By Curtis Pashelka
SAN JOSE – Erik Karlsson put together another masterpiece Thursday, as he did just about everything possible to help the Sharks complete yet another third-period comeback and extend their winning streak to four games.
The Red Wings, though, simply wouldn’t go along with the script.
Karlsson scored with 8:29 in the third period, his fourth point of the game after he assisted on the Sharks’ first three goals, to level San Jose’s game with Detroit.
But defenseman Moritz Seider beat James Reimer on a short-side shot with 6:06 left in regulation time, and Pius Suter added an insurance goal 2:29 later as the Red Wings held off the Sharks and earned a 7-4 win at SAP Center.
The Sharks are now 1-6-3 at home this season.
On Suter’s goal, Reimer on a questionable decision to come way out of his net to try and play the puck after it was sent into the Sharks’ zone. But Suter got to the puck first, stick-handled around Reimer, and scored into an empty net.
Sharks coach David Quinn implored his team Thursday morning to be ready to go from the drop of the puck that night against the Red Wings.
The Sharks, for the most part, complied. The problem for the Sharks was how the rest of the game against the Red Wings unfolded.
After taking a one-goal lead into the first intermission, the Sharks gave up three straight goals.
With the Sharks up 2-1 on goals by Kevin Labanc and Matt Nieto, forward Nick Bonino sent an off-target pass back to the blue line that Marc-Edouard Vlasic could not handle. That created an odd-man rush for Detroit as Dylan Larkin’s shot, after he entered the Sharks’ zone, went off David Perron and past Reimer for his sixth of the season with 8:33 left in the period.
Then with 3:16 left in the second, the Red Wings won a battle for the puck inside the Sharks’ zone. Michael Rasmussen came out with it and chipped the puck back to Jake Walman, whose slap shot from the point got past a screened Reimer for a 3-2 Red Wings lead.
Karlsson assisted on Labanc and Nieto’s first-period goals and one by Logan Couture in the third period that tied the game 4-4.
Less than seven minutes into the first period, Karlsson gloved down a pass from Timo Meier deep in the Red Wings zone and sent a perfect behind-the-back, through-the-legs pass that Labanc one-timed past goalie Ville Husso.
Nieto later in the first period took a pass from Karlsson pass and was surrounded by Wings skaters as he entered the offensive zone. Nieto then stickhandled around defenseman Ben Chiarot and put a backhand shot on net that resulted in his third goal of the season.
The Sharks created scoring chances in the second period, particularly their top line of Meier, Tomas Hertl and Labanc, but couldn’t get a third goal past Husso. Meier, in particular, had a glorious chance from in close, but fired the puck
Since an 0-5-0 start, the Sharks, before Thursday, had collected 15 points in 13 games with a 6-4-3 record. Karlsson’s record-setting start to the season has played a major role in the Sharks’ turnaround as he had 21 points in those 13 games, but Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl both had 14 points, Logan Couture had 11 and Alexander Barabanov had 10.
James Reimer has also emerged as the Sharks’ No. 1 goalie, as Thursday marked his sixth start in the last seven games. In his previous five starts, Reimer had a 3-0-2 record and a .903 save percentage.
Reimer has been in the net in the Sharks’ road trip wins over Dallas, Minnesota, and Vegas.
“We had a great road trip, but Detroit doesn’t care that we just went 3-1on the road trip,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “We’ve got to do a better job at home.
“We’re a pretty good road team, and we’ve played some pretty good hockey at home. But we’re not getting the results that we need. So we’re going to build and take the good that just happened but also continue to be cognizant and continue to improve, and not letting any type of success get in the way because of the situation we’re in.
“Detroit’s a good team. I know they lost a couple in a row, but we’re going to be challenged and we’re going to make sure we’re starting this game on time.”
Source: Paradise Post