Event Name: San Jose Sharks VS Florida Panthers
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Location: SAP Center: 525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
Hosted by: San Jose Sharks Hockey
Tuesday night, the San Jose Sharks faced off against the Florida Panthers, an expansion team that played its first games during the 93-94 season. In just their third year, they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Colorado Avalanche. Since then, the furthest they have gone is 2nd round of the playoffs. Last year they wouldn’t make it past the first round, losing to the New York Islanders. They are counting on their young stars Alexander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad to turn the team around back to glory. The Panthers have been happy to welcome back their perennial offensive leader Jonathan Huberdeau, who played his first game of the season just two weeks ago after having surgery to repair an Achilles tendon tear he sustained during the preseason on October 8th.
Florida came into the game fifth in Atlantic Division with 58 points while San Jose came in with a solid hold on first in Pacific Division with 73 points. This season Florida has only won 10 of their 27 road games while San Jose continues to dominate at the tank, having now won 18 of their 27 home games. However, the Panthers come into the matchup on a hot streak, winning 4 of their last 5 games; San Jose has lost 4 of their last 5 (1-1-3). Even though the Sharks have lost 4 of their last 5, they were able to muster up 5 points out of 10 since three of the four losses came in overtime or the shootout. The Sharks look to come back to the tank where they have been excellent all year and rediscover their mojo as teams head into the last stretch before the NHL trade deadline.
The Sharks started the game well, allowing zero shots on goal in the first four minutes of the game. But the Panthers would get the first real scoring chance when Brent Burns (88) got caught pinching on the boards giving the Panthers a 2 on 1. Reilly Smith (18) skated deep into the left circle before passing the puck across to Jussi Jokinen (36) low on the right circle for a perfect onetime shot that beat Martin Jones (31) on the glove side. On the very next faceoff, Coach Peter Deboer left the same 5 players on the ice, and Panthers kept their three forwards. Interestingly enough, Keith Yandle (3) turned the puck over to Joe Pavelski (8) deep in their zone and he dropped it back to Burns who unleashed a wrister that got deflected off Jokinen, beating Roberto Luongo (1) to his right tying the score 1-1. On the very next shift, Aaron Ekblad made a long stretch pass through both Sharks defenseman to Nick Bjustad (27) on the blue line for a breakaway and he snapped home a shot to the stick side to take back their lead. Just over a minute later, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) turned over the puck to Alexander Barkov (16) and after tic-tac-toe passes the puck made it back to Barkov for a one-timer which he roofed over Jones’s glove hand taking a 3-1 lead. There were 4 goals scored in less than 3 minutes but finally the Sharks started to settle in and take back the momentum from the Panthers. Just over 15 minutes into the period, Burns took another wrist shot from the blue line that got deflected by Joe Thornton (19) and then Joel Ward, beating Luongo low on the glove side. At the end of the first period, Florida was leading 3-2 but San Jose was leading in shots 10-6.
Just over 6 minutes into the second period, Vlasic (44) took a pass from Kevin Lebanc (62) off his skates and took a hard slap shot that deflected off of Barkov and beat Luongo through the 5 hole tying the score 3-3. Luongo broke his stick in half in frustration. Just about half way through the period, Pavelski got a breakaway, but former Shark Jason Demers (55) held Pavelski preventing him from taking a shot giving Pavelski a penalty shot – which he was unable to score on. The score remained tied at the end of the second period but the Sharks led in shots 24-9. The Panthers only had 3 shots in this period.
Just over 2 minutes in to the third, Petrovic recovered the puck on the Sharks blue line, skated in half way through the right circle and passed it to Bjugstad for a one-timer that beat Jones low on the glove side giving the Panthers back the lead, 4-3. Just over twelve minutes into the period, Jaromir Jagr (68) received a soft pass right in front of Jones and passed it to Barkov who one-timed it home beating Jones on the glove side. This was Jagr’s 1900th career point, 2nd most all time in his 23 years in the NHL. As the game seem to be all but over, Pavelski took a pass over the blue line from David Schlemko and took a shot from bottom of the left circle which deflected off of Michael Matheson’s (19) stick beating Luongo top shelf on the short side. With Jones out of the net and just seconds left in the game, Pavelski took a short pass from Tomas Hertl (48) in front of Luongo and he beat Luongo on the glove side tying the score 5-5, taking the game to overtime. Luongo got hurt on the play and had to be replaced with the backup goalie, and also former San Jose Shark, James Reimer.
Just over minute into overtime, Jonathan Huberdeau (11) took a pass from Barkov who was behind the Sharks’ net and slid it home through the 5-hole giving the Panthers the win, 6-5.
The Sharks led in shots (36-22), face-offs (57%-43%), and giveaways (28-21) while the Panthers led in hits (23-10) and blocked shots (17-15).
Joe Pavelski had 4 points tonight (2 goals and 2 assists). He also drew a penalty shot but was unable to score. Brent Burns had 1 goal and 1 assist and was +3 tonight. It was his 300th point as a Shark. At 61 points, he is currently tied with Sidney Crosby for 2nd in scoring in the NHL. Patrick Marleau played his 600th consecutive game which is the 10th longest streak in NHL history.
Jaromir Jagr got his 1900th career point, 2nd most all time in his 23 years in the NHL. Roberto Luongo was injured during the final seconds of the game. Joonas Donskoi was still out of the lineup due to injury.
San Jose continues their regular season Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.
INDTVUSA Staff Writer