The San Jose Sharks drop the first game of their homestand to the Columbus Blue Jackets with a final score of 5-2. The Sharks wore their heritage jerseys tonight and in the first period they sure looked like the inaugural Sharks. They were getting dominated by the Blue Jackets, who were coming into tonight having only two wins on the season.
Brandon Saad opened up the scoring in the first period with a power play goal off of a funky rebound in front of Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones. The Blue Jackets continued to dominate the Sharks until the end of the first period when Joe Pavelski tipped a Justin Braun shot past Blue Jackets’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. The Sharks started to pick up their play from here and carried that over into the second period.
Unfortunately, for the Sharks, the Blue Jackets scored about midway into the second period to take the lead, 2-1. Scott Hartnell curled around the net and performed a great spin around shot over the shoulder of Jones. Joe Pavelski came back with his second goal of the night to tie the game. Rookie Joonas Donskoi had a great steal on Nick Foligno and found Pavelski alone in front of Bobrovsky for the goal. This would be it for the Sharks scoring on the night.
Boone Jenner took advantage of a miscommunication behind the Sharks’ net and gave the Blue Jackets their third and final lead of the game. Ryan Murray gave the Jackets an insurance goal in the last minute of the second period, which would be the last bit of ice time for Jones on the net.
Alex Stalock started in the third period and Sharks' head coach, Peter Deboer, left Jones on the bench. Jones wasn’t the Sharks’ problem tonight, but he wasn’t exactly the solution either. On the other side of things, Bobrovsky was phenomenal for the Jackets. He faced 43 shots and made 41 saves on the night. That’s good for a .953 save percentage and a major reason the Jackets were able to hold on in this game after a dominant start. Matt Calvert added an empty-netter for the Jackets with 1:39 left in the game.
The Sharks will need to start taking better care of the puck because they were constantly turning the puck over tonight. Even though they dominated the faceoff circle with 46 wins and only 22 losses, they turned the puck over 20 times. The Jackets only turned it over seven times. The Sharks’ power play was also a problem as they went scoreless in four attempts, but a lot of that was due to Bobrovsky’s play. Regardless of Bobrovsky though, the Sharks should have no excuse burying the puck with a power play that features Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, and Joel Ward (usually Logan Couture when he’s in the lineup).
The Sharks fall to 6-6 on the season, and the Blue Jackets bring their record to 3-10. The Sharks will look to rebound against the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, while the Blue Jackets take on the Los Angeles Kings on the same night.