The countdown to the off-season struck 9 games
remaining, as the Sharks returned home on Tuesday night to host the Winnipeg
Jets. Clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, one would
have expected the Jets to turn in a more desperate effort. Instead, they
dropped a 3-0 decision to San Jose, who won on home ice for only the 7th time
Perhaps the notion of playing for nothing more than the
right to play put all the pressure on Winnipeg. The Jets were flat all night
and let San Jose dictate most of the night.
James Reimer made 41 saves
to earn his 28th career shutout and the 3rd this season.
San Jose won
the 1st period with a lone goal, scored midway through the frame. Noah Gregor
converted his 5th goal of the season on a shot from the top of the crease after
Jacob Peterson made a feed from behind the Winnipeg net. Peterson fooled
everyone with a move toward the right post, before changing directions and
sliding the puck out front from the left pipe.
The Jets out-shot San
Jose 15-12 in the period, but had nothing to show for their efforts. A Kevin
Stenlund hooking penalty 6 minutes into the 2nd period setup the sharks 2nd
power play of the evening. The league's 27th best (or 6th worst) power play in
the league played true to form, never challenging Jets goaltender Connor
Mason Appleton had James Reimer dead to rights late in the
period when he tried getting a one-time chance off from the left side. The puck
handcuffed Appleton, but he was still able to get a shot off. Positioned with a
skate outside the crease, Reimer had to reach back and block Appleton's shot
with his paddle to preserve the lead.
San Jose doubled up their lead
2:23 into the 3rd period after Kevin Labanc deflected a Nico Sturm shot. Sturm
fired the puck in on net from the right wing boards, even with the dot. Labanc
was cutting in front of Hellebuyck when he altered the direction of Sturm's
shot for his 13th goal of the season.
The Sharks made things interesting by taking
separate penalties 3 minutes apart to provide opportunities for the Jets to get
back into the game.
Josh Morrissey took a tripping penalty with 3:31
to play and the Sharks promptly gave up a pair of short-handed chances. Martin
Kaut would make everyone forget about those miscues when he deposited his 4th
goal of the season before Morrissey's penalty expired to push San Jose's lead
Erik Karlsson earned the secondary assist on Kaut's goal,
giving him 91 points this season. He has 8 games to record the 9 points he
needs to eclipse the 100-point mark. Game Notes:
Jets had to be scoreboard watching as the Calgary Flames entered play 4 points
behind Winnipeg for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Calgary
defeated Los Angeles 2-1.
* Recently signed forward and forward
Harvard University captain, Henry Thrun participated in the pre-game warm up,
but was a scratch. Thrun inked a 2-year deal with San Jose after he was
acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline.
Svechnikov missed his 5th consecutive game as he nurses an injury
The Sharks recalled left wing Jeffrey Viel. The forward did play, logging 7:43
of ice time on 13 shifts. He made the most of his limited ice time, recording 2
shots on goal, 3 hits and a blocked shot.
* Alexander Barabanov was a
scratch for the third time this season.