What could have been a monumental Sharks win was wrecked by poor refereeing in the final 25 minutes of action tonight.
The Sharks got off to a bad start, allowing three goals in 10 minutes in the first period. But they improved over the course of the game, and even took dominance from the middle of the second period to the middle of the third period.
Joe Thornton contributed two scrappy goals close to the net before completing his first hat trick since October 2010 with a snipe through his defender.
Thornton’s third gave the Sharks their first and only lead of the game with six and a half minutes remaining. The Sharks had kept the Bruins from taking a shot for approximately 20 minutes of gameplay. Things looked good.
Then the refs missed a high stick right in front of the net.
Chris Wagner batted the puck out of the air from eye-level to put the puck into the net.
According to Rule 80:
Batting the puck above the normal height of the shoulders with a stick is prohibited. When a puck is struck with a high stick and subsequently comes into the possession and control of a player from the offending team (including the player who made contact with the puck), either directly or deflected off any player or official, there shall be a whistle.
The play should have been blown dead immediately, but Wagner was allowed to tap the puck across the goal line.
The Sharks controlled play overwhelmingly in overtime with seven shots. The Bruins’ only shot in overtime ended the game with bad defensive coverage by the Sharks.
That game was intense and shouldn’t have turned out the way it did, for a couple reasons. The missed high-stick is egregious, but the Sharks wouldn’t have been in the position of trying to stave off overtime if they hadn’t allowed three goals in the first period.
On to the next game, a visit to Pittsburgh on Thursday.
13:30: There hasn’t been a whistle in over five minutes! Jeez, I guess after we had to wait for the end of Tampa-Columbus, the Sharks and Bruins said “Let’s give them nonstop hockey.”
12:26: Marc-Edouard Vlasic clears the puck off the goal line after Martin Jones stumbles stopping a Bruins blueline shot.
9:47: We finally get a stop in play for an icing. There was an official review and for a moment it really seemed like we were at risk of going back in time. The NHL Situation Room confirmed that Vlasic prevented a goal.
9:04: Tomas Hertl high-sticks Sean Kuraly pretty obviously. Sharks gotta kill a penalty.
8:51: Evander Kane hits the left post on an early breakaway.
The Sharks will have a turn on the power play following the commercial break. Nope that’s Kane who did a sin. How does he plan to get a shorthanded breakaway if he’s in the box?
6:11: The Bruins’ power play is successful this time. Jake DeBrusk skated across Martin Jones’ vision, allowing Torey Krug’s shot to evade Jones’ body.
3:34: I don’t like Zdeno Chara and not just because he just scored off the faceoff. He’s too tall and it’s unsettling. Oh also, the Bruins scored on the faceoff and have a 2-0 lead.
1:36: What’s a
Danton Heinen Karson Kuhlman? That sounds like a made-up name.
0:02.7: Former Bruin Joe Thornton cleans up in front of the net to get the Sharks on the board. Good for morale, eh?
End of First Period: Sharks 1, Bruins 3
For the first ten minutes of the period, things looked fun. The Sharks weren’t playing perfectly but they were holding their own Then the Sharks took two penalties in three minutes, and the second-best power play in the NHL made them pay the second time around. They expanded the lead when Zdeno Chara slammed the puck on net right off the faceoff.
The Bruins took advantage of the Sharks’ issues in the neutral zone and in the defensive zone above the circles for their third goal, the first for Karson Kuhlman. I guess that’s cool for him, man.
The Bruins looked like they would take the 3-0 lead into the first intermission — I was even getting a head start on this section — when Joe Thornton gave the Sharks a goal to grasp onto.
18:20: Thornton goes to the front of the net again, and in the aftermath Kevan Miller flings the puck off the ice. Sharks get their first power play of the game.
17:36: Somehow the Sharks strike on Burns’ drive. Looks like Joe Pavelski tipped it to get it bouncing, and it ultimately went in off Chara.
