Sharks Wrap Rough Season With One Last Loss to Oilers 5-2

San Jose Sharks’ goalie James Reimer (47) is scored against by the Edmonton Oilers during second-period in Edmonton on Thu Apr 13, 2023 (Canadian Press via AP News photo)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks season mercifully ended Thursday night in Edmonton, with the Sharks dropping a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in the finale. San Jose can now finish as low as 29th in the overall standings pending the Columbus Blue Jackets result Friday night.

Erik Karlsson assisted to finish the year with an eye-popping 101 points on 76 assists and 25 goals. It would take some extreme mental gymnastics and talks about +/- and standings for him to not earn the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. Noah Gregor scored for a second night in a row and Steven Lorentz also lit the lamp for the Sharks (22-44-26).

The Oilers received goals from Evan Bouchard, Leon Draisaitl and Evander Kane and Mattias Janmark, last year’s money laundering trade target for the Sharks vis-a-vis a move to Vegas, scored two goals for the Oilers (50-23-9). Draisaitl also had a pair of assists and Connor McDavid was held to as many points (1) as goaltender Stuart Skinner.

Janmark scored his 9th of the year on a deflection 4:16 into the first period after Skinner played the puck from behind his own net to Mattias Ekholm. Ekholm, still in the Oilers end, fed the puck to Janmark going down the middle. While Janmark was originally turned away by a defensive poke check on a gritty net front swoop, he found his own rebound to beat James Reimer.

Leon Draistail scored an Oilers club record 89th power play goal on a backdoor tap-in, his 52nd goal of the year, at the 6:56 mark of the first for a 2-0 Edmonton lead. The goal was a combination from Draisaitl (128 points) and two other Century Club members Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (104 points) and not so much presumptive but guaranteed Hart favorite Connor McDavid (153).

Noah Gregor pulled the Sharks within one at 2-1 by driving the net on a Thomas Bordeleau’s rebound at the 9:44 mark, lighting the lamp for the 10th time this year in his hometown. Lorentz picked up the secondary assist for the first of two points on the night.

Bouchard put the Oilers up 3-1 after taking a Draisaitl no-look backhander in the home plate area for an easy slot chance at the 5:02 mark of the second period. Mattias Janmark scored a shorthanded goal against a tired Sharks power play unit with 4:56 left in the period to put the lead at 4-1.

The Sharks would get a power play goal back with 1:12 left in the period thanks to Lorentz’s 10th of the year assisted by Tomas Hertl and Karlsson, but that would be the last of their scoring for the 2022-23 season. Kane scored the dagger with just under 5 minutes left in regulation for the 5-2 final, adding insult to injury after getting away with a high stick that stunned Henry Thrun long enough for the Oilers forward to get into place for an easy goal.

The Sharks wrap up one of their worst seasons since the expansion days with the opportunity to possibly score a top-three (maybe even first overall) pick in the NHL Entry Draft this summer. First-year general manager Mike Grier will have his hands full this offseason with some decisions on players in long-term but cumbersome deals and limited cap space while hoping to supplement the young talent still learning the game like Thrun, Bordeleau and William Eklund with veterans who can contribute and fill key roles.

Also of question will be the netminding, with Kaapo Kahkonen being the only NHL goaltender under contract next season. Whether Erik Karlsson gets traded and whether the Sharks can land the top overall pick or another generational talent will dictate the competitive level of this team next season and in the years to come.

Kähkönen has Career Night But Sharks Burned By Wolf, Flames 3-1

San Jose Sharks forward Jacob Peterson (24) is checked by Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov during the first period in Calgary on Wed Apr 12, 2023 (Canadian Press via AP News photo)

by Matthew Harrington

Kaapo Kähkönen made 46 saves, Radim Simek picked up his second assist of the season and Noah Gregor scored his 9th goal of the season, but the San Jose Sharks fell to the Calgary Flames 3-1 Wednesday night in Calgary. Nikita Zadorov potted the hattrick for Calgary (38-27-17) in their first game since being eliminated from playoff contention and Gilroy native Dustin Wolf turned aside 23 Sharks shots to win his first NHL game.

