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Sharks play well, still fall
New Jersey ties it with 8.6 seconds left in regulation, wins in the SO
1/16/2022 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks came with 8.6 seconds of recording arguably their best win of the season. Unfortunately, the game is a 60 minute affair, and they failed to finish off the New Jersey Devils at SAP Center on Monday afternoon in a special holiday matinee. The Devils threw the kitchen sink at the Sharks in a closing stages of regulation and bagged the equalizer at 3-3 with less than 9 seconds on the clock. Neither team could score in overtime, but the Devils were a lone goal better than San Jose in the shootout to steal a 4-3 win.

San Jose lost for the 19th time in 23 tries on home ice this season, which adds to the Sharks woes. After getting shelled by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, the Sharks had something to prove to themselves. It looked as if they missed the bus at the start but collected themselves after a strange intermission.

If you blinked at the start of the game, you missed Ryan Graves putting a puck past James Reimer just 29 seconds into the contest. The Sharks overplayed a puck in the Devils zone off the opening faceoff. The Devils jumped on a 2-on-1 chance with Erik Karlsson left back to defend the rush. Nico Hischier was stood up by Karlsson, but he slid a pass over to the left side, where Graves was cutting. The forward collected it and snapping a shot past Reimer who has his back to left corner.

San Jose regrouped after the early goal and actually controlled play for the remainder of the period that was played.

A crack in the dasher board behind the Sharks goal forced on-ice officials to end the period with 3:59 to play because of the facilities issue. The yellow plate was quickly replaced, but the teams were forced to the locker rooms early.

After a regular 15 minute intermission, the teams returned to the ice to finish out the period. That turned out to be a very good 4 minutes for San Jose.

Timo Meier tied the game at 16:44 when Mikey Eyssimont carried the puck up the slot and dished it to his left. Devils goaltender Vitek Vanacek setup at the top of the crease to defense Eyssimont, and was late to cover the left side of the net where Meier redirected the puck for his 25th goal of the season.

The Devils were called for too many men with 70 seconds left in the frame, and San Jose pounced on the man advantage. Erik Karlsson gathered a Meier feed, then picked a shooting lane from the high slot and snapped a shot past Vanacek to give the Sharks the 2-1 lead.

After the horn sounded signifying the end of the period, the ice was given a dry scrape, and the 2nd period immediately commenced. A Matt Benning interference penalty was killed by San Jose.

The Sharks didn't play poorly in the middle period, although the shot differential suggested much different story. New Jersey held a 16-6 advantage in shots in the frame, although San Jose had more chances in the last 4 minutes of the period.

The 3rd period started much like the 1st, with the Devils blitzing Reimer in the opening seconds to score a goal. Nico Hischier was the trailer on a 3-on-2 break which afforded him an uncontested shot from the slot that beat Reimer for his 20th of the season.

Jack Hughes took a high sticking penalty at 3:52, which played a part in Nick Bonino's 6th goal of the season. Bonino gathered an Eyssimont feed as he sat parked in front of the Devils net, before spinning 270 degrees to his left and whipping a shot between Vanacek's pads. The goal came 4 seconds after Hughes penalty had expired, but it essentially came with the mad advantage as Hughes was unable to help defend.

With time winding down under 5 minutes, the Devils really put their foot on the gas. They got a little too pumped when they sent 6 skaters out, drawing a too many men penalty with 3:19 remaining in regulation.

The Sharks fell 8.6 short as Jack Hughes converted with an extra attacker after his shot deflected off Karlsson's stick and past Reimer. It was an unfitting end for one of the best performances by the Sharks of the season.

Karlsson committed an egregious turnover in the overtime period that almost ended up in the Sharks net, but Reimer defended a break away chance. Eyssimont missed on a golden chance at the other end of the rink. At the end of the extra 5 minute frame, neither team could score.

In the shootout, Nick Bonino, Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov all missed on their chances. Tomas Tatar scored as the Devils first shooter, which is all New Jersey needed to send San Jose to their 32nd loss of the season.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks announced they will host a Sharks legends game on February 24th at Tech CU Arena, which comes the night before Patrick Marleau's jersey will be retired. Tickets will go on sale to the public on January 20th.

* Kevin Labanc was scratched in favor of Noah Gregor, who voiced displeasure with this lack of playing time through the media earlier this week. Labanc had recorded 7 points in his last 10 games, which made the timing of the move odd.

* Sharks Equipment Manager Mike Aldrich was recognized for working his 2000th NHL game. Aldrich has been with the Sharks for 27 years.

* Erik Karlsson's 1st period goal was his 200th point as a Shark.

* Timo Meier led all skaters with 8 shots on goal. Jack Hughes led New Jersey with 7 shots.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
NJ 1 0 2 0 1 4
SJ 2 0 1 0 0 3
1st period - 1, NJ, Graves 5 (Hischier, Sharangovich), 0:29. 2, SJ, Meier 25 (Eyssimont, Karlsson), 16:44. 3, SJ, Karlsson 14 (Meier, Hertl), 19:56, (pp).
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, NJ, Hischier 20 (Palat, Bratt), 0:11. 5, Bonino 6 (Eyssimont, Benning), 5:56. 6, NJ, Hughes 29 (unassisted), 19:51.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Bonino (miss), Couture (miss), Barabanov (miss). NJ: Tatar (goal), Bratt (miss).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Bench, NJ (too many men), 18:50; Benning, SJ (interference), 2:29.
3rd period - Hughes, NJ (high sticking), 3:52; Bench, NJ (too many men), 16:41.
Overtime - Tatar, NJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 2:46; Eyssimont, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 2:46.
Shots Saves
NJ - Vanacek 32 29
SJ - Reimer 41 38
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
NJ 4 16 17 4 41
SJ 13 6 10 3 32
Power Play Conversion
NJ 0 of 1
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Timo Meier
Michael Eyssimont
Nico Hischier
SAP Center - 13,293
Referees: #30 Kendrick Nicholson, #33 Kevin Pollock. Linesmen: #51 Andrew Smith, #81 Ryan Daisy.

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