The Sharks didn't play their prettiest game in Thursday's season-series finale with the Los Angeles Kings. Despite holding a lead headed into the third period, San Jose’s losing streak was stretched to four games as they fell to their LA rivals 4-2.
Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s game:
The first and third periods were, as DeBoer might say, ‘fugly’
If you hadn’t watched the Sharks play all season and tuned into Thursday’s game, you were probably shocked this team is in second place in the Pacific Division. San Jose came out discombobulated, turning the puck over so much that it’s no wonder the Kings scored the first goal on the evening. It’s impressive the Sharks were able to tie the game before the first intermission, with just four shots on goal through 20 minutes.
San Jose picked up momentum in the second stanza and took over the pace of the game. But, the Kings were able to swing that momentum back in their favor. For a team that’s punched their playoff ticket already, this is a trend that can’t continue.
On Martin Jones’ performance
Not surprisingly, all eyes were on Jones after he was given the hook last game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The goaltender needed to have a rebound evening, and after giving up the first goal on the night, it didn’t look like he was going to be able to make that happen.
He did a good job buckling down after that despite, Los Angeles continuing to outshoot San Jose. He had a few nice saves, but the Sharks’ defensive lapses in the third period did him no favors.
Something has to give
We know – the Sharks are banged-up right now. They’re missing key players and nearing the end of a long season. But at this point, following up a six-game winning streak by losing four games – and one to the lowly Kings – is cause for concern.
Whether it’s getting healthy or just getting a few lucky bounces, the Sharks need to regroup quickly. San Jose spent stretches of Thursday’s game looking lost, and couldn’t capitalize on two power-play opportunities.
If the Sharks don’t right the ship soon, their stint in the playoffs is going to be short.