When the Sharks have lapses in focus, they pay
for it. Case in point was the start of their 3rd period against the Calgary
Flames on Sunday night at SAP Center. A dumb penalty, and an absence of
defensive presence netted the Flames 3 goals in the blink of an eye and the
Sharks would fall on home ice for the 14th time in 17 games this season by a
The Sharks don't have the talent to compete with many teams
in the NHL, so they need to be more focused than their opponents. It's been an
all too frequent occurrence where a lack of focus bites them in the back side.
A close game turned on a dime on Sunday, and the Sharks are left to wonder why
they can't get it done on home ice.
Calgary took advantage of a major
gaff by defenseman Jaycob Megna, who flated a pass diagonally through his own
zone, which Tyler Toffoli stepped in front of and promptly deposited past
goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen. Megna tried to move the puck after picking it off
the left wing boards, but with a Flames defender closing on him he rushed the
pass and partially whiffed on it, allowing it to trickle to Toffoli, who had an
unimpeded path to the net.
Adam Ruzicka was sent off at 11:06 after he
tripped defenseman Erik Karlsson, which set up an equalizing goal 5 seconds
later. Karlsson faked a shot from the left point and as his stick blade
approached the puck, he opted to pass to Timo Meier on the right side for the
one-time chance that beat Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
was Meier's 16th of the season, but the assist turned out to be more notable.
It was Karlsson's 700th career point.
The Flames got a big break 6
minutes into the 2nd period when a Milan Lucic shot clipped Nick Bonino in the
high slot, then bounced off Karlsson's thigh pad and into the Sharks net. The
goal was Lucic's 1st of the season.
Jonthan Huberdeau was sent off for
slashing at 18:09, but the Sharks could not generate much on the ensuing power
play. 9 seconds of the penalty carried over to the 3rd period, but the flames
baited Tomas Hertl into a boneheaded penalty 6 seconds into the final frame.
The Flames used that penalty to maul the Sharks for 3 goals in a 2
minute span. Elias Lindholm scored his 10th goal just 10 seconds into the Hertl
penalty, firing a shot from the right side past Kahkonen.
would add his second goal of the game 19 seconds later. The Sharks defenders
all leaned to the right side when Rasmus Andersson sent a pass through the slot
to Lindholm on the left side for a one-time chance that beat Kahkonen to push
the Flames lead to 4-1.
Dillon Dube put the game away on a terrible
play by Kahkonen 1:35 later. Nazim Kadri dumped the puck into the Sharks zone,
lofting it on net. Kahkonen tried to glove it, but it bounced over to the left
side where Dube swooped in and fired it into the Sharks net.
Tomas Hertl scored a power play goal at 7:56 after
Lindholm was sent off tripping.
Sharks head coach David Quinn pulled
Kahkonen for an extra attacker with 4:45 to play after Jonathan Huberdeau was
sent to the penalty box for interference. Kevin Labanc forced a change of plans
after he was whistled for interfering with Markstrom.
It was all for
naught as the Sharks had no answer for Markstrom late. Game Notes:
* Matt Nieto made his return to the lineup after missing the last
4 games. Luke Kunin took his place on the injured reserve.
Gilbert and Jonah Gadjovich squared off in the middle of the 2nd period in an
epic fight. The Sharks forward leveled Gilbert with a right that caught the
defenseman squarely, sending him to the locker room for some maintenance.
* PEr Darin Stephens, Erik Karlsson is one of 4 NHL defensemen since
1993-94 to score 40 points in a season's first 33 games (John Carlson 45 in
2019-20, Brian Leetch 41 in 2000-01 and Bryan McCabe 40 in 2005-06).
Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin finished the game each a +4. Every Shark
except for Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Kevin Labanc finished with at least a -1
in the game. There was no shortage of goats in this one.
* San Jose
out-hit Calgary 26-23. Small victories.