Karlsson sets team record but Sharks lose in OT to Vancouver Canucks

Curtis Pashelka, Bay Area News Group on

Published in Hockey

SAN JOSE – The Sharks allowed a breakaway goal to Andrei Kuzmenko at the 3:48 mark of overtime in a 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

J.T. Miller took advantage of a Sharks defensive lapse as he sent a 100-foot pass up the middle to Kuzmenko, who beat Kaapo Kahkonen low glove side for his 10th goal of the season.

Erik Karlsson assisted on third-period goals by Logan Couture and Luke Kunin, with Kunin’s goal, his second of the game, tying the game 3-3 with 5:15 left in regulation time.

With his two assists, Karlsson became the first defenseman in Sharks history to register a 20-point month. He came into Sunday with five goals and 14 assists in 12 November games.

Couture gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead on a power play goal at the 7:05 mark of the third period. Tomas Hertl won a faceoff and got the puck back to Karlsson, who fed Couture across the blue line for a one-timer that deflected off a Canucks’ player’s stick and past Thatcher Demko.

The Canucks responded with goals from Ilya Mikheyev and Elias Pettersson 2:30 apart, with Pettersson’s goal at the 10:44 mark giving his team a 3-2 lead.

The Sharks caught a break late in the second period to tie the game 1-1.

Sharks defenseman Matt Benning sent a shot toward the Canucks net that Nick Bonino redirected toward the net. The puck glanced off Luke Kunin on its way up and landed behind Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko. The goal was Kunin’s fourth of the season and represented Bonino’s second point of the year.


Kahkonen’s night began in a shaky fashion. A Kyle Burroughs shot, which did not appear to be screened, from just inside the blue line got past Kahkonen for a 1-0 Canucks lead just 7:26 into the first period.

Kahkonen settled down after the goal, though, as he stopped the next 12 shots faced until the end of the second period.

Kahkonen got the start Sunday as James Reimer was once again unavailable with what’s been described as a lower-body injury. The Sharks recalled Aaron Dell from the Barracuda of the AHL on Saturday, and he backed up Kahkonen against the Canucks.

Kahkonen’s play had been up and down of late. He made 37 saves in a 5-1 Sharks win over the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 21, but in a wide-open game against the Seattle Kraken two nights later, allowed seven goals on 26 shots.

In November, Kahkonen came into Sunday with a 1-2-1 record and a .879 save percentage in four games.

The Sharks entered Sunday with a 2-8-3 record on home ice, which included a 1-3-3 mark this month. The last time they had seven points or less after 13 games at home was at the start of the 1995-96 season when they began the year with a 2-9-2 mark.

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