Sharks Lose to Lightning 7-1; Fourth loss in five games for SJ

A familiar sight all night long as Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn (17) scores a goal against San Jose Sharks goaltender Adin Hill (33) at SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Jan 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The Sharks lost to the Lightning by a score of 7-1 Saturday in San Jose. Steven Stamkos, Ross Colton, Mathieu Joseph, Correy Perry, Brayden Point, and Alex Killorn all scored for Tampa Bay. Brian Elliott made 27 saves for the win. Jaycob Megna scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 9 saves on 13 shots before being replaced by Adin Hill. Hill made 15 saves on 18 shots in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner did not mince words: “We were out-competed and it was men amongst boys. Simple as that. We understand we have a lot of injuries and we’re dealing with some pretty important players out of our lineup.”

Among those important players is defenseman Erik Karlsson, who is out with an upper body injury. There is no timeline for his return yet.

Ross Colton scored first, 3:17 into the game. Colton tried to pass the puck across the ice, but it hit Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick, knuckled in the air and went over Reimer’s glove. Ryan McDonagh got an assist.

Steven Stamkos scored next, at 7:45. While Vlasic was clearing Mathieu Joseph away from the net, Stamkos used both of them as screens for a shot into the far top corner. Assists went to Alex Killorn and Cal Foote.

Midway into the second period, Timo Meier put the puck in the net but it was called back for a distinct kicking motion.

Mathieu Joseph scored at 11:04. After skating around Brent Burns, he made a beeline for the net. Reimer stopped his shot but could not control the puck. It slid out from under his pad and over the line. Assists went to Stamkos and Mikhail Sergachev.

Corey Perry made it 4-0 at 12:32. McDonagh dumped the puck in, but it went off of a linesman’s skate and bounced right to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare as he made his way to the net. Reimer stopped his shot but Perry cleaned up the rebound.

The Sharks swapped goaltenders after that goal, replacing Reimer with Hill.

Jaycob Megna scored for San Jose at 16:40. Ryan Merkley swept through the high slot to gather the puck up, then spun and passed it to Megna right on the blue line. Megna sent a hard shot right down the middle through traffic and into the net. Merkley got the assist. It was Megna’s first goal as a Shark and his second in the NHL.

Brayden Point made it 5-1 at 6:24 of the second. Anthony Cirelli got around Merkley in the Lightning zone, creating a two on one of Point and Nikita Kucherov against Megna in the Sharks zone.

Alex Killorn scored at 4:20 of the third period, on a power play. Assists went to Victor Hedman and Kucherov. Ross Colton scored his second of the game 33 seconds later. Assists went to Taylor Raddysh and Mikhail Segachev.

The Sharks had their second power play at 7:24 of the third period. They got four shots on goal. In their first power play of the game, they had no shots. The Lightning had their first and only power play of the game at 3:04 of the third. Their power play had four shots and the goal. The Lightning out-shot the Sharks 15-5 in the first, the Sharks out-shot the Lightning 10-6 in the second and 13-10.

In the face-off circle, the results followed the same pattern, with the Lightning winning the first period by 60% and the third by 67%, while the Sharks won the second period by 57%.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday in D.C. against the Washington Capitals at 4:00 PM PT.

Meier Scores 5, Sharks Beat Kings 6-2; It’s Timo Time all the time

San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier (28) raises the puck high, Meier scored five goals against the Los Angeles Kings on Martin Luther King Day at SAP Center in San Jose on Mon Jan 17, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– Timo Meier scored five goals in the San Jose Sharks (21-17-2) 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings (20-14-5) Monday afternoon. It was the first time in Sharks history that a Shark scored that many in one game. Rudolfs Balcers also scored, for the second game in a row. James Reimer made 39 saves for the win. Anze Kopitar and Mikey Anderson scored for the Kings and Jonathan Quick made 11 saves in the loss.

