Marleau Ties Howe Record, Sharks Fall 5-2 to Wild

The Minnesota Wild center Nico Sturm gets the wrap around the goal post to score a second period goal against the San Jose Sharks on Sat Apr 17, 2021 at the Target Center in St Paul (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

Patrick Marleau tied Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 NHL Games Played record in St. Paul on Saturday. The Minnesota Wild made a special announcement for the occasion and, on the ice, the Minnesota players congratulated Marleau. It was a tremendous accomplishment, well-worth celebrating, but somewhat at odds with the loss Marleau’s team suffered the same night.

The 5-2 loss to the Wild was the Sharks’ fifth loss in a row. The Wild got goals from Mats Zuccarello, Joel Ericksson Ek, Zach Parise, Kirill Kaprizov and Nico Sturm. Three of those goals were scored in 72 seconds. Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves for the win. Brent Burns and Joel Kellman scored for the Sharks. In the Sharks net, Martin Jones made 19 saves before being replaced by Josef Korenar, who made 4 saves in the third period.

After the game, Marleau talked about reaching this milestone in the midst of a losing streak: “Obviously you want things to be going well, you want your team to be winning, all the time, regardless of milestones or not. Be nice to get back on track, get in the winning books, and feeling good about ourselves as a club.”

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns talked about Marleau’s accomplishment:

“I think at this point to play a game like that any night, obviously what he’s doing is special and, you know, it’s beyond one game. So tonight’s obviously big for him, it’s big for all of us to be a part of something like that. It’s incredible, it’s bigger than one game.”

Brent Burns started the scoring with a blast from the point that beat Kahkonen glove side at 12:02. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Tomas Hertl.

A little over two minutes later, Zuccarello scored a power play goal. Marcus Johansson made a back-hand pass form below the goal line for Zuccarello to tap in. Assists went to Johansson and Ryan Hartman.

36 seconds later, Martin Jones knocked Jordan Greenway’s shot away but it went off of Joel Ericksson Ek’s chest and into the net. Assists went to Greenway and Marcus Foligno.

36 seconds after that, Zach Parise made it 3-1 with a shot off the rush that beat Jones on the blocker side. Assists went to Jonas Brodin and Nick Bonino.

Minnesota out-shot the Sharks 17-9 in the first period. The Wild had 7 shots on 3 power plays, including some five-on-three time at the end of the period. The Sharks had no power play time in the first.

Kirill Kaprizov made it 4-1 1:14 into the second period with a goal in the final second of a power play. Mats Zuccarello made a pass from the boards to the slot. The pass went through Kevin Fiala who took a swing at it and missed. That gave Jones and the defense pause, before the puck landed on Kaprizov’s stick for the real shot.

Nico Sturm made it 5-1 at 19:11 of the second. Jones was down on the side of the net when Sturm went for the wrap-around on the other side. Carson Soucy got the assist.

It looked as if Sturm and Jones locked skates for a moment before the goal, but the challenge was unsuccessful.

San Jose out-shot Minnesota 8-7 in the second. The Sharks took one penalty in the second period, the unsuccessful challenge of the Sturm goal. The Wild had one shot on that power play.

Joel Kellman scored for San Jose at 17:45 of the third. Labanc made a tidy pass from below the goal line, jus as Kellman arrived in the slot. Assists went to Kevin Labanc and Ryan Donato. It was Kellman’s first of the season, in his fifth NHL game of the season.

Minnesota took two penalties in the third period, giving the Sharks power play one shot on goal. The Sharks out-shot the Wild 11-4 in the final period.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Wild 3-2

The Minnesota Wild Nick Bonino (3) goes for victory skate after scoring a goal in the first period against the San Jose Sharks at the Target Center in St Paul on Fri Apr 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh.

The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center Friday. Nick Bonino, Mats Zuccarello and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, and goaltender Cam Talbot made 20 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 15 saves in the loss.

