Two separate leads weren’t enough to get a win tonight as the Sharks fell to the Blackhawks 4–3 in overtime. Missing Joel Ward and Melker Karlsson in addition to Logan Couture, San Jose’s depleted lineup played well enough to earn a point but couldn’t get the second against the defending Stanley Cup champs.
Neither team had many chances early, but each scored on just its third shot attempt to kick off a busy first period. Artem Anisimov put the Hawks up 1–0 less than five minutes into the game following a turnover behind the net by Paul Martin before Joonas Donskoi tied things up again three minutes later when he received a perfect pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic behind the Chicago defense, skated in alone, and beat Corey Crawford with a pretty sweet move. The goal was Donskoi’s fourth of the year, and the assist for Vlasic was his 200th career point in his 700th career game.
The now-12th-ranked Sharks’ power play got its first chance of the night halfway through the first when Andrew Shaw was called for interference, and the second unit gave the Sharks their first lead when Donskoi screened Crawford and Tommy Wingels fired a shot over Crawford’s right shoulder.
San Jose’s lead didn’t last for long. Chicago made it a 2–2 game less than two minutes after Wingels' goal when Patrick Kane beat Martin Jones. Pete DeBoer tried to get the play overturned on an offsides call, but the goal stood and the Sharks entered the first intermission tied 2–2 and up 13–11 in shots (16–13 in shot attempts).
Donskoi continued his strong game in the second, blocking one shot with his knee and another with his ankle on the same shift to help keep the Hawks off the board. Joe Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead again with a little more than five minutes left in the period, scoring his fourth goal in six games and 16th of the season.
San Jose began the third period killing off the bulk of a goalie interference penalty taken by Patrick Marleau near the end of the second. Martin Jones preserved the lead on the kill with a big save, getting his toe in between Artemi Panarin’s shot and the net. The Sharks followed the penalty kill with back-to-back power plays when Trevor van Riemsdyk held Matt Nieto’s stick and Kane high sticked Vlasic, but they came up empty on both opportunities, and Andrew Shaw tied the game up again shortly thereafter when Brent Burns slipped and set the Blackhawks off on an odd man rush.
Both teams traded chances for the rest of the period, but neither could get a fourth goal to keep the game from going to overtime. Crawford made a number of big stops, and Jones made a stellar save of his own to stop Jonathan Toews with less than a minute left in regulation.
The Sharks played well overall in the third despite the failed power play opportunities and the Chicago goal, outshooting Chicago 11–5, but the extra period was all Blackhawks. Several consecutive 2-on-1s were unsuccessful until Kane sent a pass to Toews that he banged in at 2:21 to send the Sharks packing with only one point. They'll now fly to LA for a matchup with the Pacific Division-leading Kings before taking a few days off for the holidays.
Sharks goals (assists): Joonas Donskoi (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun), Tommy Wingels (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Joonas Donskoi), Joe Pavelski (Joe Thornton, Paul Martin)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Jonathan Toews
2) Joonas Donskoi
3) Marc-Edouard Vlasic