Apart from Meier’s stunning play Monday, the game also saw the Sharks’ struggling power play score twice, Tomas Hertl earn four assists and Erik Karlsson get three, including his 500th.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach talked about the game:

“I’m very happy and proud for Timo, I think he’s put a lot of hard work in. For our team, a team that hasn’t scored a lot and has played well of late and hasn’t gotten quite the results that I think we deserve, it was nice to see, as a team, one of our big guys go off like that.”

Timo Meier scored his first of the afternoon at 3:02 on the power play. From just inside the left face-off dot, Meier caught a cross-ice pass from Brent Burns and whipped into the net on the short side. Assists went to Burns and Erik Karlsson.

Rudolfs Balcers made it 2-0 at 15:56 of the first. Balcers sent the puck out of his zone to Hertl in the neutral zone. Hertl carried the puck along the blue line before shooting it right down the slot. Balcers caught it with the back of his stick and then shot it past Quick on the glove side.

Meier scored his second at 18:48, unassisted. While he skated across in front of the blue paint, the puck went off of his skate. He spun and gathered it up for a quick roofer.

He completed the hat trick 21 seconds later. Hertl dug the puck out of the corner and got it to Meier in a nice shooting spot. Meier’s shot did not go in but he moved to the other side of the net and cleaned up a rebound. Hertl got the assist.

The busy final minute was not over, as Anze Kopitar scored for Los Angeles with just 16 seconds left in the period. Kopitar took advantage of a turnover at the blue line and then charged into the zone for a shot from outside the face-off dot.

Meier started working a second hatty to start the second period, with another power play goal at 1:24. He caught a cross-ice pass from Erik Karlsson just outside the face-off dot and scored with a quick wrist shot. Assists went to Karlsson and Hertl.

Meier scored his fifth goal at 19:32 of the second. He caught a cross-ice pass from Hertl, brought the puck around a defender with a toe drag. He shot it past Quick’s glove, off the post and in. Assists went to Hertl and Karlsson.

Mikey Anderson scored the only third period goal to make it 6-2. Drew Doughty centered the puck from low in the zone and Anderson tipped it in. Assists went to Doughty and Viktor Arvidsson.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 41-17 in the game. The Sharks had three power plays, scored on two of them with two shots. The Sharks’ penalty kill allowed four shots through three penalties. In the face-off circle, the Kings prevailed with 53% of the draws.

The Sharks next play in Seattle against the Kraken on Thursday at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Penguins 2-1 in OT; SJ drops second straight game

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson (28) and goaltender Louis Domingue, right, are in the process of prevent defense against the San Jose Sharks left winger Matt Nieto (83) in the third period at SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Jan 15, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks lost their first overtime game of the season, falling 2-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kris Letang and Jake Guentzel scored for Pittsburgh and Louis Domingue made 40 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers scored for San Jose and Adin Hill made 25 saves in the loss.

For the first time in a long time, the Sharks had Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson on the same power play unit. The Sharks had three power plays Saturday, one of those a double-minor, but still could not convert against the Penguins’ top-ranked penalty kill. Most of the Sharks’ power play shots came from the first unit, but short-handed chances were given up by both units.

Sharks’ Head Coach Bob Boughner did not put too much stock in the power play’s failure to score:

“I thought our power play had some great looks. At the end of the second and the beginning of the third, we had some great looks and we had traffic and we picked the rebounds off. I think our second unit was just very average, I thought we didn’t get anything going on the second unit but, you know, we did a lot of good things, the only thing we didn’t do was score but that’s not on our power play. I think Pittsburgh’s a good team.”

Rudolfs Balcers scored the first goal of the game at 7:01. Erik Karlsson chased down the puck as it came off the boards, then spun and sent it to the net. It went right to Balcers as he arrived in front of the net and angled his stick to deflect it in. Assists went to Karlsson and Timo Meier.

The Sharks held the Penguins to one shot for the first half of the period but at 10:56, Kris Letang tied it up. Letang skated around the outside to get behind the Sharks defense, then cut across the slot to score with a backhand over Hill’s right pad. Assists went to Jake Guentzel and Teddy Blueger.