The Sharks did not play a terrible game, but a loss at this point in the season is disheartening. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “Tough to break down that game and say that we didn’t come out, we didn’t respond and we didn’t play well. I thought all those things happened.”

Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

I thought defensively we were pretty good. We didn’t give up much but there wasn’t much out there offensively. But we gotta find a way to do more. We only scored two, three goals over the last two games, or three games, so we need to find some more offense.

Evander Kane had a penalty-free game as well as a goal, despite several tense scrums throughout the night. After the game, Boughner said, of Kane:

“He plays hard, he kills penalties, he’s on the power play, he’s playing against the top lines, he’s been a good player for us all year. He’s still involved, he’s still trash-talking a little bit, he’s still throwing the body around but he’s staying within himself and I think that’s helped his five-on-five game for sure.”

The Sharks were on the board first, at 3:32. Tomas Hertl skated through the neutral zone and in the Wild zone, with some help from a stick lift by Patrick Marleau near the blue line. Hertl took the shot from the face-off dot and beat Talbot on the short side. Assists went to Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Nick Bonino tied it up at 9:30. A turnover right in the slot gave him a clear line to the net and he took it. It was unassisted.

The first period was penalty-free. The Sharks outshot the Wild 8-4 but won just 33% of the face-offs.

The Wild took the lead 2:15 into the second period with Mats Zuccarello’s goal. Right off an offensive-zone face-off, Zuccarello shot it under Jones. Viktor Rask got the assist.

Zach Parise scored what would be the game-winner just over a minute later. Matt Dumba made a pass across the slot to a waiting Parise at the net corner. Assists went to Matt Dumba and Nick Bonino.

The Wild outshot the Sharks 7-4 in the second. Each team had a power play. The Wild had three shots on theirs and the Sharks had one. The Sharks won just 31% of the second period face-offs.

Evander Kane scored a short-handed goal at 13:43 of the third period, bringing the Sharks to withing one. Kane knocked the puck free from Kevin Fiala at the point, then chased it down and shot it by Talbot on the glove side.

The Sharks had two penalties to kill in the third period, and out-shot the Wild 10-7. The Sharks penalty kill had two shots on goal and the Wild power play had two as well. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 50% for the third.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 5:00 PM PT against the Wild, again in Minnesota.

Kings Defeat Sharks 4-2

The Los Angeles Kings right winger Dustin Brown (23) tries to control the puck behind the net as the San Jose Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov (71) on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday. Kings goals were scored by Jeff Carter, Andreas Athanasiou, Alex Iafallo, and Dustin Brown. Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the win. Sharks goals were scored by Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier. Martin Jones made 15 saves in the first two periods and Josef Korenar made 7 saves in the third period for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“Some nights, when things aren’t going your way and it’s a back-to-back situation, you simplify your game. And it didn’t look like we were ready to simplify that. We looked like we were still trying to play a skilled game and make plays through people and mismanage the puck and not take control of the game on our power play.”

He also pointed out that the team had some trouble shooting: “The biggest issue for me is we missed the net. In the second period we didn’t get a five-on-five shot on net. We had one power play shot and two short-handed shots. We had eight attempts and we missed the net on every one of them.”

The Kings struck first, with a Jeff Carter goal 11:43 into the game. Los Angeles had just successfully killed a penalty when Carter came out of the penalty box. The Kings held the Sharks up in the neutral zone and went on the attack. Mikey Anderson’s shot from the point hit Andreas Athanasiou and bounced over Martin Jones. It landed in the blue paint where Carter could nudge it across the line.

The Sharks tied it up at 16:54 with a goal from Dylan Gambrell. The Kings had killed off another Sharks power play moments before when Christian Jaros took a shot from the boards. It went off of John Leonard and Jonathan Quick thought he had it. Instead, it trickled out in front of the net and Gambrell swept it in.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings 12-6 in the first period, and had two shots in two power plays.

