If the Sharks learned any lessons from their
6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, they failed to show it on
Thursday night at SAP Center. Hosting the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose carried
a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period. A 2-goal lead against a team they had shutout
in Philadelphia back in October. In what seems to be the season of giving, the
Sharks gave this one away, by allowing the Flyers to tie the game late in
regulation, then losing in overtime. The Sharks really didn't learn a thing.
Finishing off an opponent just isn't in this team's DNA. They are
neither skilled enough nor armed with that killer instinct. This was on full
display against the Flyers.
Tomas Hertl tried to do his part. He
scored a pair of goals which eventually went wasted. His 1st came 9L38 into the
contest, when he gathered an Erik Karlsson pass as he floated between the
circles and snapped a shot that deflected off the right post, beating Flyers
goaltender Samuel Ersson.
Hertl scored his second 8:29 into the 2nd
period on the power play. Hertl loitered around the right post when Timo Meier
sent a pass from the top of the right circle. Hertl gathered Meier's feed and
lifted a shot over Ersson's left pad.
That helped San Jose regain the
lead after Travis Konecky tied the game less than a minute after Hertl's first
goal. Tony DeAngelo fired a shot from the right point, but Koneckny redirected
the shot with a stick blade, beating Kaapo Kahkonen for his 16th goal of the
Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks what appeared to be a comfortable
2-goal lead 52 seconds into the 3rd period. Hertl made it a 3-point night by
sending a rink-wide pass from the right wing boards in front of the penalty
boxes. Labanc collected that pass in front of the Flyers bench then raced in on
net and snapping a shot from the left circle, beating Ersson for his 9th of the
All was well.
Then the Sharks forgot to defend their
lead. Owen Tippett cut the Sharks lead to 3-2 at 5:57 when he slipped between
Hertl and Labanc then one-timed a James van Riemsdyk feed from behind the
Sharks net. Kahkonen appeared to have the left side of the net covered, but
TIppett's net found a seem between the netminder and the left post.
The game's momentum turned at 14:27 when Joel Farabee leveled Labanc with a hit
from behind, sending the Sharks forward head first in to the boards. Labanc lay
on the ice face down for several minutes until San Jose's training staff
The hit should have warranted a 5-minute major penalty,
but a review downgraded the penalty to a boarding minor. That seemed to deflate
the Sharks. They went flat, and made the mistakes that would allow Philadelphia
to slip back into the game.
Flyers head coach John Tortarella pulled Ersson for
the extra attacker which should have cost them when San Jose had a crack a an
empty-net. That chance missed wide right and the inevitable would follow
Konecky would fire a shot on net from the left point
with 2:05 remaining in regulation, hitting Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro in
the shin pad, which deflected the shot past Kahkonen. It was yet another missed
opportunity for a Sharks team that can't seem to leverage its home-ice
The Flyers would win the game when they caught the Sharks
with two of their three defenders deep in the Philadelphia zone. Tippett led
Ivan Provorov with a lead pass up the left wing. When Tomas Hertl tried to take
away the middle of the ice by sliding across the ice, Provorov waited him out
before sliding the puck to the right side where DeAngelo finished it with a
shot past Kahkonen.
And just like that, a 3-1 lead turned into a 4-3
loss. Game Notes
* Erik Karlsson recorded his 50th
point of the season with an assist on Hertl's 2nd goal of the game.
Karlsson's 2 assists also extended both his point and assists streak to 11
* Timo Meier had a team low -3 plus/minus rating for the game.
Meier also led the team with 6 shots on goal.
* The Sharks now hit the
road for 3 games, starting with the Dallas Stars on New Year's Eve. They will
then play the Chicago Blackhawks on New Year's Day, before wrapping up their
trip in Anaheim on January 6th