The shot count for the period was 11-4 Sharks, and San Jose also led in the face-off circle with 53% of the draws. The Sharks took the only penalty of the period, and the penalty kill allowed no shots on goal.

The Penguins got more shots through in the second, with four on net in the first half of the period. The Sharks also had more, 8, at that point. By the end of the second, it was 17-8 Sharks.

With a little more than a minute left in the period, Jake Guentzel went to the box for four minutes after drawing blood from Jonathan Dahlen with a high stick. The Sharks power play ended the period with three shots on goal and a little under three minutes remaining to start the third period.

The Sharks had that power play and another in the third period. They had six shots with the man advantage and gave up four short-handed shots. Overall, the Penguins out-shot them by just one, 14-13.

Jake Guentzel scored the game winner 37 seconds into overtime. Sidney Crosby carried the puck into the zone and across the slot. Guentzel had just arrived at the blue paint when Crosby sent the puck back to him for an easy tap-in. Assists went to Crosby and Kris Letang.

The Sharks had an excellent night in the face-off circle, winning 67% of the draws. Noah Gregor led the team in shots with seven.

The Sharks next play on Monday at home against the Los Angeles Kings at 1:00 PM PT.

Radim Simek is still out with a lower body injury, and Alexander Barabanov is on the COVID-19 list. Jacob Middleton was put on the injured reserve list after being injured in Detroit on January 4. James Reimer is off of the injured reserve list and he backed up Hill on Saturday.

Sharks Shut Out By Rangers and Shesterkin 3-0; Three game win streak comes to an end

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, left, who threw a shutout against the San Jose Sharks and center Jasper Weatherby (26) stops a shot on net at SAP Center in San Jose on Thu Jan 13, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks fell 3-0 to the New York Rangers in San Jose Thursday. Chris Kreider scored twice, Braden Schneider scored once for New York and Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves for the shut-out. Adin Hill made 28 saves for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“Tonight I thought we played a good game. I don’t think that we shot ourselves in the foot or, you know, we got dominated in any single area. I thought that Shesterkin made some great saves early. We couldn’t find the goal we needed. We fought hard and the difference I think was giving up a shorty.”

Timo Meier, recently selected for the 2022 All Star Game, talked about the loss: “We were right there the whole time. We had good legs, I think the energy was good too. From our side. We just couldn’t score, that extra centimeter in front of the net that we couldn’t get tonight.”

Chris Kreider gave the Rangers the lead with a short-handed goal midway through the first period. Mika Zibanejad and Kreider broke away during the Sharks power play and with one pass avoided the Sharks defense and scored. Assists went to Zibanejad and Adam Fox.

The Sharks out-shot the Rangers 10-6 in that period, but their power play gave up two shots and the goal, while only getting one power play shot. The teams were even in the face-off circle at 50% each. In the second period, the Rangers raised their face-off wins to 63% and out-shot the Sharks 13-10.

The Sharks took one penalty early in the period and their penalty kill gave up one shot. The second period was marked by a number of penalties. Timo Meier and Jacob Trouba scuffled and received matching minors. Jeffrey Viel then fought Trouba shortly after Trouba exited the box.

Braden Schneider scored his first NHL goal at 1:27 of the third, making it 2-0 Rangers. A turnover at the blue line left the Sharks in disarray while the Rangers went on the attack. Schneider arrived late and got a shot away before anyone picked him up. Assists went to Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil.

The Sharks had a late power play, out-shot the Rangers 17-12, and pulled their goaltender in the final minute to no avail. Chris Kreider scored his 200th goal into an empty net. Kevin Rooney got the assist.

The Sharks did improve in the face-off circle during the third period, winning 65% of the draws.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, in San Jose against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 PM PT. Nick Bonino has come off of the COVID-19 list and played Thursday. Alexander Barabanov has been put on the list so he will miss some time.

