By Curtis Pashelka/San Jose Mercury News
The San Jose Sharks let Monday’s game against the Ottawa Senators slip right through their grasp.
The Sharks let a third-period lead slip away, failed to score on a power play in overtime and were unable to convert on three shootout chances.
The Senators got a shootout goal from Mika Zibanejad to earn a 4-3 win at SAP Center to snap the Sharks’ five-game win streak.
The Sharks were dominating the third period, leading by a goal and on the power play when Senators center Zack Smith chipped the puck by a pinching Brent Burns near the Ottawa blue line. Smith then was tripped by Burns as he took the puck toward the net, drawing a penalty shot with 5:31 left in the third period.
On the penalty shot, Smith came to nearly a complete stop and looked to stickhandle the puck backward before he fired a shot from in close above Sharks goalie Alex Stalock’s blocker. But upon review, officials determined that the puck was kept in motion toward the Sharks net, and the goal tied the game at 3.
The Sharks got a golden chance to win it in overtime but were unable to convert with 1:52 of power-play time in the extra session.
Joonas Donskoi and Matt Nieto combined for one of the Sharks’ prettiest goals of the season in the third period.
Donskoi took a pass from Chris Tierney, stickhandled the puck through his own legs and fed a backhand pass to Nieto, who held onto the puck just long enough to beat Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson for a 3-2 Sharks lead with 12:06 left in the third period.
Logan Couture started the third period with nifty individual effort, as he corralled the puck in the slot, twisted his body and fired a wrist shot past Anderson to tie the game 2-2 just 2:47 into the third period.
The teams traded goals eight seconds apart early in the second period. With the Senators on the power play, Bobby Ryan’s shot went off Burns’ stick and past Stalock for a 2-0 Ottawa lead. But after the ensuing faceoff, Joe Thornton took a Burns pass and found a streaking Tomas Hertl, who got behind the Senators defense and redirected the puck past goalie Craig Anderson to cut the Ottawa lead back to one 4:16 into the second.
The Senators opened the scoring with 8:48 left in the first period. Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci sent a long pass off the boards into the Sharks zone, and Stalock came out to poke the puck away from Max McCormick. Stalock, though, didn’t get there in time, and McCormick slapped the puck between Stalock’s legs from a sharp angle to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
Stalock was coming off a 21-save performance on Jan. 12 in Winnipeg, where the Sharks earned a 4-1 win.
Stalock made 15 saves over the final two periods for his first victory since the Sharks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 22.
He entered Monday with a 3-5-0 record and a 2.76 goals-against average in 11 games.
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