San Jose Sharks are beaten late by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Shark Tank

Feb 17, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Anthony Duclair (10) skates with
Feb 17, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing Anthony Duclair (10) skates with / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

A strong Sharks performance would end in heartbreak. The story of this season. A last gasp winner with just 12.9 seconds to go in the game from the Columbus Blue Jackets' captain sees the Sharks fall short again, and they are unable to build on their strong win in Calgary over the Flames. Three goals is something to celebrate, but the win would have been a nice touch, but we're not allowed nice things this season.

A great start for the San Jose Sharks saw the Blue Jackets blow a tire in their own zone. As the loose puck lay in the middle of the ice, Anthony Duclair saw an opening right down Broadway. He picks it up and turns on the after-burners as he flies into the offensive zone. The Duke tried to stick the handle but seemingly lost the puck. That was enough to fool Elvis Merzlikins, though, as it trickled through the five-hole of the Latvian for an early Sharks lead.

Zach Werenski would receive the puck in the Shark's zone and walk it along the blue line. With Jack Roslovic in front of Kaapo Kahkonen, Werenski's wasn't visible to the Finnish netminder, who was trying to track the puck through traffic. As he was peering to the right of the traffic, the shot went into the top corner. Kahkonen got a piece of it, but not enough to keep it out and suddenly this game is tied.

Columbus would grab the lead shortly after that marker as their second line entered the zone. Yegor Chinikhov gains the zone and allows the puck to slide backwards to Kirill Marchenko. He fired it past Kahkonen into the same place that the Werenski goal ended up, and the Shark's bright start faded quickly as the Jackets were now out in front. San Jose's defensive issues were appearing again.

In the second period, the Blue Jackets would move the puck from point to point. Kahkonen stopped a shot from a distance, but the rebound sat in front of the net. Johnny Gaudreau took 15 wacks at it before eventually corkscrewing the puck past Kaapo to make it a 3-1 lead. That was until the Sharks challenged for offside. Boone Jenner was the party accused of entering the zone early, and the Sharks video coaching staff caught it. It stays a 2-1 game.

Columbus would try to make it 3-1 again. Kahkonen safely stops a shot from the left circle by the Jackets, but the rebound again ends up in the slow slot. Dmitry Voronkov is the first one to it, and the diving stick of the Sharks netminder is not enough to keep the Russian off the score sheet. Multigoal leads have typically spelled the end of the game for the San Jose Sharks during the season.

San Jose got it right back. A good zone entry from Fabian Zetterlind allows Duclair to gain the zone with speed before gathering the puck. Despite being manhandled, the Duke can maneuver the puck past Elvis Merzlikins in the Jackets' net for his second of the game as the former Blue Jacket continues to give his former team nightmares. It's a 3-2 game, and we have a fun one at the Tank tonight.

San Jose's powerplay would tie this game up at three. Calen Addison recieves the puck at the point and starts looking at how to threaten the Jackets. As the Jackets come out to stop him progressing up the ice, he plays a beautiful fake slapshot pass to Fabian Zetterlund who has a yawning cage looking into his face. He pots his 15th of the year and the Sharks were back in this one.

Heartbreak would come late for the Sharks as the Jackets would steal this one late. As the Sharks come up the ice, Boone Jenner is able to split Jan Rutta and Mikael Granlund. He throws a casual backhand towards the net, and it leaks through Kahkonen and into the back of the net with just 12.9 seconds left. It was the game winner as the young Sharks face heartbreak for what had been a strong offensive effort.