LAFC’s Diego Rossi gains his 8th and 9th MLS-leading goals in 5-1 win over Quakes

The Final score tells it all as LAFC remains unbeaten with a 5-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night (@SJEarthquakes photo)

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ September 2, 2020

~ San Jose and LAFC went the way it has gone Wednesday, with the latter still unbeaten in now five games engaged with the former.

57th minute substitute Danny Hoesen and Cristian Espinoza connected however, with no time left, in minute 92 giving LAFC the 5-1 win over San Jose. This avoided a matching of the worst loss between the two teams March 30, 2019 where LAFC were victorious 5-0.

The Quakes did not help themselves though, this time, in that giving the ball away led to two goals. LACF outshot San Jose 19-9. 

Rossi scored the lone goal of the first half in the 21st minute.

After a 33rd minute yellow to Diego Palacios, considering his kicking position, Yueill´s shot just glanced over the top of the net.

San Jose´s Florian Jungwirth tackled Bradley Wright-Phillips before Rossiś goal and Judson was able to stop a breakaway by him in the 43rd minute. 

Wright-Phillips´s attack right at the start of the second half gave the Quakes a glimpse of what was to come as he would score soon and LAFC´s lead would grow larger by bounds. 

Tanner Beason, in his second start, gave the ball away to Rossi, and then Beason found himself in a foot race with Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips went ahead and keeper Daniel Vega slid to stop him. Wright-Phillips remained standing to clean up in an empty net in the 49th minute. He finished with a game-high six shots. 

Vega got his hand high to save a free kick from Brian Rodríguez in the 58th minute. 

In the 64th minute, Rodríguez again with ample room was stopped, but as he slid surrounded by two defenders, he was able to knock the ball through Jungwirth´s legs upon second touch to José Cifuentes. The Ecuadorian then turned around and looped the ball towards the net for his first MLS goal and a 3-0 lead.

Rossi made it 4-0 in the 69th minute. Palacios´s kick went off Jungwirth´s foot as Rossi swooped in before Vega after running past Beason for his second half goal.

Cifuentes´s teammate Danny Musovski also got in on the action with his first MLS goal in the 83rd minute.

Up Next: San Jose looks to recover on the weekend Saturday 7:30pm verus the Colorado Rapids.

 

Sebastian Lletget spoils first MLS starts for Quakes’ Cowell and Beason in 3-2 win

The San Jose Earthquakes and the Los Angeles Galaxy get into a mad scramble for the football in the Cali Clasico on Sat Aug 29th in Carson City (espn.com photo)

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ August 29, 2020

~ Los Angeles Galaxy´s Lletget gave his team their first and final lead in the 82nd minute Saturday. This broke a three-game unbeaten streak the Earthquakes held in the California Clasico. The last four matches now have seen at least one team with three goals. 

Meanwhile, San Jose´s 16-year old Cade Cowell and Tanner Beason (also his debut) made their first MLS starts and both made an impact. 

It was the Earthquakes´ first match since outside the Orlando Bubble after Wednesday´s match was postponed due to racial injustice sit outs and their first contest since Magnus Eriksson went back to Sweden. 

The Galaxy really amped up their shots in the second half, with over half of them on target. 

San Jose led early. In the 11th minute, Tommy Thompson threw the ball in to Cristian Espinoza who kicked the ball back to Thompson. Thompson then ran to the goal line, made a perfect pass to Vako from the edge of the penalty box, and with no hesitation, Vako spun the ball past goalie David Bingham to notch his second tally of the year.

In the 32nd minute, Cristian Pavón was eventually able to shake off Thompson as they neared the goal entering the penalty box. With keeper Daniel Vega at the corner of the goal, Pavón then made a sliding sweep around kick that Beason was able to knock down at the goal line, no hands required, to save the score. Though that prompted Los Angeles´ś Ethan Zubak to put his hands to his head in disbelief, the Galaxy were for the most part undeterred as they scored in the following minute. 

Daniel Steres put the teams into a 1-1 tie as Lletget assisted with one of his three total corners in the first half.  