Sharks Beat Red Wings 3-2 in OT; Fifth win out of last eight for SJ

San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (39) gets the puck past Detroit Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) as Nick Leddy (2) defends for the game winning goal in overtime at the SAP Center in San Jose on Tue Jan 11, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in overtime in San Jose on Tuesday. Timo Meier, Jeffrey Viel and Logan Couture scored for San Jose. Adin Hill made 17 saves for the win. Tyler Bertuzzi and Nick Leddy scored for Detroit and Alex Nedeljkovic made 37 saves in the loss.

The Sharks played Red Wings just a week ago in Detroit, and lost 6-2. That was the game when Jacob Middleton was injured in a hit from Givani Smith. The Sharks responded by giving up two short-handed goals in the ensuing five minute major. Early in the first period on Tuesday, Jeffrey Viel and Givani Smith fought and went to the box.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 14:24 with a power play goal from Timo Meier. Jonathan Dahlen carried the puck almost to the goal line before making a backhand pass, through traffic, across the slot to Timo Meier right in front of the goal. Nedeljkovic could not get across in time to stop Meier’s 15th goal of the season. Assists went to Dahlen and Brent Burns.

The Sharks had two power plays in the first period, and had three shots and the goal. Their penalty kill gave up no shots in their one kill.

The Red Wings tied it at 19:38 of the second period, with a two man advantage. Filip Hronek sent the puck to the net from the blue line and Tyler Bertuzzi deflected it in. Assists went to Hronek and Mortiz Seider.

In the second period, the Sharks had one power play and got two shots. Their three-man penalty kill gave up the one shot that went in the net.

The Red Wings took the lead at 1:48 of the third with a goal from Nick Leddy, who carried the puck from one end of the ice to the other and then took a shot around Ryan Merkley. The puck went over Hill’s shoulder for Leddy’s first NHL goal. Assists went to Hronek and Bertuzzi.

Jeffrey Viel tied it back up at 3:18. Viel was chasing the puck to the net when he lost his footing with some help from a defender. He ended up sliding into the net himself and making some contact with the goaltender. An assist went to Brent Burns.

The Sharks pressed hard in the final minutes of the period, but Nedeljkovic held his ground and the game went to overtime.

Logan Couture scored with the Sharks’ only overtime shot. Brent Burns took a shot from the left side of the net and the puck went under the goaltender, coming to rest just above the goal line. Logan Couture was falling down on the other side of the net after fighting for space. He was able to reach across with his stick and nudge the puck over the line. Assists went to Burns and Dahlen.

After a lengthy review in Toronto, the goal was allowed. The review was for off-side and may have also been about the octopus that was thrown onto the ice during play.

The Sharks out-shot the Red Wings 40-19, and did so in each period, 12-6 in the first, 14-6 in the second and 13-6 in the third. The Sharks also led in the face-off circle, winning 52% of the draws.

The Sharks next play on Thursday, in San Jose against the New York Rangers at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Flyers 3-2 in OT With Hertl Hat Trick

The San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl is jubilant after nailing the game winning goal in overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia on Sat Jan 8, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime, again, on Saturday. It was the same score as on December 30 in San Jose. Tomas Hertl scored all three Sharks goals and Adin Hill made 29 saves for the win. Brent Burns had 3 assists and led the team with 29:35 TOI. James van Riemsdyk scored both Flyers goals and Martin Jones made 44 saves in the loss.

Logan Couture and Lane Pedersen are still out on the COVID list. Erik Karlsson, James Reimer, Rudolfs Balcers and Jacob Middleton are all out with injuries.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how Tomas Hertl helped balance out those absences:

“What I loved about it, even when we got down 2-0, even in the last two games, he’s taken on a huge void, leadership role, And he’s saying ‘it’s alright, we’re still in this, we’ve got this, let’s keep going, let’s keep working. We’re playing well.’ So Tommy was just more than being the player of the game, you know, he was pretty inspirational in the locker room and on the bench tonight.”

