The San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer in goal and the New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28) who scores in the shootout for the game winner at SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Nov 6, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 in a shoot-out to the New Jersey Devils Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose. Ryan Graves and Janne Kuokkanen scored for the Devils and Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Rudolfs Balcers and Jonathan Dahlen. James Reimer made 26 saves in the loss.
New Jersey out-shot San Jose 10-9 in a scoreless first period. Each team had a chance on the power play, with the Devils power play getting two shots on goal and the Sharks power play getting three. The teams were also very close in the face-off circle, with the Sharks winning 11 draws and the Devils winning 10.
Rudolfs Balcers scored the first goal of the game early in the second period. The Sharks had just killed off an early penalty, having given up just one to the Devils power play. Mario Ferraro carried the puck all the way across the Devils blue line before making a pass through the blue paint to Balcers, who was able to put the puck in the net. Assists went to Ferraro and Brent Burns.
Devils defenseman Ryan Graves tied the game at 16:45 with his first goal of the season. He trailed the play into the zone and arrived just in time to catch a cross-ice pass from Nico Hischier. Reimer could not get across in time to stop the shot. Assists went to Hischier and Michael McLeod.
The teams continued to be very close in shots, with the second period count at 9-7 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Devils improved to 61%, or 11-18. The Devils had the only power play in the period, and had just the one shot on goal.
Jonathan Dahlen made it 2-1 with a shot on the power play into the top corner at 4:21 of the third. Assists went to Brent Burns and Ryan Merkley.
Janne Kuokkanen tied tied it back up at 17:04 of the third. His shot was one of many that flew at James Reimer in quick succession. Kuokkanen was able to shoot while Reimer was prone across the goal mouth. Assists went to Jimmy Vesey and Colton White.
Logan Couture shot first and scored with an assertive wrist shot through the Bernier’s five-hole.
New Jersey’s Jesper Bratt shot next. His shot hit Reimer’s pad and seemed to stop but instead slid over the line to count for a goal.
Rudolfs Balcers shot next for San Jose but his shot hit the post.
Alexander Holz shot next for New Jersey and Reimer stopped his shot.
Tomas Hertl shot next, but Bernier deflected the shot away from the net.
Damon Severson shot last for New Jersey and scored. After a shimmy and a shake he lifted the puck over Reimer and up into the corner.
The final shot count was as close as ever, 28-27 Devils. In the face-off circle, New Jersey also prevailed, winning 54% of the draws. The Sharks power play scored on one of three chances, and their penalty kill was perfect against four Devils power plays.
The Sharks will hit the road now and play next in Calgary against the Flames on Tuesday at 6:00 PM PT.