Sharks

Vegas' Jonathan Marchessault rips refs for penalty that changed Game 7

Vegas' Jonathan Marchessault rips refs for penalty that changed Game 7

Everybody who watched Game 7 between the Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night knows exactly when everything changed.

And after the Sharks' 5-4 overtime win at SAP Center, Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault didn't hold back when talking about that moment, with the refs in his sights.

"I really hope Joe Pavelski is OK," Marchessault told the media in San Jose. "You never want to see something bad like that happen, but it's a f---ing joke. You called five minutes for that? Why don't you have a replay for that? Changed the whole outcome of the game.

"Seriously, what is that? So disappointed. They're trying to get involved in the game. The game's not even close. Call a two [-minute penalty], but a five for something you don't even see and just call the outcome? It's a f---ing joke. It's embarrassing."

What Marchessault was so steamed about happened midway through the third period, when the Vegas Golden Knights led 3-0 and had all the momentum.

Then Cody Eakin cross-checked Pavelski after a faceoff, knocking the Sharks captain off balance, and he fell backwards and landed on his head. He was a bloody mess and had to be helped to the dressing room with a towel on his head.

Eakin was assessed a five-minute cross-checking penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct penalty for the hit. Then, over the next 4:01, the Sharks scored four goals to take a stunning 4-3 lead.

Marchessault was asked if the game was stolen from Vegas, which tied the score on his goal with 47 seconds left in regulation but lost on Barclay Goodrow's overtime marker.

"If it was stolen? Yeah, it was 3-0 with what, 10, 12 minutes left? They scored four goals on the power play," Marchessault said. "They came up clutch. They feed off the bad call, and they came back, 4-3, got the big goal in overtime.

"Gotta give them credit at some point. They're a great hockey team, but it's embarrassing."

[RELATED: Watch Goodrow's OT game-winner]

Marchessault went on to compare what happened Tuesday to another controversial call from the NFL earlier this year, when a missed pass-interference call allowed the Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints to reach the Super Bowl.

"But it's the same thing with the Saints, it changes the whole outcome," Marchessault said. "Obviously human error exists, it's a fast game for everyone. I think everyone needed the extra help. They just got involved in the game, called a bad call. Look where we are. Summer's starting. F---ing five months until Game 1 of the regular season starts. It's awful."

Vegas coach Gerard Gallant wasn't happy either, but he used less colorful language to get his point across.

"It was an awful call," Gallant said. "We've all seen it. It's too bad we end up losing because of that because we were in control of the hockey game."

One year after losing in the Stanley Cup Final, Vegas bowed out in the first round.

"You know what, last year we were in the Stanley Cup Final, and it was tough to lose," Gallant said. "Tonight was tougher than that, it really was, the way we lost that hockey game."

The Sharks move on to face the Colorado Avalanche -- Game 1 is scheduled for Friday in San Jose -- while the Golden Knights begin their summer break.

Sharks' struggles feel familiar on second rough East Coast road trip

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AP

Sharks' struggles feel familiar on second rough East Coast road trip

At the start of the Sharks' recent road trip earlier this week, the team felt like they were in pretty good shape. Despite losing to the Hurricanes in a shootout Thursday evening, San Jose played so well that they appeared primed to pick up a few wins.

But after being outscored 12-2 in back-to-back games against the Lightning on Saturday (7-1) and then the Panthers on Sunday (5-1), the Sharks aren't looking like the team that went 11-4-0 in the month of November. In fact, they're looking like the team that went 1-3-1 the last time they went on a long roadie out East.

Are the Sharks' struggles on this second long road trip just a coincidence, or is it history repeating itself?

"I think every trip is different, you're at different points," coach Peter DeBoer said to the media after the Sharks' loss to the Panthers. "My disappointment tonight was a little like last night. I think they scored on their first shot or their first couple of shots and then you're chasing the game right off of the bat. It's tough on the road to do that."