The games was scoreless for 40 minutes. The shots were close, 15-13 Flyers in the first, 13-10 Sharks in the second. Each team had one power play. The Sharks power play had two shots and their penalty kill gave up one. With the teams so close in so many aspects, it was no wonder they were tied at 0 going into the final frame.

The Sharks had some good chances in the first minute of the third, but, just as that minute expired, James van Riemsdyk got around Marc-Edouard Vlasic and broke away for a shot from the face-off circle. The puck went by Adin Hill and into the top corner. Assists went to Oskar Lindblom and Kevin Hayes.

The Flyers scored again at 6:47, this time on the power play. Cam York sent the puck to the net and it went off of van Riemsdyk, then bounced over Hill. Assists went to York and Cam Atkinson.

Tomas Hertl got one back for the Sharks at 7:47. Timo Meier made a quick back-hand pass from just above the goal line. Hertl was at the net ready to put it away. Assists went to Meier and Brent Burns.

Hertl put the puck in the net again at 14:29. In the midst of net-front traffic, he kicked the puck to his stick for a backhand past Jones on the far side. Assists again went to Meier and Burns.

The Sharks out-shot the Flyers 20-5 in the third period. Each team had a power play. the Sharks had two shots on theirs and the Flyers got one that went in.

Hertl completed his hat trick with the Sharks’ first shot in overtime, 24 seconds in. Brent Burns won the puck in the corner at the Sharks’ end and got the puck to Hertl. Hertl carried it the other way, and by the time he reached the Flyers blue line, Timo Meier was there for a two-on-one.

The face-off battle went back and forth from period to period. The Sharks won 61% in the third, but the Flyers won 52% in the first and 75% in the second, and the only face-off in overtime.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in San Jose against the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 PM PT.

In other news, the Sharks announced that they have put Evander Kane on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. The statement specified that this was “for breach of his NHL Standard Player Contract and for violation of the AHL COVID-19 protocols.”

If that termination goes through, the Sharks will be free from all salary obligations to Kane and his salary will come off of their salary cap.

Sharks Win in Buffalo, Beat Sabres 3-2

San Jose Sharks goaltender Adin Hill stops one of the 37 shots he saved against the Buffalo Sabers this one in the first period in Buffalo on Thu Jan 6, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 Thursday. It was just the Sharks’ fourth win in Buffalo in franchise history. Matt Nieto, Timo Meier, and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks. Adin Hill made 36 saves for the win. Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 18 saves in the loss.

The Sharks were again without Logan Couture and Jonathan Dahlen but defenseman Mario Ferraro returned to the lineup from the COVID-19 list. Goaltender James Reimer was also unavailable due to a lower body injury of unspecified severity. This puts some pressure on Adin Hill to return to form as the starter.

Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner mentioned that Adin Hill had his swagger back in Thursday’s game, and the team fed off of that confidence. He summed up the team’s performance as: “We weren’t perfect but we were a lot better and it’s a good sign.”

Sharks forward Matt Nieto talked about scoring a goal with his line-mates Andrew Cogliano and Nick Bonino: “We haven’t really created offense the way we would like to. We think we’ve gotten a lot of chances so it’s nice to get one tonight. Hopefully more start coming.”

Nieto started a brief first-period flurry of scoring for the Sharks at 12:27. Andrew Cogliano sent the puck up from the goal line to Nieto inside the face-off dot. Nieto took the shot from an awkward angle but got it by Luukkonen on the blocker side. Assists went to Cogliano and Nick Bonino.

Timo Meier made it 2-0 at 13:44. Tomas Hertl got the puck across the line and then dropped it to Meier. Meier took a quick shot from the point and rang it off the post and in. Assists went to Hertl and Mario Ferraro.

Tomas Hertl made it 3-0 at 17:24. Alexander Barabanov cleared the puck out of the Sharks zone and then chased it down to carry it into the Sabres zone. He dropped it to a trailing Hertl who took the shot from the slot for his 17th of the season.

