sfgate.com photo: San Jose Sharks’ Patrick Marleau falls as he reaches for the puck during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in St. Louis. The Blues won 3-2.
~ By Pearl Allison Lo
~ San Jose nearly made a comeback a la their previous opponent, the Washington Capitals, but time expired as the Saint Louis Blues prevailed in regulation 3-2 Tuesday.
After facing the first team overall, the Sharks got the top team in the Western Central. Saint Louis broke a 0-2-1 slide.
Erik Karlsson made it 3-2 with 3:10 to go, but goalie Aaron Dell was not sent to the bench until under half a minute remained.
With just under 12:30 showing on the clock in the second, Vince Dunn and Captain Logan Couture both went for the puck. Dunn slammed Couture as Couture’s left knee went right into the end boards. He had played 9:19 up until then and did not return to the ice.
Dell has only won one game this season when he has given up three goals. Meanwhile, opposing goalie Jordan Binnington got back into the win column after giving up seven goals in his last outing.
San Jose’s special teams excelled. Though they committed a penalty in each period, they stifled any scoring and have now done so through their last 11 penalties. Karlsson’s goal came shorthanded and the Sharks’ first goal came on the power play.
San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic took his first penalty of the season at 12:21 of the first for holding. Dell helped stop a 2-on-1 while facing 10 shots. Binnington battled five.
The Sharks came out of the locker rooms with a 4-0 shot advantage before experiencing insult and injury. Insult occurred when the Blues put San Jose in a 2-0 hole in less than 90 seconds.
The Sharks’ Timo Meier passed back to Evander Kane but Brayden Schenn was able to poke the puck loose and send it to Alexander Steen with speed. Steen drop passed the puck as well for Tyler Bozak, who with three players mostly to his left and behind, had space to roof the biscuit at 5:39. It was Steen’s 299th assist for his team.
Next, Ivan Barbashev went on a breakaway which Dell halted. The puck was corralled by Couture but won by Oskar Sundqvist. With three Sharks in between them, Sundqvist fed Barbashev from along the boards and Barbashev one-timed the puck five seconds after his initial attempt while down on one knee at 6:59.
Saint Louis then added injury to insult with the Couture mishap not long after, though not intentionally.
The third had a bit of promise as Schenn was whistled for hooking at 1:39 and Goodrow won the faceoff. 17 seconds later, Meier had a shot. Joe Thornton and Karlsson were able to keep the puck from going out as it went around the horn to Karlsson near the blue line twice. Meier took the puck from Karlsson the second time and San Jose got the man advantage goal with Goodrow in Binnington’s face at 2:14.
The shine of the goal lasted less than two minutes though. Off a faceoff win, David Perron’s shot deflected off Stefan Noesen’s glove and flew by Dell at 4:07.
The Blues’ Zach Sanford nearly scored 22 seconds later too.
Saint Louis kept at it and it would have been 4-1 when Schenn connected with Jordan Kyrou and him the net, but the tally was brought back for being offsides.
Goodrow was called for cross-checking at 15:41, but it ended up working in the Sharks’ favor. Tomas Hertl passed to Karlsson who got the puck in behind Bennington, but not over the line. Then, when Ryan O’Reilly tried to rescue the disk, it went the wrong way.
Up Next: The Blues’ Niko Mikkola made his NHL debut and spent 12:31 on ice. 2020 will hit SAP Center for the first time as San Jose plays host for two games, beginning with the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday at 7:30pm.