Sharks Fall to Lightning 3-0; fourth loss in six games

photo from sbnation: The San Jose Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell (30) under fire from the Tampa Bay Lightning as the Sharks get shutout 3-0 on Saturday night

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 on Saturday at the SAP Center. Goals were scored by Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat. Curtis McElhinney made 30 saves in the shut-out win, while Aaron Dell made 32 saves in the loss.

It was the Sharks’ first game since Tomas Hertl’s most recent injury, which will keep him out for the rest of the season. Additionally, Joel Kellman was injured Saturday. As of the post game report, he was still being evaluated.

The Sharks recognized Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s 1000th NHL game with a silver stick ceremony. Vlasic is the first defenseman to have played all 1000 games with the Sharks.

In the first period, the Sharks had just two shots on goal to Tampa Bay’s 13. Tampa Bay had power plays at 3:32 (Dylan Gambrell for holding), and 8:51 (Erik Karlsson for hooking). The Sharks had one at 6:56 (Cedric Paquette for roughing against Melker Karlsson).

The teams played four on four at 15:56 when Brenden Dillon went to the box for hi-sticking Yanni Gourde and Yanni Gourde went for roughing back. Two of Tampa Bay’s shots came with the man advantage.

Joel Kellman went into the boards during the first, with some help from Kevin Shattenkirk. Kellman got up slowly, and only skated one shift in the second period before leaving the game.

The Sharks went on a power play just 53 seconds into the second period. Erik Karlsson drew a tripping penalty that put Ondrej Palat in the box. The Sharks got three shots on that power play. They went on to out-shoot Tampa Bay for the first half of the period 10-4.

Nonetheless, Steven Stamkos scored at 4:04, after a lengthy play in the Sharks zone and a cross-ice pass from Kevin Shattenkirk that went between two Sharks defenders. The puck found Stamkos right in his old hangout around in the faceoff circle, and the shot went by Brent Burns and Aaron Dell and into the net. Shattenkirk and Mikhail Sergachev got the assists.

The Sharks killed off another Tampa Bay power play at 8:29 when Marc-Edouard Vlasic was called for hi-sticking Stamkos. The Sharks had their third power play at 13:30, when Tyler Johnson went for slashing Evander Kane.

By the end of the period, the Sharks had outshot the Lightning 18-8.

The third period was penalty-free and Nikita Kucherov put the game away at 17:57 with a backhand off as he skated out of the slt in traffic. Assists went to Stamkos and Brayden Point.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with almost two minutes left and Ondrej Palat scored an empty net goal at 19:43. An assist went to Anthony Cirelli.

The third period shot count was 14-10 Tampa Bay. The face-off edge in the game went to the Sharks, who won 54% of them.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Calgary against the Flames at 6:00 PM PT.

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