Sharks begin December with an ugly loss for Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals' Jakub Vrana celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday Dec. 3 2019 in San Jose Calif

Washington Capitals' Jakub Vrana celebrates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday Dec. 3 2019 in San Jose Calif

Vrana has four goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.

The Sharks were no match on Tuesday for the Washington Capitals, who scored three goals in the first period and added two more in the second to help win 5-2 in the SAP Center.

John Carlson had a goal and two assists in a 3:01 span in the first period, and Braden Holtby made 23 saves for the Capitals (20-4-5), who have won four games in a row and are 13-2-2 since October 25. With nine goals and 31 assists in 29 games this season, he has joined Bobby Orr and Al MacInnis as the only defender of the expansion era to reach 40 points in the first 30 games of the season.

"I think a lot of luck is at stake and I play with a lot of great players", Carlson said.

Carlson scored with a slap shot from above the right face-off circle to make it 3-1 at 16:32.

"He has been special to watch all year and not only on the offensive side, but how he has played in general", said coach Todd Reirden. "He is a bit of the leader of the country and taking on this responsibility is important".

Melker Karlsson opened the scoring for San Jose, but the Sharks did little else until Evander Kane scored in the third period to cut the deficit to 5-2. Titular goalkeeper Martin Jones was retired for the second time this season, as he was replaced by Aaron Dell for the third period. San Jose lost for the third time only in 14 games. "They're going to make you pay for your mistakes, and we got what we deserved". Garnet Hathaway, Jakub Vrana and John Carlson scored within three minutes and a second to place the Sharks in a hole from which they could not escape. Joner made some saves. We left him out to dry like we've done multiple times at the start of the year. We must start defending a little stronger. Penalties_Kane, SJ, Major (elbowing), 14:59; Kane, SJ, Misconduct (misconduct), 14:59. Reirden did not have an immediate update on the state of Gudas.

The Capitals erased their initial deficit with a series of late-first-period goals, starting when Carlson's point-and-shoot shot was deflected off Hathaway and tied for Washington's fourth line. That's the best team in the League, or one of the top two teams in the League, and you've got to bring your best game to beat them. "That's what we had imagined since the beginning of the season and now that we have found them, they have returned to the same path". "Momentum shifts are a big thing in this game, and we're real good at turning the momentum around". It was the disappointing part of that.

NOTES: Capitals forward Carl Hagelin (upper body) returned after missing 11 games. Sharks D Brent Burns became the fourth defenceman to play in 500 consecutive games, joining Keith Yandle (823), Jay Bouwmeester (737) and Karl Alzner (624). Patrick Marleau played his 1,518th game with San Jose, tying Boston's Ray Bourque for fifth-most with one team. Hertl sat the final 11:18 of a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on November 29.

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