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San Jose Sharks

Sharks Lose Heartbreaker in Toronto 3-1



TORONTO — The San Jose Sharks visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Matt Nieto scored his fifth in nine games, and the Sharks pushed the Cup contenders to the end, but they lost 3-1.

Period 1

Rough start for Megna, an NZ turnover leads to Leafs chance, then another turnover on exit.

1 in: Now Nieto with an NZ turnover, Nylander goes the other way. Robertson shot trickles past Dell, past post.

But then Simek blocks Robertson shot, races out to a breakaway, and Gregor has the putback chance. Frenetic action so far, not sure that’s how you want to play Toronto.

5 in: Meier with another NZ turnover. This will bite San Jose Sharks in the ass. However, Meier able to pressure Tavares to win it back, gets it to Karlsson walking down slot, who fires it, Samsonov save. Trading chances so far.

Exciting sequence, Marner spin-o-ramas Karlsson, backhand chance, then he pickpockets Hertl trying to exit. Sharks win it back, Meier takes his time through NZ this time, drops it to Karlsson, give and go, Meier chance.

7 in: Simek closes out on Aston-Reese, he’s had a strong start tonight. Then Gregor able to exert pressure with his speed, 2-on-1 with Kunin, then a breakaway after he blocks a point shot. But his telegraphed-looking pass is swallowed up by I think Giordano and he goes high on his breakaway. One day…

7 left: Good 5-man forecheck from Couture line. Don’t like Barabanov’s start though, not sharp so far. By the way, this is his first game in Toronto since his trade to San Jose. Wonder if there will be a tribute video?

4 left: Now Marner backchecks Meier in NZ, turnover. San Jose Sharks need to tighten up.

3 left: Megna rallies back with a stretch pass that gives Kunin a second of daylight.

1 left: Matthews falls in OZ, Sharks break out for 3-on-2, Meier hits Karlsson coming down middle, save. Maybe Karlsson is unlucky now haha, it’s been a couple posts, goals have been scarce recently. But honestly, he’s been much more precise today than last night.

Period 2

1 in: Great hustle by Labanc to win puck after Karlsson stretch pass (I think) misses, rebounds off boards and Samsonov, into slot for Labanc chance. Labanc busts past Gio for puck.

Matthews goal: Meier had a good-looking chance blocked at other end, then Barabanov and Benning have trouble with puck in DZ, in chaos, Barabanov doesn’t pick up Bunting in slot, big Dell save, but then rebound goes to Hollowell who shot-passes it to Matthews planted in front, Sharks can’t tie him up. Things can run away from the San Jose Sharks in a hurry here.

Nieto goal: Wow credit to this line, tough shift just now, come back on forecheck. Couture strong there, superb pass to unmarked Nieto. Barabanov with a couple positive touches here too, hopefully that’ll calm his game down.

6 left: Hertl gets a stick on a Maple Leafs slot chance, Sharks break out, Meier with another incredible chance. He’s so close tonight. Hertl has seemed a step slow today, but he did make a key defensive play there.

Example of game though where analytics might say Hertl line ruled, but my opinion, it’s been mostly Meier and Labanc with the positive puck touches.

5 left: Love. Vlasic and Benning zone, erase Matthews and Bunting. Vlasic, especially, battles Bunting and flat-out wins puck.  That’s a play that I’m not sure I would’ve seen as much last year.

2 left: Karlsson fumbles, Engvall pounces, but Dell sucks it up. He’s been solid.

1 left: Think Megna got away with a board there. Didn’t hit Bunting that hard, granted. But right in numbers.

Period 3

Sharks have played Leafs well, can they come up with one more good period to kick this Canadian trip off right?

Insistent defending by Karlsson on Matthew up high to start.

1 in: Finish the hit behind the net, Noah.

2 in: Nice touch on clear by Svechnikov, instead of icing, skitters into Samsonov, OZ faceoff.

3 in: Attempted stretch to Bunting, Vlasic all over him. However, on ensuing skate out by Vlasic, glass, Toronto pounces.

4 in: Great shot-pass by Meier to Lorentz. After big Lindblom block. Team effort here, 4th line has made its share of plays too.

6 in: Like how Nieto line defended down low there, every Leaf covered, they’re able to manage it out.

7 in: Good fight another day decision by Meier. Long shift, stretch to him isn’t perfect, he has to slow down, instead of insisting on attack, he circles back with possession, gives it to Couture line in a good place.

10 in: Outstanding entry by Hertl there, that’s the expected flair.

9 left: Karlsson just took that shift over. Hard diagonal stretch pass to catch Leafs in change, then down-low chess, Sharks generate chances because of ensuing time and space created. He’s been quietly excellent tonight.

6 left: Cicek doesn’t like it, a little sell there, I agree. But big spot for a Sharks PK that has come through so often.

5 left: Dell Dell Dell! Outstanding so far on PK.

3 left: That hurts. Bad turnover by Hertl

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