Athanasiou gave the Kings their lead back at 2:28 of the second period. Jeff Carter looked like he was going to carry the puck to the net from the point and instead made a pass to Anthanasiou for a deflection right in front of the net. Assists went to Carter and Olli Maatta.

Alex Iafallo made it 3-1 Kings less than two minutes later. Anze Kopitar passed the puck between Nikolai Knyzhov’s legs and Iafallo caught it on the far side of the net. Jones moved to cover the shot but Iafallo instead kept moving and used a backhand to put it around him. Assists went to Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Dustin Brown scored a power play goal at 19:52 to give the Kings a three-goal lead. Three Sharks were in the offensive zone on a short-handed bid and had to hussle back when Brown caught the puck in the neutral zone and went the other way. He took a shot past Radim Simek to beat Jones on the short side. It was Brown’s 16th of the season.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 13-4 in the second period, including five shots in three power plays. The Sharks had one shot in two power plays.

The Sharks changed goaltenders for the third period, putting Josef Korenar in net for his first NHL appearance. Boughner talked about putting 23-year old Josef Korinar in goal for the third period:

“I think he did great. I think good time to put him in. Our team was completely flat in the second period. You know, they got one goal late in the period there and it looked like we just needed some kind of injection of some energy. And I was hoping that, you know, kid being in his first game, we’d play a little harder around him and maybe rally around him a little bit.”

Timo Meier trimmed the Kings’ lead with a power play goal at 12:31 of the third. Brent Burns took a shot from the slot and Quick got in front of it but could not control the puck. Meier dug it out of a scramble above the crease and pushed it around the goalie for his eighth of the season.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings 12-7 in the third, including three shots on one power play. The Kings had three shots in two power plays. The Kings won 52% of the face-offs in the game. Tomas Hertl won 70% of his face-offs but he was the only Shark to take more than five draws and win more than 42%.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Anaheim Ducks in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Trounce Kings 5-2

The Los Angeles Kings left winger Austin Wagner (27) tries to skate around San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) behind the net at SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 9, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose. Kevin Labanc, Patrick Marleau, Rudolfs Balcers, Dylan Gambrell and Tomas Hertl all scored for San Jose. Brent Burns had three assists and Martin Jones made 32 saves for the win. Alex Iafallo and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for Los Angeles and Calvin Petersen made 24 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It was a good team win, it was a good team effort. They really came at us in the second period. We obviously didn’t like our second and I thought that, you know, they pushed hard and we didn’t really respond very well. But Jonesy was our best player tonight. And he’s in the zone, he’s seeing the puck and he made some big saves at the right time.”

Los Angeles scored first, at 2:27 of the first. Alex Iafallo, just arrived in front of the net, caught Dustin Brown’s quick pass from the boards and redirected it past Martin Jones. Assists went to Brown and Anze Kopitar.

The Sharks tied it up at 8:01. The Sharks had just finished killing a penalty, and won a defensive zone face-off. They broke out with Kevin Labanc carrying the puck. He carried it all the way down and took the shot. It went in. Assists went to Brent Burns and Mario Ferraro.

Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks the lead at 13:50 when Brent Burns sent the puck to the net and it went off of Marleau’s skate. Assists went to Burns and Marcus Sorensen.

Rudolfs Balcers made it 3-1 at 17:17, following Timo Meier on a breakaway. Petersen stopped the shot but Balcers was there to put the rebound away. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks in the first, 13-11. Each team had one power play. The Los Angeles power play had four shots on one power play and the Sharks power play had one in one.

In a scoreless second period, the Kings led again in shots, 11-8. They also led in penalties, taking two that resulted in a power play for San Jose. The Sharks took two shots in those two power plays. The Sharks had one penalty to kill and the Kings got one shot out of that. There were also two fights, which added a total of twelve penalty minutes on the score sheet. Jeffrey Viel fought Kurtis MacDermid and Marcus Sorensen fought Andreas Athanasiou. Sorensen and Athanasiou fought again at the final buzzer.

