Playing in front of a season-high 9,055 fans at the DCU Center Saturday night, the Worcester Sharks were edged 3-2 by their Atlantic Division rival the Providence Bruins (AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins).
The Sharks got two point games from forward Dan DaSilva (Gordie Howe hat trick), defensemen Sena Acolatse (goal, assist) and rookie Konrad Abeltshauser (two assists), and 24 saves from goaltender Harri Sateri.
"It was a hell of a hockey game," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "Up and down the ice, good power plays, we came back in the third period, but it wasn't good enough to get the final two points. Our margin of error is like 'this.'?"
After Sateri denied Bruins forward Justin Florek on a breakaway attempt five seconds into the game, DaSilva put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 6:45 when he ripped a slap shot from on top of the right face-off circle past Bruins rookie goaltender Malcolm Subban for a power play goal, his eighth goal of the season. Acolatse and Abeltshauser were credited with the assists.
At 14:07, DaSilva dropped the gloves with Bruins forward Anthony Camara after both shoved each other several times at side of Sateri's net post whistle. The fight, which was more of a tussle match, was DaSilva's first of the season.
The Bruins tied the game at 4:19 of the second period when forward Nick Johnson poked at rebound in the slot and got the puck past Sateri for his 15th goal of the season. Johnson put the Bruins ahead at 15:21 when off a failed clear attempt by the Sharks, Johnson got positioning at the left side of Sateri's goal crease and redirected defenseman Ben Youds' left point slap pass past Sateri for a power play goal, his second goal of the game and 16th of the season.
In the third period, Acolatse tied the game at 2:04 when he beat Subban with a howitzer of a slap shot from the left point for a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season. DaSilva and Abeltshauser were credited with the assists.
The Bruins regained the lead at 9:08 when off a turnover behind Sateri's net by Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki, forward Alexander Khokhlachev buried home a one-timer from the hash marks in the slot past Sateri for his ninth goal of the season, which held up as the game winning goal.
Despite out-shooting the Bruins 12-4 in the period, the Sharks couldn't get the tying goal past Subban, who made 28 saves for his seventh win of the season, five of which have come against the Sharks.
"He's an acrobatic goalie," said Sharks forward Travis Oleksuk in a post game interview with Ballou, "and we've got to be able to lift the puck on him, put it over him when he's on the ground."
NOTES... Final shots were 30-27 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 2-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 11-15-1 with a 2.91 goals-against-average and .895 save percentage... Acolatse had a game high six shots on goal... Petrecki and defensive partner Matt Tennyson were both minus-two... The crowd of 9,055 was the third largest in Worcester Sharks franchise history (via SharksAHL.com)... It was Freddie Hamilton Bobblehead Night... This was the sixth of twelve meetings between the Sharks and Bruins this season... The Sharks are 0-5-0-1 against the Bruins, 9-8-0-1 at the DCU Center and 19-17-3-1 with 42 points overall... The Sharks continue their five game home stand on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 26) as they host their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs at 3pm/et.
1. Nick Johnson - Bruins (2-0-2)
2. Dan DaSilva - Sharks (1-1-2, Gordie Howe hat trick)
3. Alexander Khokhlachev - Bruins (1-0-1, GWG)
Schwartz / Hamilton (A) / Viedensky
Gourde / Oleksuk / DaSilva
Scheidl / Gron / Livingston
Gogol / Bonneau (A) / Comrie
Abeltshauser / Acolatse
Petrecki / Tennyson
DeMelo / Davison (C)