Frustrated Sharks fall to Canucks 5-2

The San Jose Sharks continued their 7-game homestand Thursday night taking on the red-hot Vancouver Canucks led by new coach Bruce Boudreau. Coming into Thursday night’s contest, the Canucks were riding a 5-game win streak to start the Boudreau era after the firing of former head coach Travis Green and former general manager Jim Benning.

Thursday night’s matchup also marked the NHL debut of Sharks rookie Jayden Halbgewachs, who was called up from the Barracuda Wednesday morning. Halbgewachs is the 8th Sharks player to make their NHL debut this season.

Adin Hill was back between the pipes for the Sharks after James Reimer started the last two games. Hill came into the game looking for a bounce-back performance after his last start ended in a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

The Sharks started the game with a burst of energy, recording 5 shots on goal in the first two minutes of play. San Jose continued their “shoot first” style of play throughout the first period, outshooting the Canucks 13-10.

Despite the Sharks outshooting the Canucks early in the game, Brock Boeser netted the first goal of the night at the 12:41 mark of the opening frame. Boeser ripped a shot over the glove of Hill for his 8th goal of the season.

Not long after Boeser’s opening goal, the Canucks went on their first power play of the game after Logan Couture was sent to the box for kneeing. Bo Horvat converted on the man-advantage for the Canucks with his 10th goal of the season to extend the lead to 2-0.

Just under a minute after Horvat extended Vancouver’s lead, Timo Meier scored his 100th career NHL goal with 2:38 left in the period to get the Sharks on the board. Erik Karlsson blasted a slap shot towards the net that was blocked, deflecting right to Meier who wound up and sent a shot whistling to the back of the net to cut the deficit in half.

The Sharks started off the second period just like they started the game by firing a plethora of shots towards Demko, recording the first 8 shots of the period. San Jose’s defense suffocated the Canucks offense throughout the middle frame, not allowing a shot on goal for the first 13:02 of the second period.

After recording their first shot of the period, the Canucks pushed back with a couple of good chances that were all turned away by Adin Hill.

With 2:43 left in the second period, Brock Boeser scored his second goal of the game to extend the Canucks lead to 3-1. In a period that was largely dominated by the Sharks, Boeser capitalized on a defensive breakdown that left him wide-open in front of the net. San Jose ended the period outshooting Vancouver 12-5.

With the Canucks controlling play for the first half of the final frame, Andrew Cogliano changed the momentum with his 3rd goal of the season. Cogliano skated in the zone and with a spectacular individual effort, danced through Vancouver’s defense before sliding the puck through Demko’s five-hole.

The Sharks continued to push after Cogliano’s goal brought them to within one, but Demko stood tall in net for the Canucks.

With the Sharks pushing to tie the game, J.T. Miller sealed the win for Vancouver with his 10th goal of the season with 2:28 left in the game. Jason Dickinson added an empty-net goal shortly after Miller’s to give the Canucks a 5-2 win.

For the second-straight game, the Sharks dropped a frustrating battle where they outshot their opponent.

Despite the loss, Jayden Halbgewachs was a standout throughout his NHL debut, making a strong case for himself to stay in the Sharks lineup moving forward. Halbgewachs showcased his speed and stick-handling, creating several scoring chances for himself, tallying 3 shots on goal.

The Sharks will return to the ice Tuesday night, after a four day break, for a rematch with the Canucks back again at SAP Center.

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