Tomas Hertl injured in Sharks’ loss to Vancouver Canucks

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks allowed three goals in the
first eight minutes of the third period and saw one of their top
forwards, Tomas Hertl, leave early with an injury in a 5-2 loss to
the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday at SAP Center.

The Sharks entered the third with a 2-1 lead, but the Canucks
got goals from Tyler Myers, Jake Virtanen and Brandon Sutter in a
span of 5 minutes and 36 seconds to take the lead for good.

Virtanen’s go-ahead goal at the 7:00 mark of the third period
came on the power play, as Marc-Edouard Vlasic was assessed a
double-minor for high-sticking Oscar Fantenberg at the 4:47
mark.

Quinn Hughes and Tanner Pearson also scored for the Canucks, who
got 38 saves from goalie Jacob Markstrom to help earn their fourth
straight victory and maintain sole possession of first place in the
Pacific Division.

Hertl and Brent Burns both scored for the Sharks, who came into
Wednesday’s game with four straight wins at SAP Center.

Sharks goalie Martin Jones, making his third start this month,
stopped 12 of the first 13 shots he faced through two periods,
including two stops on breakaways by Canucks forward Elias
Pettersson. But the Canucks scored their first three third period
goals on just seven shots, as Jones’ record this season fell to
13-17-2.

Wednesday’s game was just Jones’ seventh since Bob Boughner
took over as the Sharks’ interim coach on Dec. 11. In six games
since the coaching change prior to Wednesday, Jones had a 1-4-1
record and an .889 save percentage.

Of greater concern to the Sharks at the moment is the health of
Hertl, who left the game midway through the first period with what
appeared to be a lower body injury.

Hertl had taken a pass from Erik Karlsson and skated toward the
Canucks net before he got a shot on Markstrom. After the save,
Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev slid into Hertl, pinning him
for a moment into the end boards with 13:43 left in the first
period.

Hertl fell to the ice, where he remained for a few moments. He
skated off under his own power before he walked to the Sharks’
dressing room. Hertl later came out to test the injury during a
television time out, but again went back to the Sharks’ room.

Shortly before the end of the first period, the Sharks announced
that Hertl would not return to Wednesday’s game.

The Sharks can ill afford another injury to one of their top
forwards.

San Jose is already without captain and No. 1 center Logan
Couture, who is expected to miss at least another three or four
weeks with a small fracture in his left ankle. The Sharks entered
Wednesday in 13th place in the Western Conference, nine points out
of a playoff spot.

Hertl scored the game’s opening goal at the 4:15 mark of the
first period. Holding the puck inside the Sharks’ zone, Hertl
made a keen cross-ice pass to Timo Meier, who fired a slap shot on
net. Markstrom made the save, but the rebound came right to Hertl,
who fired it in for his 16th goal of the season.

The Canucks tied the game 1-1 at the 11:08 mark of the first
period, as Quinn Hughes’ slap shot got through traffic and past
Jones for his sixth goal of the season. The first period ended with
the score tied 1-1.

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Hertl came into Wednesday’s game with 15 goals and 20 assists in
47 games, as he had to miss four games from Nov. 21-27 with a lower
body injury. He is averaging 18 minutes and 49 seconds of ice time
per game this season, and had assumed the No. 1 center role after
Couture was injured Jan. 7 in a game with the St. Louis Blues.
Source: FS – All – Interesting – News 2
Tomas Hertl injured in Sharks’ loss to Vancouver Canucks