Nursing a one goal lead inside the final 90-seconds of the third period, the Worcester Sharks allowed the tying goal with 69-seconds left and lost 3-2 in the shootout to the Providence Bruins (AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins) Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in their last road game of the season.
The Sharks, who trail the Norfolk Admirals by six points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and have seven home games remaining, got regulation goals from rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser and rookie forward Eriah Hayes. In addition, Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri made 32 saves in net while forward Travis Oleksuk and defenseman Matt Tennyson dished out two assists each.
Abeltshauser put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 6:42 of the first period when he ripped a slap shot from the left point that got through the defense and beat Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg for his sixth goal of the season. Oleksuk, who won the face-off inside the Bruins zone, and Tennyson were credited with the assists.
Hayes pushed the Sharks lead to 2-0 at 8:55 of the second period when he broke in all alone through the center slot, faked out Svedberg and slid the puck through Svedberg's wickets for a power play goal, his 10th goal of the season. Oleksuk and Tennyson picked up the assists.
The Bruins cut the Sharks lead in half at 15:37 when forward Alexander Khokhlachev buried home the rebound of linemate Justin Florek's point shot for his 20th goal of the season.
With Svedberg pulled for the extra attacker inside the final two minutes of the third period, Bruins forward Craig Cunningham tied the game at 18:51 when he fired a wrist shot from the left face-off circle that beat Sateri stick side for his 25th goal of the season.
After a scoreless overtime session, the teams headed to the shootout where the Sharks took a 1-0 in the top of the second round when rookie forward Ryan Carpenter beat Svedberg. The Bruins took a 2-1 lead through four rounds with goals from Khokhlachev and forward Seth Griffith. Hayes tied the shootout with a goal in the top of the fifth round but Bruins forward Nick Johnson beat Sateri on the ensuing attempt to win the game.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 35-25 in favor of the Bruins... The Sharks went 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 17-22-2 with a 2.92 goals-against-average and .893 save percentage... Oleksuk has a five game point streak (3-4-7) and has 19 points (7-12-19) in his last 17 games... The Sharks are now 10-2 in the shootout this season and both losses have come to Svedberg... The Sharks are now 24-4-1-2 when scoring the game's first goal... The Sharks finished 17-17-3-1 on the road for the 2013-14 season... This was the 11th of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Bruins this season... The Sharks are 3-6-0-2 against the Bruins and 34-30-3-2 with 73 points overall.. The Sharks continue their three-in-three weekend as they host the Hershey Bears Saturday night (April 5) at 7pm/et.
1. Nick Johnson - Bruins (Shootout GWG)
2. Craig Cunningham - Bruins (1-0-1)
3. Harri Sateri - Sharks (32 saves)
Carpenter / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Hamilton / Oleksuk / Hayes
Schwartz / Raw / Schmidt
Bonneau (A) / Higgs / Pelech
Tennyson / Abeltshauser
Davison (C) / DeMelo
Mueller / Doherty