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Sharks let a W slip through their hands in SoCal
Anaheim mounts 3rd period comeback and wins it in OT
1/31/2024 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks have been feeling pretty good about themselves lately. Winners in 4 of their last 5 games, they found a way to cough up a 5th win to close out the season by failing to hold a 3rd period lead, then allowing the Anaheim Ducks to beat them in overtime on a turnover and missed defensive coverage. The 3-2 loss was the last game for San Jose until February 14th when they return from the All Star break.

Losing in overtime salvaged a point, but these games shouldn't about standings points for San Jose. They need to learn how to hold leads and overcome adversity for future seasons. This team doesn't have the firepower to compete in the playoffs, not are they anywhere close to being able to qualifying this season, so their play needs to be an emphasis on playing the right way and playing to convert 3rd period leads into victories.

Their inexperience and talent holes cost them this game against another team that has no playoff aspirations this season. It was a winnable game, but they figured out a way to lose.

The Ducks made a pair of early attempts to force pucks past goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen from the doorstep. Their first attempt was waved off as Kahkonen had the puck covered, but the next chance ended with Isac Lundestrom pushing a puck across the goal line with a foot in the crease. The Sharks had a pair of defenders standing right next to Lundestrom, including Anthony Duclair who failed to tie up the Duck' stick.

The Sharks answered just under 5 minutes later when Anthony Duclair pushed a puck across the goal line while the Sharks were on the power play. Brett Leason helped get the Sharks on the man advantage by tripping Filip Zadina. Duclair made his deposit off a rebound after Shakir Mukhamadullin fired a shot from the point. The rookie defenseman earned his 1st NHL point with the primary assist.

Neither team seem too inspired to try and break the tie in the 2nd period. The teams traded a handful of shots until Marc-Edouard Vlasic pumped a shot past Gibson just over 2 minutes remaining in the frame. The tally gave Vlasic goals in 3 straight games and 5 in his last 9 contests.

The Ducks just missed tying the game 2 minutes into the 3rd period when Urho Vaakanainen rang a shot off the right post.

William Eklund was called for hooking at 5:08 to setup the Ducks 3rd power play opportunity of the game. San Jose went a perfect 3-for-3 on the kill to preserve the lead.

Anaheim turned up the heat with 12 minutes to play in regulation. The two teams would trade power play chances with under 10 minutes to play, but neither team would score.

The Ducks pulled Gibson with 1:20 to play and Anaheim would convert with the extra attacker with 61 seconds left in regulation when Troy Terry punched home a rebound from just outside the left post.

In the overtime, the Sharks had their chances, but a turnover on a zone entry play and the failure of Duclair to get back defensively ended up in the Sharks goal.

Game Notes:

* Shakir Mukhamadullin has been making it hard for the Sharks to return him to the AHL, but they'll need to do it for at least one more game as the rookie defenseman was added the AHL All Star roster on Wednesday. The San Jose Barracuda will host the NHL All Star game on February 5th.

* Reports suggest that Tomas Hertl will attend the NHL All Star weekend, but is not likely to play in the game.

* Alexander Barabanov was injured in the 2nd period after getting tied up with Radko Gudas. He did not return after sustaining what looked like a lower body injury.

* Nikita Okhotiuk took a shot off the knee in the 3rd period and had to be helped off the ice. He would return later in the period, but the proximity of the injury made for some tense moments.

* Anthony Duclair and William Eklund were both a -2 on the night. Duclair in particular struggled in a number of facets of the game all night.


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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 1 1 0 0 2
ANA 1 0 1 1 3
1st period - 1, ANA, Lundestrom 2 (McTavish, Silfverberg), 2:12. 2, SJ, Duclair 9 (Mukhamadullin, Hoffman), 6:59, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Vlasic 5 (Burroughs, Eklund), 17:57.
3rd period - 4, ANA, Terry 15 (Carlsson, Henrique), 18:59.
Overtime - 5, ANA, Vatrano 22 (Terry, Lacombe), 4:07.
1st period - Leason, ANA (tripping), 5:44; Strome, ANA (high sticking), 11:19; Addison, SJ (slashing), 14:34; Mukhamadullin, SJ (tripping), 18:47.
2nd period - Kunin, SJ (roughing), 19:19; Gudas, ANA (roughing), 19:19.
3rd period - Eklund, SJ (hooking), 5:08; Johnston, ANA (cross checking), 13:02; Johnston, ANA (10 min misconduct), 13:02; Bench, SJ (too many men), 15:12.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
SJ - Kahkonen 34 31
ANA - Gibson 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 13 6 7 2 28
ANA 8 8 15 3 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 3
ANA 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Frank Vatrano
Troy Terry
Isac Ludestrom
Honda Center - 15,654
Referees: #3 Chris Schlenker, #18 Tom Chmielewski. Linesmen: #79 Kiel Murchison, #67 Travis Gawryletz.

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