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Youth Rules, But Spirited Sharks Comeback Falls Short 5-4



The San Jose Sharks welcome Joe Pavelski and the Dallas Stars into SAP Center. Nick Bonino got the Sharks off to a quick start a little more than a minute in, but the Stars roared back with four unanswered to end the opening frame. Dallas would pull it out 5-4 after Brent Burns, John Leonard, and Logan Couture goals fueled a spirited but ultimately fruitless comeback.

Period 1

Bonino goal: Beautifully timed. Thought for sure Dallas would at least challenge Karlsson-Gregor for offside, but on replay, perfect work by the San Jose Sharks attackers to cross at the same time. Love Karlsson’s hitch, waiting for Gregor to get closer to net before sifting one through.

Namestnikov goal: Barabanov should probably stay in the slot, but awful, casual pass from Hertl. Too easy a play for Seguin. But good eye from Michael Kriegbaum, he might have a point.

6 in: Vlasic tries to squeeze wall for puck, but it evades him. Glendening off to the races, but Meloche recovers and knocks him down. Good one-on-one work by Meloche, being unfairly maligned by fans because he’s in line-up over Merkley. Merkley has not evolved into a must-start defenseman for Bob Boughner by any stretch. He has shown progress this year, but get real.

Hakanpaa goal: Puck glance off Reedy? Kahkonen looked like that might be the case. On replay: Nope. Clean shot that Kahkonen has gotta have. Too far away, no traffic.

Hintz goal: Don’t like Karlsson there. He’s in no man’s land. Granted, Hintz is left-handed, Karlsson right-handed. But Karlsson looks like he’s trying to block a bad-angle Klingberg shot, but would’ve simply blocked off Kahkonen’s line of sight there. Instead, try to tie up Hintz’s stick.

9 left: Balcers has a strong defensive stick to stop Raffl from easy putback.

6 left: Couture pass, Balcers outmuscled by Hakanpaa. Hakanpaa is a strong dude.

Robertson goal: Kahkonen out of sorts tonight. He has no idea where puck is. Goalie is the loneliest position, but Jaycob Megna the first Shark to greet Kahkonen coming off the ice. Before that OZ Dallas faceoff, someone between Dahlen, Balcers, or Couture has to stop it and negate icing. But granted, Ferraro rocketed it down the ice. Also, there was a Star who looked like he could’ve touched it.

Period 2

Reimer is in. Looks like Sasha has earned a promotion again up with Couture, along with Gregor, who is asserting his speed tonight. See Leonard/Nieto with Bonino. Balcers/Dahlen with Reedy.

Burns goal: Liked Chmelevski also on entry, cool and assured, unspectacular but correct play. Burns and San Jose Sharks get a bounce after an unlucky 1st. In build-up up ice, Couture smartly lets go a suicide pass, allowing Megna to claim it. Couture also in effect set a legal pick there.

4 left: Love that Couture forecheck effort on Klingberg. Doesn’t stop Klingberg but slows him down enough that Megna able to stop Stars exit, Sharks have some possession time.

2 left: Meier in solid position on backcheck.

1 left: Sasha on forecheck, thought he might get called for tripping, but he doesn’t. Good work and pins Stars.

Period 3

Know Karlsson has had a long PP shift, but he gets off too casually to switch off to second unit there. Dahlen was waiting, double-hitched as Karlsson ambled back to bench.

5 in: Like Leonard there, long shot from blueline, but skates hard to Wedgewood to force hold. Leads to Barabanov wraparound chance off draw.

Then Chmelevski does some nice work on entry, puts it in a place that Gregor can force turnover, then Sasha finds Couture in front for an almost goal.

Pavelski goal: Robertson takes advantage of Vlasic, chip and chase that a younger Vlasic would’ve got to, I think, but not this version. Then Hintz’s speed takes over, Meloche has to rotate and vacate the front. That moment that Robertson chips and Vlasic is beat, would’ve loved for Leonard to recognize chain of events (basically Meloche has to take Hintz, rotate on Pavelski), but that would be a high-level read. Obviously, would be nice if Meloche got in front of pass too, he tried.

5 left: Karlsson does have a superior shift on that Leonard goal. Wild-looking turnaround pass to Nieto, but it worked. Then dances it past the Stars forward pursuing point. That’s what he can still do for you.

Sasha goal: Love Gregor up high, feints shot, passes it to Chmelevski low. Actually Logan goal. But spectacular Sasha move to force Wedgewood out of position.

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