The San Jose Sharks will attempt to close out a busy two weeks with a win over one of the NHL’s best when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
That meeting will conclude San Jose’s stretch of six games in 12 days — five on home ice. The Sharks hold a 2-2-1 mark in the first five after taking a 3-2 road loss to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.
The Sharks led in the first minute behind Tomas Hertl’s 21st goal, but the expansion Kraken got two tallies from defenseman Carson Soucy to grab a 2-1 lead after two periods and held on to improve to 2-0-0 against San Jose.
“I thought the only thing we had going early on was Hertl,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “There were flashes on some other lines here and there, but it just wasn’t for the 60 minutes we need. We can’t depend on one line.”
On a light night in net, goalie Adin Hill surrendered all three goals on 17 shots — the lowest total this season against the club. The Sharks scored on only 1 of 6 power plays.
Suiting up for this fourth NHL game, San Jose right winger Adam Raska played on the fourth line with center Jasper Weatherby and left winger Jeffrey Viel.
Raska mixed it up with Soucy and also lost in his first NHL fight, against defenseman Mark Giordano, after crushing the 38-year-old Seattle captain with a hard check.
“I think Soucy told me two times, ‘I’m gonna kill you,'” said Raska, 20. “If you give hits, you have to take some.”
Victorious in three straight over the Sharks, the Lightning last played the Western Conference club on Feb. 1, 2020, in San Jose — a 3-0 win for the visitors.
On Friday, Anaheim beat the Lightning and Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy 5-1 to leave Tampa Bay 1-1-0 on the road trip with the finale coming in San Jose.
The loss snapped Tampa Bay’s four-game winning streak, but the Lightning have six wins in their past eight contests.
Tampa Bay took its first loss against Pacific Division competition this season, falling to 6-1-0.
The Lightning are now 1-4-0 in first half of back-to-back sets. They are 3-0-1 in second games of those pairs.
Tampa Bay right winger Corey Perry is working his way through his old haunts in the Pacific Division during the West Coast swing.
His visit to Anaheim on Friday night marked his first time taking the ice in an opposing white sweater against his former team.
A 14-year member of the Ducks who led them to their only Stanley Cup title in 2007, Perry amassed 776 points (372 goals, 404 assists) in 988 career games for Anaheim. He posted a career-best 50 goals and 98 points as a Duck in the 2010-11 campaign.
“This is where I grew up, and coming out here at 20 years old and being part of this organization and community for 14 years, it’s special,” said Perry, 36, the second-leading goal scorer in Ducks history. “It was an emotional day.”
Perry wound up with no points and minus-2 rating in the Lightning’s defeat at Anaheim.
Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos said following the blowout defeat, “They had a good game plan, and we didn’t execute from the beginning. I think it was just a lack of emotion, a lack of focus and just a lack of structure.”
–Field Level Media