Pavon was the only with multiple shots in the first half as Los Angeles largely controlled possession after Vakoś goal. Pavon finished the match with a game-high six shots. 

The Galaxy´s Rolf Feltscher took a yellow card in the 52nd minute. Quakes’ Jackson Yuelil faked the kick before deferring to Cristian Espinoza. 

Los Angeles obtained a second yellow card in the 56th minute. 

It was then Cowell´s time to shine, as he won a one-on-one battle with Feltscher after a pass from Vako. Cowell got into position with two defenders near him and one of his teammates and found his spot to give his team a 2-1 lead in the 59th minute with warranted emotion as the youngest player ever on San Jose. 

 

Both teams were increasing their intensity as the Galaxy tried five shots in between the 64th and 66th minutes.   

Beason committed a handball in the 70th minute and Pavón was able to concert on the penalty kick in the 72nd minute to retie the game.

Danny Hoseen and Vako exchanged places in the 82nd minute, and in that same minute, Lletget sealed the game off a corner, which at first was debated for being a handball. 

Up Next: San Jose will face the other Southern California team LAFC midweek at 7:30pm. 

Sharks’ skid continues on road; Blackhawks unload on SJ 6-2

photo from sfgate.com: Chicago Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat (12) battles San Jose Sharks’ Noah Gregor (73) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) for a loose puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Chicago

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ With their fourth straight loss and fifth consecutive on the road, San Jose slid further in a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. 

It was the Sharks’ most goals given up since a month ago on February 10 versus the Calgary Flames. 

San Jose goalie Aaron Dell himself is mired in a five-game slump, with an average of over three goals given up meanwhile. 

Chicago star Patrick Kane led with two goals and a season-high 11 shots. He has had five goals in his last five games.

The Sharks scored in the opening and closing periods while the Blackhawks scored a trio of goals in the second and the third. 

The Blackhawks perhaps got their mojo going when they scored the second and third of a combined three special teams goals to start the game off.  Previously, Chicago was 0-for-14 with the man advantage.

First, though, it was San Jose’s turn. Chicago set the stage with two penalties taken 15 seconds apart, starting at 8:55. Dylan Strome was called for tripping and Ryan Carpenter whistled for hi-sticking. The Sharks’ Joe Thornton, situated in the right faceoff circle, passed it to Evander Kane, who was able to deflect the puck to the right side of goalie Corey Crawford into the net. This occurred with six seconds left on Strome’s penalty. 

The next four goals belonged to the Blackhawks. Alex DeBrincat got assists on the first three. 

After exchanging passes with Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith struck from the point with the help of a screen at 4:33. This came a minute after Antti Suomela was penalized for hooking.

Chicago went ahead for good when Kane scored his 32nd goal. He accomplished it with all the attention focused on DeBrincat, even though Kane was corralled by defenseman Radim Simek. The Sharks’ Brent Burns was in the box at the time for roughing. 

Brandon Saad made it 3-1 at 17:58 to end the second and Alex Nylander pushed the margin to three goals to open the third at 1:31. 

San Jose experienced a bit of relief when Timo Meier tacked on a goal at 6:39.  

Kane added his second goal at 16:19 and rookie Dominik Kubalik finished the game off with his 30th goal at 18:03. 

Up Next: The Sharks potentially (amidst coronavirus concerns) head to Saint Louis to hopefully cure their blues at 5pm on Friday for game two of their four-game road trip. 

NJ’s Blackwood still on fire with 36 saves in 2-1 win over Sharks

photo from sfgate.com: New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37) pressures San Jose Sharks center Noah Gregor (73) in front of Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood (29) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Newark, N.J

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ New Jersey Devils’ rookie goalie MacKenzie Blackwood followed his 52-save outing previously, with another fine performance for his fifth straight win Thursday. 

With an average of 39.2 saves and a goal allowed during that streak, he made 36 saves against San Jose while holding them to a solo goal.  The last time the Sharks scored less was February 1st. 

Opposing goalie Martin Jones did not go down easy though, as he held his own, saving 23 of 25 shots.  

The Devils now have wins in three straight home games, while the Sharks ended their hot four-game road streak. 

