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Sharks blow 4-goal lead in Cooley's home debut
SJ implodes against Hawks second time in 6 days
3/23/2024 - By Mike Lee

When Devin Cooley was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 8th, the Sharks were bringing home one of their own. The goaltender was not only a native of the Bay Area, but he was a product of the Junior Sharks development program. Saturday night marked Cooley's first start on SAP Center Ice in Sharks sweater. It won't be one that the kid will soon forget. After taking a 4-0 lead over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, the Sharks would go on to squander their big lead and lose it 5-4 in overtime.

There have been plenty of bad losses the last two seasons in San Jose, but this one is certainly in the top 5. The Sharks were cruising with a big lead, and they simply played the immature hockey that has become their brand. Not only did they lose the game, but they did it to the second worst team in the NHL, less than a week after blowing a lead to Chicago.

Painful performance is the only way to describe it.

San Jose wasted no time getting on the score sheet after Mackenzie Entwistle was sent off for tripping 3:24 into the game. Thomas Bordeleau redirected a Fabian Zetterlund feed from the slot for his 5th goal of the season. Zetterlund was scanning the ice from the top of the right circle when he spotted Bordeleau sliding towards the top of the crease.

Bordeleau added his 2nd goal of the period 6 minutes later when he collected a Justin Bailey drop pass in the high slot before splitting Ryan Donato and Landon Slaggert with a shot that evaded Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek.

Zetterlund matched Bordeleau with a pair of goals himself to start the 2nd period. The Swedish forward grabbed a Klim Kostin feed after crossing the blueline then whipped a shot that hit defenseman Alex Vlasic in the leg, changing the trajectory of the shot. The rising deflection clanked off the crossbar and into the net for Zetterlund's 19th of the season.

19 turned into 20 a little more than a minute later after Entwistle was sent off for an illegal check to the head of Sharks defenseman Henry Thrun. Zetterlund was parked off the left post when William Eklund found him with a pass through the slot from the off wing. Zetterlund easily buried the puck with Mrazek covering the opposite side of the net.

Chicago battled back with a pair of goals in the period. Donato converted with a backhand shot from just outside the right post. Taylor Raddish had pumped a shot off Cooley with the rebound deflecting right to Donato, but defenseman Calon Addison was late to wrap up Donato.

Tyler Johnson made it a 4-2 game at 13:20 when Donato fought off Mikael Granlund behind the net and slid a pass out front to his linemate. Johnson didn't have a defender within 15 feet which allowed him to pick a spot and fire it past Cooley for his 16th tally of the season.

The Blackhawks made it a one goal game at 6:20 of the 3rd period when Seth Jones converted his 5th goal of the season on a delayed penalty. Skating 6-on-5, Chicago worked the puck to the left side, where Jones carried the puck to the dot and snapped a shot past Cooley who was screened by Nick Foligno.

Phillip Kurashev tied the game with 47 seconds left with a shot from a tight angle on the right side after the Sharks defense failed to tie him up, much less keep the puck away from their rookie netminder.

Jones used a partial screen off the initial faceoff in the overtime to beat Cooley with a shot from 35 feet out. Game, set, match.

Game Notes:

* Fabian Zetterlund scored a pair of goals and still finished the game with a -4 plus/minus. Mikael Granlund also had a -4.

* Former Shark Ryan Donato finished the game with a +3, a goal and 2 assists, on 3 shots.

* Devin Cooley's final line in his home debut at SAP Center, 59:47 of ice time, 5 goals allowed on 31 shots.

* Filip Zadina led the Sharks with 5 shots on goal. Alexander Barabanov had 4 shots. Neither player figured into any of the Sharks 4 goals.

* Sharks prospect Will Smith scored 4 goals for Boston College in a 6-2 win over Boston University to win the Hockey East Championship. Smith leads the NCAA with 67 points (23 goals, 44 assists).


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1 2 3 OT T
CHI 0 2 2 1 5
SJ 2 2 0 0 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Bordeleau 5 (Zetterlund, Addison), 3:53, (pp). 2, SJ, Bordeleau 6 (Bailey, Sturm), 10:17.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Zetterlund 19 (Kostin, Ferraro), 0:16. 4, Zetterlund 20 (Eklund, Granlund), 1:24, (pp). 5, CHI, Donato 11 (Raddysh, Johnson), 6:45. 6, CHI, Johnson 16 (Donato, Raddysh), 13:20.
3rd period - 7, CHI, Jones 5 (Kaiser, Bedard), 6:20. 8, CHI, Kurashev 15 (Donato, Foligno), 19:13.
Overtime - 9, CHI, Smith 6 (unassisted), 0:18.
1st period - Entwistle, CHI (tripping), 3:24; Kunin, SJ (interference), 11:11; Antanasiou, CHI (fighting major), 17:45; Kunin, SJ (fighting major), 17:45.
2nd period - Entwistle, CHI (lileegal check to head), 1:15; Megna, CHI (holding), 9:36.
3rd period - MacDonald, SJ (hooking), 2:40; Kaiser, CHI (tripping), 13:09.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
CHI - Mrazek 30 26
SJ - Cooley 31 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
CHI 9 14 7 1 31
SJ 15 10 5 0 30
Power Play Conversion
CHI 0 of 2
SJ 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Ryan Donato
Fabian Zetterlund
Seth Jones
SAP Center - 17,435
Referees: #3 Chris Schlenker, #42 Jordan Samuels-Thomas. Linesmen: #74 Trent Knorr, #65 Tommy Hughes.

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