RALEIGH, N.C. — The San Jose Sharks looked as if they had found their game early against the Carolina Hurricanes, but it went missing again before the night was over.
And for the first time all season, San Jose now has back-to-back regulation losses after dropping a 5-3 decision Friday night at the PNC Arena.
“You give up four goals in the third period,” the Sharks' Joe Thornton said, “you're not going to win too many games.”
Both teams were playing the second half of consecutive games with travel, and the third in four nights. But while the Hurricanes got stronger, the Sharks went the other direction after jumping out to a 2-0 lead.
And that had coach Todd McLellan raising some red flags.
“I don't see an energized team right now,” he said. “I see us chasing and I see the other team dictating the pace of the game. I see us making sloppy plays, sloppy passes — even missing assignments, defensive assignments that we should be able to do in our sleep right now.”
Then he added: “That could be lazy or that could be fatigue, and we have to figure that part out.”
San Jose got the strong start it wanted after a poor showing the previous night in a 5-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
First, the Sharks capitalized on a weak clearing pass by Jay Harrison when Tommy Wingels deflected a Jason Demers shot past Carolina goalie Cam Ward at 7:09. The lead doubled at 16:31 when Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot from high in the left faceoff found the back of the net.
Carolina applied pressure throughout the second period, but backup goalie Alex Stalock came up with big saves until Harrison redeemed himself with a shot that bounced off the back-boards, into Stalock's skates and then his own net at 11:36.