The San Jose Sharks started their five-game road trip in Calgary on Tuesday night, taking on the red-hot Flames.
Coming into Tuesday night’s contest, the Flames were on a 10-game point streak while sitting in 2nd place in the Pacific Division, trailing Edmonton by a point for 1st place. Calgary has started the season firing on all cylinders on offense, while Jacob Markstrom has been remarkable in net, recording 4 shutouts in just 9 games.
The Sharks took the ice at Scotiabank Saddledome still without Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Erik Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Jacob Middleton, Radim Simek, Matt Nieto, and Head Coach Bob Boughner, who are all still on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.
With all of these players still unavailable while on the COVID-19 protocol list, the Sharks played with a young and inexperienced lineup for the fifth-straight game.
While this lineup might not be the most ideal for San Jose, all of the young players that have been called on to step-up have answered the bell, showcasing all of their potential and what the future could look like for the organization.
Adin Hill got the nod in net on Tuesday night, where he stole the show with a phenomenal performance. Hill finished the game with 37 saves, off 38 shots, for a .974 save percentage and was the main reason the Sharks came away with the victory.
The 25-year-old netminder’s spectacular performance came after a less than ideal game against the St. Louis Blues last Thursday night, where Hill surrendered 4 goals with a .852 save percentage.
Alexander Barabanov opened up the scoring for the Sharks 47 seconds into the second period with his first goal of the season. Brent Burns fired a beautiful full-ice pass up to Barabanov, who slid the puck through Markstrom’s five-hole on the breakaway to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Adin Hill also recorded an assist on the goal, giving him his first-career NHL point.
Only 30 seconds after Barabanov gave the Sharks the lead, Andrew Mangiapane tied the game back up. Mangiapane’s game-tying goal was controversial, as he slid Adin Hill’s left pad into the net with the puck underneath. After San Jose challenged the call, leading to a review, the call on the ice of a goal stood.
The Sharks went into the second intermission being outshot 27 to 12. Hill’s brilliance in net kept San Jose in the game through the first two periods.
Logan Couture broke the tie 4:18 into the final frame, throwing a shot towards the net that deflected off Nikita Zadorov’s stick and past Markstrom’s glove. With the primary assist on the goal, Santeri Hatakka recorded his first-career NHL point.
The Sharks ended the game scoring two empty-net goals in the final minute and a half of play, one by Tomas Hertl and one by Jonathan Dahlen, to give San Jose a 4-1 win.
The young and inexperienced Sharks lineup is now 3-1-1, with both of their losses being very winnable games. All of the Sharks players on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list look to be nearing a return, most likely Saturday’s game in Colorado, which will lead to several roster decisions.
The Sharks continue their roadtrip on Thursday night, as they take on they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets.