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Notes #22: Sharks Run Devils Out of Their Own Building 5-2



NEWARK, N.J. — The San Jose Sharks face a resurgent New Jersey Devils — Jack Hughes makes his return. Evander Kane was eligible to come back for the Sharks tonight, but instead, he’s been re-assigned to the AHL for an undetermined period of time.

Period One

Minute in: Meier has a golden chance in front. Maybe he doesn’t see Dahlen by himself in front too, basically a two-on-zero with back pressure. But Timo skies it. Not a big criticism of Meier, who’s good at so much, especially this year, but an example of why I don’t see him as a natural finisher.

Two in: Like Labanc cutting to the net there, even if he doesn’t draw the call.

Four in: Chance to make a play coming out of zone, Barabanov lets it get intercepted, shouldn’t happen.

Awkward but super-effective Karlsson defensive play led to draw that resulted in Gregor goal. Karlsson bats down a Devils pass, if completed, would’ve led to a break. He falls while doing it. But good hand-eye.

Burns takes the hooking penalty, but he was left in a bad position, a mini two-on-one down low. Didn’t get help from Couture he needed.

Good pause by Couture on PK to feed Gregor’s speed.

Nine in: Great defensive shift by Simek to recover from Nieto turnover. Stays with Sharangovich who is surveying, then Simek closes on Hughes when the sixty-four million dollar man gets the puck. Turns a sure Devils possession into a fifty-fifty. Good pop by the much-maligned Simek.

Eight left: Fancy spin by Johnsson, but great recovery by Karlsson. Karlsson did force Johnsson into the tougher shot.

Seven left: Bonino took that DZ faceoff for Pederson, then jumped off. I liked Karlsson that shift — sunk down for the offense, then spirited recovery when puck going the other way. Have liked him today.

Six left: Good shift from Bonino line, Gregor speed helping there.

Four left: Meier looks at ref as he goes off ice, thinks he should’ve got a call on a stick that prevented him from launching himself up ice. Then Gadjovich has puck for exit but he passes it too hard, I guess, for Labanc to receive. Icing. Count that as a do not like.

Great play up high by Gregor to steal from d-man, get a breakaway. He’s had a whale of a period — I don’t think he’s going back.

Period Two

Burns not out there to start period.

Eight in: Huge Middleton defensive play there to sprawl and break up two-on-one. That was perhaps Devils’ first life of the period after an all-San Jose Sharks period.  Important to squelch it.

Meier goal: Couture puck battle win on PP. Meier by himself because of aggressive Devils PK.

Karlsson goal: Barabanov passes it through three Devils in front. Karlsson points at the Russian winger afterwards, pure skill. Great patience.

Period Three

Tatar goal: Crowd had just gotten off singing “Take On Me” — I was about to joke that was loudest crowd had been since Jack Hughes was announced on jumbotron at beginning of game. Good thing I didn’t send that tweet out.

Now it’s interesting: Middleton bobbles, Bratt beats Karlsson up the ice. A longish shot that Reimer probably wants back too.





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