Sharks takeaways: What we learned in San Jose's fourth straight loss

Chelena Goldman
NBC Sports BayArea

BOX SCORE

The Sharks were better Tuesday night. Really, they were. 

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But even though San Jose had Evander Kane back in the lineup and he scored the team's first power-play goal on the season, the Sharks fell to 0-4-0 with a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. Turnovers and missed opportunities played a big role, and the first win of 2019-20 still eludes the Sharks.

Here are three takeaways from their fourth straight loss.

Getting their groove back

For the third time in four games, the Sharks trailed 2-0. But instead of completely sitting back as they did before, the Sharks ramped up their level of play and started to look like a legitimate threat in the second period.

Their cycle play improved greatly after that point, and they got much more zone time. The Sharks ultimately outshot the Preds 18-6 in the middle frame.

San Jose also began establishing more of a net-front presence, which was greatly lacking in their first few games. Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane were particularly noticeable around the net and gave the Sharks more scoring opportunities, as evidenced by Kane's goal in his return to the lineup from a three-game suspension. 

Unfortunately for the Sharks ...

There are still too many turnovers

If the Sharks are going to ever start off a game with a lead -- or at least not dig a deeper hole -- they really need to do a better job of holding onto the puck in the neutral zone. On top of San Jose's three giveaways in the first 20 minutes, Nashville also registered six takeaways -- which could've given the Preds more than a one-goal lead before the first intermission.

Even with the elevated play in the second period, the Sharks continued turning over the puck and the Predators made them pay for it. Erik Karlsson's turnover in the third period that led to Nashville's fourth goal ultimately was a back-breaker. 

If the Sharks expect to win a game any time soon, they have to play a smarter game.

[RELATED: Bringing back Marleau won't fix all of Sharks' problems]

Those mistakes aren't helping the goaltending

Goaltender Martin Jones has started off the season making some very timely saves, notably freezing Predators forward Colton Sissons with 6:38 to go in the first period Tuesday. However, Pekka Rinne was even better on the other end of the ice, and he kept the Sharks from tying the score up when Nashville only had a one-goal lead.

When the Predators brought the puck in the Sharks' zone, Jones wasn't able to make the same saves.

While Jones needs to make more big saves, he also needs help in front of him. Sure, clicking on offense will help out tremendously. But the blips in the neutral zone also need to be cut down significantly to give the Sharks a chance at winning.

Sharks takeaways: What we learned in San Jose's fourth straight loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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