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Sharks allow six to Columbus Blue Jackets, end road trip on bitter note

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

Fatigue might have caught up with the Sharks on Sunday as they finished a long road trip against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Playing their fifth game in eight days, the Sharks allowed three consecutive goals from late in the second period to early in the third in a 6-4 loss to the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Adam Boqvist and Jack Roslovic both scored in the first 5:34 of the third period as Columbus took a 5-3 lead. Tomas Hertl narrowed cut the Blue Jackets’ lead to one as he scored his ninth of the season with 9:49 left in regulation, but the Sharks could get no closer as they finished their trip with a 3-2-0 record.

Nick Bonino, Erik Karlsson, and Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks, with Burns’ goal at the 8:44 mark of the second period snapping an 11-game point drought and giving San Jose a 3-2 lead.

Sharks goalie Adin Hill, who was making his third straight start for the first time this season, allowed three goals on 18 shots in the first two periods, and five goals came on 22 shots. It was a down game for Hill after he had stellar performances against the New York Islanders and New York Rangers on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

The Sharks had allowed just four goals in total in the first four games of the trip. Hill had allowed just two goals on 52 shots against the New York teams.

Adam Boqvist opened the scoring in the first period, and Sean Kuraly and Cole Sillinger both scored in the second, with Sillinger’s goal at the 17:49 mark tying the game 3-3.

The Sharks were looking to win four games on the same road trip – not counting last season when they began with 12 straight road games because of Santa Clara County COVID protocols – since Feb. 2019. That month they beat Winnipeg, Calgary. Edmonton and Vancouver in seven days.

The Sharks outshot the Blue Jackets 19-10 in the first period and got a goal from Bonino with 2.3 seconds left to into the first intermission tied 1-1.

 

Andrew Cogliano retrieved the puck in the Columbus zone and fired it toward the net. The puck came to Matt Nieto below the goal line, and he got it out in front to Bonino, who chipped it past Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins for his fourth goal in the last seven games.

Merzlikins had 30 saves on 34 shots.

Coach Bob Boughner referred to Sunday’s game as a swing game. Either the Sharks would go home happy with four wins in five road games, or they’d be disappointed after losing two straight after starting the trip with three straight wins.

The Sharks start a seven-game homestand on Tuesday against the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames.

“We also talked about the importance of the two points going home for three weeks,” Boughner said. “I call it a crucial two points. It’s a big swing going back home, and not just ending the road trip on a sour note.”

The Sharks opened the trip with wins over the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, and New York Islanders, and were coming off a 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday.

“It has been a great road trip,” Boughner said. “We could have got one (point) out of the Garden the other night. We didn’t, so we’ve got to finish it off today.”

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