Photo credit: @StLouisBlues
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks lost 7-6 to the St. Louis Blues Saturday. Blues goals came from Marco Scandella (2), Sammy Blais, Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Mackenzie MacEachern and Ryan O’Reilly. Jordan Binnington made 15 saves in 30:34 of ice time, and Ville Husso made 19 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier (2), Evander Kane (2), Logan Couture, and Kevin Labanc. Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in the loss.
After the game, Sharks forward Evander Kane said:
“Any time you score six goals you usually feel you should win the hockey game. I think we gave them a lot, I’d say probably four of those seven goals, we literally gave them the puck. So that was disappointing. And when you make that many mistakes through the course of a game, you know, sometimes scoring six isn’t going to get the job done.”
Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the four leads the Sharks earned and lost again in the game: “We couldn’t get any momentum going, after we got up, after we got those leads. So.. I mean it’s tough to build momentum when the next shots goes in the net every time.”
Timo Meier scored with the first shot of the game seven seconds in. Meier caught a puck just as it came of the boards and took the shot without hesitation. It deflected off of a defenseman and bounced past Jordan Binnington for Meier’s third of the year. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Dylan Gambrell.
Marco Scandella tied the game at 6:08 with a shot from the middle of the blue line. The puck went past three skaters and into the net on Devan Dubnyk’s glove side.
Evander Kane took the lead back for the Sharks with a power play goal at 10:11. Logan Couture tried to get a shot off from close in but the puck rolled away. Binnington could not corral it and it ended up on Kane’s stick for a tight angle shot. Assists went to Couture and Brent Burns.
At the end of the second, the shots were 12-6 Sharks, with three of those Sharks shots coming on the power play. The face-offs heavily favored the Blues at 63%.
Sammy Blais tied it again 3:34 into the second period. A failed clear by Kevin Labanc ended up on Vince Dunn’s stick for a quick shot from the blue line. Blais collected the puck before it got to the goaltender and swept it around and in with a backhand. Assists went to Dunn and Ryan O’Reilly.
Meier scored again to give the Sharks their third lead of the game at 6:43. With the Sharks on the power play, Meier kept the puck in at the line, carried it down the boards as far as the face-off circle, and shot the puck into the top corner. Kevin Labanc got the assist.
The Blues came right back with another tying goal at 7:28. David Perron had the puck up high in the slot. With a number of skaters to choose from, he found Brayden Schenn coming in late and wide open. Schenn’s shot beat Dubnyk on the glove side.
Kane scored his second of the game at 10:34. Kane got control of the puck in the neutral zone and carried it in with one defenseman to contend with. He took a shot from the top of the face-off circle. the Blues made a goaltending change and put Ville Husso in the game. Binnington made a stop at the Sharks bench and then another to give Dubnyk a shove on his way off the ice.
Zach Sanford tied it up again with 1:44 left in the period. Sanford came up with the puck below the goal line, skated to the net and poked it past Dubnyk. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Torey Krug.
The Sharks led in shots again in the second, 20-16, with six shots coming on the power play. They had three power plays in the period and one penalty kill. The Sharks lost ground on already bad numbers in the face-off circle, winning only 21% of them.
The third period saw three goals in the first 3:20. Mackenzie MacEachern gave the Blues their first lead of the game 1:17 into the third period. The Sharks were on the power play when MacEachern and Zach Sanford broke away in a two-on-one for a short handed goal.
Kevin Labanc tied it back up at 2:13. John Leonard made a nice back-hand pass from almost behind the net to set up Labanc for the shot. Assists went to Leonard and Meier.
Ryan O’Reilly scored the eleventh goal of the game at 3:20. Justin Faulk’s hard shot from the top of the circle created a rebound through traffic for O’Reilly to nudge in, reaching through a thicket of bodies.
Logan Couture tied it up again at 6:31. Brent Burns took a shot from the blue line and it deflected off of Couture half way down the slot. It bounced and spun over Husso. Assists went to Burns and Mario Ferraro.
Oskar Sundqvist gathered the puck up behind the net and sent it past two Sharks to Marco Scandella coming in on the other side of the blue paint. Scandella directed it in by the post for the seventh Blues goal at 7:14.
The Sharks pulled their goaltender at the end but could not tie it up again. The Sharks improved somewhat in the face-off circle during the third period, winning 47% which still put the Blues ahead. The Blues had two shots through two power plays and led in shots for the period 9-8.
The Sharks next play on Monday in San Jose, against the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 PM PT.
Tomas Hertl was out for COVID-19 quarantine, which triggered the rescheduling of Thursday’s game. Erik Karlsson and Radim Simek both returned from injury for Saturday’s game. Karlsson had six shots on goal and Simek had one. The team wore throwback jerseys from the 90s, with the wide grey stripe.