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Timo Meier returns to the desolation of SAP
Devils handle Sharks in 7-2 white washing
2/27/2024 - By Mike Lee

As the NHL Trade deadline approaches, some Sharks are rehearsing for a possible move to a team trying to round out their rosters for the playoffs. Some of those Sharks are either unaware of the audition or they're willingly trying to avoid a trade by playing at a level unworthy of an NHLer. After taking a 1-0 lead against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at SAP Center, then promptly allowed the Devils to score 7 straight goal en route to a 7-2 loss.

It was just under a year ago when San Jose shipped arguably their best forward to New Jersey in a mass player swap. With many of those players participating in Tuesday's contest, it was clear that New Jersey is a few steps ahead of San Jose in terms of roster development.

Sharks goaltender and former Devil Mackenzie Blackwood started the game and kept New Jersey off the scoreboard for the majority of the opening period, but he was replaced by Kaapo Kahkonen with 2:26 remaining in the frame. Blackwood stopped all 13 shots he faced.

With Blackwood and Kahkonen doing their thing Nico Sturm helped the Sharks crack the score sheet with 1:43 left in the period. The German forward went hard to the net and redirected an Alexander Barabanov feed from in front of the right post. It was the 41st time this season that New Jersey has allowed the game's first goal.

It also broke a 7-game pointless streak for Barabanov, who has been mentioned in trade rumors as the NHL trade deadline quickly approaches.

San Jose blinked at the start of the 2nd period and their 1-0 lead turned into a 2-1 deficit after New Jersey scored a pair of goals 37 seconds apart.

Jesper Bratt tapped home a Timo Meier feed after the former Shark drew a pair of defenders over to the right side. Bratt trailed on the off wing and easily deposited Meier's feed for his 22nd goal of the season at 3:29.

Jack Hughes then beat Kahkonen on a breakaway chance at 4:06 to give the Devils the lead.

Meier appeared to give the Devils a 2-goal lead by scoring on the power play with 8:10 remaining in the period. San Jose challenged the play for offside, which was confirmed to negate Meier's tally.

Kevin Bahl gave the Devils that 2-goal lead at 13:07 when he ripped a shot from the inside of the left circle to beat Kahkonen with his 1st goal of the season.

Colin Miller put the game out of reach 2:40 into the 3rd period by snapping a shot from right side that slipped past Kahkonen's stick side.

Defenseman Brendan Smith made it a 5-1 game at 5:01 with a blast from the blueline that Kahkonen simply missed. The Sharks goaltender was either late to pick up the puck or didn't see it off Smith's stick at all.

The Sharks seemed to throw in the towel at that point. Dawson Mercer added his 16th goal of the season at 6:57 with a shot from the inside of the right circle. Mercer floated to a soft spot 18 feet out, and waited for Jack Hughes to set him up with the feed.

Hischier capped his big 4-point night with a goal at 7:57. The Devils forward gathered a BRatt feed at center ice before carrying the puck to the inside of the left circle. He uncorked a shot at Nikita Okhotiuk laid him out with a hit on the follow through. As was the case with almost every other Devils goal, Kahkonen seemed late to recognize the trajectory of the shot.

Justin Bailey scored his 5th goal of the season with 7:27 remaining in regulation, firing a shot from the left side that beat Devils goaltender Nico Daws.

Game Notes:

* The sparse crowd of 10,982, or at least those who actually showed up gave Timo Meier a nice ovation as the former Shark made his first appearance at SAP Center since being traded to New Jersey last March.

* Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed his second consecutive game as he deals with an injury.

* Givani Smith and Calend Addison were healthy scratches.

* Ty Emberson and Nikita Okhotiuk were both a -3 on the night. San Jose was a collective -25 in the game.

* Jack Hughes recorded 11 shots on goal in the contest. San Jose had 31 shots as a team. New Jersey recorded 44 shots in total


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1 2 3 T
NJ 0 3 4 7
SJ 1 0 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Sturm 4 (Barabanov), 18:17.
2nd period - 2, NJ, Bratt 22 (Meier, Hischier), 3:29. 3, NJ, J. Hughes 19 (unassisted), 4:08. 4, NJ, Bahl 1 (Hischier, J. Hughes), 13:07.
3rd period - 5, NJ, Miller 3 (Hischier, Meier), 2:40. 6, NJ, Smith 3 (Palat, Tierney), 5:01. 7, NJ, Mercer 16 (J. Hughes, Marino), 6:57. 8, NJ, Hischier 20 (Bratt), 7:57. 9, SJ, Bailey 5 (Carpenter, Thrun), 12:33.
1st period - Thrun, SJ (interference), 5:23.
2nd period - Okhotiuk, SJ (holding), 10:21; Holtz, NJ (hooking), 14:09.
3rd period - None.
Shots Saves
NJ - Daws 31 29
SJ - Blackwood 13 13
SJ - Khakonen 31 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NJ 13 18 13 44
SJ 12 13 6 31
Power Play Conversion
NJ 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Nico Hischier
Jack Hughes
Jesper Bratt
SAP Center - 10,982
Referees: #39 Brandon Blandina, #17 Frederick L'Ecuyer. Linesmen: #79 Kiel Murchison, #58 Ryan Gibbons.

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