Sharks, Pacific Division teammates stumble at All-Star festivities

The only finger-pointing at this All-Star Game in San Jose was directed at how poorly the Pacific Division performed.

The Sharks’ trio of Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns were quickly and unceremoniously dispatched from championship contention at SAP Center after a 10-4 loss to the Central Division.

Where was Owen Nolan when this All-Star Game needed him most?

“Terrible outcome,” Karlsson interrupted when Burns was trying to put a happy face on the weekend’s activities by saying there was “a good energy.”

The defenseman’s comment drew a laugh, almost like the ones his Pacific Division teammates shared during their two-period lopsided loss.

“I think we were laughing because we were so embarrassed that we were playing so bad,” said Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.

No one’s going to remember this one, or the fact the Sidney Crosby-led Metropolitan Division won the 3-on-3 tournament with a 10-5 win over the Central when the league restarts on Monday, but it was rather comical at times inside SAP Center.

After Karlsson put the Pacific on the board with a breakaway goal at 4:51 to trim a 2-0 deficit, the Central scored eight straight goals. .

A “Ducks suck” chant broke out after Anaheim goalie John Gibson surrendered the fifth of his seven goals allowed on nine shots. Gibson was given a loud and sarcastic cheer when he took a pass from a teammate and moved the puck along.

“It’s all in good fun, no (goalie) is ever happy about it,” Gibson said. “We would have liked to get the San Jose guys to go further.”

“I was a little happy to be on the bench at that time,” added Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Burns tried to come to Gibson’s defense.

“It’s pretty tough on goalies in general,” he said. “Three-on-three, you’re always making the extra pass, you’re looking for the seam play. It’s pretty tough.”

The Sharks are only happy that Karlsson came out of the game unscathed. He felt it was important to play in the meaningless event despite having missed most of the final three games before the break because of a lower-body injury.

“Yeah, we discussed it,” Karlsson said of possibly pulling out of the event. “Being here in San Jose, I think it’s important when you get the opportunity like I did — I felt it was something I wanted to do. I know how much it means to this organization and fan base, so I was happy I was able to do it, and get a few more days now to hopefully be back after the break.”

For the record, Pavelski didn’t manage a goal, had two assists and was a minus-1 while appearing in his third All-Star Game in four years. Burns had a goal, an assist and was a minus-3 in his sixth appearance. And Karlsson scored two goals in his sixth midseason classic.

“It’s been a while since I scored, so I was happy about that,” Karlsson said. “Obviously it didn’t go as we planned. I always enjoy these things. It’s nice to be around the guys you usually compete against. And being in an environment like this, and to share it with these two guys, is always going to be special.”

Ross McKeon is a freelance writer. Twitter: @rossmckeon

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