SAN JOSE -- One thing's for sure: The Sharks know how to make the end of a game exciting. And Tomas Hertl did just that when he sent the puck past New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with 1.8 seconds to go in regulation to tie Tuesday's game up and send it into overtime.
But that level of energy wasn't there for the Sharks for a good chunk of their first game back at home. San Jose was outshot and out-chanced in a 4-3 shootout loss to New York.
Some may think it was due to "jet lag" after a zany road trip with three games in three separate time zones. Others may think the home team was just having an off night. Whatever the reason, the Sharks had trouble getting the jump they wanted to.
"We prepare the same the way throughout the year," captain Joe Pavelski told reporters when asked if the roadie was taking its toll.
"Sometimes, you come out and you feel great. And sometimes you can't put a finger on why you don't feel good."
Even in losses throughout the young season, the Sharks have usually managed to keep grinding away and creating grade-A chances. They have regularly outshot their opponents – aside from their tilt in Carolina. And they've shown they have no problem putting their foot on the gas late in a game when they're being out-played, a la last week's comeback win in Nashville. In San Jose's first game back on home ice though, that same zip wasn't there.
"They were playing fast and we fell into their game," winger Timo Meier explained. "We were turning over pucks, and that's not what we wanted."
Surely it was nice for the Sharks to get a point in the shootout loss. Nevertheless, this is a team that knows its capable of turning a game around in their favor.
"We want to be the team that plays fast and dictates the pace out there," Meier continued.
The Sharks have the opportunity to do so in just two days' time when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday evening – a team that has shown this season they can dictate the pace of games themselves.