On special teams, San Jose committed six penalties and New Jersey three. The game-winner occurred during the Shark’s fifth penalty.

Jacob Middleton for San Jose and the Devils’ John Hayden saw the box first at 7:26 for fighting. Middleton also tacked on an unsportsmanlike conduct. This gave Middleton a total of seven penalty minutes, his first as a member of the Sharks this year.

San Jose Barracuda call-ups were all featured in the opening scoring play. Alexander True in the faceoff circle recovered the puck, Middleton then got it, before passing cross-ice to Tim Heed. Heed put the first tally on the board through traffic from the far right point, with his first goal of the season in 27 games. It was also his second point of the season, with an assist back on November 12th.  Middleton earned his first assist and point in five games this season. True played his seventh game and earned his fourth assist, his second in as many games. 

Stefan Noesen ended the period for the Sharks with a tripping call at 19:46.

The second period featured five penalties, four of them before any scoring and four of them involving interference. 

New Jersey followed shortly after Noesen’s with Wayne Simmonds interfering 47 seconds into the second. Teammate P.K. Subban got called for the same infraction at 7:11. San Jose’s Dylan Gambrell decided to interfere too at 9:55. Teammate Melker Karlsson had the only non-interference penalty of the period, as he put the puck over the glass for a game delay. 

Jesper Bratt put the Devils on board at 16:15, after taking a long pass from Pavel Zacha all the way at the other end. Bratt won the one-on-one battle versus the outstretched Jones, sliding the puck around his skate. 

Mario Ferraro also delayed the game with a puck over the glass to start the third at 1:06. This one was costly though, as Subban scored the game-winner with 10 seconds left in the penalty.

With Miles Wood screening Jones, Subban converted from the top of the right faceoff circle to give New Jersey the only lead they would need.

 Up Next: Dakota Mermis made his Devils’ debut and finished a +1 in 17:44 of ice time. San Jose’s “Melker Karlsson left in a walking boot.  He didn’t play in the third period,” reported Kevin Kurz of The Athletic. The Sharks continue their four-game road trip in the neighboring New state with the New York Rangers Saturday at 4pm. 

 

Sharks chomp into Edmonton 6-3 to match season-high six goals 

San Jose Sharks celebrate one of their six goals on Thursday night in Edmonton against the Oilers (globegazette.com photo)

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ It was a replay scorewise of the first time San Jose and the Oilers met this season, as the Sharks won again 6-3.

That date was on November 12. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl scored then, but not this time, as the NHL’s leading point getter was shut out.  San Jose used three two-period goals to achieve victory behind netminder Aaron Dell, who faced at least 31 shots in his third straight game.

The Sharks kept the trend going with a fifth straight road victory when in Edmonton. 

San Jose’s Timo Meier nearly had his second career hat trick, but instead settled for a game-high two goals and one assist. The last time he had a three-point night was when he had his first career hat trick, on December 28. 

13 different Sharks had points on the night. 

One game removed from their NHL debut, San Jose’s Maxim Letunov had his first goal and teammate Alexander True earned his first assist. 

The Oilers had a Constant push in the Sharks’ zone, which led to their first goal. Dell was able to stop McDavid’s first attempt less than a minute earlier. Regarding the scoring play, while fishing the puck from the boards, Radim Simek sent the puck to Edmonton’s Ethan Bear at the blue line, who passed it to McDavid. McDavid then swung the puck towards Dell again, from far away, who sent the puck to Darnell Nurse. The puck then somehow found Sam Gagner, who had been seated in the slot, and he converted at 4:04.

Not too long after, the second player in NHL points this season, unthwarted by earlier, managed to score his 30th goal. He did it in his McDavid fashion, taking a pass from Nurse, located in the Oilers’ zone in the neutral area, and then using his speed to singlehandedly fly by two skaters en route to the net at 5:20. 

Nurse received a penalty at 8:15 for throwing his stick to replace goalie Mikko Koskinen’s. 

The game stayed 2-0 until Meier tipped Brent Burn’s shot at 11:01 to halve Edmonton’s lead. 

