Skip to content

The Sharks could have quit after Karlsson’s mishap. Instead, they earned their gutsiest win

By Curtis Pashelka

The San Jose Sharks were on a power play and down by a goal to the Minnesota Wild early in the third period when they caught an unlucky break.

Erik Karlsson had the puck inside the Wild blue line but tripped on a rut in the ice and fell backward, leaving the puck for Mason Shaw. He entered the Sharks’ zone and passed on a 2-on-0 to Connor Dewar, who beat goalie James Reimer for a two-goal Minnesota lead.

But the Sharks regrouped and received goals in the final 6:04 of the third period from Steven Lorentz and Nick Bonino to tie the game.

After a frantic but scoreless overtime, Alexander Barabanov scored in the fifth round of the shootout as the Sharks earned a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Wild, picking up back-to-back victories for the first time this season.

Nick Bonino also scored in the shootout and Reimer finished with 28 saves as the Sharks improved to 2-1-3 in its last six games. Reimer made 25 saves in the Sharks’ 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars on Friday.

The Sharks, who were 0-3 in shootouts before Sunday, now close the road trip Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights.

“Just really happy and proud of our guys. We really competed,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “That was a gutsy win.”

Karlsson said the trip was a career-first, “but, nothing you can do about it. You’ve got to shake it off and get going. We stuck with it and that was a time in the game where I felt like we were pushing hard to equalize.”

“There was a lot of hockey to be played at that point,” Quinn said. “Like I said, you get tested in situations like that when the best player has an unfortunate moment happen and ends up in the back of your net, your team can really pack it in and we did anything but that, and that says an awful lot about our group.”

The Sharks started slowly as they were outshot 9-1 through the opening 11-plus minutes of the first period.

One of those Wild shots was a goal by Frederick Gaudreau.

As three Sharks players in their own zone were fixated on Kirill Kaprizov, Gaudreau was left all alone. After he took a pass from Kaprizov, Gaudreau had time to skate across the front of the net, outwait an outstretched Reimer and score his second of the season at the 6:45 mark of the first period.

Defenseman Radim Simek was injured on his first shift of the game, as he was caught in the head by an elbow or forearm from Wild forward Mason Shaw. Simek’s shift lasted just 24 seconds and he missed the rest of the first period before the Sharks announced early in the second period that would not return for the rest of the game.

Quinn didn’t have a health update on Simek, saying he would know more Monday about his availability for Tuesday’s game. It’s possible Shaw could face supplemental discipline from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

The Sharks’ extra defenseman on this trip is Scott Harrington.

“It was a tough play. I’ll let the league decide on that,” Quinn said.

The Sharks were looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, as they had been 0-3-0 in those situations before Sunday.

Reimer came into Sunday with a 3-5-2 record and a .906 save percentage. Among all goalies who had played at least five games, Reimer was 22nd in the NHL in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes at .299, per moneypuck.com.

If Reimer can remain consistent, he could start to get the bulk of the work going forward as the Sharks (5-9-3) desperately try to rejoin the playoff race. San Jose entered the game 15th in the Western Conference with a .344 points percentage.

Source: Paradise Post