The Kings came to within one goal 1:02 into the third period, moments after a Sharks penalty expired. Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored, unassisted, by throwing the puck at the net from a sharp angle. The puck went from below the goal line, behind Jones’ near skate, off of his far skate and in.

Dylan Gambrell scored a short-handed goal at 17:00. Gambrell and Evander Kane broke away for a two-on-none. Gambrell passed first, then Kane passed it back, forcing Petersen to move in the crease. Gambrell took the shot. Assists went to Kane and Burns.

Tomas Hertl made it 5-2, shooting it down the ice into and empty net at 18:41. Assists went to Kane and Logan Couture.

The Kings won 58% of the face-offs through the game. The final shot count was 34-29 Kings.

The Sharks will play the Kings again on Saturday in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat L.A. 3-2; SJ on four game winning streak

The Los Angeles Kings defenceman Mikey Anderson (left) tries to disrupt the San Jose Sharks left winger Evander Kane’s puck control (right) at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sat Apr 3, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 3-2 against the Kings in Los Angeles Saturday for their fourth win in a row. Sharks goals came from Kevin Labanc, Evander Kane and Dylan Gambrell. Martin Jones made 35 saves for the win. Dustin Brown and Trevor Moore scored for the Kings and Jonathan Quick made 20 saves in the loss.

This four game win streak has brought the Sharks within one point of a playoff position. After the game, Sharks Captain Logan Couture said:

“Definitely happy with how we’ve played this last stretch. I could be wrong, but I think we won six of eight. So, playing pretty good hockey, playing our brand of hockey that the coaching staff wanted us to play. Took us a little while to get here, but with new systems it does take a while sometimes. So, happy with where we’re at right now.”

He is not wrong. The Sharks have won six of their last eight. Their goaltender, Martin Jones, has won seven of his last ten starts.

The Sharks scored early again, with a goal at 4:37 of the first period. Kevin Labanc took a shot into a mass of bodies in front of the net. The puck bounced around in the traffic before going in off of a defender. Assists went to Nikolai Knyzhov and Evander Kane.

Dustin Brown tied the game at 6:55. Anze Kopitar sent the puck to the net from the boards and Brown tipped it in before jumping over Jones. Assists went to Kopitar and Alex Iafallo.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic sustained an upper body injury during the first period and he did not return for the second or third. The injury may have occurred early in the first and Vlasic only played about six minutes. Bob Boughner said that the defenseman would be reassessed in the morning.

The Kings outshot the Sharks 18-5 in the first. They got a little help there from one power play but that was only worth two shots to them. The Sharks were good in the face-off circle, winning 53% of them.

Evander Kane gave the Sharks their second lead of the night at 15:04 of the second period. Couture’s backhand feed from below the goal line found Kane going to the net. Kane held onto the puck with defenders closing in him. He waited until the last moment, with the puck almost out of reach ahead of him, them swept it in at a bad angle with Quick at the top of the blue paint. Assists went to Couture and Labanc.

Trevor Moore tied it back up for the Kings with a short-handed goal. With under a minute left in the period, Moore battled for the puck in the neutral zone and won the battle. He slowed by the net and managed to poke it in after his first shot rebounded back to him.

The shots were near even at 11-10 Sharks in the second. The teams each had a power play in the second but neither penalty kill allowed a shot. the Kings won the face-off battle 60%-40% in the period.

Dylan Gambrell scored the game winning goal at 15:23 of the third. John Leonard sent the puck deep into the o-zone and Jonathan Quick went behind the net to collect it. He found himself under more pressure than anticipated and wound up turning the puck over to Leonard, who sent it right up to Gambrell who had an open net. That was Gambrell’s third goal of the season.

