Sharks winning streak ends at five

by Ivan Makarov

photo credit: Ottawa Citizen smartphone app–Sens were protecting in front of their net to help narrow their game against the Sharks

SAN JOSE, CA — Coming into the game on a five game winning streak, Sharks looked to continue building on all good things they have been doing lately. But the streak came to an end when it was visiting Ottawa Senators that skated away with a 4-3 victory in the end, with the game ending in a shoot out.

The game went back and forth between two teams, so it was only logical that it ended how it did.

The visiting team scored the first goal in the game in the second half of the first period. The puck was dumped into Sharks zone and was rolling towards the goal off the boards. Sharks’ net minder Alex Stalock left his net to intercept it but miscalculated the distance and Ottawa’s Max McCormick beat him to it and put the puck past Stalock.

The Senators doubled their lead at the start of the second period when Bobby Ryan scored a power play goal, catching Stalock out of position on the play and having his closest corner of the net wide open.

Sharks responded right back on the very next shift when Tomas Hertl scored his eighth goal of the season redirecting a pass in front of the net which came from the corner from Joe Thornton.

The tying goal came at the start of the third period when Logan Couture scored on a great individual effort inside the Senators zone when he picked up what looked like a loose puck, paused and shot it over two defensemen and into the net, making it 2-2.

Sharks took their first lead in the game half way through the third period and that goal was a beauty.

This time it was Matt Nieto who got himself on the scoreboard. Joonas Donskoi broke through a couple of players with a nifty move, and passed the puck to Nieto who was skating towards the net with full speed. Neito got a hold of it, and put it above Anderson’s pads right as he was falling down, scoring his sixth goal of the season.

With seven minutes to go in the game, Sharks were awarded their first power play of the game. This could have been the time when they put the game away, but instead they let the Senators come back. Zack Smith stole the puck in the neutral zone and took away on a breakaway. Brent Burns tried to catch him but couldn’t and his stick tripped Smith right in front the net, giving the Senators a penalty shot. Smith did not miss on his try – although not without controversy and video review that followed, as he seemed to have stopped right before taking a shot. But the puck kept moving, so it was ruled a good goal.

The game went into overtime. Sharks had the best chances during 3-on-3 format, but got an even better oportunity when Bobby Ryan tripped Brent Burns behind Anderson’s net, giving the Sharks 4-on-3 power play for the last two minutes of the overtime. Sharks controlled the puck, but could not find an opening in Anderson’s net, with Ottawa also playing good defense and clearing the puck several times, and not allowing the Sharks to move too much.

The shoot out did not go in Sharks favor, with Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi and Logan Couture failing to score on their chances, while Mika Zebanejad scoring the game winning shot for the Senators.

While it was not the two points the Sharks were hoping for in this game, they played well enough to earn them, and the loss of a single point should not affect their confidence too much going into their next game when they face Arizona Coyotes in Arizona on Thursday.

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