Despite the fun atmosphere of Heritage Night at SAP Center, fans left disappointed after a 5-2 Sharks loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Joe Pavelski had two goals to extend a goal-scoring streak to 5 games, but was the only Shark to score tonight.
The Sharks got out to a slow start, allowing Columbus to take a lead on powerplay goal by Brandon Saad. The puck bounced wildly off players around the crease, with it finally hitting Saad and making its way behind Martin Jones, who had made some stellar saves up to that point.
The Sharks finally got moving about 15 minutes into the game, with Joe Pavelski tipping home a shot by Justin Braun to tie the game. Joe Thornton picked up the secondary assist on the goal, tying him for 36th all-time in points with Jean Ratelle.
At the start of the second period, the Sharks picked up right where they left off. Joonas Donskoi dropped a pass back for Joe Thornton on a rush. Thornton just missed a wide open net as he was hooked by Fedor Tyutin. No way he would have missed without that obstruction. That's the definition of a good penalty.
The Blue Jackets took the lead back, however, 8:54 in as Scott Hartnell moved out from behind the net, pivoted, and fired a shot perfectly over the shoulder of Martin Jones. The Sharks tied it back up a few minutes later when Donskoi stripped a puck on the back-check and found a wide open Pavelski in front of the net. Pavelski danced past Bobrovsky to tie the game once more at 2-2.
San Jose seeemed to be rolling, but then the wheels fell off on a couple of oddly bouncing goals. The first came by Boone Jenner after some miscommunication between Jones and Brent Burns behind the net. The second came 29 seconds later when Ryan Murray scored on a goal that was not only tipped by a Sharks defender, but screened by three layers of Sharks. Columbus took the 4-2 lead into second intermission.
In the third, the Sharks dominated on the shot clock, but couldn't get anything past Sergei Bobrovsky. The Sharks would finish the game outshooting Columbus 43-24. That was backed up by the advanced stats as well, with shot attempts 78-49 in the Sharks favor. An empty net goal, though, by Matt Calvert sealed the game for the Blue Jackets.
Sharks goals (assists): Joe Pavelski (Justin Braun, Joe Thornton), Joe Pavelski again (Joonas Donskoi)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Sergei Bobrovsky
2) Joe Pavelski
3) Joonas Donskoi
(It should probably be Hartnell, but Donskoi looked so good)