There was just one penalty in the third period, and it went to Los Angeles. The Sharks power play got two shots on the net but were still out-shot by the Kings 9-7 in the period. The Sharks finished the game with a 53% face-off win percentage.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks back in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Kings Shutout by Sharks 3-0; Jones stops all 30 shots

Los Angeles Kings center Jaret Anderson-Dolan, left, takes a shot for not on San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks went to Los Angeles and beat the Kings 3-0 Friday. Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Rudolfs Balcers scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 30 saves for the shutout win. Calvin Petersen made 33 saves for the Kings in the loss. The win is the third in a row for the Sharks. Three was a good number for the Sharks Friday.

Hertl, Meier and Balcers were skating on the same line. Meier had eight shots in the game and scored his first goal after a nine game dry spell. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “From what we see tonight, if he’s playing that way, and he’s that confident, he can be dangerous. It was good to see. I think that whole line, Tommy Hertl, Rudy’s playing great hockey. Those guys were a force tonight.”

Of Martin Jones, Boughner said:

“He looks calm in there, you know, he’s making the right saves at the right time. He’s allowing us to get that second goal and keep it 1-0 instead of 1-1 and the game completely changes. And, you know, he’s been one of our better players now for the past three weeks.”

The Sharks took an early lead when Tomas Hertl tipped Nikolai Knyzhov’s shot from the point. Assists went to Knyzhov and Rudolfs Balcers. The time of the goal was 2:57.

There was just one penalty in the first period, to Anze Kopitar for tripping. The Sharks power play got credit for two shots on goal. The Sharks outshot the Kings 9-7 in the first.

Timo Meier made it 2-0 for the Sharks nine minutes into the second period. Tomas Hertl’s pass from behind the net landed just right on Meier’s stick for a one-timer. Assists went to Hertl and Balcers.

The Kings challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Balcers pushed Kings defenseman Drew Doughty into the crease and Doughty fell on Calvin Petersen. A second or two passed after that contact and the play moved around the net before the goal was scored. The challenge was unsuccessful.

While the teams were waiting for that to be resolved, referee Pierre Lambert was escorted from the ice, looking unsteady. He had been hit by a puck.

The second period saw two penalties to each team. The Sharks penalty kill gave up two shots and their power play took three. The shot count was 14-13 Kings.

At 7:59, Dylan Gambrell put the puck in the net with a nice shot down the middle. It was called back, however, when the Kings successfully challenged for offside.

The Kings pulled their goaltender with more than two minutes left. The Sharks took several shots at that empty net but it was Balcers with the fourth good look who hit it at 19:33. An assist went to Brent Burns, who was using Balcers’ stick. After Burns’ stick broke, Balcers gave him his and had just gone to get another when the puck came to him for the shot.

The third period was penalty-free and the sharks outshot the Kings 14-9. The Kings won the face-off battle in the game, winning 55% of the draws.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT, again in Los Angeles against the Kings.

Sharks Tame Wild 4-2

The Minnesota Wild forward Nico Sturm (7) tries to reach for the puck as the San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) and defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) defend during Wed Mar 31, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in San Jose Wednesday. Rudolfs Balcers, Ryan Donato, Nikolai Knyzhov and Evander Kane Scored for the Sharks, while Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. The Sharks defense generated five points in the game. Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 29 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the Sharks defensive game:

“I liked how aggressive we were in the d-zone, jump in and check. We didn’t give much, you know, we blocked shots. I thought we were really physical tonight, you know, and yeah, we played a lot in the o-zone. That is the blueprint for how we want to play on most nights and every night.”

Sharks Captain Logan Couture talked about what they need to do to carry this success forward:

“We’ve just got to keep playing the way we are. I thought we defended pretty hard and we created a lot of offense. We could have had more than the three we scored, or the fourth with the empty-netter, but a lot of good looks, I think our game’s in a good spot right now.”

