San Jose Sharks center Lane Pederson (18) foreground, and goaltender James Reimer (47) collide inside the net against the Vegas Golden Knights at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sun Feb 20, 2022 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks fell 4-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday. Keegan Kolesar, Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty, and Chandler Stephenson scored for Vegas. Logan Thompson made 35 saves for the win. Nick Bonino scored for San Jose and James Reimer made 31 saves in the loss.
After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner described the game as: “Another first period where we’re chasing and we’re down two-nothing, it’s a couple, I would say, soft kind of goals on us and it’s no recipe for success.”
Sharks Captain Logan Couture talked about how frustration mounts for players as the losses pile up:
“Guys are trying to bear down. Everyone in there wants to score. You don’t come to the rink and say ‘oh, I can’t wait to get a chance tonight and then miss.’ You know, you’re trying the best you can. It’s deflating, obviously, guys get frustrated, disappointed. You know, you go one long streaks without scoring, trying to keep positive.
You know, it’s so easy to say ‘well I’m getting chances, it’s gonna go in, it’s gonna go in.’ Until you actually see the puck go in the net, you don’t feel that relief. I’m sure there’s a lot of guys in there who feel like there’s an extra ten, twenty pounds on their shoulders right now, the puck’s not going in.”
The first goal came at 10:14, shortly after a successful four-minute penalty kill from the Sharks. The penalty was on Rudolfs Balcers, and though the damage was done with the injured players’ own stick, it was aided by a stick lift from Balcers. Then, after the Sharks killed that off, Keegan Kolesar’s shot went in, off of Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick. It was Kolesar’s fifth of the season, assists went to Bret Howden and Shea Theodore.
The second Vegas goal came at 14:34, on the power play, off of Jack Eichel’s stick. It was Eichel’s first goal as a Golden Knight. Assists went to Chandler Stephenson and Alex Pietrangelo.
The Sharks were outshot 16-8 in the first period. Their penalty kill allowed six shots and mustered three short-handed shots. The Sharks won just 39% of the face-offs.
The third Vegas goal came early in the second period, a truly strange bouncer that crossed the line then bounced back out and required video review to be confirmed. That goal went ot Max Pacioretty, with assists to Theodore and Eichel.
The Sharks out-shot the Golden Knights 14-9 and improved a little in the face-off circle, wining 45% of the draws. There was only one penalty in the second period, and it went to Vegas. The Sharks power play got two shots on goal.
The Sharks finally got on the board midway through the third period. Nick Bonino scored the goal after Andrew Cogliano centered the puck from below the goal line. Assists went to Cogliano and Jake Middleton.
Chandler Stephenson scored into an empty net with 33 seconds left in the game. Assists went to Pacioretty and Nicolas Roy.
The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Anaheim against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.