Editor’s Note: We’re incredibly lucky to have Angela behind the glass for select home games, providing us with exclusive photos of the San Jose Sharks and an inside look at the game. We’ll be posting galleries of her work throughout the season!
Aside from a quick home opening weekend, the Sharks kicked off the first substantial homestand of the season against the Vegas Golden Knights in late October. The game was set to be a big one, as Phil Kessel was set to break Keith Yandle’s ironman streak and play in his 990th consecutive NHL game.
The Sharks also set out to continue the positive trends from the 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers just two days prior. Unfortunately for San Jose, Kessel managed to strike first, scoring his 400th career NHL goal (for real this time) just under 16 minutes into the first period.
The team managed to regroup during the second, putting up 16 shots against former Sharks netminder Adin Hill. Goals from Nico Sturm and Matt Nieto gave fans hope, but would be the only two goals of the game scored by the good guys.
A quiet third period resulted in a 4-2 defeat, but seemed to set the focus for Thursday’s match-up against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
SAP Center was full of Leafs fans prior to Thursday evening’s game against Toronto. The seats along the glass were full during warm-ups, as the teams took the ice.
Thursday evening’s game got off to a hot start when captain Logan Couture scored just 26 seconds into the game. The Leafs answered with a goal of their own from David Kampf shortly after.
The first period ended with shots 9 to 5 in favor of Toronto, forcing goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen to make some impressive stops from dangerous players.
For the second straight game, the Sharks played an impressive second period. Logan Couture scored his 300th career goal five minutes into the second period, making him the third San Jose player to do so.
Less than 40 seconds later, hats started flying, as a shot off Couture’s stick found the back of the net. Unfortunately for fans who threw their hats, the goal turned out to be Timo Meier’s first of the season. The hat trick wasn’t real, but the 3-1 lead still stood.
Mitch Marner scored his second goal of the season late in the second period to cut the Shark’s lead to one, significantly lowering the mood, despite the team outshooting the Leafs 14 to 6.
Goal-scoring machine Auston Matthews scored five minutes into the third period, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Shots were even throughout the third, and Kahkonen truly got to shine, making some incredibly athletic saves that drew comparisons to 2000s Evgeny Nabokov on Twitter.
Overtime started with nerves high, but it ended quickly enough, as Erik Karlsson scored on a breakaway 57 seconds in and cemented himself as That Guy — he did score all three game-winning goals so far, after all.
Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was once again a time to build off the positives from the previous game. Unfortunately, the quick goal to kick off this game was for the other team. Victor Hedman netted his first of the year just 32 seconds into the game.
Lucky, Erik Karlsson continued his offensive tear by tying it up less than a minute later. Ross Colton netted his second of the year at the 13 minute mark to give the Lightning the lead going into the intermission.
The Sharks came out of the intermission on a mission, putting some quality shots up against goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy early into the period. One eventually sneaked through, giving Nico Sturm his fifth goal of the season. Sadly, much like the first period, a late Lightning goal, this time by Alex Killorn, put the Lightning ahead.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before: Erik Karlsson netted his team-leading sixth goal of the season just under five minutes into the third, tying up the game yet again. Despite putting up 12 shots on net to Tampa’s seven, the Sharks just couldn’t get it done. Nikita Kucherov extended his point streak to seven games at 19:03 in the third period to win the game for the Lightning.
The Sharks wrap up a road trip this week, returning to SAP Center to face the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, Nov. 17.