Playing the second half of a back-to-back, the Sharks fell to the Hurricanes tonight to drop to 2–1 on their road trip. Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl scored goals for San Jose, but Martin Jones allowed four and Carolina added one into the empty net to seal the Sharks' fate.
The Hurricanes took the lead just over seven minutes into the contest when fourth liner Chris Terry deflected a shot from Noah Hanifin past Jones, who didn't have a chance of stopping the puck as it sailed over his shoulder. It may have just been a crazy good deflection (and a bit lucky), but on Star Wars Night in Carolina, maybe the Force played a role too.
In a 1–0 hole for the third straight game to start their road trip, the Sharks didn't take long to respond. Noted Wookiee Burns tied the game and picked up his NHL-leading (among defensemen) 19th goal with a blast from the point that eluded a screened Cam Ward.
Let the Wookiee score. pic.twitter.com/UbPYc6ZqpB— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) February 20, 2016
Joakim Nordstrom got the lead back for the Canes halfway through the second, carrying the puck into the offensive zone and shooting it past two Sharks defenders and Jones. Though the goal put the Sharks in a hole again, things could have been a lot worse—Carolina outshot San Jose 19–4 in the second and attempted 26 shots to San Jose's seven. In the last fifteen minutes of the period, the Sharks managed just one shot on goal.
Despite the goal against, a strong period by Jones in his second game in as many nights kept the Sharks in the game heading into the third. Less than a minute into the third, however, Jeff Skinner extended Carolina's lead to 3–1 with Mike Brown in the penalty box for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty taken at the end of the second. The goal was immediately waved off due to goalie interference by Eric Staal, but Carolina challenged the call and it was overturned upon review.
Down two early in the third, the Sharks put some pressure on the Hurricanes for the first time since the middle of the first. Hertl cut the deficit to one at 10:38 when Patrick Marleau stole the puck from Cam Ward behind the net and sent it to Hertl for the easy goal into the vacated net, but Jeff Skinner's second goal of the game put Carolina up 4–2 with less than five minutes to go. Jordan Staal added a goal into the empty net and that was it as the Sharks' win streak ended at three games and their point streak at five.
Sharks goals (assists): Brent Burns (Joel Ward, Matt Nieto), Tomas Hertl (Patrick Marleau)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Jeff Skinner
2) Jordan Staal
3) Brent Burns