San Jose killed off a penalty to Burns at 13:21 and then the Sharks got their second and third power play at once as Oscar Klefbom got a double minor for high-sticking Melker Karlsson at 16:33.  With Burns initially credited for the goal, the credit shifted to Evander Kane who was up in front. The play came about due to well timed puck movement. Joe Thornton made the cross-ice pass to Burns, who shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. The goal was also significant in that the timely conversion gave the Sharks their first with the man advantage in their last 12 tries.

The second period featured more of the newer Sharks, as they went ahead and then upped their lead even more with another two-goal period.   

Letunov replied with a smile after he netted the rebound off Erik Karlsson’s shot three seconds before 7:07. The rookie fought and spun around with two defenders in front of him. 

After the puck went high up in the air behind the net, True recovered it. He found Stefan Noesen camped near the net and fed him for a quick wraparound goal at 12:31.

Meier struck again at 5:05 of the third to make it 5-2. Kevin Labanc attracted three players to him, sent the puck off the boards and then took down one of the three players earlier. That opened the shot for Meier, who aimed from the left faceoff circle. 

Bear then broke San Jose’s five-goal streak at 6:33, in a similar spot to Meier, but from the other faceoff circle, pushing the score to 5-3.

To cap the scoring, Meier threw the puck behind the net to Thornton, who in turn patiently fed him. Meier initially had a hat trick, but the scoring switched again, this time to Labanc, who was jostling up front.

Up Next: With a perfect road trip, the Sharks will now return home for a single game, as they see the Calgary Flames for the second time in three at 7:30pm Monday. 

Dell in-dell-ible as Sharks rebound on the road, 3-1

photo from canadianpress.com: San Jose Sharks goalie Aaron Dell, right, deflects a shot from Calgary Flames’ Elias Lindholm during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Calgary, Alberta

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ San Jose goalie Aaron Dell, playing in his home backyard, calmed the Calgary Flames Tuesday.

He made 30 saves, facing 31 shots, his second straight game of doing at least that, as the Sharks halted a five-game losing streak on the road and two-game losing streak overall.

Several of the San Jose players had noteworthy bookmarks during the game, the biggest one saved for last.

40-year old Joe Thornton garnered two assists, his latter one marking his 1500th NHL point. He earned the secondary assist on the Sharks’ final goal.

San Jose was outshot 16-9 in the first and had two power plays as Dell continued to make steady saves. 

The Flames briefly had a 4-on-1 as time wound down during their first man advantage.

At 18:08, the Sharks’ Barclay Goodrow stuck up for Evander Kane against recognized fighter Milan Lucic when Kane was clocked. 

San Jose’s Alex True and Maxim Letunov made their NHL debuts. True had one shot on goal, four hits, one block, one giveaway and went 60% on faceoffs in 12:52 of ice time. Letunov had one shot on goal, one takeaway and went 50% on faceoffs in 10:17 of ice time.

Calgary’s second power play was obtained when Kane committed high-sticking with 46 seconds left.  It ended up costing the Sharks as Elias Lindholm and Johnny Gaudreau made zigzag passes to score 59 seconds into the second, Gaudreau credited with the goal.

It would be all San Jose the rest of the way. 

The puck bounced past in the neutral zone and Thornton scooped it up to go the other way. He then found Brent Burns, who scored his 500th point with the Sharks, from the top of the right faceoff circle at 3:57 to even the score at one apiece. 

San Jose pulled ahead using more Goodrow Kane chemistry as Kane shot at the left goalpost and the puck bounced to the boards. Patrick Marleau corralled the rubber and made a behind-the-back pass to Goodrow, who finished by feeding Kane under T.J. Brodie’s stick at 8:02. It was Evander Kane’s 700th NHL game.

Finally, Thornton and Timo Meier helpd Kevin Labanc provide the icing on the cake as he  skillfully skated himself into a position to score at 7:45 of the third.

The Flames had four shots in the final frame.

Up Next: The Sharks will travel to Alberta’s capital city to take on the Edmonton Oilers Thursday at 6:30pm. 

