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Quick Bites: It’s officially a losing streak now

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This is a lost Sharks team looking blindly for a solution.

Dec 1, 2018; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates his goal as San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) skates past in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

When you talk about losing streaks, the magic number is four and the Sharks have hit that magic number in spectacular fashion. The latest debacle, a 6-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators, in a game that was very much in the Sharks’ reach at least for points in the game.

The short summary is that on paper, the game looked close.

San Jose out-shot the Senators, 38-27. The Sharks won 59 percent of the faceoffs and went one for three on the power play.

If you look at the 5-on-5 Corsi courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, San Jose had the better possession.

San Jose Sharks v Ottawa Senators 12.1.18
Courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

The only problem is, the Sharks didn’t win where it counts, on the scoreboard.

If you’re a glutton for punishment, keep reading. If not, I would not be hurt if you stopped here, though I would suggest at least scrolling to see the tribute to Erik Karlsson, courtesy of the Sens.

This was Karlsson’s first game back in Ottawa since the team traded him away in the pre-season. Karlsson received some applause from fans who were sad to see him go. Unfortunately for Sharks’ fans, he didn’t get a little extra boost to his game by playing against his former team.

Both teams started the first period out shakily. Three whistles in the opening minute kept the pace of the game to a minimum. A lot of stop and go hockey. Things picked up a little more around the five-minute mark, when both sides started finding their legs.

When the first period ended, the score was 0-0 and the shots were 8-5 in favor of the Sharks.

Perhaps the highlight of the first was the tribute to Karlsson midway through the first. He received a standing ovation. He did a little skate around the ice and waved to the fans. His wife was in the stands to share the game with him.

Things really went south in the second period. The period opened without Joe Thornton or Brenden Dillon on the bench. Dillon took a big hit midway through the first period and was apparently being evaluated before he was allowed to return to the game in the second.

Meanwhile, Thornton was cut during the first. He got some repair work and also returned to the bench in the second.

Thornton was back on the ice and on his first shift back, he was rocked by a hit from Justin Falk. Marcus Sorensen answered immediately, dropping the gloves with Falk and standing up for Thornton. He was out-matched and out-powered, but held his own. Both Falk and Sorensen received five for fighting.

It was up to the Sharks to respond after that and they tilted the ice for a few minutes before a stupid penalty by Evander Kane put the Senators on the power play.

Four seconds after the Sharks killed the penalty, the Senators scored. Defenseman Thomas Chabot took the initial shot from the point. It got through to Martin Jones and ricochetted off his pads right to Ryan Dzingel. He put it into the open net. In case you’re keeping score, Mikkel Boedker had an assist on the play.

San Jose seemed to respond immediately, with Joe Pavelski getting a great scoring chance off the center faceoff. He didn’t score, but did draw a penalty.

San Jose’s power play had some chances. Kevin Labanc hit one off the post. Kane was robbed by Sens’ goalie Craig Anderson.

With :24 left in the power play, the Sharks drew another penalty and it became 24 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey. The Sharks controlled the puck the whole time, but couldn’t find the right shot until the first penalty had expired. That’s when Burns found Pavelski at the side of the net. Pavs quick passed it to Thornton on the other side of the goal and Jumbo put it into an open net.

With a 1-1 tie, the Sharks looked like they were hanging in there. Then, the wheels came off.

First Dzingel went in on a breakaway. He put the puck top shelf, but somehow only got crossbar. About a minute later, Dzingel had another scoring chance. He delayed his shot and just barely found the paddle of Jones.

Two scares, but still 1-1.

Ottawa continued to push and at 12:56, Ben Harpur scored his first ever NHL goal. Zach Smith skated the puck into the Sharks’ zone and fed it to Harpur who put it right past Jones. the kid has played 60 NHL games and this is his first NHL goal. On a side note, do you think new NHLers circle the date with the Sharks on their calendar?

2-1 Senators.

It took less than a minute for things to go from bad to worse. Chris Tierney got the puck fed it to Boedker who skated into the zone and put it five hole on Jones. It’s a pretty goal if you’re not a Sharks fan. In the celebration huddle, Dylan DeMelo is front an center. Three former Sharks making San Jose pay.

3-1 Senators.

Mercifully, that’s how the second period ended.

The Sharks started the third period out on the power play and a chance to get back into the game. They had some great looks, but could not score on Anderson. That was kind of the story of the morning when they did manage to get the puck on net. If you look at the game heat map, you can see there weren’t a lot of dangerous area scoring chances.

San Jose Sharks Ottawa Senators heat map scoring chances.
Courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

The team followed things up with bonehead mistakes. At 3:01 of the third, the Sharks took a too many men penalty. San Jose tried to push for a shorthanded goal and missed the net. The Senators were happy to make San Jose pay, going back the other way with a 3-on-1. Mark Stone finished the play with an assist by Boedker. It was 4-1 Senators.

Things settled down for the next 10 minutes and no one scored. That is, until head coach Pete DeBoer decided to take things to a new level. With 5:21 left in the game, he pulled Jones just to see what would happen. Magnus Paajarvi showed him what would happen. He took the puck and shot it about 150 feet down the ice and scored. 5-1 Senators.

Jones was back in net after that.

Barclay Goodrow scored off a faceoff in the Senators’ zone at the 18:00 mark. Dillon took a shot from the point and Goodrow tipped it past Anderson. At that point, who cares?

Jones stayed in net this time, but that didn’t stop Ottawa. Cody Ceci teed up a shot from the point and Bobby Ryan tipped it past Jones.

Thankfully it ended at 6-2.

If you’ve reached this far, you might as well end with this stat.

Erik Karlsson had 0 points and minus-2 this morning. The guys we traded for him, Chris Tierney 1 assist and a plus-2, Dylan DeMelo finished plus-1.

That other guy we traded to the Senators as a salary dump presumably so we could later get Karlsson, Mikkel Boedker was the first star of the game with 1 goal and 3 assists.

I guess the only highlight is they’re back at it in Montreal today, so a short memory may be a good thing to have.