There's no such thing as a good loss, but as getting fewer than two points go, this one is more easily shrugged off than others. San Jose lost to Ottawa 4-3 Monday in a shootout despite absolutely blitzing the Senators in just about ever facet of the game.
Brent Burns' late penalty looms large, as does the Sharks inability to finish on more chances in both regulation and overtime. The loss ends San Jose's win streak at five games, but the point puts the Sharks into a tie with Arizona for second place in the Pacific.
Despite San Jose outplaying Ottawa early on, it was the Senators who got on the board first. Alex Stalock came way out of the net to try to make a play on a puck and Max McCormick made him pay to put Ottawa up 1-0.
Ottawa doubled its lead on the first power play of the night, a tripping minor to Joel Ward. Bobby Ryan took the shot that put the Senators up 2-0. That lead was short lived, though, as just seconds later a gorgeous pass from Joe Thornton found the stick of Tomas Hertl to make it 2-1 Senators.
The Sharks dominated the first two periods with only one goal to show for it. Ottawa seemed to get away with a few penalties in a late push by San Jose in the Senators' zone, but good goaltending by Craig Anderson (and emergency defense by the Sens) held off the San Jose onslaught.
A lightning-quick shot by Logan Couture caught Anderson by surprise early on in the third period to tie things up at two. He picked the puck up on his backhand and was able to shift to his forehand before absolutely blasting a shot past Anderson, who was caught deep in his crease.
Then came the breakthrough. Matt Nieto scored the goal of the season for San Jose — and you've gotta just see this one to believe it.
As the Sharks looked poised to close this one out (they were on their first power play of the night) Brent Burns managed to take down Zack Smith and give the Senators a penalty shot. His shot was reviewed but ultimately stood up as a good goal and tied the game 3-3.
That held up to overtime and all the way to the shootout where the Senators scored once and San Jose's win-streak came to an end.
Fear the Fin's 3 Stars
1) Tomas Hertl
2) Logan Couture
3) Marc-Edouard Vlasic