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Jets 5, Sharks 3: Sometimes the puck doesn’t bounce your way

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Jets showed why they’re the best in the West.

Dec 20, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Barclay Goodrow (23) and Winnipeg Jets left wing Brendan Lemieux (48) fight during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve never seen West Side Story. And I kind of wish I hadn’t seen the Sharks versus the Jets tonight, either.

A few weird moments outweighed the Sharks’ overall strong play, as the Jets won 5-3 with Nikolaj Ehlers scoring the strangest hat trick. Just the absolute strangest hat trick. His third goal went nowhere near the net!

Here’s some individual positives: Evander Kane played well, Joe Thornton is officially top 10 all-time in assists and Joonas Donskoi scored his 100th career point.

At this point in the season, playing well is more important than winning. But winning is more fun than whatever that was.

Pregame

The Sharks will continue to face Central Division opponents when they host the opposing division’s top team, the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are 22-10-2 so far this season, with a 5-1-0 record in the past six games. That one recent loss came Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

On the visitors’ offensive side, Patrik Laine is tied for third in goals scored this season; Mark Scheifele is fifth in points; Mathieu Perreault has scored in five consecutive games; and the power play is first in the league, with a 30 percent conversion rate. Martin Jones recently showed his stellar side, and the Sharks will likely need that from him again.

Lines

Sharks

Jets (via Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun):

Nikolaj EhlersMark ScheifeleBlake Wheeler

Kyle ConnorBryan LittlePatrik Laine

Mathieu PerreaultJack Roslovic/Adam LowryBrandon Tanev

Brendan LemieuxNic PetanMason Appleton

Josh MorrisseyJacob Trouba

Ben ChiarotDustin Byfuglien

Dmitry KulikovTyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Where to Watch

The game will be broadcast by NBC Sportsnet California and TSN3 and streamed on NHL.tv. Radio listeners can tune into 98.5 KFOX.

First Period

19:41: The Sharks took a penalty just under 20 seconds in. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Jets’ power play is really good...

19:22: Patrik Laine takes a penalty. He’s their main weapon and it’s good to get him off the ice.

19:10: Well the Jets get on the board anyway. Dustin Byfuglien stripped Burns and went high glove side on Jones.

18:24: Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson get a 2-on-1. Kane went for the shot and it paid off to tie the game. And we’re still 4-on-4.

With an assist on Kane’s tying goal, Joe Thornton is tied with Marcel Dionne for 10th all-time in assist. Congrats to Jumbo, who’s been in the NHL since before I was born.

15:38: We’ve got a fight due to the Protect Thy Goalie Code.

11:56: Melker Karlsson takes an offensive zone tripping penalty attempting to keep possession. Jets will have another chance at the power play, and I wouldn’t expect this one to get shortened.

11:21: The only reason Laine didn’t score there is that he’s a right shot, allowing Jones time to recover. If Laine could have one-timed it, the net was wide open. The Jets’ passing a man up is impressive.

8:42: Sharks will have a power play after the commercial break.

8:34: What do ya know, throwing pucks at the net is a successful strategy. Pavelski’s pants scored the goal, but Kevin Labanc’s shot was pretty sharp. Pavelski is now just behind Laine on the goals list.

7:28: Ehlers, um, “flew” in on a funny bounce off the glass with Martin Jones out of the net.

6:16: Mason Appleton got his body on the inside of Simek’s defense. 3-2 Jets.

1:20: Timo Meier draws a penalty by driving the net. Sharks go back to the power play.

End of First Period

The first five minutes of this game were fast, the next few minutes were funky.

One of the Jets lost his stick during the late-period power play, but the Sharks weren’t able to take advantage. Burns hit the post, which almost made up for his giveaway at the start of the period.

The Sharks will have 40 seconds of power play to start the middle period.

Second Period

18:20: The Jets killed the penalty, but the Sharks have had some good chances since then. Kane and Meier both took shots that Hellebuyck couldn’t control immediately.

15:42: Sharks haven’t had a threatening shot since I commented on it.

15:20: Vlasic tries to sweep at the puck but trips Ehlers instead. Power play for the Jets.

9:45: The Sharks control the puck in the zone for over a minute and draw a power play chance.

7:20: Aside from the zone entries, the power play didn’t look too impressive.

0:32: The Jets’ top line has come out for the last minute of the period and they’ve made Martin Jones work to keep the score the same as when we started the period.

0:05: The score has changed! Joonas Donskoi gets to the net to deflect Kane’s pass and tie the game.

End of Second Period

Not much happened for most of the period. And then the last minute and a half happened. The Jets put some pressure on, but it was the Sharks who broke through.

Evander Kane has had an impressive game so far. The Sharks had a strong second period overall, with several instances of sustained offensive zone pressure. They almost scored a couple times, which shows they’re doing the right things. The should focus on those right things in the third period.

Third Period

7:59: Gosh, nothing has been exciting so far. The teams are doing hockey for sure.

3:24: Kane, Hertl, Couture and Meier have stood out in the last few minutes, but they’ve been good all game honestly. Some close calls either way.

3:07: How did Jones get that far out of the net? Many many things went wrong here.

1:32: Jones comes off for the extra attacker, whose name is Logan Couture.

1:00: Ehlers gets credited for his third goal of the night without the puck going anywhere near the net. Pavelski pulled him down as he accelerated into a breakaway.

Final Score: Jets 5, Sharks 3