Jeff Skinner scored for Buffalo at 7:56 of the second. Skinner pulled the puck out of a board battle and carried it to the slot before taking the shot. The puck went over Hill’s stick, off the post and in. Victor Olofsson got the assist.

Zemgus Girgensons made it 3-2 with a power play goal at 18:14 of the third. Tage Thompson took a shot from the point that went off of the bar and came back out to bounce down Hill’s shoulder before landing behind him. Before Hill could find it, Girgensons swept it in. Assists went to Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin.

The Sabres pulled their goaltender with 92 seconds left and made a good push but the Sharks held on.

The Sabres out-shot the Sharks in every period for a shot total of 39-21, and in the third period they out-shot the Sharks 22-5. The Sabres also beat the Sharks in the face-off circle, winning 60% of the draws. The Sharks only had one power play but had no shots on that one. The Sabres had three power plays in which they had seven shots and a goal.

The Sharks’ next game is on Saturday in Philadelphia against the Flyers at 4:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Red Wings 6-2

San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88) and Detroit Red Wings center Robby Fabbri (14) scramble for the puck at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tue Jan 4, 2022 (AP New photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks (17-16-1) fell 6-2 to the Red Wings (16-15-3) in Detroit on Tuesday. Pius Suter (2), Tyler Bertuzzi (2), Dylan Larkin, and Robby Fabbri scored for Detroit. Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves for the win. Jasper Weatherby and Alexander Barabanov scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 20 saves on 24 shots in the first two periods, and Adin Hill made 5 saves on 7 shots in the third.

The Sharks have given up six or more goals in three of their last four games. In two of those, they scored five or more goals, but the Sharks’ defensive game is struggling. After the game, Brent Burns talked about the power play and the game in general: “It’s just gotta be better. At the end of the day you’ve gotta figure it out, put the next guy in a good spot, you gotta start executing, doing things on the same page. Obviously it’s not good enough.”

Logan Couture and Lane Pederson on the COVID-19 list, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic out as a healthy scratch, the Sharks were short-handed even before they lost Jacob Middleton to injury in the first period. Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the absence of key players and how it may be undermining the team’s confidence:

“You worry about team confidence. That’s what we need to get back here. You know, I think losing [Couture], and not having Mario [Ferraro], and having [Rudolfs Balcers] out for a while, we’re thin, we’re a little bit thin. Some teams can miss three or four players and they don’t miss a beat. And they’re better teams in the league, they’re elite teams. We’re not and that means we’ve got to come together and play a little smarter and a little harder.”

At 13:02 of the first, Tyler Bertuzzi threw the puck to the net from below the goal line. It went off of James Reimer’s stick and into the net. Assists went to Gustav Lindstrom and Dylan Larkin.

Late in the period, Red Wings forward Givani Smith received a five minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton. Middleton left the ice and did not return to the game.

The Sharks started the second period with more than three minutes left on the power play. Instead of scoring, they gave up two short-handed goals. Prior to the game, the Red Wings had gone 100 games without a short-handed goal.

Pius Suter scored the first, after breaking away while Alexander Barabanov tried to chase him down from the other side of the ice.

Tyler Bertuzzi scored his second of the game less than 40 seconds later, also short-handed. This time, the Red Wings left the Sharks power play behind with a two-on-one. Assists went to Carter Rowney and Moritz Seider.

Jasper Weatherby got one back at 4:03. Weatherby deflected a Brent Burns shot while cutting through in front of the net. Assists went to Burns and Jeffrey Viel.

Pius Suter scored his second of the game at 9:32. Michael Rasmussen set him up with a back hand from the goal line and Suter’s quick shot beat Reimer on the glove side. Assists went to Rasmussen and Nick Leddy.

The Sharks put Adin Hill in net to start the third period.

Alexander Barabanov had a Tomas Hertl shot go off of his skate at 1:40 of the third, for his sixth goal of the season.

