On Tuesday night, fans finally got the highly-anticipated rematch between the Sharks and Bruins. But unlike the thriller in San Jose a week before, the Sharks weren't able to mount a comeback on their way to earning a point. San Jose battled in-game injuries and brutal late-game fisticuffs before falling 4-1 to Boston to end their road trip.
Here are three takeaways from the loss in Boston:
Erik Karlsson clearly isn't healthy
With action taking place in the Sharks’ zone about five minutes into the second period of Tuesday’s contest, Erik Karlsson fell awkwardly and headed straight up the tunnel, visibly in pain. He returned later in the frame, but appeared to be skating gingerly and had trouble containing a speedy Brad Marchand as the Boston forward scored a short-handed goal. He then didn’t return for the third period. It wasn’t clear exactly what afflicted Karlsson, although there was, of course, immediate speculation that he re-injured his groin.
Karlsson admitted ahead of his return to game action a few weeks back that he was frustrated by the amount of time he had to be sidelined while he recovered. Nevertheless, it’s possible he requires more rehab time and is pushing too hard to come back too soon. Stay tuned.
Boston isn't Detroit
As we’ve discussed since San Jose and Boston played each other a week ago, the Sharks have been having trouble as of late controlling the puck in the neutral zone. This team has been most successful when generating chances from all the way back in their own end and making smart plays up the ice. This was a problem they were able to remedy halfway through Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. On Tuesday against Boston, however, they couldn’t seem to right the ship.
To make matters worse, San Jose kept giving Boston room to take their own breaks up the ice and leaving Martin Jones without help. It’s no wonder the Bruins tallied twice as many shots on goal as the Sharks throughout the duration of the game.
Expect a lineup shakeup
A game like this makes you wonder if the offensive lines are going to get shuffled before the next game. Peter DeBoer now has more options at his disposal after the trade deadline acquisition of Gustav Nyquist -- who, for his part, generated a couple good looks while playing on Joe Thornton’s wing. After San Jose’s difficulties generating offense on Tuesday, we may see a different-looking lineup when the Sharks' four-game homestand kicks off on Friday against the Colorado Avalanche.
Regardless of who the opponent is, San Jose has to find some consistency. They went 2-2-0 on their road trip and have looked lopsided as of late. With 12 of their final 18 games of the regular season being played on home ice, the Sharks need to get into a winning rhythm, and soon.