The Sharks didn't deserve to win that hockey game, but they came pretty close thanks to an outstanding effort by Alex Stalock. The 4-3 shootout loss is the first for the Sharks this season and came on a night where they were outshot by the Islanders 45-23.
Despite the outcome, it was easily the most entertaining game the Sharks (3-0-1) have played in this year with plenty of end-to-end action that featured some strong goaltending and less-than-spectacular shooting. While the Sharks didn't manage many shots on net, they did seem to have a fair bit of puck possession — the Corsi numbers were in favor of the Islanders 78-59.
In particular, the third line was a dumpster fire tonight for San Jose. Tommy Wingels took home a Corsi +/- of -24; which, in case you're new around here, is absolutely horrific. Ty McGinn and Chris Tierney contributed to the cause with ratings of -14 and -15, respectively. The fourth line wasn't much better, with its most major contribution to the game coming from a John Scott hit that all but killed Mikhail Grabovski — the first period collision sent Grabo to the dressing room. He didn't return.
The Sharks got on the scoresheet first from a Brent Burns tally. Burns ripped a shot directly into the shin of John Tavares who collapsed to the ice; while Tavares struggled to get back up, distracting the rest of his teammates, Burns was able to send another shot that got to the back of the net. Patrick Marleau and Tomas Hertl also had goals — Logan Couture had the only Sharks goal in the shootout. John Tavares and Kyle Okposo scored in the shootout for Long Island.
- That's back-to-back years that the Sharks' first loss has come in a shootout — they fell to the Dallas Stars for their first loss last year.
- Alex Stalock made 42 saves in another fine goaltending performance.
- Brent Burns took a bad penalty in the third period (one of only three penalties called in the game) which set up the Islander's second goal. He also had two points tonight, so, you take the good with the bad.
- The bottom two lines have not inspired confidence for the Sharks this year — it's still too early (and there are too many players missing) for it to be a pressing concern, but it's there.
- Joe Thornton's two assists moved him just one assist shy of 1200.
- The John Scott hit looked clean to me — Grabovski didn't see Scott coming and Scott made sure to finish his check; it was the only time Scott found himself on the stat sheet in his five minutes of ice time.
- Are the Islanders any good this year? Maybe! They're now 4-0-0 and acquitted themselves very well tonight; it would be cool to see them retire the Nassau Coliseum with a playoff run.
FTF Three Stars
1st Star: Kyle Okposo
2nd Star: John Tavares
3rd Star: Alex Stalock