Kähkönen set a career high in saves and shots against for the losing Sharks (22-43-16). He matched his high of 46 shots against once besides his second start of his career, the same game in which he made 44 saves to beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

On Wednesday he saw 48 and stopped 46. Baffling, he was omitted in the Three Stars of the game in favor of a deserving Zadorov and Wolf and not so a debuting Matt Coronato who made his debut for Calgary and registered no points and four shots on goal and was +1.

Simek started the Sharks goal-scoring play by breaking up a play in the Sharks end then feeding a streaking Gregor with a pass through center ice. Gregor followed up his first attempt and got the rebound to Wolf’s right for his ninth goal of the year 10:26 into the first period.

Nine goals sets a new career high for Gregor who scored eight last year in 63 games. It was also Simek’s first assist since December 13th against Arizona and his third point overall in 43 games.

Zadorov tied the game after sneaking through the Sharks defense undetected. He took a pass from Andrew Mangiapane and buried it at the 13:36 mark of the second.

He added a wrist shot score 4:01 into the third for a Flames 2-1 lead, this time working through traffic. MacKenzie Weegar and Nazem Kadri assisted on the game-winning goal.

While Zadorov netted the third goal on an empty netter, credit is due for the degree of difficulty. He hit the empty net from his own defensive end with a minute left in regulation for his 14th goal of what has been a career year.

The Sharks season wraps up Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers. The Sharks currently sit in 29th place with 60 points. The Blackhawks and Ducks have one game remaining and sit at 58 points while Columbus is clear three points of San Jose with two games left.

Gregor Hat Trick Paces Sharks to 7-2 Rout of Coyotes

The San Jose Sharks right winger Danil Gushchin (75) and defenseman Jacob MacDonald (9) are thrilled with the results against the Arizona Coyotes at the Mullet Arena in Tempe AZ on Sat Apr 1, 2023 (@SanJoseSharks photo)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks (22-39-15) seem to have missed the memo on tanking for the best lottery odds, routing the Arizona Coyotes (27-37-13) Saturday night 7-2 from Mullett Arena.

Noah Gregor scored his first career NHL hat trick, Kyle Criscuolo and Danil Gushchin picked up their first NHL goals and Erik Karlsson had four assists to sit five points shy of 100 points on the season with six games to play for the Sharks season (22-39-15). J.J. Moser and Milos Kelemen scored for Arizona (27-37-13)

Gregor opened the scoring 1:30 into the game after Nico Sturm forced a turnover at the Coyotes blue line. Gregor took the puck and scored easily for his 6th goal of the year.

Jacob Peterson stayed hot after joining the Sharks. He scored his first goal of the year on the power play at the 8:38 mark on the power play. He now has four points over his first five games with the Sharks.

Kyle Criscuolo broke through for his first goal of his career at the 13:02 mark when Clayton Keller turned the puck over, leaving Criscuolo alone on a breakaway. Moser pulled the Coyotes within two by scoring on the power play with 2:53 left in the first. Criscuolo had previously played 16 games in the NHL after parts of two seasons.

Gushchin picked up where he left off in the USHL and AHL, sniping a top corner power play goal 1:41 into the second. He was making his NHL debut, lighting the lamp for a 4-1 edge.

Gregor potted goal number two at the eight minute mark of the third. Logan Couture picked up his 27th goal at the 10:10 mark on the power play. Gregor converted the hat trick with 5:13 left to play. Kelemen scored his first career goal for the Coyotes to close the scoring ledge, advantage Sharks 7-2. Kaapo Kähkönen made 29 of a possible 31 saves in net for San Jose.

By virtue of winning their last three contests, the Sharks now sit in 29th place, out of the top spot in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. They may move further down the standings after two games versus the Avalanche this week.

Karlsson Sets Career High in Assists, Sharks Lose 5-3 to Flames; Ninth straight loss for San Jose

Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund (11) is all smiles as the Flames had a break out game against the San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome in Calgary on Sat Mar 25, 2023. Sharks goaltender Kappo Kahkonen (36) can only skate away (photo by NHLFlames)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks lost their ninth consecutive contest Saturday Afternoon, falling to the Calgary Flames 5-3 from Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Erik Karlsson picked up a pair of assists notch a single-season high in assists and Nico Sturm, Logan Couture and Martin Kaut scored, but the lone good news from the Sharks (19-39-15) this weekend was via the signing of college prospect Henry Thrun out of Harvard.

