A four-minute high sticking penalty proved pivotal in the Sharks’ third loss in a row.
The Sharks entered the third period with a 2-2 tie, a situation they could work with. Then Evander Kane clipped Nick Bjugstad hard enough to draw blood. The Panthers doubled up on the Sharks quickly, scoring twice in nine seconds.
Kane would get himself in more trouble in the final minute of the game, giving Florida one last power play with the score already 5-2. Bjugstad avenged himself with the final goal of the game.
The Sharks went 0-for-2 on their power plays and allowed three shorthanded chances on the second one. Three of the Panthers’ six goals were scored by defensemen. Overall, not the effort or game the Sharks were hoping for on the road and in the midst of a losing streak.
There will be no time to dwell on tonight however. The Sharks next game is tomorrow afternoon at Washington, and you guys get me again for the liveblog!
The San Jose Sharks (28-15-7, 2nd Pacific Division) meet the Florida Panthers (19-20-8, 6th Atlantic) in the second-to-last game of the pre-All-Star east coast trip.
Despite being 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, the Panthers have a two-game win streak coming off a 4-2 win over the Nashville Predators. The Panthers biggest threat will be 25-year-old Vincent Trocheck, who just came back from a nasty ankle injury. In his two games back, Trocheck has two goals and one assist.
The Sharks had a seven-game winning streak just last week, but have now lost two games in a row.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic appears to be returning to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 2, while Erik Karlsson will sit out.
Panthers (via the Florida Panthers):
Frank Vatrano - Aleksander Barkov - Evgenii Dadonov
Jonathan Huberdeau - Vincent Trocheck - Nick Bjugstad
Mike Hoffman - Henrik Borgstrom - Denis Malgin
Jayce Hawryluk - Jared McCann - Colton Sceviour
Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad
Ian McCoshen - Josh Brown
Scratches: Micheal Haley, Troy Brouwer, Bogdan Kiselevich
Injured Reserve: Derek MacKenzie (shoulder), Jamie McGinn (back), MacKenzie Weegar (upper-body)
Where to Watch
The game will be on TVAS, Sportsnet, and NBCS-CA; radio listeners can tune in to 98.5 KFOX. And you can follow along right here for whatever I have to say about the game.
Vlasic did not end up returning to the lineup. Maybe tomorrow...
15:32: The first penalty call of the game goes against Florida. A Sharks 2-on-1 rush forced Ekblad to take a penalty. That’s a good dude to take off the ice.
13:32: The Panthers’ aggressive kill overcomes the Sharks’ movement. Back to five-on-five.
9:22: Over halfway through the period, the Sharks only have one shot on goal. They’re getting turned back at the offensive blue line, or only getting one man in without support.
2:39: Panthers score first. Most of the game has looked a bit disorganized, but the Panthers’ scoring play was great. Vatrano picked off a Sharks clearing attempt and dropped it to a trailing Barkov, who gave a diagonal pass to Ekblad sprinting into the zone.
0:33: Meier and Pysyk get matching roughing minors. 30-second head start in the locker room for both of them.
End of First Period
Frantic hockey prevailed for most of the period. The Panthers forced the Sharks to play on the perimeter of the attacking zone—if the Sharks got in the zone at all. One untimely interception gave the Panthers the lead late in the period.
15:39: The Sharks tie the game from far away. Either Logan Couture or Joe Pavelski tipped Brent Burns’ blue line shot. Looks like credit is going to Couture.
13:53: The Panthers regain the lead. Too many Sharks pinched into the attacking zone, leaving Radim Simek to try to defend three guys on his own. The Panthers move the puck across the width of the zone for Mike Matheson to finish with a one-timer.
10:36: Evander Kane will sit for (hopefully) two minutes for hooking.
6:40: Timo Meier puts the puck in the net; after about a minute of deliberation, the refs decide he did it legally. 2-2 game.
Florida challenges that it’s goaltender interference, likely because the Sharks appear to have pushed Luongo’s leg into the net while digging at the puck.
The goal stands.
5:41: Pysyk takes a penalty.
4:02: The Panthers have had more opportunities on this Sharks power play than the Sharks have. Do not like.
End of Second Period
The Sharks won the period and have a tie on the scoreboard after 40 minutes. They look like they’re figuring out how to combat the Panthers to reach the good spots in the attacking zone. Both goals came as a result of players getting to the net.
I was less happy with their power play in this period than the one they had in the first period. Three guesses why.
18:04: Kane goes to the box again, this time for high sticking. He’ll sit up to four minutes. There’s blood on Bjugstad’s face.
17:33: Florida has a 3-2 lead.
17:24: Actually it’s a 4-2 lead.
12:39: The Panthers have scored three unanswered goals. 5-2. Aaron Dell has entered the game.
4:58: There’s a fight between Dillon and Josh Brown. Maybe if landed punches counted as goals it would be worthwhile...but that’s not how it works. And Dillon lost the fight anyway.
0:45: Kane, who already caused the Sharks two goals against, tries to get into it with the Panthers. Labanc will serve Kane’s minor.
0:37: 6 goals against the Sharks for the third time in a row. Not to be a total Gen Z, but yikes.
Final: Sharks 2, Panthers 6