Sharks fall behind Panthers early, never recover as losing streak reaches four

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Three games into a four-game road trip and the Sharks have still not held a lead.

The Sharks trailed by two goals less than nine minutes into the first period and never fully recovered in a 5-1 loss to the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

The Sharks, who have lost four straight overall, allowed two power play goals, with the first coming from Keith Yandle just 4:31 into the first period. Goalie Martin Jones finished with 28 saves on 32 shots, as the Sharks fell to 0-2-1 on their road trip that concludes Tuesday in Nashville.

Kevin Labanc scored for the Sharks, as his power play goal at the 10:13 mark of the first period ended San Jose's 10-game, 0 for 23 slump with the man advantage and cut the Panthers' lead to 2-1.

But Florida got an even strength goal from Mike Matheson at the 6:32 mark of the second, and a power play goal from Brett Connolly at the midway point of the third to help seal the win.

The Sharks had to play a large part of the second period without forward Evander Kane.


Just as he took a pass at the Panthers' blue line, Kane was leveled by a borderline open ice hit from defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. No penalty was called, but the hit caught Kane's shoulder and perhaps his head as he went down on the ice.

Later in that shift, Kane went at Weegar, and the two dropped their gloves for a brief fight at the 4:16 mark of the second period.

"It's just about sticking up for yourself," Kane said. "We need a little more of that. Guy hits me in the head and no call. You've got to protect yourself. Nobody else is going to protect you on the ice. Not the refs, not the other team.

"Sometimes, you've got to stick up for yourself."


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