By Ivan Makarov
SAN JOSE, CA — A series of mistakes by the San Jose Sharks three minutes into the game lead to Vancouver Canucks scoring the first goal and taking the game from there on.
First it was Sharks defenseman Brandon Dillon who made a poor breakout pass from his zone. His teammate Justin Braun failed to intercept a pass inside his zone, fanning on the chance. Lastly it was Dillon again who was late on the rebound and allowed Vancouver’s Bo Horbat to shoot on what was an open net at that point.
Joe Pavelski had a great chance to tie the game few minutes later as he got a breakaway chance. Alex Elder found no other option to stop him but with a trip from behind, which earned a penalty shot. Pavelski picked up some good speed on his attempt, but couldn’t put the puck into the net, hitting the post instead.
Canucks took the two goal lead in the game in the early minutes of the second period when Jannik Hansen scored his ninth goal of the season. It was not the one Sharks would want to remember — as Hansen just left the penalty box moments before and got behind the defense on a breakaway. Stalock didn’t seem to be ready and was out too far, giving Hansen open top corner, where he sent the puck with a laser of a wrister.
Just a minute later, just like after the first goal, Sharks got another penalty shot awarded to them, when Joe Thornton was tripper by Tyler Tanner on his breakaway chance. Unlike Pavelski, Thornton didn’t miss, sending the puck high and right next to the goal post. His wrist shot was so powerful that Miller did not have time to react and turned around after the puck went in, looking both ways, not sure where it went in. Thornton doesn’t often appear in shootouts, but he’s now a perfect 2-for-2 in his penalty shot attempts during his NHL career.
Radim Vbrata returned the Cunucks to two goal advantage in game when he scored from around the face-off circle on a nice pass by Henrick Sedin. The puck bounced into the net off Stalock’s glove.
Whatever energy Sharks needed to get back in the game they did not get, and 3-1 was how the score remained despite Sharks’ power play chances and advantage in shots on the net.
“I didn’t think we were particularly good, and the score indicated that,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan after the game. “For me there’s a price that the team has to pay to win, and right now we’re not reaching deep enough.”
This was Sharks’ third loss in a row, all against divisional opponents. They can right their ways the very next day when they travel to Anaheim to face the divisional leader the Ducks.