Lightning Strike Sharks 7-1

photo from sfgate.com: Lightning center Brayden Point gets around a stick check by Sharks defenseman Brent Burns during the second period of the Tampa Bay victory.

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 7-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Despite two first period power plays, including a double minor, the Sharks lost by their largest margin this season. Goals came from Tyler Johnson (2), Alex Killorn, Steven Stamkos (2), Victor Hedman and Carter Verhaeghe. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 37 saves in the win. The Sharks’ lone goal came from Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Martin Jones made 17 saves on 21 shots before being replaced by Aaron Dell, who made 14 saves on 18 shots.

After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

I thought we played pretty well through two, I thought we had some good five-on-five looks, they scored a power play one at the end there. But I didn’t like our third period. Kinda gave them some freebies and let our goalies down out there, but for the first forty I thought we played hard and could have been one, two goal game. But, yeah, I just didn’t like our third period.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer had the same view of the third period: “You know, the third period was just unacceptable, it was just a poor effort. I think instead of sticking with it, I think we felt sorry for ourselves after that fourth goal and, you know, maybe started thinking about tomorrow but you can’t do that in this league.”

Tyler Johnson’s first goal of the game came at 3:10 when he caught Carter Verhaeghe’s pass from the half boards. Steven Stamkos was skating across in Jones’ line of sight as the puck sailed by him.

The Sharks out-shot the Lightning 15-10 in the first period and had two power plays, one four-minutes long after Mathieu Joseph caught Marcus Sorensen with his stick and drew blood. They held the Lightning to just the one goal until 12:29 of the second period.

Alex Killorn scored his eighth goal of the season when Martin Jones got turned around making a save and lost track of the puck. Killorn found the puck just outside the blue paint and lifted it over the prone goaltender.

Steven Stamkos scored his eighth at the very end of the second period, during a four minute power play caused by a a high stick from Kevin Labanc. Stamkos spent a long time hovering around the face-off dot while his team moved the puck around and finally passed to him. He used a neat wrist shot to beat Jones on the short side. Assists went to Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn.

The Sharks out-shot the Lightning 15-9 in the second period.

Victor Hedman scored 52 seconds into
the third. Anthony Cirelli carried the puck right up to the doorstep and then made a pass through the blue paint to Hedman. Hedman was at the goal line and his shot was from an impossible angle, except that it went off of Jones and in. Assists went to Cirelli and Killorn.

Aaron Dell came in to replace Jones in net after that.

Tyler Johnson scored his second of the game at 3:51 of the third. Aaron Dell had come out to play the puck but Carter Verhaege was there to take it away from him and send it back up ice to Stamkos in the face-off circle. Johnson was on his way to the net and arrived just in time for the pass from Stamkos.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored for the Sharks at 14:44. Vlasic caught a rebound from an Erik Karlsson shot and carried it down below the face-off dot to shoot it into the top corner on the short side. Assists went to Karlsson and Timo Meier.

Stamkos scored his second of the game on a power play at 15:36. Timo Meier was in the box for slashing Brayden Point. Just seven seconds into the penalty, Victor Hedman took a shot from the blue line. Killorn and Stamkos were both set up to tip the shot but Killorn got it. Dell stopped that one but Stamkos was ready to tap the rebound in. Assists went to Killorn and Hedman.

Carter Verhaege scored his first NHL goal at 19:35 on a breakaway. He shot it into the far side from a sharp angle without ever slowing down. Assists went to Pat Maroon and Yanni Gourde.

The Sharks will next play Sunday at 2:00 PM PT against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

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