Tyler Toffoli scored twice for the Flames to surpass the 30 goal mark and tie a career high for the Flames (33-26-15) who now sit four points pack of the Winnipeg Jets for the last Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

Nazem Kadri scored 5:45 into the third period, netting his 23rd of the year, to put Calgary ahead 4-3. Tyler Toffoli added the empty netter with 1:10 left in play for the final score. The Sharks had led 3-2 late in the second period after trailing 2-1 after the first period.

MacKenzie Weegar and Toffoli scored in the first 10 minutes of the first period but Logan Couture’s netfront drive put the Sharks on the board at the 14:25 mark of the period. Karlsson took a pass from Andrew Agozzino and drove down the right wing, pulling Jacob Markstrom to the post before feathering a pass to a crashing Couture for a deflection goal, his 25th score of the year. Karlsson picked up his 67th assist, a single-season career high on the play.

Nico Sturm tied the game 4:52 into the second period, backhanding a Noah Gregor shot pass by Markstrom for his 14th goal of the year. Karlsson assisted on the goal as well, his 90th point of the year with nine games left to play. Martin Kaut added his third goal of the year and second with the Sharks since coming over at the trade deadline just 22 seconds later.

The Flames responded at the 5:39 mark of the period, tying the game just 25 seconds after the Kaut goal. Trevor Lewis intercepted a failed Sharks clear and passed it to Walker Deuhr, open to Kaapo Kahkonen’s right on the far post. Deuhr ripped it home for his fifth goal of the season. Kahkonen made 25 saves on 29 shots in the Sharks net.

The Sharks return home Tuesday night looking to snap their losing skid. They’ll face the Winnipeg Jets, the team directly above the Calgary Flames in the standings. After that, the Vegas Golden Knights await a Thursday night tilt at home for the Sharks. The possibility that the loss streak will be at 11 by the time the Sharks face the Coyotes in Glendale on Saturday remains real given the quality of opponents ahead.

Sharks Fall to Oilers 5-4 in OT, Four Goals Overturned

San Jose Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44), Erik Karlsson (65), Fabian Zetterlund (20) and Logan Couture (39) celebrate after a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during second-period at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Mon Mar 20, 2023 (Canadian Press via AP photo)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks lost to the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 in overtime Monday night in a contest that saw an unofficial record four goals overturned. Erik Karlsson scored a pair of goals to set a career high and Alexander Barabanov and Steven Lorentz scored as well for San Jose (19-37-15). Darnell Nurse scored the OT winner for the hosting Oilers (40-23-8) and and Mattias Ekholm netted a pair. Connor McDavid was “limited” to just two points on assists.

Tomas Hertl had a goal wiped off early in the first when Barabanov was ruled offside, but the Russian winger would atone for rushing in too early at the 5:48 mark of the first period. Barabanov took a Hertl pass and clapped a slapshot past Jack Campbell for the 1-0 lead. Nick Bjugstad answered back with his 16th of the year 1:20 later. The Oilers would have goal number two erased later in the period on a goaltender interference call off a Zach Hyman chance.

Kailer Yamamoto scored just 30 seconds into the second period for a 2-1 lead, but the Sharks had an answer on a presumed Andreas Johnsson goal. It’d be erased on another goaltender interference call with Logan Couture grazing Campbell. Steven Lorentz would tie the game at the 8:32 mark when he batted the puck past Campbell. Andrew Agozzino, called up after serving as Barracuda captain all season, had the primary assist on a tap pass for the goal.

Erik Karlsson gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead at the 10:23 mark, beating Campbell on a set of back-hand fore-hand dekes that left jaws dropped. Fabian Zetterlund and Couture assisted on Karlsson’s 21st of the year. Ekholm answered back at the 11:48 mark on a back-hander, but Karlsson stepped up again with 5:37 left in the period.

Karlsson beat Campbell on a wrist shot, his 22nd goal of the year. Karlsson now has a career year in goals after topping his 2014-15 season total of 21 and a career past in points with 87. He sits just one assist shy of matching his career-best set in 2015-16.

