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The San Jose Sharks fell short against the Anaheim Ducks last night, losing 6-5 in a shootout.
The Sharks got down early, with Adam Henrique beating Kaapo Kahkonen from a good spot to open the scoring about five minutes into the game. However, Erik Karlsson evened the game only about a minute later, wristing a shot through traffic and past Anthony Stolarz to tie the game. Then only 23 seconds after that, Karlsson struck again off another point shot, picking a corner to give San Jose the lead.
Anaheim did respond a few minutes later though, with Frank Vatrano taking a pass and beating Kahkonen five-hole. Then just as the period was about to end, Matt Benning got beat at the line by Henrique, who then made a nice move to deke Kahkonen, leaving San Jose down heading into the intermission.
Timo Meier evened the game early in the second period off an outstanding individual effort, getting tripped at the Ducks’ line on an entry but somehow hanging onto the puck and getting back to his feet, to then roof a shot over Stolarz. Despite putting 19 shots on net in the frame though, the Sharks fell behind once again later in the period, with John Klingberg’s shot going in off Ryan Strome. Before the period could end, however, the Sharks were helped out by Jakob Silfverberg, who tried to clear the puck from Timo Meier on a rush but ended up scoring on his own net, tying the game at 4-4 through 40 minutes.
The Sharks ended up going down yet again in the third period, as Max Comtois took a pass in-close and beat Kahkonen part way through the period. However, as San Jose pressed with some great chances late in the third, Erik Karlsson was the hero, sneaking a shot through Stolarz to complete his hat trick, tie it up again, and send the game to overtime.
We saw some rushes in the extra frame, with San Jose being outshot 3-2. Neither team could capitalize though and the game continued to a shootout.
In the shootout, Logan Couture and Trevor Zegras exchanged goals, before Kevin Labanc couldn’t get a shot off as the third shooter. Then when Troy Terry scored to put Anaheim ahead, all the pressure fell on Erik Karlsson. Despite his great game, Karlsson couldn’t convert for the Sharks and Anaheim took the extra point.
Despite the loss, there were positives to draw from the game for San Jose.
The Sharks were able to battle back quite a few times to tie the game and the effort level was there. They also managed to kill off all four or their penalties, as their penalty kill went 4-for-4.
Erik Karlsson had another massive night as well, with a hat trick along with an assist, for four points total. He’s now up to nine goals and 15 points in just 12 games so far and continues to provide a huge impact offensively.
The Sharks obviously still allowed 44 shots, but they also certainly had their share of chances throughout the night. Especially as the game went on, San Jose put 33 shots on net through the second and third periods alone.
Kaapo Kahkonen did allow five goals against and while he can’t be fautled for most of the goals, he still holds just an .878 save percentage through five games this year. The hope is that he’s possibly able to turn into a starter for the Sharks down the road, but it’s been a rough start for him so far.
The Sharks didn’t get the win but it was a fun game and they picked up a point in the loss. While their record this season is just 3-8-1, they’ve been very competitive for most of their games thus far. Their next game comes tomorrow, as they continue their homestand against the Florida Panthers.