Through four games this season, the San Jose Barracuda have been shorthanded 18 times. In their first two games, the Barracuda successfully killed off the oppositions nine power play opportunities. However, in the nine times they've been shorthanded over the last two games, the Barracuda have allowed four power play goals, two of which were surrendered in Wednesday night's 3-2 shootout loss to the San Diego Gulls (AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) at SAP Center.
The Barracuda, who have only allowed one even strength goal in the five goals they've allowed in their last two games, got a two-point game from captain Bryan Lerg, the first shorthanded goal in franchise history from forward Scott Timmins and 29-saves in net from goaltender Troy Grosenick, who remains winless this season despite making a combined 66-saves in his two starts.
Lerg, who was returned to the Barracuda from the San Jose Sharks earlier in the day, put the Barracuda up 1-0 at 5:11 when he followed up his slap shot from on top of the left faceoff circle and fired the rebound past Gulls goaltender John Gibson for his third goal of the season and second goal in as many games. Barracuda forwards Jeremy Langlois and Melker Karlsson, who was making his season debut, were credited with the assists.
With the Barracuda shorthanded inside the final two-minutes of the period, Timmins put the Barracuda up 2-0 at 18:40 when he lifted the puck up-and-over a sprawled out Gibson, who robbed Lerg of a goal on a breakaway attempt with a sprawling save, on a rebound for his second goal of the season.
Just as it appeared the Barracuda would head into intermission with a two goal lead, the Gulls scored a power play goal with six seconds left in the period as defenseman Brandon Montour's shot from the right point by the blue line went in off the stick and skate of Barracuda defenseman Mark Cundari, who was attempting to corral the puck on top of the crease after Grosenick had made a pad save on the initial shot.
The Gulls pulled even at 6:26 of the second period when forward Harry Zolnierczyk reached out in front and deflected in defenseman Shea Theodore's one-timer from the right point for a power play goal, his second goal of the season.
After a scoreless and physical third period, the teams headed to overtime, where both teams exchanged scoring chances that were highlighted by Grosenick stopping Gulls forward Mike Sgarbossa on a breakaway less than a minute in and Barracuda forward Nikolay Goldobin having his spin-o-rama backhanded shot from in close denied by a sprawled out Gibson at the halfway point of the extra session.
In the shootout, the Gulls got goals from forwards Nick Ritchie and Stefan Noesen in the top of the second and third rounds to win the game 3-2.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 32-27 in favor of the Gulls... The Barracuda went 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill... Grosenick fell to 0-1-1 with a 2.89 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage... Timmins had a game high seven shots on goal... Barracuda defenseman Dylan DeMelo made his season debut after being returned from the San Jose Sharks along with Lerg and Goldobin earlier in the day... The San Jose Sharks recalled defenseman Mirco Mueller and forward Micheal Haley when they returned Lerg, Goldobin and DeMelo to the Barracuda... A scoring change to Oct. 15 game in Stockton had Mueller losing an assist and Barracuda forward Ryan Carpenter gaining an assist... This was the first of 12 meetings between the Barracuda and Gulls this season... The Barracuda are 0-0-1 against the Gulls, 0-1-1 at SAP Center and 2-1-1 with five points overall... The Barracuda rematch the Gulls on Friday night (Oct. 23) at SAP Center with puck drop at 7pm/pt.
1. Bryan Lerg - Barracuda (1-1-2)
2. Harry Zolniercyzk - Gulls (1-0-1)
3. John Gibson - Gulls (25 saves, Win)
McCarthy (A) / Carpenter / Emanuelsson
Karlsson / Lerg (C) / Langlois
Goldobin / Timmins / Jevpavols
McLaren / Crane / Parkes
Stollery / DeMelo
McNally / Ryan
Young / Cundari