Noah Gregor had a goal called off for offside as well, and Ekholm then made the Sharks pay for it by tying the game with just 3:47 left in regulation. Darnell Nurse scored just 15 seconds away from a shootout to finish off the comeback.

Edmonton outshot the Sharks 51-32 including a decisive 8-3 margin in OT. James Reimer still managed a .902 save percentage, saving 46 of 51 Oilers shots in his first game since Saturday night’s refusal to wear a themed warm up jersey in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

The Sharks continue the Western Canada swing, facing the Canucks Thursday before returning to Alberta to face the Flames Saturday.

Karlsson Matches Franchise D-man Mark, Sharks Get Swept By Blues in 4-2 Loss

The St Louis Blues center Robert Thomas (18) is jazzed as the Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks at the Enterprise Center in St Louis on Thu Mar 9, 2023 (@StLouisBlues photo)

By Matthew Harrington

Erik Karlsson matched the San Jose Sharks single-season record for points by a defenseman, but the Sharks still fell to the St. Louis Blues 4-2 Thursday night in the Gateway City, suffering a season sweep at the hands of their Midwest foes. Tomas Hertl scored the Sharks other goal and Alexander Barabanov had a pair of assists in defeat. The Blues (28-31-5) received goals from four different players. The Sharks (19-35-12) had a 26-19 shot edge heading into the third period, but were tied at 2-2 before the Blues cracked the game open late. San Jose had two possible goals called back for not crossing the goal as well.

Karlsson will certainly smash the franchise record, set by Brent Burns in the 2018-19 season. Burns set the mark over 82 games with 16 goals and 67 assists for a Sharks team that picked up 101 points for a second place finish in the regular season standings for the Western Conference. What makes Karlsson’s feat all the more impressive is that this iteration of the Sharks will finish somewhere…. much lower in the standings.

For Karlsson, the team feat matches an individual achievement. The Swedish defenseman’s previous career high in points was 82, coming in a rare full season for the injury-riddle d-man for the 2015-16 Ottawa Senators. He sits one goal off his career high of 21 in 2014-15 and three back of matching his career high in assists of 66 in his previous career-best year. He also now has the second best point total by a defenseman 32 years or older since Ray Bourque had 91 points(1993-94) per Curtis Pashelka of the San Jose Mercury News. Brent Burns was also 34 when he had his 83 point season.

Karlsson scored his 20th goal of the year much like he scored many of his others 10:23 into the first period , beating Jordan Binnington on a snap shot through traffic that had eyes. He’s mastered the dying art of goal scoring by a defenseman this season even as goals have been hard to come by for San Jose.

The Blues Torey Krug tied the game up at the 12:31 mark of the period after he was sprung on a two-on-one with Robert Thomas carrying the puck. Thomas passed the puck to Krug while Nico Sturm backchecked Alexei Toropchenko into Kaapo Kahkonen in the Shark’s net for a 1-1 tie.

The Blues’ Sammy Blais skated in on the breakway before going fore-hand back-hand on Kahkonen at the 10:06 mark of the second period to score his third of the year, but Tomas Hertl answered back with his 18th of the year with 5:29 left in the period. Alexander Barabanov forced a turnover on the forecheck, passed the puck to Hertl streaking down the center lane and picked up the assist when Hertl beat Binnington clean for a 2-2 tie.

Just 2:53 into the third period the Blues took the 3-2 lead on Jakub Vrana’s first goal with the Blues after a shot went wide on the Sharks net. Pavel Buchnevich tried to bank the rebound off Kahkonen’s back side but didn’t convert. The rebound was there for Vrana to bat home though.

Robert Thomas sealed the game for the Blues on a power play goal with 4:58 left in regulation. The Sharks offense sputtered in the final frame, putting only eight shots on the Blues net while surrendering 12. Despite the late power play strike, the Blues were only 1 for 4 on the power play while the Sharks failed to convert on any of their four opportunities.

San Jose returns home to face the Minnesota Wild Saturday night. It kicks off a four-game home stand with tilts with the Blue Jackets, Kraken and Islanders looming at the SAP Center.

