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