The Sharks started 2016 with a loss, falling to the Winnipeg Jets and again failing to win consecutive games at home for the first time this season. It was their fourth loss in six games and their 10th in 14 games since the beginning of December.
San Jose’s power play has been lethal of late, but it was while on the man advantage that the Sharks fell behind 1–0 at 13:14 of the first period. With Ben Chiarot sitting in the penalty box for deflecting the puck over the glass, a pass from Joel Ward found its way to Blake Wheeler, who skated in and drew Martin Jones out of the net before passing the puck to Drew Stafford for the easy goal.
The Jets made it 2–0 just 2:45 into the second when Joel Armia skated around Marc-Edouard Vlasic and fired a puck into traffic in front of the net and past Jones. The goal was first credited to Matt Halischuk, but replays showed it deflecting off Justin Braun’s stick, and the scoring decision was eventually changed to give Armia his first NHL goal.
The power play put the Sharks on the board six and a half minutes later when Dustin Bufyglien took a slashing penalty in his own end and Brent Burns one-timed a pass from Joe Thornton past Connor Hellebuyck. The goal was Burns’ 16th of the season, and gave Thornton points in eight straight games.
The penalty-filled second period continued when Braun shot a puck over the glass at 14:29, and Mathieu Perreault capitalized on the resulting power play to get the goal back for the Jets and send the Sharks to their dressing room down two after two.
Pete DeBoer replaced Jones with Alex Stalock to start the third and began shuffling his lines shortly thereafter, but it wasn’t enough to get his team’s offense going, and Nikolaj Ehlers iced the game with an empty net goal at 17:17 to send the Sharks home with their 11th loss in 15 games at SAP Center.
Sharks goals (assists): Brent Burns (Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Connor Hellebuyck
2) Blake Wheeler
3) Brent Burns