The Sharks have endured some gut-punch losses
this season. They took one in the lower extremities on Friday night as the
Carolina Hurricanes overcame a 2-goal deficit with 1:37 to play, then beat the
hapless Sharks with a goal in overtime to take a wild 5-4 win in Raleigh.
Putting teams away is certainly not a strong suit for the Sharks this
season, but a 2-goal lead that late in the contest is something an NHL team
should be able to protect. The Hurricanes do have the 2nd best record in the
NHL, but Carolina played a flat game for 58 minutes. The Sharks should not have
lost this game. Period.
The Sharks grabbed 1-0 lead 15:10 into the
game when Oskar Lindblom tipped an Evgeny Svechnikov shot. The Sharks had just
entered the Hurricanes zone when Svechnikov grabbed a loose puck and whipped a
shot on net from the top of the right circle. Lindblom had floated out in front
of the Carolina net near the right post, where he got a stick blade on
Svechnikov's shot, beating goaltender Antti Raanta for his 5th of the season.
Carolina answered 2:23 later when Calvin De Haan fired a shot off a
long rebound past James Reimer. Dylan Coghlan sent a shot in on net from the
space between the right circle and the blueline, which Reimer easily handled.
After the puck kicked out to the left wing boards, Reimer slid to his right to
cover off the left side of the net. De Haan's shot found a seam between the
netminder and the left post to even the game at 1-1.
Nico Sturm was
sent off for tripping 8:45 into the 2nd period and Reimer needed to stand up a
pair of nice scoring chances for Carolina. The Sharks goaltender did his job to
keep the game squared at 1-1.
The Sharks would deny the Hurricanes any
scoring in the middle frame, but an iffy interference penalty on Sturm with 29
seconds left in the period setup a big advantage for Carolina to start the 3rd
Carolina only needed 17 seconds to push the go-ahead goal past
Reimer to start the period. Former Shark forward Stefan Noesen carried the puck
over the blueline on the right wing, then slid a pass to the slot where
Sebastian redirected with an outstretched stick. The puck made a 45 degree
change of direction and slipped between Reimer's pads for the 2-1 Carolina
The Sharks re-tied the game at 6:50 when Mikey Eyssimont evaded
a check along the right wing boards at the Hurricanes blueline, and slid the
puck to his left when Nick Bonino collected it. Bonino drove to the net with
Brett Pesce draped on his left, but he lifted a shot that beat Raanta for his
9th goal of the season.
Brady Skjei was called for tripping Timo Meier
at 8:47 to setup the Sharks 2nd power play of the night. The Sharks would not
score on the power play, but the ice began to tilt in San Jose's favor.
Eyssimont scored his 1st goal as a Shark 28 seconds after Skjei's penalty
expired. The waiver claim grabbed a pass from Sturm and circled around the top
of the right circle and whipped a shot from the top, beating Raanta to give the
Sharks the 3-2 lead.
Mario Ferraro sent a shot the length of the ice
from the front of his own net into the Carolina goal for the empty-net tally.
That appeared to give the Sharks the game, but Carolina had other ideas.
Aho scored with 1:37 left in regulation to once again make it a 1-goal
game. The Sharks defense simply fell asleep, allowing the Hurricanes All Star
forward to slip into the San Jose zone uncontested. He took a stride down the
slot and snapped a shot that bear Reimer for his 20th goal of the season.
San Jose still had 1:37 to kill, but they couldn't
do it. Martin Necas beat Reimer with 12.1 seconds left with a shot from the
left side to tie the game.
In the overtime, Logan Couture carried the
puck up the ice and elected to take a shot from the high slot that never had a
chance. The puck kicked over to the left corner and for some reason Couture and
Eyssimont elected to chase it.
Carolina pushed it up ice for a 2-on-1
break that ended with Necas scoring 55 seconds into the extra period.
* Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Jonah Gadjovich were both
scratched for illnesses.
* Jacob MacDonald made his Sharks debut on
the blueline for San Jose. The native of Portland, Oregon will wear number 9
for the Sharks.