5 52
Power Play Conversion
ANA 0 of 0
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Kevin Labanc
Tomas Hertl
Erik Karlsson
SAP Center - 17,562
Referees: #14 Trevor Hanson, #46 Brandon Schrader . Linesmen: #67 Travis Gawryletz, #61 James Tobias.

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