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Sharks Play With Heart on Valentine’s Day, But Lose 3-1

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The San Jose Sharks welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins into SAP Center, their first home game in about a month. Timo Meier scored late, but the Pens pulled it out 3-1.

Period 1

Strong forechecking start by Couture line.

1 in: Good first pass by Benning to Gregor, connects with Sturm, but Sturm takes too long to load.

San Jose Sharks have started on their toes through three minutes. Eyssimont does nice job of extending past Letang to get a shot from the middle, high, but he gets it through.

Rakell goal: Tough after a good Sharks start. Starts with a Svechnikov giveaway in OZ. Lorentz line just can’t get it out, can’t get to puck.

6 in: Good job by Benning to find Hertl in slot by himself.

8 in: Bad, risky giveaway from Karlsson, after I think Couture gets stopped trying to come out. Sharks need to take a breath, just down 1-0.

9 in : Pretty give-and-go between Karlsson and Meier. After Karlsson does a pretty job of finding space up top with little space off draw.

9 left: Eyssimont takes a hit to get it in deep.

8 left: Meier pickpockets Blueger trying to exit, crafty, he tries hard defensively. Leads to a chance.

6 left: Hertl has a quick stick up high, ends Pens PP by forcing turnover. Can’t quite complete 2-on-1 with Meier, but good effort.

5 left: Lorentz tries to exit, but Crosby won’t let him, bats down the pass, Lorentz tries to kick it out, but Crosby says no. Great effort on the wall by a “skill” player, real grind.

3 left: Fantastic save by Dell, after I think Benning gets caught in no man’s land, clear-cut 2-on-1, Vlasic attacks puck carrier, pass inches over to Crosby, big save. Sharks come back with their own chance, maybe Gregor should’ve slid it to Sturm for one-timer?

6-6 Slot Shots at Even Strength, which is about how I saw it. Sharks got off to a good start, but Pens started getting their legs.

Period 2

Lindblom seeing some time on the PK.

Back-and-forth after PK, one-on-one, MacDonald overpursues on Blueger, Blueger has daylight.

Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder:

7 in: How did Bonino miss that? Puck might have skipped, otherwise slam dunk. Replay shows DeSmith pad save, Bonino’s stick wasn’t there yet. Ferraro does a good job coming back other way, reading pass to Zucker.

8 in: That’s superstar effort from Crosby. It’s a 2-on-1 for Sturm and Lindblom, but Crosby catches Lindblom, leaving Sturm to shoot. DeSmith save.

PP2 indeed has MacDonald on it. They’re giving him a real look. Actually has played over 19 minutes last two games.

Guentzel goal: Quiet drop pass by Crosby, Dell doesn’t notice? Guentzel wide open, taps it bad angle off Dell’s back leg and in. Skill play all around. Not skill? Guentzel gets away with a high stick on Couture that took the captain out of the play in front.

5 left: Another strong Couture line shift, Eyssimont hustling, making next play. And being a pest. DeSmith holds for rebound, Eyssimont flies in, makes light head contact, DeSmith records the number. Eyssimont looks like a keeper.

Gregor penalty: That one will not be popular with the coaches, stick, tripping, in OZ.

3 left: Ferraro looking exasperated, looks like he got high sticked by Crosby, no call. Don’t usually see Ferraro stop and throw his arms up, not the style of often-frenetic Ferraro. Calls aren’t going San Jose Sharks’ way, but they gotta stay focused.

1 left: Fun PP sequence. Dell, who likes to handle the puck, up to Barabanov who enters and drops to stationary Meier. Meier cross ice, finds the seam to Hertl. Good chance. Sharks playing well, by and large, but just can’t score so far.

Now 9-9 Slot Shots at Even Strength.

Period 3

San Jose Sharks power play, however, can’t get in sync to start period. Opportunity lost, not good hockey.

2 in: Good find by Svechnikov, sees Gregor in slot.

3 in: Classic Karlsson, feints like he’s going to his right, then drops it to left to Meier with head of steam.

10 in: Crosby just muscles it from Gregor in OZ. That’s just another level.

9 left: Ferraro tracks down Archibald along wall. I really believe he’ll flourish on a better team, just my take. It’s a winning energy, just needs to be focused.

7 left: Benning, after a good start, has not moved the puck well tonight. Bad outlet leads to Pens 2-on-1.

6 left: Karlsson follows with a pass on a platter, Pens counter. I know Sharks are trying to make something happen, but ugly.

Meier goal: Meier in open space such a joy to watch. Holds off Pettersson too.

3 left: What a save by Dell! Couture fell asleep, let Guentzel in behind for breakaway.

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