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San Jose Sharks

Blackwood & Eklund Brilliant, But Sharks Lose 3-1



SUNRISE, Fla. — The San Jose Sharks head to Amerant Bank Arena to take on the Florida Panthers.

Fabian Zetterlund scored and Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 32 shots, but the Sharks lost 3-1.

Period 1

2 in: Reinhart turns corner on flat-footed Burroughs. Blackwood save.

3 in: Bordeleau body first on Lorentz. Like.

4 in: Well-timed defensive stick by Emberson.

5 in: But then a Bordeleau fly-by on Lorentz, just bounces off. Gotta work on that. Kunin and Zadina do get a couple chances.

6 in: Good job by Emberson to negotiate Verhaeghe forecheck.

8 in: Tkachuk shanks it, San Jose Sharks lucky, he looked wide open in slot. Maybe beat Labanc there. They’ve been, gasp, bad to start.

7 left: Bordeleau line has generated a degree of offense, better than his counterparts. Kunin with three of San Jose’s seven shots so far.

It’s Peterson instead of Eklund on the PK though.

1 left: That kind of start for San Jose Sharks. They finally advance puck out, but Hoffman can’t pull the trigger. The Sharks veteran wingers, Duclair and Barabanov included, have disappointed. I know they’re missing their centers too.

Period 2

Sharks have zero zone time, so they can’t get inside that way. And their rush isn’t dangerous enough to get inside either.

5 in: And then, when they get a step there, offside from Peterson line.

6 in: Reinhart just manhandles Emberson one-on-one there, Derrick Henry style, throws the would-be checker off, then sets up a chance.

Hertl then does some manhandling of his own, draws  a call on Ekman-Larsson. Looking for a heartbeat! Here it is.

Looks like Eklund has the presence of mind to wait for Stolarz to turn his head, then he unleashed his pass.

Verhaeghe goal: I was going to write about the good vibes from that Eklund pass, but of course, Sharks give momentum right back. Hertl stripped trying to exit, the team loses Verhaeghe off to side.

9 left: Good shift from Zadina after he gets stood up by Kulikov on exit. Keeps going, I liked him jumping around Panthers to beat them to puck on forecheck. I like a lot of elements to his game, he just needs to learn to be a complete player. Heart and skill seem to be there.

Hertl penalty: He’s having a very rough period. Now delay of game.

Reinhart goal: Off the rare 3v4 OZ faceoff for Sharks.

3 left: Again, Zetterlund’s directness, flying down right wall, no slot play, just get it on net, crash, get a whistle. Don’t have to hit a home run every time.

Zetterlund follows with a nice slot pass to Bordeleau, good vision, he’s able to wait out Panthers who are expecting pass. Off his work on forecheck, Labanc pressuring Kulikov from behind, Zetterlund on top of the defenseman. Great teamwork there.

Period 3

A better second, but San Jose Sharks still need to tilt ice more. Then get inside.

1 in: Zetterlund takes the puck off Forsling, great chance.

3 in: Hoffman off the crossbar. He needed that.

4 in: Deceptive entry by Eklund, whoa, makes Rodrigues look silly.  Then he almost pulls off another highlight-reel pass to Peterson. Sharks playing, believe it or not, a pretty good period.

8 in: Eklund takes it away from Verhaeghe. San Jose Sharks were on their heels there, clutch play. Knocks the vet down. Granted, he had missed a chance to get it out seconds ago.

Hoffman penalty: That’s not a good one. Hoffman reaching for no good reason there. Honestly, could be near the end for him, unless he shows something quick. He’s been almost on a lot of things so far this year, a sign of a guy who just may not have it anymore. I hope that’s not the case, he’s had a great career.

8 left: And how good has Blackwood been? What a save on Reinhart. Panthers power play had Sharks top PK on the ropes, almost had them killing for entire PP.

7 left: A couple nifty Barabanov moves there. More of that, then attack.

6 left: Eklund does FC legwork, Emberson pinches, Labanc jumps on loose puck, some Sharks zone time. That’s the formula.

Blackwood pulled, Barabanov leaves bench, Eklund and Zetterlund and Labanc promoted to top PP, well deserved.

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