San Jose looked for a moment like they could trade in their bad luck during Sunday's game when Kevin Labanc scored a power-play goal in the first period to cut Florida's two-goal lead in half. But thanks to a lopsided special teams battle and Sergei Bobrovsky outplaying Martin Jones, the Sharks were handed yet another loss.

"I thought we hung in there and kept fighting, but it wasn't enough," DeBoer said. "Their goalie was better. Their special teams were better tonight than ours."

It's a disappointing trend to see from a Sharks team that was starting to turn things around after a solid November. Even after a disappointing loss to the Washington Capitals before the road trip, San Jose was able to put on quite the performance in Carolina -- despite only getting one point -- and had momentum in their favor. In both losses that ensued, that fight was hard to come by.

"I think we're a little too relaxed right now," Sharks winger Evander Kane admitted. "A couple of games where we got off to bad starts and weren't able to fight back. We didn't have much fight after we got down. That's probably the most disappointing part."

[RELATED: Simek to miss two weeks for minor knee procedure]

The Sharks might be leaving the Sunshine State behind, but their road trip isn't over just yet. They have one more stop before they can return home -- a Tuesday night meeting against the Predators in Nashville -- and one more chance to turn their luck on the road around. Even though the Predators haven't been playing well either, their home barn poses challenges for visiting teams. Given how the Sharks have played over the last couple of road games, a win won't be easy.

The Sharks have no choice but to buckle down and grind for a win.

"It sucks, but you just have to keep working to get out of this slump," Kevin Labanc said. "And make sure that we're getting out of this hole for ourselves."

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in lackluster 5-1 loss vs. Panthers

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AP

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in lackluster 5-1 loss vs. Panthers

BOX SCORE

The Sharks needed a big turnaround on Sunday afternoon after suffering a 7-1 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning the night before, but they didn't come close.

San Jose played better on the back end of a back-to-back, but the Florida Panthers had all the answers. In the end, the Sharks dropped their fourth game in a row, this time by a score of 5-1. 

Here are three takeaways from Sunday's game:

A goalie made the difference -- again

While Martin Jones didn't get pulled from Sunday's game like he was in Team Teal's loss to the Lighting, he still provided a mixed performance. He made a few saves to take some momentum away from the Panthers' offense, but he also gave up an early power-play goal and let two shots from the blue line find the back of the net. While he didn't receive much support from the defense early on, he still needed to buckle down more later in the game when San Jose was battling to put more points on the board.

The Sharks' offense did try to make up for the damage on the scoreboard and got some really good offensive-zone time as the game went on. Unfortunately for San Jose, Sergei Bobrovsky was in fine form and had an answer for most of the best chances.

Can't blame Kane 

The NHL says they're taking hits to the head more seriously. So it's a mystery as to why Mackenzie Weeger's hit on Evander Kane at the start of the second period didn't at least draw a penalty. Although Kane only left the ice for a quick moment and then returned to the bench, you can't blame him for standing up to Weeger on his next shift to defend himself. With Kane leaving the ice afterward with 17 minutes worth of penalties, Florida created momentum from a power-play opportunity, as the Panthers scored their third goal at even strength almost immediately afterward.

Credit should go to the Sharks for not letting the incident ruin their flow. Even though the altercation led to Kane being penalized for the rest of the period, San Jose continued to build momentum in an effort to even up the score. It's just unfortunate the Sharks couldn't get at least one goal to show for that effort.

[RELATED: Sharks' Simek to miss two weeks for minor knee procedure]

Special teams still struggling 

Yes, San Jose scored a power-play goal in the first period, the team's first in more than 20 attempts on the man advantage over a nine-game span. However, the Sharks were unable to capitalize at the beginning of the third period when they got some extended power-play time and could have trimmed the deficit to one. 

San Jose's No. 1-ranked penalty kill struggled as well, surrendering two goals to the Panthers. Whatever is ailing the Sharks' special teams, they'll have to fix if they want to get back into the win column.