Better effort, but same result for San Jose Sharks as challenging homestand ends

SAN JOSE – The San Jose Sharks came up with a better overall effort Thursday than they had in their previous three games on this season-opening homestand but were still unable to earn their first victory of the year.

The Sharks allowed goals to Brad Marchand, James van Riemsdyk and David Pastrnak and only managed an Anthony Duclair goal at the other end in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins at SAP Center to remain winless on the season.

Unlike games against the Colorado Avalanche last Saturday and the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday when they were badly outshot, the Sharks were able to create some sustained time in the offensive zone before Duclair scored with 8:47 left in regulation time.

San Jose Sharks’ Anthony Duclair (10) scores a goal against Boston Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy (73) and Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) in the third period at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

Duclair’s goal was his first point as a Shark after he came to San Jose this summer in a trade with the Florida Panthers. Still, the Sharks fell to 0-3-1 on the season, marking the third time in five years that San Jose had failed to win any of its first four outings.

Besides losses to Colorado and Carolina, the Sharks opened the season on Oct. 12 with a loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Sharks’ are now 0-10-2 against the Bruins since the 2015-2016 season, when they beat Boston twice in regulation time.

The Bruins opened the scoring with two goals 21 seconds apart near the end of the first period.

Brad Marchand scored his first of the season at the 18:06 mark of the opening period, firing a shot from near the faceoff dot to the right of the Sharks net past the left shoulder of Kahkonen for a 1-0 Boston lead. The Bruins had possessed the puck inside the Sharks’ zone for a few seconds before Marchand took a pass from John Beecher and scored his 10th goal in 20 games against San Jose.

A few seconds after the ensuing faceoff, the Bruins worked the puck into the Sharks zone and Trent Frederic was able to get it on net. Kahkonen stretched out his right leg to stop the puck, but it remained exposed just in front of the goal line. That’s when James van Riemsdyk pushed the puck and Kahkonen’s pad across the goal line for a 2-0 Bruins lead with 93 seconds left before intermission.

San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (36) can't stop a goal by Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak (88) in the second period at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
San Jose Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (36) can’t stop a goal by Boston Bruins’ David Pastrnak (88) in the second period at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) 

Perhaps from the officials’ point of view, and why the goal wasn’t challenged, was that van Riemsdyk made contact with the puck before shoving Kahkonen’s pad across the goal line.

Midway through the first period, Sharks defenseman Matt Benning was run over by Bruins forward Milan Lucic just inside the blue line. Benning left the ice, went to the Sharks’ dressing room and didn’t return for the rest of the period, although he did come back for the start of the second.

Sharks coach David Quinn lamented his team’s battle level following his team’s 6-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, saying the overall effort was too soft and too slow.

The Sharks, in Quinn’s opinion, responded with a quality practice on Wednesday and hoped they would take that same attitude into Thursday’s game.

“I was sitting there watching practice and was like, ‘Where the hell was this (Tuesday),’” Quinn said. “It (ticked) me off, because I know what we’re capable of doing.”

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