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The San Jose Sharks dropped their third game in a row last night, falling 5-2 to the Dallas Stars.
The Sharks managed to open the scoring only five minutes into the game, with Alexander Barabanov coming down the wing on a solo rush and beating Jake Oettinger five-hole. While Barabanov doesn’t score much, he’s continued to up his production with the Sharks this season, now with 22 points in 33 games. Erik Karlsson also picked up a secondary assist on the goal, which extended his point streak to 12 games, tying the record for the longest point streak in Sharks history.
Despite San Jose doing a good job limiting chances in the first half of the frame though, they took some penalties, allowing the NHL’s second-ranked power play to go to work. On a man advantage midway through the period, Joe Pavelski tipped in a shot from Jason Robertson to tie the game. Then only a couple minutes later, the Sharks took a costly too many men penalty and Dallas capitalized on another man advantage, with Robertson yet again putting a shot on net that was deflected on its way, going off Jaycob Megna and in. As a result of the two power play goals, the Sharks found themselves down by one after 20 minutes.
Oskar Lindblom was able to tie it up for San Jose midway through the second period, backhanding a shot past Oettinger in front. However, Dallas responded less than two minutes later, with Fredrik Olofsson directing in a nice pass from Joe Pavelski, putting Dallas back up.
The Sharks actually came out quite strong in the third period, outshooting Dallas by quite a margin through the first half of the frame. While the Stars did build some momentum later, and took the play to San Jose a bit as the period went on, the Sharks kept pressing. Then just as San Jose got a golden opportunity with a late power play, it was the Stars who capitalized, with Roope Hintz ending up on a breakaway and beating Reimer five-hole. Dallas added an empty netter after that, securing a 5-2 Stars win.
It’s another game where the Sharks were right in it, but couldn’t come away with a win. It almost doesn’t seem to matter the quality of competition, whether it’s a team at the top of the league or right near them at the bottom of the standings — San Jose has pretty consistently kept games competitive.
In this one though, special teams made the difference. The penalty kill that’s been such a strength for San Jose couldn’t come up with the kills they needed, allowing two goals on three Dallas power plays. Meanwhile, the Sharks went 0-for-4 on their own power plays, also giving up the late shorthanded goal that sank any chances of tying things up.
On an individual basis though, with Karlsson’s point streak extending to 12 games, it also means he managed a point in every single game in December. He’s managed 19 points over the stretch.
Radim Simek also exited the game for the Sharks, following a collision with Mason Marchment. He won’t be suiting up tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks, with Scott Harrington expected to enter the lineup.