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All Good Things Have to Come to an End.
By: Jake Ricker
It was a defensive game, and the Sharks played things just right. The Bolts could not get their offense rolling especially on the power play. The penalty kill was also lackluster as the Sharks took advantage. As for the Sharks, they got their offense going and shut down the Bolts with some great defensive play. All good thing would have to come to an end as the Sharks won this one 5-2, let’s take a look at how we got here period by period.
Both teams got off to a slower start as they didn’t let each other get set up in the offensive zone. The Bolts were finally able to get 2 shots off though with one of them coming from Brayden Point who rung it off the post. The Sharks then responded with a chance in close on Vasy, but he quickly shut the door. The Bolts offense made sure they got some quality shots in though as Stamkos entered the zone and found Killorn who just missed the net wide. Both teams seemed to be playing defensive as they did not give each other many opportunities. The Sharks would capitalize first though as Logan Couture got the pass and buried it fora 1-0 lead. The Sharks kept on pushing through as Burns slid the puck to Pavelski who put it top shelf to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead in just 34 seconds. Both teams defensive play continued despite the Sharks taking a 2 goal lead, holding each other to minimal shots on goal. The Sharks kept on pushing but the Bolts defense blocked the shots and got right back to work. Hedman then pushed up on a line change and flipped one into the back of the net to bring the Bolts within 1. The Sharks would try one more shot in the final seconds but it would go wide as time expired.
Goals: 2-1. San Jose
Shots: 8-4 Tampa Bay
The Sharks got off to a good start to start the second as they quickly entered the zone grabbing a few chances. The Bolts would then put themselves in a bad spot as Stralman was called for slashing giving the Sharks the first power play of the game. The Sharks got right to work on the power play keeping the puck for almost the entire power play. They would finally capitalize though as Evander Kane rifled one home for a 3-1 lead. The Bolts did not let this 2 goal lead last for long as Joseph turned on the jets and got the puck to Sergachev who deflected it home for his first goal of the season!!! The Bolts would then head back tot he penalty kill as Johnson was called for hooking. The Bolts made sure they would kill this one off though as they shut down the Sharks offense. Just as the penalty ended the Sharks would get their first as Evander Kane went off for hooking. The Bolts had a hard time getting anything going though and the Sharks would kill it off. Both teams then went back and forth fighting for every inch. Both sides picked up a few shots on net, but neither could find the back of the net. The Bolts then racked up a few chances of their own but Jones kept the rebounds to a minimum. The Sharks then once again picked up a few opportunities at the end of the period but Vasy kept them at bay and the Sharks would head into the final 20 up by 1.
Goals: 3-2 San Jose
Shots: 17-16 Tampa Bay
The Bots did not get off to the start they wanted as Hedman was called for delay of game. The Bolts would successfully kill off the penalty and get back to work. The Bolts looked to tie this game and they picked up a few chances but the Sharks turned them away. The Sharks then turned things around as Evander Kane walked in on the right side and let one go that slipped by Vasy to extend the Sharks lead to 2. The Sharks would keep up the offensive pressure but Vasy once again kept them out of the net. The Bolts then returned with some pressure of their own and would draw a penalty as Kane was called for High-Sticking. The Bolts would need a big goal as they were down by 2, but the Sharks made sure they didn’t get many chances and killed off the penalty. Both teams then battled it out for puck possession as time continued to wind down. Lukas Radil then found a rebound off an initial shot to put the Sharks up by 3. The Bolts then gave everything they had in the final minutes but it would be too little too late as the Sharks closed things out in a 5-2 victory.
Goals: 5-2 San Jose
Shots: 32-20 Tampa Bay
- Nikita Kucherov (1G, 3A)
- Steven Stamkos (1G, 2A)
- Brayden Point (1G, 1A)
Up Next and Final Strike
This was a dominant performance by the Bolts as they got the offense rolling and never looked back. The Bolts special teams were also rolling as they went 3 for 4 on the power play and went 4 for 5 on the kill. Vasy was once again was on point as he stopped nearly every shot thrown his way. The Bolts defense was also at their best as they held the Kings to under 30 shots on goal. This was by far the Bolts best game of the season despite it coming against the Kings. The Bolts will face a much tougher opponent in the Sharks but look for them to continue this success.
The Bolts will look to rebound and get back in the win column as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday, January 8th at 7:30 PM at Amalie Arena.