Power play fizzles out as Sharks lose to Blue Jackets, 4-2

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Sharks came to life a tad too late Sunday night as they suffered their first loss since they acquired Evander Kane at the NHL's trade deadline.

Kane and Joonas Donskoi both scored at even strength, but the Sharks got nothing from their power play for the 12th straight game and could not make up for a lackluster opening 20 minutes in a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at SAP Center.

Sharks goalie Martin Jones was pulled after he allowed three goals on 13 shots, although he had almost no chance on at least two of them.

Still, after Artemi Panarin's goal 5:32 into the second period, Jones was removed in favor of Aaron Dell as Sharks coach Pete DeBoer searched for anything to light a fire under his team.

The Sharks didn't create much until the final two minutes of the second, when Dylan DeMelo's shot from just inside the blue line was redirected by Donskoi past Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky at the 18:22 mark to cut Columbus' lead to 3-1.

Kane scored his first goal with the Sharks and his 21st of the season at the 10:04 mark of the third, taking a pass from Pavelski and beating Bobrovsky with a wrist shot that squeezed through his pads. The Sharks pressed for the equalizer, but Panarin sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute of regulation time.

Kane also assisted on Donskoi's goal, as that line with Donskoi and Pavelski now has a combined 16 points in three games since Kane was brought over from the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 26.

The Sharks didn't have a problem getting past Edmonton and Chicago to start their homestand. While the power play continued to struggle, even strength goals were coming by the bushel.

The 5-on-5 scoring could only do so much Sunday, and the Sharks' power play futility continues to set team records.

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The power play looked dangerous at times, but their four misfires against Columbus extended their goalless streak with the man-advantage to a franchise-record 12 games, going 0 for 28 in that time. San Jose's last power play goal came Feb. 8 against the Vegas Golden Knights.

The worst part for the Sharks was that Columbus scored quickly after two first period power plays fizzled out.

Nick Foligno scored at the 9:12 mark of the first, 10 seconds after his hooking penalty expired. Then Panarin scored 54 seconds after Zach Werenski left the box on another hooking call.

The Sharks entered Sunday's game 10 points back of Vegas for first place in the Pacific Division, and are now one point ahead of Anaheim for second place.

The Sharks' homestand continues Thursday against St. Louis.

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