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Nightmare December continues
Sharks drop 9th game in last 10
12/22/19 - By Mike Lee -

The nightmare that has been the month of December got even worse on Sunday night, as the Sharks buckled in the 3rd period once again to drop their third straight decision. After working a 1-1 tie in the 3rd period, San Jose let costly mistakes bite them late to drop their ninth game in the last ten games, losing 3-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights at SAP Center. The same old game plan continues to cripple San Jose.

After a coaching change, the Sharks have been desperate to mix things up. They gave Aaron Dell his second start in the last three games, after Martin Jones failed to stop the St Louis Blues on Saturday night. Dell made big saves early, but San Jose just doesn't have those game saving performances by their goaltending tandem.

By losing, the Sharks fell to last place in the Western Conference. Their -32 goal differential is the worst in the conference, and third worst in the league. The loss also pushed the Sharks to a sub .500 record on home ice.

Both teams seemed tentative to start the game, with Vegas out-shooting San Jose 13-6 in the opening 20 minutes. The Knights enjoyed a pair of power play chances in the opening frame, but the Sharks league best penalty kill squashed both opportunities.

Vegas finally broke through with 2:29 left in the 2nd period, when the Sharks lost track of Paul Stastny who worked a give-and-go with Alex Tuch deep in the Sharks zone. Tuch fed Stastny a puck from behind the Sharks net, setting up a shot from outside the left post. Dell was late to react, as the puck tucked under the crossbar for Stastny's 9th goal of the season.

The Sharks finally got on the board 3:54 into the 3rd period, when Logan Couture banged home a Brent Burns feed from the right side. Sensing a need to generate some offense, Burns pinched, carrying the puck around the back of the net from right to left and drawing the attention of goaltender Malcolm Subban to the left corner. With the focus on the puck, Burns whipped a pass through the crease to Couture on the weak side for a slam dunk goal.

Vegas reclaimed the lead less than 5 minutes later, when Shea Theodore ripped a shot from the right side, beating Dell with his 5th goal of the season. The Sharks let the defenseman fire the shot after pinching on the right side.

Jonathan Marchessault drove the final nail in the coffin, with his 12th goal of the season at 16:35 of the period. Erik Karlsson was caught flat-footed as Reilly Smith raced around him at the Sharks blueline. Smith raced toward the left post before dropping the puck to Marchessault for the punch-in goal from the slot.

Game Notes:

* Sharks head coach Bob Boughner was not available for post game comments, as it was reported that he was headed out of town. The Sharks have the next four days off, but it wasn't clear if Boughner was getting a jump on his Christmas break.

* Four Sharks recorded 5 shots, but it wasn't enough to get more than a single puck past Knights backup goaltender Malcolm Subban.

* Vegas won the season series 3-0-1, and take 7 of 8 points against San Jose this season.


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1 2 3 T
VGK 0 1 2 3
SJ 0 0 1 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, VGK, Stastny 9 (Tuch, Zykov), 17:33.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Couture 12 (Burns, Hertl), 3:54. 3, VGK, Theodore 5 (Karlsson), 8:05. 4, VGK, Marchessault 12 (Smith, Karlsson), 16:35.
1st period - Kane, SJ (tripping), 1:30; E. Karlsson, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 17:17.
2nd period - Carrier, VGK (delay of game - puck over glass), 7:27; Burns, SJ (elbowing), 11:08; Reaves, VGK (roughing), 18:4; Dillon, SJ (roughing), 18:49.
3rd period - McNabb, VGK (tripping), 9:42; McNabb, VGK (holding the stick), 13:03; Kane, SJ (tripping), 13:03; Stephenson, VGK (slashing), 17:44.
Shots Saves
VGK - Subban 38 37
SJ - Dell 37 34
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
VGK 13 10 14 37
SJ 7 11 20 38
Power Play Conversion
VGK 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Malcolm Subban
Brent Burns
Shea Theodore
SAP Center - 17,015
Referees: StPierre, Brenk. Linesmen: Knorr, Murphy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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