Sharks

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in familiar 3-1 loss to Golden Knights

/ by Chelena Goldman
Presented By sharksshotofthegame
Sharks

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SAN JOSE -- Games between the Sharks and Golden Knights tend to be highly entertaining. And the division rivals didn't disappoint in their fourth and final meeting of the regular season at SAP Center on Sunday night.

Unfortunately for the Sharks, they weren't able to cap off the season series with a victory, falling to Vegas 3-1.

Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' last game before the holiday break.

More third-period woes 

Not to sound like a broken record, but the Sharks haven't played well in third periods over their last several games. So, when they entered the third frame Sunday in a 1-0 hole and tied the game up on a Logan Couture goal, it looked like an improvement.

But that improvement was overshadowed by San Jose having another defensive breakdown that gave up a go-ahead goal -- and then some. If the Sharks are going to turn their season around, their third-period play has to change.

Dell continues to shine 

Okay, you can give the goalpost credit for stopping Nicolas Hague from scoring his first NHL goal three times in the first period. But overall, Aaron Dell looked solid in his return to the crease. He was especially good on San Jose's penalty kill in the first and second periods.

It's unfortunate that Dell didn't get enough help in the third period to earn a tie, or possibly a victory.

 

The Sharks play a back-to-back when they return from the holiday break, and it's highly likely that Dell and Martin Jones will split starting responsibilities for that weekend series. However, given how well Dell has been playing, one wonders if he'll be getting more starts down the stretch.

[RELATED: What GM Wilson is looking for from Sharks moving forward]

Fourth line stands out again 

Just like in Saturday's loss to the Blues, the Sharks' fourth line looked as good as it has all season Sunday against the Golden Knights. Recent additions Stefan Noesen and Joel Kellman, along with Melker Karlsson, helped generate considerable momentum for San Jose.

Now, the rest of the team needs to follow suit. Even with the bottom six performing better, San Jose still is not rolling four lines on a nightly basis. If the Sharks can't get all four lines rolling, they're going to have a hard time stringing any wins together.