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Not so special team drops 10th straight
Power play and penalty kill fall short in 2-1 loss to Winnipeg
1/4/2024 - By Mike Lee

The NHL's 19th ranked power play and 28th ranked penalty kill played like it on Thursday night and that would mean an unfavorable outcome for the San Jose Sharks. Going 0-for-2 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill was lethal as the Sharks fell 2-1 to the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center. The Sharks not-so-special teams fell short as it has all season and that would extend the Sharks losing streak to 10 games.

It was the second time this season that San Jose has strung together 10 or more consecutive losses. They opened the season 0-10-1, and are one loss from matching that dubious start.

On the bright side. The Sharks held one of the better teams in the league to a single 5-on-5 goal. The defense has been nothing short of leaky the last 2 weeks, so better containment is a move in the right direction.

Josh Morrissey was called for a hooking penalty at 8:19 of the 2nd period, which was the only infraction called through the first 40 minutes of the game. The Sharks would not score on the power play chance, but Alexander Barabanov converted 7 seconds after the penalty expired.

William Eklund carried the puck up the left side then slid a pass to this right. Barabanov was trailing near the left circle and a quick release after receiving Eklund's feed beat Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck with his 3rd tally of the season.

Winnipeg answered 82 seconds later when Morgan Barron redirected a Neal Pionk shot while jostling in front of the Sharks net. Pionk unleashed his attempt from the top of the right circle, firing it at a slew of bodies out in front of MacKenzie Blackwood. Barron's deflection was agonizingly slow, but Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was late to get a stick on it before it crossed the goal line.

Filip Zadina made things increasingly more complicated for the Sharks at 2:03 when he hooked Adam Lowry in front of the Sharks net. Winnipeg converted on the ensuing power play when Gabriel Vilardi tapped home a pass from Nikolaj Ehlers. Vilardi was parked on the left post and dunked the punk home after Ehlers hit him from the top of the right circle.

Mark Scheifele was called for hooking at 8:54. San Jose's special teams play was par for the season, failing to convert when it counted the most.

The Sharks threw everything they had at Hellebuyck in the final minutes, but the big goaltender denied them. Winnipeg would out-shoot the Sharks in that 3rd period 13-12, but it was that one additional shot that did the Sharks in.

Game Notes:

* Tomas Hertl was named an NHL All Star on Thursday afternoon. This will mark Hertl's 2nd appearance in an All Star Game.

* The Sharks announced that Matt Benning underwent successful hip surgery. The defenseman will be sidelined for the remainder of the season, although he is expected to be ready for training camp in September. Benning will have missed 56 games this season.

* Kyle Burroughs, Kevin Labanc and Nikita Okhotiuk were all scratched. Burroughs has missed 2 of the last 3 games. It was the 4th consecutive scratch for Labanc.

* Fabian Zetterlund led San Jose with 4 shots on goal. The Sharks had 4 skaters with 3 shots on goal.

* San Jose dominated the faceoff circle, winning 32 of 46 draws for a 70% win rate.


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1 2 3 T
WPG 0 1 1 2
SJ 0 1 0 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Barabanov 3 (Eklund, Emberson), 10:26. 2, WPG, Barron 8 (Pionk, Dillon), 11:45.
3rd period - 3, WPG, Vilardi 8 (Ehlers, Scheifele), 3:13, (pp).
1st period - None.
2nd period - Morrissey, WPG (hooking), 8:19.
3rd period - Zadina, SJ (hooking), 2:03; Scheifele, WPG (hooking), 8:54.
Shots Saves
WPG - Hellebuyck 28 27
SJ - Blackwood 30 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
WPG 10 7 13 30
SJ 6 10 12 28
Power Play Conversion
WPG 1 of 1
SJ 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Connor Hellebuyck
Mackenzie Blackwood
Gabriel Vilardi
SAP Center - 10,521
Referees: #8 Francois StLaurent, #28 Chris Lee. Linesmen: #84 Ryan Jackson, #77 Caleb Apperson.

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