(photo: Scot Tucker/SF Bay)
I have seen it happen many times – a disallowed goal ultimately becomes a game-winning goal. Such was the case in last night’s matchup with the San Jose Sharks and the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was such a hard-fought, close game. As noted in a post-game interview by Blue Jackets’ center Artem Anisimov, the “game was wild…back and forth.”
The Sharks got on the board first with Adam Burish’s first goal of the season, and his second as a Shark, merely five minutes into the game. With three chances in the first period to score on the man advantage, the Sharks were able to net one power-play goal from Joe Pavelski.
The happiness of being up two goals soon diminished, as the second period belonged solely to the Blue Jackets. Standout player Ryan Johansen, who idolized Joe Thornton growing up and picked to wear #19 on his sweater, scored his first of two goals in the second.
(photo: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)
Goals two and three for the Jackets happened in only a minute-and-a-half of one another, one by Mark Letestu, and Johansen’s second of the night.
Both of Johansen’s goals were assisted by Scott Hartnell, and put the Jackets up over the Sharks 3-2 to end the second period.
Notching the additional assist on Johansen’s first goal was Nick Foligno, who commented after the game about Hartnell: “That was a great play by Hartsy (Hartnell). He used his soccer skills. I asked him about his soccer skills. That was a great play by him to just kick it over to me and I had a wide open net.”
A glimmer of hope to tie the game only 2:05 into the third came from Pavelski’s second on the night. Then, an unassisted goal by Logan Couture put the Sharks ahead one. With his assist on Pavelski’s first goal plus his fourth goal of the season in this game gave Couture eight points in eight games. Celebration did not last long as a hooking call on Brent Burns put the Sharks in the box and the Jackets on the power play, resulting in a power play goal by Foligno and thus beginning the Sharks’ demise.
“Mistakes – just too many mistakes. The power play goal they got at the end was a mistake in coverage. Just too many mistakes that ended up in the back of our net. Simple as that,” commented Couture after the game.
What would have been a hat trick for the talented center Johansen ended up not counting. Contact between Foligno and Sharks goalie Antti Niemi resulted in Johansen’s goal being waved off. One of the new focuses for this season is that the two referees and two linesmen not only focus on the action with the puck but also any interference that may occur with the goalie before the puck even reaches the crease. And that’s exactly what happened with this disallowed goal. The game remained tied and overtime looked like a great possibility.
Such was not the case. With only 20 seconds left, Letestu netted his second of the night (and assisted by, who else, but Hartnell), ultimately ending the game and extinguishing any hope for San Jose. A heart-breaker for sure.
Head coach Todd McLellan admitted after the game, “You give up five, you aren’t winning. Our defensive play right now is killing us. You look at the trip we averaged three to three and a quarter goals against per night without the empty netters and now tonight we’re at five. You are not winning like that.”
Even Pavelski, who had his 29th career multi-goal game, was upset: “No one in here is happy with the way we’ve played the second half of games. You think it’s getting better, but we are getting the same results. We’re not good enough.”
Kudos to the Jackets, though, who came from behind and kept on working hard. Head coach Todd Richards commented
“There are a lot of things that happened in this game that remind me a lot of what this team is…Tonight was a resilient win. Finding the game, finding our game… getting us back into it. Getting the lead. I am really proud of the guys.”
Resilience. That’s what makes a team win.