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Post break thumping
Sharks late to the party in 6-2 loss
12/27/2022 - By Mike Lee

The NHL's Christmas break allows player and coaches to recharge their batteries over a league imposed 4-day holiday. The Sharks last played on December 22nd, but from the looks of it on Tuesday night, they may have been in a coma the last 2 years. San Jose resumed pay with a quick trip to Vancouver, sleep-walking through a 6-2 pasting by the host Canucks.

Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson provided the Sharks their offense, but nobody in a Sharks sweater played defense. That turned this one more of a lesson than a game. The Canucks scored a pair of goals in each of the three periods, in a game that was never close.

The Canucks grabbed a 1-0 lead 4:26 into the game on a Bo Horvet shot from just outside the left post. Vancouver rushed the zone, but Mario Ferraro appeared to have stepped in front of an Ilya Mikheyev pass, but Tomas Hertl tried to gather it and deflected it over to Horvat who was set on the left side.

Elias Pettersson pushed the lead to 2-0 with just under 4 minutes to play in the period. Luke Schenn pumped a shot on net from the right point, but Sharks netminder James Reimer knocked down the scoring attempt. Former Sharks prospect Lane Pederson took a couple of hacks at the rebound before it slid over to the right side where Pettersson took advantage of Reimer, who had lost his stick.

Pederson helped the Sharks later in the period by taking a slashing penalty with 61 seconds left. Timo Meier converted on the ensuing power play by taping home a long Erik Karlsson pass from the high slot. Meier was lurking around the left post when Karlsson found him by whipping the puck through traffic. The goal came with 50.8 seconds left before the 1st intermission.

Mikheyev scored at 4:36 of the 2nd period after the Sharks had just killed a nick Bonino holding penalty. Matt Benning was hit in the skate with a Canucks shot and could not get off the ice as he hobbled around the ice trying to defend. The Canucks worked the puck back into the Sharks zone then simply put the puck where there was nobody around to defend.

Quinn Hughes scored his 1st of the season at 6:16 by walking in on Reimer as 4 defenders stood motionless, watching him walk the puck around the perimeter, before skating in on the left side and roofing a shot past Reimer for the 4-1 lead.

The Sharks lack of offensive production was accented by an attempt by Alexander Barabanov late in the period. The Sharks forward has a wide open net, but the puck rolled off his stick negating the chance. Tomas Hertl had a look at a wide open net in the 3rd period, but he was checked off the puck as he tried to setup a shot attempt.

Horvat added his 2nd of the game at 12:11 on a blast from the right side that eluded Reimer for the Canuck forward's 26th goal of the season.

Meier added his 20th goal of the season 2 minutes later with a shot from the left side. Karlsson steamed up the ice, veering toward the right post before sliding the puck over to Meier on the off wing for a quick shot that beat Canucks goaltender Spencer Martin through the 5-hole.

Brock Boeser capped the game's scoring with his 6th of the season at 6:16. Boeser sat unattended on the right dot as Horvat fed him the puck from the end boards. The Canucks forward gathered Horvat's pass, sized up Reimer and snapped a shot to the upper left corner of the net as the Sharks goaltender could only waive at it.

Father time was merciful, as he ran out the clock before Vancouver could apply any more to the lesson plan.

Game Notes:

* Tomas Hertl made his return to the lineup after serving his 2-game suspension for high sticking Elias Lindholm in a loss to the Calgary Flames on December 18th. With the holiday break tacked onto the end of the suspension, Hertl went 10 days between games.

* The goal by Timo Meier extended his goal scoring streak to 5 consecutive games. Meier has 7 goals in his last 8 games. With his assist on the goal, Erik Karlsson extended his points and assists streak to 10 games. That is the longest in Sharks history for a defenseman.

* Matt Benning took a shot to the skate during a 2nd period Canucks power play. He would miss the final 15 minutes of the frame then tried to test the ankle at the start of the 3rd period. That lasted all of one shift before he called it a night.

* Nick Bonino, Jaycob Megna, Mario Ferraro, Tomas Hertl, and Noah Gregor all finished the game with -3 outings.

* James Reimer's stats line took a beating in this one. 6 goals on 25 shots. Most of them were not his fault, but his statistics take the brunt of this one.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 0 1 2
VAN 2 2 2 6
1st period - 1, VAN Horvat 25 (Mikheyev, Boeser), 4:26. 2, VAN, Pettersson 16 (Pederson, Schenn), 16:03. 3, SJ, Meier 19 (Karlsson, Barabanov), 19:09, (pp).
2nd period - 4, VAN, Mikheyev 12 (Kuzmenko, Myers), 4:36. 5, VAN, Hughes 1 (Mikheyev, Horvat), 6:16.
3rd period - 6, VAN, Horvat 26 (Boeser), 12:11. 7, SJ, Meier 20 (Karlsson), 14:33. 8, VAN, Boeser 6 (Horvat, Mikheylev), 17:32.
1st period - Schenn, VAN (interference), 8:07; Pederson, VAN (slashing), 18:59.
2nd period - Bonino, SJ (holding), 2:06.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Reimer 25 19
VAN - Martin 26 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 6 11 26
VAN 10 7 8 25
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 2
VAN 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Bo Horvat
Ilya Mikheyev
Spencer Martin
Rogers Arena - 18,875
Referees: #24 Graham Skilliter, #49 Reid Anderson . Linesmen: #56 Julien Fournier, #79 Kiel Murchison .

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