With injuries to Logan Couture, Paul Martin, Joonas Donskoi, Ben Smith, Melker Karlsson, and the suspension to Raffi Torres, the last thing the Sharks needed was another injury. Especially to one as vital to the team as Joe Thornton.
Luckily for the Sharks, an injury to Thornton late in the first period was not as serious as it could have been. After receiving a hit in the corner from Kings‘ defenseman Jake Muzzin, Thornton appeared to hit his head on the ice before regaining his feet and stumbling twice before making it to the Sharks bench. At the time of the incident, it was unsure whether Joe had a concussion or an equipment issue with his skate. Whatever it was, it apparently was not a concussion.
DeBoer says Thornton went through concuson protocol, and Thornton was cleared to return
– Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN October 23, 2015)
As far as the game itself went, Jeff Carter ended up carving up the Sharks with a 4 point night. He started things off with a secondary assist on the first goal of the game. Tyler Toffoli broke up the left wing on an odd man rush. Toffoli cut to the outside, throwing his initial shot of the side of the net before immediately reacting and pushing his own rebound behind Martin Jones for the first goal of the game.
Late in the first period, former Shark Christian Ehrhoff ripped a shot at the blueline that was tipped by Milan Lucic in front of the net before finding its way in the net. At least Lucic made more of an impact this time around than last…
Shots finished up 18-8 in the Sharks favor after the first period, but the Kings turned the tables in the second. Midway through the seconds, the Kings led in shots 8-1 as San Jose was temporarily reeling without Thornton. Los Angeles took advantage on those shots, with a goal 3:46 in by Jeff Carter on another 2 on 1.
The Sharks were able to get one back late in the second period. Joe Pavelski centered a pass from behind the net that found Joel Ward. Ward netted his second of the season on a backhander. It was a nice reward for the Pavelski-Thornton-Ward line which was assembled during the game. After two, the Sharks still trailed 3-1, despite leading in shots 30-19.
Into the third period, the Kings built on their lead, with an insurance goal by Jeff Carter on the powerplay. Off a faceoff, Carter found a puck in the slot, attempted a shot to the net, but missed wide. However, the puck bounced off the boards, and off of Jones into the net.. That was the backbreaker for sure.
The Sharks would fall to their SoCal rivals 4-1.
Injuries continue to rip apart the Sharks, metaphorically and possibly literally as well. Luckily for the team, it appears a couple players are likely close to return. Bryan Lerg was a late addition to take Joonas Donskoi’s place, while Brendan Dillon and Paul Martin both took rushes with Burns during the morning skate. Hopefully, that means both can return sooner rather than later,
Until the team gets Martin back, it’s almost like losing two defenseman – Martin, as well as Brent Burns, who has looked nowhere near as effective as he did in the first few games. Godspeed, Paul.