In a scoreless first period, the teams each got credit for 10 shots. Evander Kane took three of those shots for the Sharks. Each team had one power play. The Wild had one shot on their power play and the Sharks had two on theirs. The Wild won 60% of the first period face-offs.

The Sharks got the scoring started in the second period, at 4:41. Rudolfs Balcers caught a pass from Tomas Hertl just as he arrived in front of the blue paint. He did not slow down as he stopped the puck on his backhand, then swept it around Kahkonen’s skate. Assists went to Hertl and Brent Burns.

The Sharks made it 2-0 at 9:22 with a power play goal. Brent Burns shot the puck right up the middle. Kahkonen stopped it but left a rebound. Ryan Donato was there to gather it up and tuck it under the goaltender. Assists went to Burns and Mario Ferraro.

That was the only power play for the second period. The Sharks outshot the Wild 14-9. The Sharks improved in the face-of circle, winning 55% of them.
Kirill Kaprizov cut the Sharks lead to 2-1 at 8:23. He carried the puck at speed from below the goal line, past one point to the other before taking the shot, which went past Jones on the far side. Carson Soucy got the assist.

The Sharks’ third goal started when Rudolfs Balcers carried the puck onto the zone. It was knocked off of his stick but Tomas Hertl was right there to get it back and pass it to Erik Karlsson. Karlsson found Nikolai Knyzhov just coming across the blue line, Knyzhov let the traffic settle into place in front of the net before shooting it past Kahkonen’s glove. Assists on Knyzhov’s first NHL goal went to Karlsson and Hertl.

Kaprizov knocked Logan Couture off the puck at 12:18. While Evander Kane was giving Kaprizov a piece of his mind about the hit, Ryan Hartman went after Kane. All the skaters on the ice converged after that but the result was just two minor penalties: cross-checking to Hartman and roughing to Kane.

The Wild made it 3-2 with their net empty and 12.1 seconds left in the game. Kevin Fiala took a shot from the point with three skaters blocking Jones’ view. The puck went off of Mats Zuccarello and in. Assists went to Fiala and Jared Spurgeon.

Evander Kane scored from just outside the Sharks’ blue line, into an empty net with one second left in the game. It was his sixth shot of the night.

The Sharks won the third period face-off battle 9-6. Each team had a power play in the period, with the Sharks taking three shots and the Wild taking two. In overall third period shots, the teams were tied at 9 each.

The Sharks next play on Friday against the Kings in Los Angeles at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Shut Out 4-0 by Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes right winger Phil Kessel scored a hat trick in the third period and goes for the victory skate in front of the Arizona bench on Sat Mar 27, 2021 at Gila River Arena in Glendale (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The Arizona Coyotes beat the San Jose Sharks 4-0 Saturday, thanks to a hat trick from Phil Kessel, a goal from Clayton Keller and a 34 save shut-out from Adin Hill. Devan Dubnyk made 23 saves for San Jose. The game was Patrick Marleau’s 1,756th, tying him with Mark Messier for second all-time in NHL games played.

Curtis Gabriel took a five minute major at 7:02 of the third period, with an open ice hit that was called for interference. He was also given a game misconduct. That was his third penalty of the game, and the Sharks’ second penalty of the period. In addition to those, the Sharks started the period killing most of a late second-period penalty . They killed off all of those and two more penalties in the third.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said that the game really hinged on those third period penalties:

“We held them to 13 shots after two periods, albeit we were down 2-0. I think that, you know, defensively we had a couple breakdowns and they had a bunch as well. We couldn’t capitalize on ours. But then, you spend the whole third period killing, it’s very tough obviously to catch up.”

The first period was scoreless. The Sharks had one power play and managed 6 shots with the man advantage. Overall, the Sharks outshot the Coyotes 17-9.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes in the second period as well, 9-5, but gave up two goals. The first came at 5:49 after Clayton Keller jumped on a neutral zone turnover. He skated to the other end and had a clear lane to shoot at Dubnyk.