A couple of minutes later, Dylan Larkin skated around the Sharks defense and shot the puck past Adin Hill for his 16th goal of the season. Assists went to Lucas Raymond and Gustav Lindstrom.

Robby Fabbri scored his ninth of the season at 5:01. He picked off a Brent Burns pass and shot it right into the far side of the net.

Midway through the third, a scrum erupted in front of the Detroit net, ending with two more game misconducts, one to Jeffrey Viel and one to Tyler Bertuzzi. They also received roughing minors, creating two minutes of four-on-four.

The Sharks were out-shot by the Red Wings 31-26. The Sharks prevailed in the face-off circle, winning 52% of the draws. It was Burns’ 631st consecutive game.

The Sharks’ next game will be Thursday in Buffalo against the Sabres at 4:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 8-5 to Penguins; Pens open up six goal surge on SJ in first period

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evan Rodrigues (9) celebrates his hat trick with Bryan Rust (17), the Penguins scored six goals in the first period at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Sun Jan 2, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks started 2022 off on the road, losing 8-5 to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The victory marked the Penguins’ eighth win in a row. Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust each came away with hat tricks for the Penguins.

Kasper Bjorkqvist and Jake Guentzel scored the balance of the Pittsburgh goals, while Casey DeSmith made 22 saves for the win. Alexander Barabanov, Brent Burns, Matt Nieto, Jacob Middleton and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks. James Reimer made 11 saves on 17 shots in the first period before being replaced by Zach Sawchenko, who made 20 saves on 21 shots.

The Penguins scored four goals in the first 6:09 of the game, and went on to score two more before the end of the first period. “It snowballed on us. We couldn’t stop it. We tried to call time out, we tried to switch things out, but it was ugly,” said Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner after the game. He summarized the game as: “You score five goals on the road, you should at least come out with a point. So I think that speaks to a couple things on our side.”

Boughner praised his rookie goaltender, Zach Sawchenko:

“Young guy, never played a [NHL] game before, you know, going in to a 6-1 game in a building like this against a team like this. I thought he showed a lot of character, I thought he battled hard for us, and he gave us a chance to come back.”

Sawchenko allowed just one goal, and that one on the power play, in his two periods in net.

The first Pittsburgh goal, at 1:09, came from Evan Rodrigues. The Penguins had a two-on-one into the zone. Rodrigues got around Radim Simek and took a shot between the defenders that got by Reimer on the stick side. Assists went to Marcus Pettersson and Danton Heinen.

Jake Guentzel scored at 3:12. Rust made a pass across the ice, through the blue paint and Guentzel sent it right back to the net. Assists went to Rust and Sidney Crosby.

Rodrigues scored his second at 4:11. On another odd-man rush, Rodrigues carried the puck all the way to the net before lifting it in with a backhand shot. Assists went to Heinen and Dominic Simon.

Bryan Rust scored at 6:09. He took the shot from low in the slot. There was some traffic in front of the net, but no one between Reimer and Rust. Assists went to Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin.

Barabanov scored one at 15:33. Timo Meier sent the puck to the net aloft. Barabanov knocked it out of the air and the slipped it around the goaltender. Assists went to Meier and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Kasper Bjorkqvist scored his first NHL goal at 16:29. Radim Zohorna sent the puck into a mass of bodies at the net. The puck went to Bjorkqvist who had dropped to a knee and was ready to nudge it back in. Assists went to Zohorna and Sam Lafferty.

Rust scored his second of the game at 19:32. He took the shot from the blue line into net traffic. It bounced over Reimer on the stick side. Assists went to John Marino and Marcus Pettersson.

The Sharks replaced Reimer to start the second period, putting rookie Zach Sawchenko into his first NHL game with the team down 6-1.

Brent Burns scored the only goal in the second period, with a blast from the blue line. The goal came on the power play at 14:27. Assists went to Nick Bonino and Noah Gregor.

