The Sharks fell 3-1 to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night in a game that may have ramifications beyond the points left on the board.
Shane Doan scored on a shot below the Sharks' goal line with fewer than two minutes to go by banking a shot off Martin Jones' left arm to give Arizona both points. It's San Jose's first loss to the Coyotes this season in three games played.
While the late goal looms large, so do a pair of waived off goals that would have given the Sharks an advantage. Chris Tierney's in particular seemed like a goal that should have stayed on the board.
Adding injury to insult are a pair of potential key losses to the Sharks. Matt Nieto blocked a shot and, seemingly as a result, did not return. Marc-Edouard Vlasic also mysteriously vanished from the Sharks bench at some point in the third period. We'll provide updates on their condition when we get them.
No concrete update from DeBoer regarding Vlasic and Nieto. "We'll see how they feel tomorrow." #SJSharks— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) March 18, 2016
The Sharks controlled possession, out-shooting the Coyotes 28-22 and dominating Arizona in score-adjusted fenwick. San Jose was unable to score more than one goal that ended up counting and were burned as a result of it.
San Jose appeared to score first as Dainius Zubrus took advantage of an Arizona turnover, but the play was challenged by Arizona. The goal was overturned as the initial zone entry was deemed offside and shortly thereafter the Coyotes got on the board themselves. A deflected shot by Michael Stone put Arizona up 1-0.
The Sharks started the second period with a great chance as Mike Smith nearly came out to the Arizona blue line to play the puck. He managed to beat Joe Pavelski to the puck but Brent Burns held the zone with Smith still well out of his net. Both Burns and Joe Thornton had great chances to score but neither converted.
Tomas Hertl finally put the Sharks on top with a nice stuff-in goal. This one counted. I promise. I almost didn't believe it myself when I saw it.
Now the Sharks look to regroup against the New York Rangers on Saturday before facing the Coyotes again on Sunday.
Sharks goals (assists): Tomas Hertl (Paul Martin, Joe Thornton)
Fear the Fin's 3 Stars
1) The referees
2) zebra dudes
3) guys in stripes