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The San Jose Sharks came up short against the Florida Panthers yesterday, falling in a shootout.
It was a relatively even first half of the opening period, but things took a turn after Luke Kunin ended up with a match penalty for a hit to the head against Patric Hornqvist. The Panthers had quite a few quality chances on the ensuing five-minute power play and eventually, Aleksander Barkov finished off a nice passing play to open the scoring for Florida. The Sharks ended up being outshot 19-9 overall and exited the frame down a goal.
The Sharks did put together a better second frame, with things evening out a bit. However, late in the period, Radko Gudas managed to beat James Reimer cleanly with a slapshot from the point, with San Jose finding themselves down two through 40 minutes.
San Jose came storming back in the third period though, mounting a comeback to get back into the game. With a 5-on-3 early in the frame, Alexander Barabanov slid the puck over to Timo Meier, who one-timed it past Sergei Bobrovsky. Then about five minutes later, Erik Karlsson scored his 10th goal of the year, getting the puck off a faceoff and beating Bobrovsky through traffic. San Jose continued to press with chances after that and with around eight minutes to go in the period, Matt Benning scored with another point shot that beat Bobrovsky cleanly, giving the Sharks their first lead. It looked like San Jose would hang on for the win, outshooting Florida 14-5 in the period but with just over a minute to go, Carter Verhaeghe was able to pick the top corner with a great shot from a bad angle, tying the game at 3-3 and sending it to overtime.
In the extra frame, we saw some great rush chances going both ways, but neither team was able to capitalize. The game continued to a shootout, where the goalies were the stars, as none of the first seven shooters were able to convert. However, Sam Reinhart had a chance as Florida’s fourth shooter and he didn’t miss, beating James Reimer who had backed into his net, giving Florida the win.
Even if they didn’t get the extra point, it was great to see the Sharks put together a strong third period, battling back to tie the game and then take the lead. The Sharks continue to be competitive in most games, despite the fact they’re not getting a lot of wins.
James Reimer played great, stopping 41 shots in the loss. Even though the tying goal was from a bad angle, it’s a perfect shot and given how well he played in the game (and throughout the season overall), it’s hard to complain.
Once again, Erik Karlsson scored for the Sharks. He’s already at 10 goals in just 13 games this year – a feat which took him 50 games last season. Over his last four games alone, Karlsson has scored a ridiculous seven goals and 12 points.
San Jose will be back in action tomorrow, when they face the Anaheim Ducks.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
Erik Karlsson’s hat trick not enough as Sharks fall to Ducks in shootout