San Jose Sharks Saturday game wrap: Thornton’s ejection has impact as Blues Blank Sharks 4-0; SJ suffers second straight loss

January 14, 2017

NHL, San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) is escorted off the ice after being ejected for a game misconduct penalty during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017. The Blues won 4-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

It was a highly-anticipated rematch of the 2016 Western Conference Final Saturday night at the SAP Center but the St. Louis Blues would get their revenge. The Blues shut out the San Jose Sharks 4-0 behind goaltender Carter Hutton (23 saves). Joe Thornton was assessed a game misconduct for spearing in the second period of a physical, heated contest.

Neither team scored in the first period, but the Sharks appeared poised to convert after drawing two penalties 19 seconds apart just 3 minutes into the middle period. Instead the Blues would be the beneficiaries after killing off one penalty then having the second one washed out on a Joe Pavelski interference call with 45 seconds remaining.

After the 4-on-4 proved fruitless for both sides, St. Louis made the most of its short man-advantage. Defenseman Colton Parayko ripped a point shot past Sharks netminder 5:27 into the period.

“The first half of the game it was going pretty good,” said Sharks captain Joe Pavelski. “They’ve had some chances and we’ve had some chances. A lot of the momentum shifted when we couldn’t get a goal on 5-on-3 and I miss an open net. We take a penalty and they get a quick one. We should have been up 1-0.”

The Blues doubled up just a second over the half-way point of the game after Jones failed to seal off the post. David Perron took advantage, flicking the puck through the opening for his 11th goal of the season.

The goal, along with the physical play on both sides, forced the Sharks to a boiling point, with Joe Thornton and Paul Stastny trading blows. Thornton was the one who received the eyre of the officiating crew, receiving a 5 minute major and game misconduct for jabbing his stick blade into Stastny’s chest.

“The game declined from that point on,” Logan Couture said Sharks forward Logan Coutuer. “For guys like [Joe Pavelski], myself, [Patrick Marleau], we want to elevate our games at that point. The younger guys should try to elevate their games with the opportunity. It didn’t happen tonight.”

The Sharks would not fare any better in the third period after Jori Lehtera tipped home a point shot past Jones for a 3-0 lead 9:16 into the third. Alexander Steen added the empty net goal with 5:23 left in regulation. Kevin Shattenkirk picked up an assist on the goal, his second of the game to join Parayko (1g, 1a) in the two-point club Saturday.

The Sharks will look to snap their two game skid in a Monday matinee against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets boast a scoring sensation in rookie Patrick Laine, the third-leading scorer in the NHL with 21 goals. The Sharks will then face another top scorer in a Wednesday night rivalry tilt against Jeff Carter (23 goals) and the Los Angeles Kings. Following the contest the Sharks return home to complete the back-to-back, facing the Tampa Bay Lightning in their sole visit to SAP this year.






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