Avalanche Crush Sharks 6-0; Karlsson loses it after officials miss call

San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson sits on the bench assisted by the Sharks trainer just before throwing his helmet on the ice and receiving an unsportsmanship like conduct after taking a non call high stick to the mouth against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Wed Mar 7, 2023 (still photo from NBC Sports and SJ Hockey Now)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks got a glimpse of just how far off from Stanley Cup contention they are Tuesday night in Denver, getting steamrolled by the defending Cup Champion Avalanche 6-0. The Sharks were stifled to just 13 shots, all turned aside by Alexander Georgiev.

Cale Makar and Valeri Nichushkin had four point nights and six different Avs scored in the rout. Kaapo Kahkonen made 19 saves on 24 shots against Colorado (35-21-6) and James Reimer stopped 18 of 19 in relief playing in back-to-back contests.

The Sharks (19-34-12) opened the game flat, managing only a pair of shots on goal in the first period. They found themselves trailing 3-0 after Cale Makar scored his 14th goal 4:08 into the game. Nathan MacKinnon doubled the lead at the 12:51 mark for his 26th of the year and Mikko Rantanen scored his 42nd on the power play with 2:59 left in the period. Colorado put 19 shots on goal in the period.

San Jose raised its shot total to five shots in the middle period, but again the Avs peppered the Sharks netminders to the tune of 15 shots. Nichushkin scored his 12th of the year just 1:22 into the period on a tip-in, Dennis Malgin made it 5-0 Colorado just 1:23 later and Arturi Lehkonen pitched in his 18th of the year, this one on Reimer who replaced Kahkonen after the Malgin goal.

Reimer finished up the game strong, stopping all nine Avs shots. The damage had already been done and the Sharks wound up committing two misconducts, one on Erik Karlsson and the other on Marc-Edouard Vlasic in the final period. They had 30 penalty minutes in total on the night. Karlsson was hit in the mouth with a high stick by the Avalanche’s Alex Newhook after being attended on the bench by the trainer Karlsson threw his helmet on the ice and said after the game he was disrespected by the officials Gord Dwyer and Corey Syvret for not making the high stick call.

The Sharks face the St. Louis Blues Thursday night in game three of a three game road trip. They’ll return home Saturday to face the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center.

Reimer, Sharks Ground Jets with 3-2 OT Win

San Jose Sharks celebrate a victory over the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg on Mon Mar 6, 2023 (Canadian Press via AP News photo)

By Matthew Harrington

James Reimer and the San Jose Sharks stole victory from the jaws of defeat Monday night in Winnipeg, beating the Jets 3-2 in overtime. Reimer made 36 saves, Tomas Hertl scored to tie the game with five seconds left and Logan Couture potted the game winner in OT for the win.

Nino Niederreiter and Nate Schmidt scored for the Jets (36-25-3) who have now lost eight of their last ten. Nikolai Knyzhov made his season debut for the Sharks (19-33-12), making his first regular season appearance since May 12th, 2021. He played 14:19 with one hit, one block and one penalty.

The Sharks held a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 14-7 after the first period thanks to a Steven Lorentz goal with 5:47 left in the period. David Rittich failed to put his glove on a loose puck that Lorentz scooped up for a backhand amongst of sea of bodies. Oskar Lindblom and Levin Labanc picked up the assists.

Niederreiter tied the game 6:05 into the second on a wrist shot, beating Reimer for the first time on the Jets 19th shot of the game for his 200th career goal and 19th of the season. Schmidt scored with 5:07 left in regulation and the Jets seemed on their way to victory.

The Sharks pulled Reimer trailing 2-1 and were rewarded for the risk. Erik Karlsson’s point slapper was blocked by Blake Wheeler but the shot richocheted perfectly to Hertl just wide of the slot. Hertl rifled a shot past Rittich with 11 seconds left in regulation, his 17th goal of the year forcing overtime.

Couture picked up his second point of the night on the game winner, with Karlsson springing him on a breakaway after picking up a rebound in the Sharks end for a second assist of the night. Couture’s 22nd of the year went backhand through Rittich’s five hole 1:21 into overtime.

