Sharks slip in shootout to Islanders
SAP CENTER — With a record of 10-2-1-0 in their last 13 matchups with the New York Islanders, Tuesday night’s tilt seemed like the perfect opportunity for the San Jose Sharks to snap their three-game losing streak.
But Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin made it tough for San Jose to get on the scoreboard, and New York got a late goal to tie the game before finishing off Team Teal in a shootout, 3-2.
Joe Pavelski, who registered a goal Tuesday night, summed up the battle with the Isles:
“There were a lot of good things, it’s frustrating when you lose. You can learn a few things from it. That’s the way we have to play, keep it simple, keep it tight. I guess towards the end maybe we got a little loose… (You have) to be good all the way through.”
Following a scoreless opening period and going 0-for-3 on the man advantage, San Jose picked up momentum.
On their 24th shot of the evening and fourth power play attempt, Patrick Marleau’s wrist shot eluded Poulin’s block to put the Sharks on the board 1-0 at 5:26 in the second frame. Dan Boyle and Logan Couture tallied assists on the first goal of the evening.
Pavelski added to the Sharks’ lead later in the period with a beautiful rebounder off a Boyle shot that went behind Poulin’s back. Boyle and Marleau notched assists, the second point of the night for each player.
Boyle reflected on the first 40 minutes of the Sharks’ play:
“Through two (periods) we have to be pretty pleased with our effort and what we did. But this is one of those games, like you’ve seen in the past, where you out-play a team but you don’t really have anything to show for it.”
New York closed the score gap 51 seconds into the third stanza. With Antti Niemi laid out flat on the ice from a previous save, the puck came loose and Thomas Vanek easily wristed it into the Sharks’ net making the score 2-1.
Islanders winger Kyle Okposo then tied things up 2-2 off a faceoff with 1:37 left in regulation, taking the game into — and out of — yet another round of four-on-four overtime.
When asked about losing the lead so late in the third period, all Joe Thornton could do was sigh and shake his head:
“You go into the third with a two-nothing lead, you want to close out those games… (Sighs) You don’t want to leave it down to the last two minutes of the game to win.”
New York made two shootout goals to San Jose’s one, giving them the final 3-2 victory.
Poulin stopped 46 of 48 Sharks shots to send San Jose to their fourth straight loss. Head coach Todd McLellan gave props to the opposing goaltender:
“Poulin, tonight, was incredible. Give him (credit) for the saves he made, especially early in the game. But we can’t let teams or goaltenders hang around like we are right now. We’ve got open nets, we’ve got second chance opportunities that we’re not bearing down on. That makes a huge difference in our game.”
The Sharks will try again to break the losing skid on Thursday against the visiting Minnesota Wild. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Sharks had 18 shots in the first period, the most by any team this season without scoring (Credit: Josh Dubow/AP). … Two Sharks players had multi-point nights: Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle with two each. … Marleau is now in sole possession of 77th place on the all-time goal scoring list with 418 career goals. He also led the team with seven shots on goal Tuesday night. … Logan Couture scored the Sharks lone goal in the shootout, bringing his shootout success percentage to 50 percent (4-for-8) on the season.