Matt Nieto scored just 20 seconds into the third period with a carom off the end boards that went off of DeSmith and in. Assists went to Jacob Middleton and Andrew Cogliano.

Jacob Middleton scored at 3:01 with a redirection of an Erik Karlsson shot from the point. Assists went to Karlsson and Meier.

Logan Couture brought the Sharks within one goal at 4:09. Meier centered the puck out of traffic along the boards and Couture was ready to shoot it in.

Evan Rodrigues scored his third of the night at 17:59 on the power play. Rodrigues’ shot went past Erik Karlsson and between Jake Guentzel’s skates before getting to the net. Assists went to Kris Letang and Bryan Rust.

Bryan Rust scored into an empty net at 19:49. Assists went to Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel.

The Sharks were out-shot 39-27 in the game. They won 66% of the face-offs. The Sharks penalty kill allowed four shots and two goals. Their power play had one shot and one goal.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Detroit against the Red Wings at 4:30 PM PT.

Sharks Finish 2021 With a 3-2 OT Win Over Flyers

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) scores an overtime goal on Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Felix Sandstrom (32) at SAP Center in San Jose on Thu Dec 30, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime on Thursday. Logan Couture, Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks and James Reimer made 23 saves for the win. Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee scored for the Flyers and Felix Sandstrom made 43 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“I thought we played a complete 60 minutes. You know, no game is without mistakes, both teams made ’em. But I thought we played to our game plan, to our mentality, we grinded it out. Would have been nice if we found a little more puck luck earlier in the game.”

James Reimer took a moment to mention the opposing goaltender, Felix Sandstrom:

“Honestly, we should probably spend 30 seconds to a minute talking about their goalie. Hats off to him. I think that was his first start and a really tough situation for him. I think they got in pretty late last night. And obviously their team didn’t have their legs tonight. So, you know, hats off to him. He played great and he should be proud of his first game.”

(The Flyers did not arrive until 4:30 am)

The Sharks out-shot the Flyers 12-7 in the first period, but failed to score, even with two power plays. Instead, Morgan Frost got the Flyers on the board at 15:23. Travis Konecny raced through the neutral zone with the puck before dropping it to Oskar Lindblom on the outside. Lindblom gave it right back and Konecny centered if for Frost.

Logan Couture tied the game with a short-handed goal at 5:20 of the second period. Couture chased the puck down in the neutral zone after Cogliano got it out. Couture then pushed the puck past Keith Yandle for a self pass and made a dash for the net. It was his 11th of the season. Assists went to Cogliano and Jacob Middleton.

Brent Burns gave the Sharks the lead at 7:20. Tomas Hertl carried the puck into the zone, then spun around and made a pass to Brent Burns, who making a beeline for the net. Assists went to Hertl and Middleton.

The Sharks out-shot the Flyers 16-9 in the second period. Their power play had two chances but no shots. Their penalty kill allowed one shot and took three in two kills.

Midway through the third period, the Sharks had to kill a 5-on-3, with Brent Burns and Timo Meier in the box. Their penalty kill allowed just two shots. San Jose followed that up by stretching out a delayed penalty for 45 seconds with a line change thrown in. In all, the Sharks out-shot the Flyers 16-7 in the third. Still, the Flyers scored.

Joel Farabee took a pass from Oskar Lindblom and took a shot from the top of the face-off circle. His shot got by Middleton’s stick and Reimer’s blocker to tie the game. Assists went to Lindblom and Yandle.

Tomas Hertl ended it in the final 30 seconds of overtime. Erik Karlsson carried the puck in with Hertl 2-on-1 against Travis Sanheim. Karlsson centered the puck at the last second. Hertl’s first shot did not go but he knocked the rebound in.

The Sharks only won 46% of the face-offs but they out-shot the Flyers 46-25.

The Sharks next play on Sunday against the Penguins in Pittsburgh at 10:00 AM PT. The Sharks added defenseman Mario Ferraro to their COVID-19 protocol list Thursday, and removed forward Jonathan Dahlen.