Sam Carrick gave the Gulls a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal eight minutes, 13 seconds into the first period, but Alexander True tied the score 18 seconds later, then gave the Barracuda the lead for good with a power-play goal at 12:30 of the first period.
“We started the game well and then when we made it 2-1 on our power- play goal, they scored on the shift right after,” Gulls assistant coach Sylvain Lefebvre said. “We always say that any shift can make a difference in the game, especially after a goal on either side.
“That was a big goal for San Jose. I thought we didn’t play as well after that. We weren’t organized as much as we have been organized and I think San Jose played a better game.”
The Barracuda increased their lead to 4-2 with 1:29 left in the first period when Maxim Letunov tipped in a wrist shot from the point by defenseman Kyle Wood for his ninth goal of the season.
San Jose center Rourke Chartier scored a power-play goal at 10:38 of the second period for the game’s final goal.
The Barracuda were “physical, they were good on the forecheck and then their goalie made some saves,” Lefebvre said. “They were clearing rebounds, and we had very limited secondary scoring chances. That’s where we have to be a little bit better.”
The victory moved San Jose (28-12-2-4) into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division with 62 points, ahead of the Gulls (27-16- 3-3). The Bakersfield Condors (31-15-2-1), winners of 15 straight, lead the division with 65 points.
Gulls rookie center Sam Steel opened the scoring on a breakaway 4:02 into the first period, off assists by Adam Cracknell and Trevor Murphy. San Jose defenseman Jeremy Roy tied the score 1:46 later when he put a shot from the right point past the screened Gulls goaltender Jeff Glass for his fourth goal of the season.
Cracknell also assisted on Carrick’s goal, his 25th of the season, extending his team record. Carrick is third in the American Hockey League in goal-scoring, behind Chicago Wolves left wing Daniel Carr and center Joel L’Esperance, who scored 27 for the Texas Stars before being recalled by their NHL parent team, the Dallas Stars, on Friday.
The Gulls were outshot, 38-27, including 12-7 in the first period and 10-5 in the third, before a crowd at SAP Center at San Jose announced at 6,027.
The Gulls scored on one of four power-play opportunities and killed three of the five for the Barracuda, the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate.
Glass made 33 saves as his record dropped to 8-7-0-2 overall and 5-3-0- 1 with the Gulls since being acquired Dec. 10 from the Toronto Marlies in exchange for future considerations.
San Jose goaltender Josef Korenar (17-5-0-1) made 25 saves.
The Barracuda wore their orange specialty jerseys for the lone time in the 2018-19 season on Orange You Glad Day.
The Gulls, the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate, will resume play Wednesday by playing host to the Tucson Roadrunners, the Arizona Coyotes AHL affiliate, at Pechanga Arena San Diego.
— City News Service