Sharks buried by Avalanche 4-0

mercurynews.com photo:

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ Colorado broke their four-game losing streak big, matching those games with goals in a shutout over San Jose Thursday. 

The Sharks meanwhile continued on a four-game road streak slide and ended a seven-game streak of scoring at least two goals. They last went scoreless on the last day of December. 

It was the Avalanche’s first shutout since November 12 and goalie Philipp Grubauer’s first of the season.  

Sharks’ defenseman Brent Burns did not mince words postgame, “…vicious cycle of getting behind and trying not to make mistakes, not helping the next guy. Tough to play when you’re nervous…an unacceptable game.”

Martin Jones returned to action for San Jose after last goaltending January 5 and faced 38 shots. He stayed in net the whole game and was able to keep Colorado off the board in the third.

San Jose went down at least 2-0 for the second game in a row. The Avalanche accomplished this by scoring a pair of goals in each of the first two periods, two via the faceoff which they won by a 63.2% to 36.8% clip. No one player stood out this time, but instead the points were spread out between eight players. 

In the first, it was a tale of two ends as the Sharks were caught at the start and finale of the stanza.  

Colorado took 45 seconds and one shot to cash in their first prize. They won the puck direction as Valeri Nichushkin grabbed the loose puck in the neutral zone. Burns slid in to defend when it got to San Jose’s zone, but Nichushkin was able to play keepaway and obtain the 1-0 score. 

In between goals, Jones stopped a breakaway by Mikko Rantanen and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare off a 2-on-1.

At 19:53, Cale Makar took the puck from Nazem Kadri off a faceoff win, skated left and rang the bell through traffic, as the puck deflected three seconds before intermission. 

Action settled down between the pipes in the second until almost the 10-minute mark but in the end, the Avalanche increased their margin by two more goals and two more shots. 

Ryan Graves’ 3-0 goal mimicked the previous one in that it came right off the faceoff and went through traffic, but it was cleaner and quicker.  

The Sharks had a bit of life when they got a power play opportunity at 11:53. Joe Thornton hit the post during the advantage, but eventually things turned sour again with a shorthanded score. After Barclay Goodrow was pinched going into the zone, Matt Calvert went on a breakaway, as he raced to the loose puck in the neutral zone and put the puck in net around Jones before crashing into him. 

In the third, Goodrow hit the post shorthanded when Brenden Dillon was in the box at 13:33.

Things came to a head at 15:43 when Kadri and San Jose’s Timo Meier received 10-minute misconducts and Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog got a two-minute roughing. The Sharks’ Evander Kane was whistled for interference a minute later, speculation his act was for a hit to Joe Thornton’s back by Nikita Zadorov in the opening half of the first. 

Up Next: San Jose will try to cap their road trip and start off the All-Star break with a win Saturday in Vancouver versus the Canucks at 7pm. 

Sharks Captain hurt as Sharks one goal shy again; Lose to St Louis Blues 3-2

sfgate.com photo: San Jose Sharks’ Patrick Marleau falls as he reaches for the puck during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in St. Louis. The Blues won 3-2.

~ By Pearl Allison Lo 

~ San Jose nearly made a comeback a la their previous opponent, the Washington Capitals, but time expired as the Saint Louis Blues prevailed in regulation 3-2 Tuesday.  

After facing the first team overall, the Sharks got the top team in the Western Central.  Saint Louis broke a 0-2-1 slide. 

Erik Karlsson made it 3-2 with 3:10 to go, but goalie Aaron Dell was not sent to the bench until under half a minute remained. 

With just under 12:30 showing on the clock in the second, Vince Dunn and Captain Logan Couture both went for the puck. Dunn slammed Couture as Couture’s left knee went right into the end boards. He had played 9:19 up until then and did not return to the ice.  

Dell has only won one game this season when he has given up three goals. Meanwhile, opposing goalie Jordan Binnington got back into the win column after giving up seven goals in his last outing. 

San Jose’s special teams excelled. Though they committed a penalty in each period, they stifled any scoring and have now done so through their last 11 penalties. Karlsson’s goal came shorthanded and the Sharks’ first goal came on the power play.

