Kaapo Kahkonen, San Jose Sharks lose to Nashville Predators in overtime
Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen had his best game in a Sharks uniform, but again the skaters in front of him provided little to no offensive support.
After Kahkonen and counterpart Juuse Saros proved unbeatable in the first three periods, Ryan Johansen scored the only goal of the game from a sharp angle 3:18 into overtime as the Nashville Predators beat the Sharks 1 -0 at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday. .
Kahkonen made 26 saves over the first two periods and finished with 40, but the Sharks still fell to 0-5-2 since a March 26 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
During their seven-game season skid, the Sharks scored just 13 goals, 10 of them at even strength.
“Trying to get some rebounds, trying to get some luck with the puck and trying to get more shot volume to produce more offense,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said of the issues. of his team’s score, “because it’s very difficult, as you can see, to win hockey games when the puck doesn’t go in.
In his first five games as a Shark since acquiring the Minnesota Wild on March 21, Kahkonen has averaged two offensive support goals per 60 minutes played. Unsurprisingly, as a result, Kahkonen was 0-3-0 with an .895 save percentage.
“Good game on the road,” Kahkonen said. “We fought hard and we didn’t back down. We have done a lot of good things. We were in the game the whole game, just a tough result again, but I think a lot of good things to be on the road and playing a good team.
The Sharks (29-33-10) shot just 16 in the first two and a half periods of Tuesday’s game and Saros finished with 25 saves as the Sharks were shut out for the eighth time this season .
Saros stopped Rudolfs Balcers’ second-half breakaway and Tomas Hertl’s chance while alone in extra time.
“I tried to juggle back and forth in height and stand on it,” Balcers said of his breakaway, “so missed opportunity.”
Nashville thought they had a 1-0 lead in the second period as Filip Forsberg’s shot from inside the blue line made it past Kahkonen. But the Sharks and video coach Dan Darrow challenged the goal for offside and it was determined that Nashville’s Matt Duchene preceded the puck into the offensive zone and was in an offside position before the goal.
The Sharks expected Tuesday’s game to have a little more emotion.
The Sharks lost 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, a game punctuated by heated conversation between captain Logan Couture and some of his teammates, including Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns and Timo Meier.
With just seconds left in the third period and the Sharks trailing 3-2, Couture dived in an attempt to block a JT Miller shot into the empty San Jose net. The puck came off the post and Couture, on one knee, pulled it behind the net and around the boards, expecting Karlsson or another Sharks player to be there.
But Karlsson had stayed at the Canucks’ blue line as play entered the Sharks’ zone and returned too late, allowing Luke Schenn to collect the puck and shoot it into the empty net with 0.9 seconds left.
After the final face-off, which sealed the Sharks’ sixth straight loss, Couture then stood up and expressed his displeasure with what had happened.
“It happens, conversations and guys get frustrated during games, and that’s it,” Couture said Saturday. “I mean, we lost. No one will be smiling and happy with each other. But the game ends, you rinse it off, go back to it, have dinner tonight and probably forget about it.
Couture early in the first period tied Nashville forward Eeli Tolvanen behind the Predators net and shortly after, Sharks winger Jeffrey Viel battled defenseman Mark Borowiecki.
Tomas Hertl went to Borowiecki at 11:17 of the first period after the Predators defenseman tried to hit Noah Gregor at the Nashville blue line, and Meier was given minor roughing and high-sticking penalties after being knocked down by Dante Fabbro after the whistle.
Boughner challenged the Sharks to get more emotionally invested in Tuesday’s game and be ready from the start. Although the Sharks are only mathematically alive for a playoff berth, Boughner felt the players rose to that challenge, “with flying colors.”
“We talked about our first 10 minutes and how that’s going to make a difference,” Boughner said. “You’ll never be perfect and I think we’ve done a decent job of establishing our game.”
Nashville remains in the top wild card spot in the Western Conference with 89 points, one point ahead of the Dallas Stars, who hold the second wild card spot. The Vegas Golden Knights had 84 points going into Tuesday’s games.
The Sharks lost 3-1 to the Predators in October and 8-0 at home to Nashville in early March.