San Jose Sharks Nick Bonino (13) brings up the ice shavings in front of Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Annri Raanta (32) at PNC Arena in Raleigh NC on Fri Jan 27, 2023 (@SanJoseSharks photo)
By Matthew Harrington
In a season where the San Jose Sharks have found creative and painful ways to lose games Friday night proved to be a season-low. The Sharks had a 4-2 lead after scoring an empty net goal with 1:52 left in regulation, but surrendered two goals to the Carolina Hurricanes in the waning moments of regulation before Martin Necas netted the overtime winner 5-4.
Michael Eyssimont had a three-point night in the loss, Mario Ferraro had a goal and an assist and Nick Bonino and Oskar Lindblom lit the lamp in defeat. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Sharks (14-25-11), but Necas and Sebastian Aho scored a pair each and Calvin De Haan pitched in with a goal for the host Hurricanes (31-9-8).
The third period proved wild Friday night, as both teams were tied 1-1 entering the frame thanks to a goal by Lindblom and De Haan’s response both occurring in the final five minutes of the first period. Aho gave the Hurricanes the lead 17 seconds into the final frame with a power play goal.
Eyssimont picked off a Aho dump in, feeding Nick Bonino on a drive towards the Canes net for a breakway. Bonino beat Antti Raanta for his ninth goal of the season to tie the game at the 6:50 mark.
Eyssimont’s strong game continued after Nico Sturm kept a Mario Ferraro pass from jumping out of the offensive zone. He passed the puck to Eyssimont on the wall and drove the net, creating a screen for Eyssimont’s shot to sneak through to give San Jose a 3-2 lead with 8:45 left in regulation.
Ferraro picked up the empty netter at the 18:08 mark, but Sebastian Aho was able to slip behind the Sharks defense and take a pass from Teuvo Teravainen that Aho was able to easily shoot past Reimer just 15 seconds later to make it 4-3.
Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour pulled the goalie yet again, and this time it paid off after Aho’s near goalline fling on net rebounded in the slot to Necas with 12 seconds left. Necas was able to slide the rebound home for his 20th goal of the year and force overtime.
Necas played the hero in overtime after the Canes found themselves on a 3-on-1 breakaway after Eyssimont’s attempt to break up the rush failed. Andrei Svechnikov went down the left side and hit the cross-crease pass to Necas who buried the one-timer 55 seconds into the extra frame.
The Sharks have now lost four consecutive games, all on the road and have lost the last two in overtime. They won’t have long to scratch their heads over the loss as they head north to face the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena Saturday night. After that, they head to All-Star break before continuing the tough roadie with games against the Lightning, Panthers and Capitals before returning home to face the Penguins again on Valentine’s Day.