Phil Kessell scored his first of the game on the power play at 14:16. He caught Oliver Ekman-Larssen’s pass at the point and then skated in, taking a shot from just above the face-off circle. Christian Fischer was right in front of Dubnyk creating an excellent screen. Assists went to Ekman-Larssen and Keller.

The Coyotes had two power plays in the second period, but got credit for just one shot in those power plays.

Phil Kessel’s second goal of the game came just as the third Sharks penalty expired. Kessel caught a rebound and then pushed it past Dubnyk’s leg. Assists went to Christian Dvorak and Alex Goligoski.

The Sharks used a coach’s challenge on the goal, arguing that Kessel pushed Dubnyk’s leg out of the way with his stick before pushing the puck in. The NHL did not see it that way and allowed the goal. That unsuccessful challenge triggered the Sharks’ fourth penalty of the period.

After the game, Dubnyk talked about that call:

“I was told that that was Phil Kessel’s follow-through, continued motion of a follow through. Which, you guys watched the play, I watched the play a bunch on the jumbotron. If you’re going to sit here and honestly tell me that’s the guy’s follow-through, that’s tough. And if he would have shoved my pad into the net with the puck underneath it, would it have counted? If the answer is no then the answer is that shouldn’t have counted either.”

Kessell’s third goal came at 17:28 into an empty net. He got that puck after a failed neutral zone pass from Erik Karlsson. Assists went to Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks in the third, 13-8. The Sharks won 53% of the face-offs in the game, and took a total of 29 penalty minutes to the Coyotes’ 6.

The Sharks next play Monday against the Minnesota Wild in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 5-2 to Coyotes

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-2 to the Coyotes in Arizona Friday. Coyotes goals came from Nick Schmaltz, Christian Dvorak (2), Dryden Hunt and Phil Kessel. Their goaltender, Aiden Hill, made 20 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau scored for San Jose and Martin Jones made 23 saves in the loss. Patrick Marleau scored his 564th goal, tying him for 23rd all-time in NHL goal scoring. Friday’s game was also Phil Kessel’s 1100th NHL appearance.

The Sharks made a poor showing in the first period, registering just four shots on goal. Their second period showed some hope, starting with an early short-handed goal from Tomas Hertl, but then came unraveled in the third. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“I didn’t like our compete in the offensive zone, I didn’t like our compete all over the ice to be honest with you. I didn’t think it was good enough for a game like this. I thought that we weren’t physical enough, we didn’t stop them, we didn’t stop their feet enough.”

The first period saw just one goal scored, from Christian Dvorak at 6:20. Christian Fischer passed the puck behind the net to Conor Garland, who sent it up front for Dvorak. Assists went to Conor Garland and Christian Fischer.

The Coyotes outshot the Sharks 12-4 in a penalty-free first period.

Tomas Hertl’s short-handed goal came at the end of the Sharks’ first penalty of the second period. Hertl broke away with Evander Kane backing him up. He made a beeline for the net and no one got in his way. The assist went to Erik Karlsson.

The Coyotes took the lead back at the end of the period with a goal from Nick Schmaltz. Ilya Lyubushkin sent the puck to the net from the point and Schmaltz was able to tip it in as he arrived in front of the net. Assists went to Lyubushkin and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The teams were dead even in shots during the second period, with 10 each. The Coyotes had two power plays, but the Sharks penalty kill allowed just one shot.

Christian Dvorak scored the Coyotes’ third goal of the night, at 7:48 of the third. Dvorak intercepted a pass from Brent Burns and no one could catch him as he made his way to the net.

Dryden Hunt made it 4-1 at 9:08. Hunt took advantage of a rebound off a Lawson Crouse shot. Assists went to Crouse and Derick Brassard. Boughner challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Crouse’s stick did touch Jones’ leg as he skated by and it may have caused Jones to spin the wrong way. In any case, the goal was allowed and that put the Sharks on the penalty kill.

