San Jose, CA– Tonight the Sharks returned home after being away from the SAP Center for 4 games. On that road trip, the Sharks posted a disappointing 1-3 record. In that span, they gave up 5 goals on back to back nights courtesy of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 and 5-3 respectively. They ended their road trip in Minnesota where they were defeated 3-1. Their only victory was against the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.
The Sharks were given two power play opportunities back to back near the halfway point of the opening period. However, like their performance on the recent road trip, they came up empty handed thanks to a strong showing by the leagues 30th ranked penalty kill team. San Jose couldn’t set up their special teams unit and their power play struggles continued.
In the late stages of the period, San Jose was awarded another power play when Islanders forward Travis Haminoc got tangled up with Sharks Captain Joe Thornton. San Jose put out a slightly better performance on their third power play, but the Islanders once again closed the door to keep the score looked at zero-zero. San Jose ended up putting the rubber on net 18 times in the first vs a dismal three shots by the Islanders.
At the 5:16 mark on the middle frame things got testy when Carkner of New York took it upon himself to rough up Sharks forward Tomaš Hertl. For his efforts he got sent to the box to think about his lapse in judgement. While on the man advantage, San Jose wasted no time as they finally broke thru on the power play thanks to Patrick Marleau who knotted his 14th of the season, thus giving the Sharks that important 1-0 lead.
Moments after San Jose opened the scoring, Tommy Wingels an unwanted holding minor. The good news for the Sharks, they were able inhibit the Islanders from setting up their power play unit. The best play on the penalty kill came courtesy of Sharks net minder Antti Niemi as put on a show with his abilities to keep the puck from penetrating the goal line. In addition to that, their solid work paid off and in doing so, kept New York off the scoresheet.
As the period went on, San Jose extended their lead when Islanders goaltender Poulin coughed up a rebound to an opportunistic Joe Pavelski. Pavelski wasted no time putting the puck into the back of the net giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Pavelski tallied his tenth goal of the season on that goal.
In the opening minute of the final period the Isles finally got themselves on the board after a mad scramble in front of San Jose net. After an intense battle that ensued, Thomas Vanek cashed in the loose puck to cut San Jose lead by half at 2-1. Much like Pavelski did earlier, Vanek knotted his tenth goal of the year.
With less than two minutes left in regulation, the Islanders pulled their goalie for the sixth attacker which turned out to be smart move by New York’s head coach. The Islanders erased a two goal deficit when Kyle Okposo tied up the contest at 2-2. The score would hold at 2-2 at the end of 60 minutes of play.
Enter the overtime period, both teams exchanged some scoring opportunities but both goaltenders kept the deadlock at two goals apiece to force a sudden death shoutout session.
In the shoutout session, San Jose ended up on the short end of the tilt as Niemi surrendered two goals to Vanek and Okposo, and came away with a 3-2 victory over the Sharks. This lose made it San Jose’s fourth in a row in their last five games.
San Jose will have to wait until Thursday to face the Wild in their attempt to snap out of their loosing skid that they recently incurred as of late.