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Quick Bite: Sharks drop fourth straight, lose to Flyers 2-1 (OT)

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Aaron Dell made 33 saves and played magnificently to earn the Sharks one point.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Simmonds scored his 23rd goal of the season 1:04 into overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks’ losing streak now sits at four games.

The Flyers outshot the Sharks 35-24 and controlled momentum for a large majority of the game. Aaron Dell’s 33 saves played a big role in earning the Sharks one point in a rare afternoon matinee game.

Both teams exchanged a pair of minor penalties early in the first period. Just 39 seconds into the game, the Sharks were caught with too many men on the ice, a penalty that will always drive coaches insane. Fortunately for San Jose, Dell made a few strong saves and the Sharks were able to kill the penalty. Minutes later, Micheal Haley and Radko Gudas exchanged barbs in front of the Sharks bench, except Gudas got an extra roughing call against him sending SJ on the powerplay.

27 seconds into the powerplay, the Sharks converted when Kevin LaBanc tapped home a rebound goal past Michal Neuvirth. However, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol challenged that Neuvirth was interfered with by LaBanc and suddenly another Sharks goal was taken off the board and the game was scoreless.

I don’t know, it sure seems like Neuvirth sold this one a little bit.

The highlight of the opening period when Simmonds absolutely made Brent Burns look silly in the offensive zone, leading to a beautiful scoring chance and one of Dell’s best saves all season. The Flyers put on a LOT of pressure on Dell in the period and he had a handful of good saves but nothing will top this, one of his 14 saves that period.

San Jose began the second period killing off the final 1:13 of a hooking penalty that went against Joel Ward and was successful in doing so.

The Sharks went on their second powerplay of the game when Simmonds cross-checked Tomas Hertl after a whistle near the Flyers net, breaking Hertl’s stick. San Jose would spend the next two minutes passing around the Flyers zone and were unable to score despite Neuvirth being without his stick for the majority of the penalty.

The period was remain scoreless in an uneventful second, although Brenden Dillon sending Ivan Provorov into a spin-o-rama was fun to watch.

The Flyers got the game’s first score after an Andrew MacDonald shot rang off the post and the rebound went right to Provorov, who with an excellent toe drag beat Dell top shelf to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead. It took about five and a half periods, but the Flyers finally scored on Aaron Dell.

The Sharks wouldn’t be silenced, however, as Ward drew another holding penalty to put San Jose on its third 5-on-4 advantage of the game. After having one power--play goal overturned, the Sharks capitalized this time as Patrick Marleau buried the puck past Neuvirth for his 20th goal of the season. LaBanc looked to pass to Joe Pavelski but the puck deflected off Sean Couturier’s skate onto the stick of Marleau who wouldn’t be denied his 501st career goal.

As if the road trip couldn’t get worse for San Jose, a nifty move by Nick Cousins drew a tripping penalty on Paul Martin, which put Philadelphia on a powerplay with 4:14 left in regulation. The Flyers kept San Jose in its own zone for nearly 95 seconds before an errant shot allowed the Sharks to get the line change they desperately needed to successfully kill the tripping call.

Despite tons of pressure in the final few minutes by the Flyers, the Sharks survived to earn at least one point, thanks to a huge save by Dell on Couturier from right in front of the net.

And all was needed was about a minute of overtime. Trying to lead a rush, Burns turned the puck over to Simmonds who had a breakaway and this time he would not be denied as he sandwiched the puck between Dell’s skate and the net for the game-winning goal. Simmonds had Burnzie’s number all day long and a careless turnover would drop the Sharks losing streak to four games.

Notes:

  • No Logan Couture today. #39 is listed as day-to-day with an injury.
  • Joe Thornton’s assist on Marleau’s goal gives him 995 career apples, just five away from 1,000.
  • The Sharks have lost four in a row, three of which coming in overtime/shootout so they have earned three points in that stretch.
  • The Sharks REALLY need to figure it out. Hopefully they can have a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s game against New Jersey.

Fear the Fin’s 3 Stars:

1). Wayne Simmonds

2). Aaron Dell

3). Ivan Provorov