Sharks continue to struggle on home ice
Alex Stalock made 23 saves but got no offensive support as the Worcester Sharks were shutout 2-0 by the Providence Bruins Saturday night at the DCU Center in front of 7966 fans on "Pink in the Rink" night. The home loss was the sixth in a row for the Sharks, who remain eight points behind the Portland Pirates for first place in the Atlantic Division and fell to eighth place overall in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Bruins, who were playing their third game in three days, took a 1-0 lead just 2:33 into the game when Craig Cunningham took a diagonal feed from defenseman Torey Krug, who faked a shot from on top of the right face-off circle, and slammed the puck home into an open net for his 10th goal of the season, which held up as the game-winning-goal.
Despite Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech and forward James Livingston dropping the gloves with Bruins enforcer Bobby Robins at 8:40 and 15:36 respectively, the Sharks couldn't feed off the energy nor get the puck past center ice as they were outshot 13-2 by the Bruins for the period.
Looking to spark the Sharks in the second period, Sharks forward Curt Gogol dropped the gloves with Bruins forward Tyler Randell as soon as the puck was dropped for the period opening face-off. For the period, the Sharks outshot the Bruins 11-4 but couldn't get the puck past Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg.
In the third period, Svedberg turned aside all 13 Sharks shots on goal and Bruins forward Kyle MacKinnon scored an empty-net-goal, his seventh goal of the season, at 19:48 to seal a 2-0 Bruins win.
NOTES: Shots were 26-25 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill... This was Stalock's first loss against the Bruins this season and is now 12-10-3-3 with a 2.65 goals-against-average and .910 save percentage... Sharks forward Tommy Grant had a game high four shots on goal... Sharks rookie Daniil Tarasov had his six game point streak (3-4-7) come to an end... With the three fights, the Sharks now have 54 through 44 games... This was the eighth of 12 meetings between the teams this season... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Mike Brennan (scr), Mike Banwell (scr) and Yanni Gourde (scr) did not play for the Sharks... The Sharks are 5-1-0-2 against the Bruins this season, 8-8-1-4 against the Atlantic Division, 8-9-1-3 at the DCU Center and 20-18-1-5 with 46 points overall.
1. Niklas Svedberg - Bruins (26 saves, shutout win)
2. Craig Cunningham - Bruins (1-0-1, GWG)
3. Alex Stalock - Sharks (23 saves, Loss)