Erik Karlsson smiles as he gets ready for a game against the Florida Panthers on November 3rd at SAP Center in San Jose (@SanJoseSharks photo)
By Titus Wilkinson (@TitusWisme)
SAN JOSE–The San Jose Sharks played the Florida Panthers at home were they lost in a very similar fashion as last game falling in a shootout by 4-3.
In a game between west and east coast teams you usually expect a little bit of a feeling process but the Sharks and the Panthers wasted no time at all.
The first line for San Jose got the juices flowing putting the Panthers on their toes with a couple of chances form Jacob Megna and Alexander Barabonov.
Alexander Barkov and Matthew Tkachuk saw fit to respond though with a couple chances of their own but James Riemer held on strong.
The Sam Bennet line was also giving the Sharks some troubles as the Panthers began to grab onto the momentum and not let go.
10:46 into the first period Luke Kunin hit Patric Hornqvist that made contact with his head and sent him crumpled to the ice.
Ryan Lomberg skated over and responded by pushing Kunin down to the ice.
After the referees took their time and looked at the hit to see if it was a game misconduct they decided it was. Thus giving the Panthers a five minute power play as well as ejecting Kunin from the game.
Going into this game though the Panthers have had one of the worst power plays and it showed early.
Florida could not get much going to start with and the penalty kill unit looked solid.
Late into the power play though Tkachuk fead out in front to Barkov who then did a give and go with Anton Lundell out front. With Reimer scrambling back and forth Barkov tucked it in from Lundell and Tkachuk to make it 1-0 13:43 into the first period.
The rest of the period played out with the Panther keeping up the positive momentum getting some more chances.
It continued to be one goal lead for Florida heading into the intermission with the Panthers also leading in shots at 19-9.
The second period started off similarly for the Sharks as the chances came early. Bobrovsky though held on and stymied the offense for the Sharks.
After that it was a relatively quiet period as both teams kept it at a tight checking affair.
The fireworks began late into the period as Radko Gudas on a one-timer from the point fired one past Reimer to make it 2-0. The assists going to both Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe as Reimer most likely would want that one back.
Tomas Hertl not too long after the goal almost managed to respond as he fired one on net that squeezed through Bobrovsky’s pads. Coming in to save the day Gudas would fly in and sweep the puck away.
Not quite done yet Gudas then proceeded to board Timo Meier causing a scrum though no fight came out of the talking.
It ended up only being a two minute penalty but was late enough that the penalty carried over into the third period.
The shots at the end of the second being 33-22 in favor of Florida.
For the Panthers the third period couldn’t get off too a much worse start as Gustav Forsling took a penalty to make it a five on three for the Sharks.
On the ensuing power play Barabonov found Meier wide open on the right wing who sniped it past a sprawled out Bobrovsky. Erik Karlsson also got an apple on the play continuing his torrid streak.
The Panthers would manage to kill off the rest of the penalty but not too long after Karlsson found the back of the net yet again. This time right off the face-off shooting it through a maze of players and over Bobrovsky’s blocker.
Nick Bonino would end up with the only assist as the Sharks had managed to tie the game at two.
After the quick spree of Sharks goals the play evened out for a little bit. Around five minutes after Karlsson’s goal another Sharks defensman found the board.
This time it was Matt Benning firing one from the point alluding Bobrovsky but most importantly giving the Sharks the lead at 3-2. Karlsson and Logan Couture would end up with the assists on the play.
The Sharks then strapped down and tried to hold on as Florida pulled their goalie.
At first the Sharks appeared to be in good shape with the Panthers not able to find the tying goal.
18:38 into the third period in the dying moments Verhaeghe walked in from the left wing boards and shot it past Reimer to tie it. Helping out with the heart breaking goal would be Tkachuk and Lindell.
Yet again SAP Center got extra hockey with Matt Nieto, Nico Sturm, and Mario Ferraro starting for the Sharks in overtime.
The overtime period was rather even until the Sharks took a too many men penalty and gave Florida the perfect opportunity to win.
Thankfully for San Jose though just 15 seconds into the power play as Brandon Montour took a penalty for holding.
Both teams played out the rest of the period back to three skaters each, forcing another shootout for the Sharks.
It was the second shootout in a row for the Sharks as they dropped their previous shootout against the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks have lost three games in a row all on home ice to the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ducks and Thursday night to the Panthers.
This one would be no different as Sam Reinhart scored in the fourth round to win it 4-3.
The Sharks next game will be another home game this time against the Anaheim Ducks this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.