Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 in overtime to the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden on Thursday. Despite having the lead for most of the game, Sharks’ goals from Marcus Sorensen and Joonas Donskoi were not enough for the win.
The Rangers got goals from Brett Howden, Brendan Smith and Brady Skjei. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 24 saves, while Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 41 saves for New York’s first win of the season.
With this overtime loss, the Sharks are 2-1-1 on this road trip.
After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said:
We like to be a detailed team, we don’t like to give up a lot of chances, but we generated a lot of chances, you know, throughout the night. And we’ll have to really look at it to see how it is. It felt like we had the puck a lot, it felt like we had a lot of grade as. Just got to stick some in the net, and I’ll take part of the blame on that. I got some looks that just gotta go.
The first period started out well, with the Sharks dominating play right out of the gate. Less than five minutes in, Evander Kane was called for closing his hand over the puck as he stopped it from going into the bench. During the penalty kill, Sorensen made a beautiful play, stick-handing twice around Brady Skjei before scoring with a wrist shot into the far corner. Assists went to Timo Meier and Brent Burns.
The Rangers tied it in the final five minutes of the first. Brett Howden got the puck to Mats Zuccarello from behind the net, then got to the front of the net. Zuccarello took the shot, but Dell kept that out. Now close to the blue paint, bumped it back between his legs and under Dell. Assists went to Zuccarello and Kreider.
The Sharks challenged the play as an off side. After a lengthy review, the officials upheld the goal. While the puck carrier’s skates did cross the line before the puck did, he had touched it before crossing the line and appeared to be in control of it. There was one skater on the other side of the ice that the Sharks felt had crossed the line before the puck, but the officials could not verify that he had done so.
The Sharks outshot the Rangers 17-6 during the first, and each team killed two of two penalties.
The Sharks took the lead back with a goal from Joonas Donskoi at 4:59 of the second period. Burns cleared the puck out of the Sharks zone with a backhand off the boards. Antti Suomela picked it up in the neutral zone and took off with Donskoi and Sorensen three-on-one. Suomela was patient before making the pass to Donskoi, who put the puck in with a last moment shot just above the goal line. Assists went to Suomela and Burns.
That was the only goal of the second period. There were no penalties called and the shot count was slightly less lopsided at 16-9 Sharks.
Kane drew an interference penalty from Tony DeAngelo at 5:30 of the third period. The Sharks power play started in the offensive zone with Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Logan Couture. They had one shot blocked, two shots saved and one missed shot. When Lundqvist stopped the puck, the second unit came out for almost a minute, including Vlasic, Kane, Meier, Donskoi and Labanc. They could not hold the zone or get any shots. At the very end of their shift, trouble in the neutral zone resulted in a breakaway by Vinni Lettieri. Dell stopped his shot with a flourish.
Moments later, Hertl left the ice and went to the dressing room, leaving his helmet and gloves behind on the ice. He appeared to have an abrasion below his left eye.
The Rangers stayed neck and neck with the Sharks in terms of shots for the rest of the period. The shots were tied at 10-10 when the Rangers tied the game at 17:21. Pavel Buchnevich made a backhand pass from the right goal post to Brendan Smith who had three Sharks between him and the net. He took the shot just as he fell. Assists went to Buchnevich and Jesper Fast.
Hertl returned to the ice in the final frantic minutes, but Donskoi was hobbled by a Karlsson shot in the final minute. The Rangers held the zone for most of that minute, keeping the Sharks on their heels.
The Sharks started overtime with Karlsson, Hertl and Couture on the ice. Hertl won the faceoff to give the Sharks’ possession. That was the only Sharks line used in overtime. A passed from Karlsson to Hertl failed and 76 took the puck. He carried it all the way down and then scored with a shot over a prone Couture.
The Sharks will finish up the road trip against the Devils on Sunday at 10:00 am PT.