San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic took his first penalty of the season at 12:21 of the first for holding. Dell helped stop a 2-on-1 while facing 10 shots. Binnington battled five.  

The Sharks came out of the locker rooms with a 4-0 shot advantage before experiencing insult and injury. Insult occurred when the Blues put San Jose in a 2-0 hole in less than 90 seconds.  

The Sharks’ Timo Meier passed back to Evander Kane but Brayden Schenn was able to poke the puck loose and send it to Alexander Steen with speed. Steen drop passed the puck as well for Tyler Bozak, who with three players mostly to his left and behind, had space to roof the biscuit at 5:39. It was Steen’s 299th assist for his team. 

Next, Ivan Barbashev went on a breakaway which Dell halted. The puck was corralled by Couture but won by Oskar Sundqvist. With three Sharks in between them, Sundqvist fed Barbashev from along the boards and Barbashev one-timed the puck five seconds after his initial attempt while down on one knee at 6:59.

Saint Louis then added injury to insult with the Couture mishap not long after, though not intentionally. 

The third had a bit of promise as Schenn was whistled for hooking at 1:39 and Goodrow won the faceoff. 17 seconds later, Meier had a shot. Joe Thornton and Karlsson were able to keep the puck from going out as it went around the horn to Karlsson near the blue line twice. Meier took the puck from Karlsson the second time and San Jose got the man advantage goal with Goodrow in Binnington’s face at 2:14. 

The shine of the goal lasted less than two minutes though. Off a faceoff win, David Perron’s shot deflected off Stefan Noesen’s glove and flew by Dell at 4:07. 

The Blues’ Zach Sanford nearly scored 22 seconds later too.

Saint Louis kept at it and it would have been 4-1 when Schenn connected with Jordan Kyrou and him the net, but the tally was brought back for being offsides.

Goodrow was called for cross-checking at 15:41, but it ended up working in the Sharks’ favor. Tomas Hertl passed to Karlsson who got the puck in behind Bennington, but not over the line. Then, when Ryan O’Reilly tried to rescue the disk, it went the wrong way.  

Up Next: The Blues’ Niko Mikkola made his NHL debut and spent 12:31 on ice. 2020 will hit SAP Center for the first time as San Jose plays host for two games, beginning with the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday at 7:30pm.

Burns wins first for Sharks in 2020 at 2:02(0T) 3-2; Ends six game loss streak

sfchronicle.com photo: A shot by Sharks defenseman Brent Burns gets by Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry for an overtime goal that gave San Jose a 3-2 victory in Pittsburgh, Pa.

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ After a 2-0 loss to the last-place Detroit Red Wings, San Jose was triumphant over the fifth-place Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday in overtime 3-2.

Known for his ferocity on the puck, Brent Burns channeled his attempt to shoot through traffic. It was a combination of Sharks showing their assets as the feed came from now the 7th all-time assists leader Joe Thornton. His 1,080th helper ended San Jose’s five-game losing streak on the road. 

Penguins’ defenseman Kris Letang tripped Logan Couture 46 seconds into the extra period, setting up a 4-on-3. Burns lost the puck.

Interim Head Coach Bob Boughner took out Erik Karlsson and Couture to bring in Thornton and Kevin Labanc.

The Sharks’ Aaron Dell in net was one shy of his season-high 37 saves. 

San Jose emerged with a 2-1 lead after the first despite being outshot 15-8.

Tomas Hertl started things going at 2:48. Burns found him at the bottom of the right faceoff circle and Joel Kellman, a game removed from his first NHL goal, earned his first NHL assist.

Pittsburgh’s Patric Hornqvist had his team’s two scores of the night after getting a goal and an assist in his previous game. Hornqvist’s first goal tied the game at 16:51 when he single-handedly took a loose puck into the net.

Couture fired back one minute later. Teammate Patrick Marleau got to the Penguins and the pucks twice while they were heading through the neutral zone, setting up a 2-on-1 which Couture finished. 

Boughner went even younger, citing Patty’s “25-year-old legs” after the game. 

