Sharks beat Flyers for first win of season

Joel Farabee


They had a chance to make the San Jose Sharks create some ignominious history.

Instead, it was the Flyers who wound up with the rather dubious honor of handing the Sharks their first win of the season.

San Jose, now 1-10-1, had a chance to become the first team in NHL history to go winless in its first 12 games of the season.

But no, a 2-1 victory in the SAP Center at San Jose (California) allowed the Sharks to stay out of the “bad” record book.

The Sharks had surrendered 10 goals in each of their last two games prior to this one.

Sean Couturier indicated the Flyers’ loss wasn’t the result of a lack of trying.

“Five-on-five I thought we played well,” he said after the game in a televised interview. “We outshot them by a wide margin. Special teams killed us once again (the Flyers went 0 for 4 on the power play; the Sharks scored a goal on theirs). “It’s not like they were going to go 0 and 82. We wanted to come out of here with two points but it’s special teams that are killing us right now.

Joel Farabee’s goal with 1:09 left in the second period cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1. Farabee rushed down the right side and fired a shot which goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood appeared to stop by using his glove to deflect the puck downward onto his leg pad. But upon video review, the initial call was overturned as the puck crossing the goal line was confirmed.

“Honestly, just a real good play by ‘Laughty’ (Scott Laughton),” Farabee said in a televised second intermission interview. “To me, I honestly didn’t see it once I shot it. I thought he saved it. Thank goodness for replay.”

That goal ended the Flyers’ scoreless streak at 107 minutes, 23 seconds dating back to Friday night’s game at Buffalo.

Farabee said the Flyers (5-7-1) needed to play better in their own end if they had any hope of winning this game.

“We just couldn’t get that bounce,” he said after the game. “I thought we had our chances. I thought they played pretty well so credit to them. It felt like we were looking for that one bounce and we just couldn’t get it.”



The Sharks scored a power-play goal at 16:18. William Eklund fired a shot from the right circle past goaltender Samuel Ersson. That turned out to be the game-winner.

Although the Sharks had given up 10 goals of their previous two games, they came out of the first period with a 1-0 lead.

Anthony Duclair finished off a two-on-one rush with Kevin Labanc, flicking a shot from the left side past Ersson just 1:43 into the match.

The Sharks came into the game averaging 1.09 goals per game, last in the NHL.

>Power play woes

The Flyers went 0 for 4 on the power play and are now mired in a 0 for 21 slump in that department. The percentage has fallen below 10 percent and ranks in the bottom three in the NHL.

Coach John Tortorella indicated the Flyers’ inability to score with the man advantage and the Sharks’ success in that department made the difference.

“It was a disjointed game, a lot of penalties,” he said. “Four-on-threes, four-on-fours. We couldn’t find a way to finish. I thought we had a lot of ‘almost’ chances. We just didn’t finish up at net on some of them. We just didn’t get enough quality chances.

“The power play doesn’t work again, that hurts us. They get a power-play goal, we don’t. That could be the difference in the game.”

>Short shots

Philadelphia outshot the Sharks, 39-19. . .The Flyers head to Anaheim for a game against the Ducks on Friday night. Philadelphia is looking to avenge a recent 7-4 loss to Anaheim at the Wells Fargo Center. . .Goaltender Carter Hart (mid-body injury), defenseman Marc Staal (lower-body injury) and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (undisclosed) continued their stays on the injured list. . .The Flyers’ Nick Deslauriers and San Jose’s Givani Smith went at it in the first period after Smith decked Flyers defenseman Sean Walker. Deslauriers scored a decisive win but received a cut cheek for his trouble. . .Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim is averaging close to 30 minutes per game, which has him third among NHL backliners. . .Flyers defenseman Cam York played his 100th NHL game. . .Couturier returned to action after missing two games due to injury.  As a result, center Morgan Frost was scratched for the seventh time this season. . .For his career, Blackwood is now 9-2 vs. the Flyers.

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About Wayne Fish 2437 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.