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Offense AWOL in Nashville
Sharks drop 5th straight with power outage
10/21/2023 - By Mike Lee

It's tough to win hockey games if you're not scoring goals. That's been a consistent problem for the San Jose Sharks in all five of their losses this season. The Sharks lone goal on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee, came 50 minutes into their game with the Nashville Predators. At that point they already trailed Nashville 4-0 and was a footnote in their 5-1 loss to the Predators. So goes the Sharks dismal start to the 2023-24 NHL season, and it doesn't look like things are going to change anytime soon.

With shoulders slumping 2 minutes into the 2nd period, it was clear this one was headed in the wrong direction quickly.

San Jose trailed 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play and actually out-shot the Predators 11-9 heading into the initial break, but a lapse turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-0 game in the blink of an eye.

Nashville grabbed the lead late in the opening period after Sharks goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood was called for delay of game for playing the puck outside the trapzoid. Blackwood argued that he was interfered with, but the pleas fell on deaf ears. Samuel Fagemo converted on the ensuing power play, another late period lapse by the Sharks.

The gut punch came early in the 2nd period when Tommy Novak chipped a Kyle Sherwood feed past Blackwood after he slipped to the front of the Sharks net with nary a defender in sight.

Sherwood would score 12 seconds after Novak's tally on a one-timer from the top of the right circle. The sequence started with the Sharks losing the center ice faceoff, then allowing the Predators to control the zone with little defensive pressure.

Novak pushed the Predators lead to 4-0 at 2:47 of the 3rd period after Fabian Zetterlund lofted a puck over the glass for another delay of game penalty. Novak slid to the front of the net surrounded by the four penalty killers, then punched home a Gustav Nyquist feed past Blackwood.

Hertl scored his meaningless goal at 10:33 as he hovered around the left post, punching home the rebound off a Mario Ferraro attempt. The goal was Hertl's 1st of the season, which is another issue for San Jose. Hertl is the Sharks highest paid player and is really the only scoring threat on the ice for San Jose right now, yet it took him fie games to pot his first goal of the season.

Luke Evangelista capped the game's scoring with his 1st goal of the season 3 minutes later, after the Sharks simply failed to cover him. The winger gathered a Dante Fabbro feed up the right wing then raced in on Blackwood uncontested.

The Predators closed out the last 2 minutes of the contest controlling the puck inside the Sharks zone, but mercifully limited their goal output to 5.

Game Notes:

* The Sharks one positive in the loss was the smaller disparity in shots between them and their opponent. Nashville would out-shoot the Sharks in the game but only by a 34-32 count.

* Mario Ferraro and Tomas Hertl led the Sharks with 5 shots each. Mike Hoffman and Alexander Barabanov added 4 shots each.

* The Predators are 18-3-2 in their last 23 games against San Jose.

* Nico Sturm was 10-for-14 on draws (71%) and Tomas Hertl was 16-for-26 (62%).

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic did not see the ice for the final 8 minutes of the game. It was unclear if the veteran defenseman re-aggravated the injury he suffered last week or if he was benched by head coach David Quinn.


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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
NSH 1 2 2 5
1st period - 1, NSH, Fagemon 1 (Nyquist, Carrier), 17:!5, (pp).
2nd period - 2, NSH, Novak 3 (Sherwood, Josi), 2:06. 3, NSH, Sherwood 1 (Evangelista, Barrie), 2:18.
3rd period - 4, NSH, Novak 4 (Nyquist, Parssinen), 2:47, (pp). 5, SJ, Hertl 1 (Ferraro, Knyzhov), 10:33. 6, NSH, Evangelista 1 (Fabbro), 13:26.
Penalties
1st period - Blackwood, SJ (delay of game), 15:30; Parssinen, NSH (interference), 18:53.
2nd period - Ferraro, SJ (tripping), 3:14; Sissons, NSH (tripping), 6:13; Kunin, SJ (fighting major), 8:52; Sherwood, NSH (fighting major), 8:52; Hoffman, SJ (holding), 15:49.
3rd period - Zetterlund, SJ (delay of game - puck over glass), 1:45; Duclair, SJ (high sticking), 5:17.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Blackwood 34 29
NSH - Saros 32 31
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 13 8 32
NSH 9 12 13 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
NSH 2 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Kyle Sherwood
Samual Fagemo
Tommy Novak
Attendance
Bridgestone Arena - 17,222
Officials
Referees: #20 Mitch Dunning, #19 Gord Dwyer. Linesmen: #68 CJ Murray, #55 Kyle Flemington Standby Standby.





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