The San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier (28) and defenceman Erik Karlsson (65) celebrate after a goal at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Tue Feb 7, 2023 (@SanJoseSharks photo)
By Matthew Harrington
The San Jose Sharks opened the unofficial second half of the season with a bang, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime Tuesday night. Timo Meier scored a pair of goals and had an assist, Erik Karlsson had a goal and two assists and Kaapo Kähkönen made 34 saves to pick up the road win.
Brayden Point scored a pair and Ross Colton also lit the lamp but the Lightning (32-16-2) saw their home wine streak end at 12 games. San Jose (16-25-11) was outshot 37-22 but walked away with the two points.
Now that Bo Horvat has found a new home on Long Island, Meier has become the center piece for teams looking to add at the trade deadline. Despite a 10 million dollar qualifying offer expected for next year, the Swiss forward showed why he’ll cost suitors a hefty bounty. One of the premier power forwards in the league, both his goals came about five ten feet out from Brian Elliott in the Tampa net.
The game-winner, 2:19 into overtime, came after Meier drove the net and was able to sneak behind two Lightning defenders. He took the feed from Erik Karlsson, no stranger to trade chatter himself, to bury his 30th of the year.
Jonah Gadjovich deflected the tying goal 3:08 into the third, his third of the year, but before that Meier’s talents were on display for the Sharks second goal of the night. Meier, skating on the power play where his nose for the net and propensity to rip his sharp wristers, did just that with 3:37 left in the second buried.
While the penalty kill collapsed to Elliott’s right, Meier skated to the crease on the off-wing. He took the Alexander Barabanov pass off what looked like a set faceoff play and buried it for his first of the night.
The aforementioned Karlsson negated an early Colton goal to tie the game 6:28 into the first, his 17th goal of the year. Karlsson wired a shot through traffic that found its way on net as so many of his shots have this year, beating Elliott.
Brayden Point took over the first period though scoring goals 9:21 into the frame and 16:44 into the first period. The second came on the power play, normally a strength for the Bolts but against the Sharks they went just one for six and went five power plays without a shot on goal.
The Sharks continue their split eight game road trip, facing the Florida Panthers in Sunrise on Thursday. They’re now riding a two-game win streak after beating the Penguins in the last game before the break. They’ll face the Capitals in DC Sunday before finally heading home.