Phil Kessel made it 5-1 at 9:59, during the ensuing power play. Clayton Keller’s pass from near the goal line found Kessel in the slot. Assists went to Keller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Patrick Marleau scored on the power play at 12:30. Coyotes goalie Aiden Hill had gone behind the net to gather up the puck but he lost it. He was still trying to get back into the net when Marleau snatched the puck up and put it over the line. Assists went to Mario Ferraro and Timo Meier.

Each team took two penalties in the third period. The Sharks got one shot in their power plays and scored on that one. The Coyotes got two shots on their power plays and scored with one. The Sharks held a small lead in third period shots, 8-6. The Sharks won 52% of the face-offs in the game.

Radim Simek was pushed into the boards midway through the third period. He was able to skate back to the bench but he went to the locker room after that. The hit was penalized as boarding. There was no update after the game.

The Sharks next play on Saturday against the Coyotes in Arizona, at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 5-2 to the Blues

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell to the St. Louis Blues 5-2 Saturday, at the SAP Center in San Jose. Blues goals came from Jordan Kyrou (2), Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Vince Dunn. Ville Husso made 29 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Dylan Gambrell scored for San Jose, and Devan Dubnyk made 16 saves in the loss.

The Sharks were penalized for a face-off violation in the third period, when the game was still tied 2-2. Patrick Marleau was taking the draw and the linesman took issue with the way he did it. Of the call, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I think everybody in the rink, including their team, our team, I think, the other linesman, the refs, I think everybody was shocked. It was a brutal, brutal call. It really in my mind, cost, it turned the whole game around.”

Patrick Marleau, who could not recall being penalized under this rule before, said: “Obviously he thought I cheated or turned too quickly on the draw. So I guess that was the reasoning behind the penalty.”

Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk was also asked about that penalty. He said:

“It’s 2-2 in the middle of the third period and you get a penalty called that I don’t think I’ve ever seen called except for maybe the first year, [in] exhibition season, when they first made the rule. And it’s embarrassing, it’s Mickey Mouse.”

Dylan Gambrell scored for San Jose at 2:33 of the first. The puck came to him high in the slot after Sorensen and Brent Burns chased it down behind the net.

St. Louis tied it up at 3:32 when Vince Dunn scored his fourth of the season. Dunn’s shot from the blue line looked likely to go wide but instead it hit Erik Karlsson’s shin pad and deflected in. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly.

Kyrou gave the Blues the lead at 6:45. O’Reilly got control of the puck below the goal line and passed it up to Kyrou. Kyrou put the puck under Dubnyk in in the net. Assists went to O’Reilly and David Perron.

Mike Hoffman put the puck in the net near the 12 minute mark. The goal was called back after the Sharks challenged the play as offside.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks led on the shot clock 11-5. There was just one penalty in the first, to St. Louis. The Sharks had two shots on that power play.

Tomas Hertl tied the game 8:10 in to the second period. Nikolai Knyzhov’s pass from the defensive zone found Timo Meier on the other side of the neutral zone. Meier’s pass found Hertl speeding into the Blue’s zone. There was no one in the way to stop him as he took the shot.

The Sharks took two penalties in the second period and their penalty kill allowed just one shot to the Blues. The Sharks led in shots again, 10-8.

O’Reilly scored just 12 seconds into the power play that resulted from the face-off violation penalty. His shot from the face-off dot found its way through traffic and in. Assists went to Dunn and Perron.

Kyrou scored his second of the game at 15:51. Dubnyk followed the puck across to the right and Torey Krug passed it across the ice. Kyrou, who had just evaded Ryan Donato, tapped the puck in. Assists went to Krug and Perron.

David Perron scored into an empty net at 18:01 to make it 5-2.

The Final shot count was 31-21 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Sharks showed improvement over recent games, winning 59%. Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl both won 67% of their draws.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Los Angeles Kings, in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.