After beating the Jets, third in the Central Division standings, the Sharks face another tough task Tuesday night. They face the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in the Mile High City.

Sharks Fold Late in Sin City, Slip to Vegas 2-1

San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier (28) attempts to skate around Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Zach Whitecloud (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP News photo)

By Matthew Harrington

Thursday night’s 2-1 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena could be representative of the San Jose Sharks season as a whole. Get severly outshot but still hold the lead for a time; check. Punch up against a superior class team for a majority of the game; check.

The Sharks lead into the third period but give up the advantage late; check. The only thing missing for San Jose (17-28-11) was an Erik Karlsson point or two (or three or four as this season has gone).

Alexander Barabanov scored his tenth goal of the year and Kaapo Kähkönen played brilliantly once again, making 36 saves on 38 shots but a Vegas (33-18-4) goal tied the game early in the third period and finished off the Sharks on a William Carrier goal with 18 seconds left in regulation to pick up their fourth consecutive win.

The Sharks were outshot 38-26, thanks largely to seven Golden Knights power plays, but killed off all the opportunities and survived a 14-4 first period shot differential to lead the Pacific Division leaders after 40 minutes.

The game-winner came on an offensive faceoff win for the Golden Knights and was a result of Matt Benning and Nick Bonino both getting tied up with Nicolas Roy in the slot.

Two defenders on one man allowed Carrier to sneak into the far post unmarked. Chandler Stephenson was able to make the connection and Carrier was able to hammer home the tap-in for his 15th of the year. Bonino drew an abuse of officials misconduct for arguing Roy’s entanglement.

Vegas tied the game on another Sharks miscue after Tomas Hertl wiped out in the offensive zone, with Jack Eichel spring Paul Cotter on a two-on-one. He elected to shoot rather than pass through Karlsson, beating Kähkönen from the face-off dot 6:22 into the third. Cotter has goals in three-straight.

Barabanov stayed hot for the Sharks, picking up his eight point in six games when he scores on the rebound with 2:56 left in the second period. His tenth goal of the year came off a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot, with Logan Couture picking up the secondary assist. Kähkönen has allowed just eight goals over his last four starts.

The Sharks return home Saturday night to face the Buffalo Sabres. It kicks off a seven-game homestand filled with teams struggling to make the playoffs or fully entrenched in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes, a welcome sight after the grueling road trip of late January and early February.

Sharks Beat Capitals 4-1, Kähkönen leaves game with injury

The San Jose Sharks picked up a three goal win against the Washington Capitals at the Capital One Center in Washington DC on Sun Feb 12, 2023 (@SanJoseSharks photo)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks (17-26-11) wrapped up their eight game road trip with a 4-1 win against the Washington Capitals (28-21-6), finishing the grueling trek that began January 21st in Columbus a respectable 3-3-2. There were plenty of positives like Erik Karlsson’s three-point effort, Tomas Hertl’s first goal since January 11th and Kaapo Kähkönen’s third strong showing. Kähkönen also was involved in the negative of the day, exiting the game with an injury after 37 minutes. Aaron Dell made the final eight saves in relief with James Reimer out with an illness.

Kähkönen exited the game on Washington’s scoring play. Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to drive the net and slide the puck past Kähkönen on the far post, making the score 2-1 Sharks at the time with 3:04 left in the second period.

The Sharks Evgeny, Svechnikov, opened the scoring 2:54 into the game. He beat Ryan Lindgren after entering the Caps zone on the left wing and beat the netminder glove side. Karlsson had the secondary assist while Jonah Gadjovich picked up his fourth helper.

Alexander Barabanov scored on the power play 9:04 into the second on a rebound in the slot. Hertl had the initial shot and Karlsson assisted as well, his 55th of the year.

After Kuznetsov’s goal, Karlsson added breathing room at the 12:55 mark, taking a facroff win along the boards and firing a snifter for his 18th of the year. Hertl added the empty netter, and first in 11 games.

The Sharks return home for a Valentine’s Day date with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Then they hit the road, though they won’t log as many miles this time. It’s a trip to Sin City for a bout with Pacific Division rival Vegas before returning home Saturday night against Buffalo.