SAN JOSE — William Eklund scored in the shootout but Mackenzie Blackwood allowed goals to Nick Suzuki and Jesse Ylönen in a six-round shootout as the San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
Blackwood made a save on Cole Caufield in the shootout, among others, and finished with 22 saves for the game before an announced crowd of 16,897 at SAP Center.
The Sharks led 2-1 after two periods before Caufield fired a wrist shot past Blackwood at the 3:25 mark of the third to tie the game.
The Sharks were hoping to bounce back against the Canadiens after they were thoroughly embarrassed 7-1 by the Seattle Kraken two days earlier. Before the game, Sharks coach David Quinn left it to his veterans to say what needed to be said to set the proper tone.
“There are times where the leadership core has to take it upon themselves,” Quinn said. “I think today’s that day.”
Something clicked, at least in the second period, as the Sharks scored twice to take a 2-0 lead.
Mike Hoffman scored for the fifth time in five games and William Eklund added a power-play goal to earn the first multi-point game of his career.
Hoffman’s goal off an assist from Eklund came at the 5:06 mark of the second period as he scored against his former team. Eklund’s goal came with 7:30 left in the second period, as he took a pass from Calen Addison and one-timed it past Canadiens goalie Cayden Primeau for his fourth goal of the season.
Hoffman was up to the Sharks’ top line with Eklund and Tomas Hertl after Filip Zadina left Friday’s game after the first period with an injury.
After Wednesday’s debacle in Seattle, a 7-1 loss to the Kraken, the Sharks on Friday were not just going to be judged by the final score, but by how hard they competed. San Jose fell behind 4-0 after 20 minutes, and multiple players and Sharks coach David Quinn lamented the lack of willingness to win battles and play a fundamentally sound game, as they fell to 0-9-0 on the road this season.
“It’s the National freakin’ Hockey League, and you better show up ready to play every freaking night,” Quinn said. “I don’t care about fragile. Sometimes you don’t have it, I get it. But you want to show up and play with the right freakin intentions and we didn’t do it. You’re going to come here and show up to play with the right freakin’ intentions, and not many guys did it.”
“We’ve been embarrassed before, but nothing like the first period today,” Sharks winger Anthony Duclair said. “That was just unacceptable.”