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No love from officials in loss
Two questionable officiating misses costs SJ in 3-1 loss to Pens
2/14/2023 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks returned to SAP Center ice for the first time since January 18th, squaring off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. A game after Penguins captain Sydney Crosby was ejected for the first time in his NHL career, Pittsburgh capitalized on a pair of blatant officiating misses that resulted in two goals. They would go on to add to San Jose's loss total by taking a tainted 3-1 victory to end their West Coast swing.

The game was an about face from the 10 goal marathon that the two teams turned in back on January 28th. Goals that were un-aided by shoddy officiating where at a premium. That's not something that has benefited the Sharks this season. Every little mistake, by a player in a Sharks sweater, or a striped shirt, seems to bite san Jose this season. Tuesday night's affair was no exception.

Rickard Rakell staked the Penguins to a 1-0 lead 5:52 into the contest after the Penguins held the offensive zone for 40 seconds. Rakell found himself with the puck after Jeff Petry bounced a chance off goaltender Aaron Dell. The Penguins right wing, gathered a deflection from a spot just outside the right post and lifted it past Dell, who was turned around in the crease after getting bumped by Rakell moments earlier.

Sharks head coach David Quinn elected not to challenge the play, allowing Pittsburgh to retain their lead.

The Sharks threw plenty of rubber at Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith, out-shooting Pittsburgh 10-9 and 17-12 respectively through the fist two periods.

Pittsburgh took advantage of another officiating gaff midway through the 2nd period. During a play in front of the San Jose net, Sharks captain Logan Couture caught a high stick to the head by Jake Guentzel as the Penguins carried the puck to the net. Couture went down in a heap in front of the goal and defenseman Mario Ferraro was tracking Sydney Crosby who carried the puck behind the net from right to left.

Guentzel setup on the right post where Crosby flipped a backhand pass to him from the end boards. After collecting Crosby's feed, Guentzel threw the puck at Dell, hitting him in the skate for the deflection into the Sharks net.

Quinn didn't even have the opportunity to challenge the play, because missed penalties are not reviewable.

Timo Meier made things interesting with 4:03 to play when he grabbed a turnover in the Sharks zone, then steamed up the left wing before sliding the puck between Casey DeSmith's pads for his 31st goal of the season. Meier had defenseman Marcus Pettersson riding his right shoulder as he maneuvered the puck with one hand.

The Sharks pulled Dell with a minute to play, but couldn't bag the equalizer. Guentzel would add an empty netter to finish off the Sharks.

Game Notes:

* Logan Couture played in his 900th career NHL game. His 800th game also came against the Penguins back on January 2nd of 2022.

* The Sharks recalled Eetu Makiniemi earlier in the day, replacing Kaapo Kahkonen, who was hit in the head in the Sharks win over Washington on Sunday. Both Kahkonen and James Reimer were injury scratches on Tuesday night.

* Kevin Labanc returned to the lineup for the first time since January 27th. It was revealed that Labanc's father was placed in an induced coma around Thanksgiving.

* Timo Meier led all skaters with 7 shots on goal. San Jose out-shot Pittsburgh in the game 39-28.

* The announced attendance was only 13,534, which shouldn't be surprising given it was Valentine's Day. Not sure the schedulers were thinking about this one.


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1 2 3 T
PIT 1 1 1 3
SJ 0 0 1 1
1st period - 1, PIT, Rakell 19 (Petry, Crosby), 5:52.
2nd period - 2, PIT, Guentzel 22 (Crosby, Rakell), 11:33.
3rd period - 3, SJ, Meier 31 (unassisted), 15:57. 4, PIT, Guentzel 23 (Crosby), 19:22, (en).
1st period - Bonino, SJ (hooking), 12:42.
2nd period - Couture, SJ (holding), 3:51; Carter, PIT (tripping), 8:13; Gregpr, SJ (tripping), 16:36; Rakell, PIT (slashing), 19:25.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
PIT - DeSmith 39 38
SJ - Dell 26 24
SJ - empty net 1 0
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
PIT 9 12 6 27
SJ 10 17 12 39
Power Play Conversion
PIT 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Casey DeSmith
Sydney Crosby
Aaron Dell
SAP Center - 13,534
Referees: #39 Brandon Blandina, #24 Graham Skilliter. Linesmen: #77 Caleb Apperson, #76 Michel Cormier.

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