photo from sfgate.com: Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019
By Jerry Feitelberg
The San Jose Sharks felt the absence of Tomas Hertl especially hard Wednesday night, losing to the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 at home while going 0-for-6 on the power play. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves in a spectacular performance, with only Melker Karlsson solving the one-time Vezina trophy winner. Aaron Dell wasn’t sharp in net, allowing 4 goals on 25 shots, but his defense didn’t do him many favors either, with Winnipeg scoring 5 unanswered goals. Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler all had multi-point nights for the victors.
Melker Karlsson opened the scoring 9:28 into the game, netting his second goal of the year after taking a Joe Thornton feed and beating Hellebuyck for the 1-0 lead, but the Sharks would take their foot off the gas pedal after that.
Patrik Laine (1g, 2a) evened things up on a one-timer with a Shark in the penalty box with 6:45 left to play in the period, then Dell (and Erik Karlsson) were victimized by rookie David Gustafsson. Gustafsson skated right past Karlsson then beat Dell on what could be considered a soft goal 1:51 from the first intermission. Gustafsson’s first NHL goal pulled the Jets ahead 2-1.
San Jose didn’t do itself any favors early in the 2nd period when Mark Scheifele was left unmarked in the slot. Kyle Connor connected with him for the point-blank chance, which Scheifele buried for his 9th goal of the year. Jack Roslovic chipped a rebound home with 4:59 left in the second to give Winnipeg the 4-1 edge and Kyle Connor scored the empty-netter with 5:13 left in the game for the 5-1 final.
The Sharks power play, despite a number of opportunities without linchpin Tomas Hertl in the lineup still recovering from a lower body injury. They barely generated any shots on goal, accounting for 8 over the 6 man advantages. Even dressing 7 defensemen, a tactic that had been successful in some of the previous games, didn’t help things click. The Sharks will hope to have Hertl back for the Black Friday matinee against the Los Angeles Kings, a team the Sharks had beat Monday night in LA after originally blowing a 3-0 lead.