Road Struggles Continue For San Jose Sharks in Florida


The San Jose Sharks fell to the Florida Panthers by the final of 4-1. This is their second loss in a row after Sunday’s loss to the Blackhawks. Before this game the Panthers had only scored more than two goals twice this season in 12 games. After today it was three.

There were a few lineup changes tonight both offensively and defensively. On offense Winger Tomas Hertl was moved back to the top line while fellow sophomore Matt Nieto was dropped to the third spot, which is essentially a swap of lines between the two.

Defensively the combo of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun was broken up, with Vlasic pairing with Brent Burns this evening while Braun was paired with rookie Mirco Mueller.

For the second game in a row the San Jose Sharks found themselves in a three-goal deficit. While they didn’t seem as sluggish as they did against the Blackhawks, the offense was just not there.

In the first period the Panthers struck twice in a span of 1:22. First it was Derek MacKenzie who scored on a one-timer in what ended up being a two-on-one down low.

The second goal was a result of bad defense by Patrick Marleau below his goal line and allowed the Florida forward to make a move behind the net and feed it to the front where Aleksander Barkov had an open net and slammed it home to make it 2-0.

In the second period the Panthers extended their lead to 3-0 on a simple rebound goal. The initial shot came from the point.

As for the San Jose Sharks the struggling offense continued — aside from a Matt Nieto shot off the crossbar at the end of the period — with Antti Niemi making a few great saves preventing the game from getting out of hand. As a result, Todd McLellan also started to shuffle the line combos as the period ended to try and generate something other than 12 shots (five in the first period and seven in the second) through 60 minutes.

In the third period though Florida extended their lead early on a Tomas Fleischmann. Minutes after that Vlasic cleared the puck off the line preventing a fifth goal from being scored.

Finally, midway though the third period, the San Jose Sharks finally got on the scoreboard with Joe Thornton batting home a rebound out of the air after an initial shot by Burns created the rebound.

After that though it was business as usual for the Florida Panthers and eventually closed out the game with the 4-1 victory.

GGS 3 Stars
1. Roberto Luongo (21 saves)
2. Aleksander Barkov (1 goal)
3. Jimmy Hayes (1 goal)