At 16:17 of the second, the Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin was called for interference, but it became 4-on-4 less than a minute later when Barclay Goodrow was sent to the box for tripping. Hornqvist used the 30-second window Pittsburgh had with the advantage to tie the match 2-2 six seconds after the power play expired. 

Up Next: The Sharks will now gear up to face the Columbus Blue Jackets early Saturday at 10am. 

Sharks lose to Predators 3-1, stumble amidst December doldrums

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Pearl Allison Lo 

Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros and special teams operated in the Predators’ favor 3-1 in a penalty-filled night in Nashville Tuesday. 

Saros put together a .960 save percentage in making 24 saves. The San Jose Sharks outshot the Predators 10-2 in the second without any results. The team was held to single-digit goals for the third game in a row. Sharks oalie Martin Jones had his fourth straight loss, but his best save percentage in that stretch at .935.

Minus the one-game road trip loss to start the season, this was the first time the Sharks experienced a road trip without a win, as they went 0-3-1 away from home with a now five-game losing streak to match their season-high. 

All in the third, Nashville’s Nick Bonino and Ryan Johansen scored and so did San Jose’s Timo Meier. 

Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play going into the third. By the end, the Predators had outshot the Sharks 19-9 with four more power play opportunities and one power play goal. 

There’s another statistic. Check out the tweet below.

Maybe a penalty 47 seconds into the game was a precursor of what would follow throughout the game. Both teams combined for five penalties in the first period. San Jose’s Mario Ferraro got a double minor for high-sticking at 8:05. In the second, the penalties more than doubled. By 19:34, both teams had six penalties together. Two seconds before the second period ended, they got six more. The Sharks’ Evander Kane got three. For Nashville, Dan Hamhuis one and Austin Watson two. 

Both teams had even-ing penalties four times. A total of 13 different players were whistled. The Sharks’ Barclay Goodrow was penalized thrice. For the Predators, Calle Jarnkrok, Fabbro Forsberg and Roman Josi twice. 

The early penalty to start the game went to Goodrow for slashing. Ferraro’s penalty followed at 8:05. Teammate Marcus Sorensen received an unsportsmanlike conduct call at 12:51 while Forsberg was put in the box for interference. Jarnkrok’s hooking penalty at 15:36 concluded the first. 

In the second, the whistle first blew against Fabbro at 9:31 for slashing. At 17:15, Goodrow was called for cross-checking and Jarnkrok for slashing. San Jose’s Brent Burns helped out on defense versus Both Fabbro and Meier got unsportsmanlike conduct at 18:52. Kane’s penalties were a four-minute roughing, a misconduct and fighting for a total of 19 minutes, pretty much icing him the rest of the match. For Nashville, it was the same but split between Hamhuis (roughing) and Watson (misconduct and fighting). 

The whistles continued in the third with simultaneous minors to Josi (cross check) and Goodrow (closing hand on puck) at 2:03.

Bonino broke the scoring stalemate with four Sharks around him and near Jones in net at 4:24. It was his third point and second goal in as many games.

San Jose then had four straight penalties. Erik Karlsson was called for hooking at 8:29. The Sharks saw possible relief when Goodrow got a penalty shot, their first of the season on the road, but Saros stopped it.

Meier had a breakaway taken away, Burns was called for elbowing at 12:19 and Johansen subsequently scored after Jones made an initial save. It broke a five-game drought. However, San Jose challenged the goal for interference in pushing Jones’ pad but were disappointed, resulting in the delay of game penalty. 

Forsberg received the final penalty of the night at 13:34 for hooking.

Jones was pulled for an extra man with 2:07 left. Then the Sharks showed new life and that Saros was not impenetrable at 18:02.  It started off a faceoff win and the primary assist came from Hertl poking the puck across behind Saros.

San Jose managed to stay alive at first while the Predators made attempts at the empty net. The Sharks were able to keep the puck from going out, next Nashville went offsides, later turning over the puck, then icing until Jarnkrok finally put the dagger into San Jose’s hopes at 19:18. 

Up Next: Below .500 again, the Sharks will look towards familiar territory helping them with a five-game home stand, starting with the New York Rangers Thursday at 7:30 pm.