15:17: Logan Couture hooks Chara behind the Boston net.
13:30: David Backes kicks the puck off the boards to a teammate in the neutral zone. The Bruins rush the zone with two, and an uncovered Jake DeBrusk finishes the job. 4-2.
9:35: Justin Braun hits Sean Kuraly in the corner, which riles Chris Wagner. Braun and Wagner are both sitting for five minutes to think about (the risks involved with) fighting.
6:25: The Sharks have a great chance in front of the net and don’t make anything of it.
3:57: Radim Simek fires from the blue line and Thornton scores from the crease again. That’s his second of the game and 12th of the season.
1:29: Joe Thornton stings Brad Marchand on the third high stick by a Shark this game.
0:24.7: Something’s happening. Couture knocked down Hertl’s high flip at the blueline and drew a penalty shot. He goes five-hole to tie the game!
End of Second Period: Bruins 4, Sharks 4
That period went a whole lot better. The Sharks won that period 3-1.
Unfortunately, the Bruins’ one goal was a power-play strike, bringing their success to 2/3, pending the final 30 seconds of Thornton’s penalty.
It wasn’t perfect, but it put the Sharks in a position that they can absolutely work with to win the game.
18:03: The Bruins take a delay of game penalty after icing the puck. Early-period power play for the Sharks. This has the potential to sway the game in a big way.
13:55: The 5-on-4 wasn’t super exciting for either team, but the Sharks have controlled the puck since then. The Bruins don’t have a shot yet this period; the Sharks have five.
9:54: We have passed the halfway mark of the period, and the Bruins still haven’t taken a shot on goal. That’s half the battle right there.
6:28: JOE THORNTON SCORES HIS FIRST HAT TRICK SINCE 2010!!! It was a snazzy snipe, too.
4:20: This is a nice game. Chara and Pavelski will head to the box after these messages from our sponsors ...
1:49: Wagner pounces on a big kick save rebound to tie the game. No matter how hard the Sharks point out that the puck was played with a high stick, it can’t be challenged.
End of Regulation: Bruins 5, Sharks 5
That period was really cool ... until it wasn’t. I don’t have nice words right now.
5:00: The Sharks put Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture out to start.
3:50: The Sharks take the first four shots of overtime and force the Bruins to ice the puck.
2:30: The Bruins have iced the puck twice more.
1:32: The Boston net came off its moorings, but refs let the play go until Evander Kane picked up the puck in the Sharks’ zone to break towards Tuuka Rask.
1:01: Who was on Charlie McAvoy? Not Burns, Couture or Kane. They let the Bruins pull off a pretty passing play for McAvoy to finish from the slot.
Final Score: Bruins 6, Sharks 5
The San Jose Sharks host the Boston Bruins for the first of two games this season. In fact, it’s the first time the two teams have met since the 2017 calendar year, where the Bruins took both games early in the 2017-18 season.
Both teams boast talented Czech forwards as their second-leading scorers, but the Bruins will be without their primary Czech weapon, David Pastrnak, for at least another week. The Bruins have a spare Czech in David Krejci, who sits at fourth on the team with 14 goals and 35 assists for 49 points. The Sharks’ Tomas Hertl contributes his points more evenly: 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 total points.
Aside from Pastrnak, the Bruins are healthy and they’re on a roll. Boston has won four straight games, including both the Southern California teams on back-to-back nights.
Bruins, via Stanley Cup of Chowder:
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Danton Heinen
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Karson Kuhlman
Joakim Nordstrom — Trent Frederic — David Backes
Sean Kuraly — Noel Acciari — Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk — Kevan Miller
Where to Watch
Tonight’s game will be nationally broadcast on NBCSN in the United States and SportsNet in Canada. Because it’s broadcast nationally, only international subscribers will be able to stream this game on NHL.tv. If you prefer radio, you can tune in on 98.5 KFOX or use the Sharks App.