The Sharks closed out their brief homestand
with a frustrating overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks, which was their 12th
loss on home ice in 14 chances this season. Their inability to win at home is
bewildering, given that they've been a .500 team on the road. The familiar
confines of SAP Center should be a safe haven for the fledgling Sharks, but it
continues to be a house of horrors.
The Sharks outworked their guests,
but in the end, little mistakes turn out to be catastrophic. The overtime
period was not immune from that. San Jose held the puck in the Canucks zone,
but a ill-timed line change and a miscommunication on coverage resulted in a
breakaway chance for Andrei Kuzmenko, who buried it to propel the Canucks to
their 6th straight win.
For San Jose, it meant a 3rd consecutive loss,
after returning from a promising road trip that netted them 3 wins in 4 games.
They are simply playing like a team that is unfamiliar with each other. Add the
fact that they are being forced to play some players who likely are not ready
for the NHL and you have a bottom dwelling team that doesn't know how to win.
The Canucks grabbed the initial lead 7:26 into the contest when Kyle
Burroughs stepped into a shot from the Sharks blueline that beat goaltender
Kaapo Kahkonen. Sharks defenseman Jaycob Megna stepped into Khakonen's sight
line as Burroughs was releasing the puck, partially screening him on the shot.
San Jose tied the game at 1-1 with 3:48 remaining in the 2nd period
when Luke Kunin was hit by a Nick Bonino shot that bounced off his shoulder and
rainbowed over Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demkko and into the Vancouver net.
The Sharks claimed the lead 7:05 into the 3rd period after Burroughs
was sent off for cross checking Kunin. Logan Couture ripped a shot that was
deflected by Canucks defenseman Ethan Bear. The puck changed directions on
Demko, giving Couture his 12th goal of the season.
69 seconds later when Ilya Mikhlyev who fired a deflection of Kahkonen home for
his 6th of the season. The Canucks forced the puck deep in the Sharks zone and
were lurking around the net, when Elias Pettersson tried to force a shot past
Kahkonen from behind the end line. The puck kicked out to the space between teh
slot and the right circle for the put back by Mikhelyev.
Pettersson then helped the Canucks reclaim the lead
at 10:44 when he slipped behind the Sharks defense and tipped home an Oliver
Ekman-Larsson shot from the high slot. It was an example of more
miscommunication by the Sharks, allowing Pettersson to roam freely and pick how
he would attack Kahkonen.
Kunin added his 2nd of the night at 14:45
when he one-timed an Erik Karlsson feed from the left post, beating Demko
through the 5-hole. Karlsson carried the puck up the right wing and fed Kunin
through the slot from the bottom of the right circle. Game Notes:
* The Sharks are battling the injury an illness bug. Goaltender
James Reimer is suffering from a lower body malady, which may explain his
performance on Friday night in Seattle. Mario Ferraro joins Nico Sturm also
with lower body injuries. Jonah Gadjovich has been under the weather.
* With James Reimer on the shelf the Sharks recalled Aaron Dell from the
Barracuda. Defenseman Scott Harrington was also recalled in order to fill th
evoid created by Mario Ferraro's injury.
* Logan Couture and Alexander
Barabanov were both a -4 on the night.
* Kaapo Kahkonen is cementing
his role as a #2 in the league. The Sharks acquired him last season as a
potential replacement for James Reimer, but he's struggled to establish
consistency in net. After giving up 7 goals on 26 shots in Seattle, the
goaltender allowed 4 goals on 20 shots on Sunday night.