Sharks rally falls short in 5-3 loss to the Penguins
Just 48-hours after defeating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-1 at the DCU Center, the Worcester Sharks saw their five-game point streak at home snapped as they were defeated 5-3 in the rematch. Harri Sateri made 24 saves on 28 shots while Sharks rookie Travis Oleksuk dished out two assists. With the loss, the Sharks are now in 11th place of the AHL Eastern Conference, two points behind the Manchester Monarchs for the eighth seed.
Shortly after Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns was stopped by Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen on a shorthanded breakaway, the Penguins took a 1-0 lead at 14:48 of the first period when defenseman Dylan Reese roofed a wrist shot from the right face-off dot over Sateri's glove for a 5-on-3 power play goal, his sixth goal of the season.
After Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie was assessed an interference penalty 86-seconds into the second period, the Penguins extended their lead to 2-0 at 3:07 when center Chad Kolarik finished off a 2-on-1 rush with a wrist shot from the right side that beat Sateri low for a power play goal, his 23rd goal of the season. Just 23-seconds later, Penguins captain Joey Mormina had his shot from the point tipped in front by right winger Paul Thompson past Sateri for a 3-0 Penguins lead. The goal was Thompson's 15th of the season.
The Sharks answered back 14-seconds later when rookie Yanni Gourde buried home a one-timer from on top of the crease after corralling a centering feed from Oleksuk, who was behind the Penguins net. Sharks right winger James Livingston was credited with the secondary assist. At 16:35, the Penguins regained their three goal lead when center Riley Holzapfel buried the puck into an open net after corralling a diagonal pass through traffic from Kolarik.
In the third period, Livingston, who received seven stitches earlier in the game after being cut on the cheek by a skate, pulled the Sharks to within two goals as he ripped a laser of shot from the top of the right point past Thiessen at 2:33 for his sixth goal of the season. Oleksuk and Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty were credited with the assists.
The Sharks cut the Penguins lead to 4-3 at 15:05 when center Jon Matsumoto banked the puck in off of Thiessen's pad on the left side from behind the goal line on a broken play. Kearns was credited with the lone assist on the goal, which was Matsumoto's 13th of the season.
At 17:45, Penguins alternate captain Warren Peters was assessed a minor penalty for roughing. The Sharks pulled Sateri for a 6-on-4 power play advantage and at 19:10, Penguins center Peter Smith was assessed a slashing penalty that gave the Sharks a 6-on-3 power play advantage for 35-seconds. At 19:49, Sharks rookie Daniil Tarasov was called for high sticking, bringing the face-off deep inside the Sharks zone. On the ensuing face-off, Peters beat Hamilton and shot the puck through the legs of Comrie and into the empty net at 19:52 for his 11th goal of the season.
NOTES... Shots were 38-29 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 13-13-3 with a 2.60 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage... Gourde has two points (1-1-2) in his two games with the Sharks since being recalled from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL... Mike Brennan (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr) and Marek Viedensky (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks are idle until March 22... The Sharks finished their four game home stand 2-1-0-1... This was the third of four meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 1-2-0-0 against the Penguins this season, 12-11-1-4 at the DCU Center and 28-24-1-6 with 63 points overall.
1. Trevor Smith - Penguins (0-2-2)
2. Riley Holzapfel - Penguins (1-1-2)
3. Travis Oleksuk - Sharks (0-2-2)