Sharks Fall to Lightning 3-2 in OT

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) watches a shot get by him as Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn for a goal during the second period at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on Wed Feb 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The Sharks fell 3-2 in overtime to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Anthony Cirelli, Brayden Point and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 19 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks. James Reimer, making his fourth start in a row, stopped 29 shots in the loss.

The Sharks defense saw the return of both Mario Ferraro and Jake Middleton. Ferraro, wearing a full face shield, skated 27:21 minutes. He had one shot, five blocked shots, and two hits. Jacob Middleton skated 15:33 and had four hits. Of Ferarro’s return, teammate Brent Burns said: “To step back in and battle through, that’s Mario, he’s just been… he’s that kind of guy all year. That’s the stuff that… it’s huge for teams.”

Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

“What a warrior, man. I was pretty shocked when I got to the rink today and he was getting that visor put on his helmet. I thought he was nuts but he wants to play, he wants to play for the guys in the room and those are leaders. Those are guys that they’ll do anything to help their teammates out in a tough spot. And a lot of respect to Mario.”

A scoreless first period saw each team’s power play go to work, with the penalty kills prevailing. Each power play finished with two shots on goal. The Lightning outshot the Sharks slightly, 9-7. The Sharks had a similarly slim edge in the face-off circle, winning 8 of 15 draws.

Anthony Cirelli broke the ice with a goal at 1:32 of the second period. Cirelli brought the puck into the zone right down the slot before making a quick pass to Brayden Point on his right. Point drew Reimer out of position with a faked shot and then passed it back to Cirelli who was still on his way to the net. Cirelli had an open net to shoot at for his 13th of the season. Assists went to Point and Ryan McDonagh.

Rudolfs Balcers tied it up at 4:50 with his sixth of the season, and the Sharks’ first shot of the period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a shot from the point and Balcers redirected it in. Assists went to Vlasic and Logan Couture.

Tampa Bay took the lead again at 18:08 with a power play goal. With a two-man advantage, Steven Stamkos took a shot that bounced into the air. Killorn gloved it down to his stick for the shot. Assists went to Stamkos and Victor Hedman.

The Lightning finished the second period on a power play, but as soon as that expired at the start of the third, Steven Stamkos was called for tripping and the Sharks went on the power play.

Logan Couture tied the game during the first minute of that power play, 1:12 into the period. From the point, Brent Burns sent the puck to Couture for a redirection. Couture was in the slot, half-way up by the hash marks. Assists went to Burns and Alexander Barabanov.

At the nine-minute mark, Brayden Point went down after some contact with Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Unfortunately, he fell right in the path of Alexander Barabanov, who tripped over his head, knocking Point’s helmet off with the front of his skate. Fortunately, the blade didn’t catch Point. No penalty was called on the play.

The Sharks fended off a strong push from the Lightning in the second half of the third but did get the game to overtime. The Sharks missed out on a power play at 2:06 when Meier was called for embellishment as Ryan McDonagh was called for tripping.

Victor Hedman scored the game winner 41 seconds later with a shot from the slot through traffic.

Timo Meier has not scored a goal in the last five games. He scored once after his spectacular five-goal game in San Jose. He had no shots on goal Tuesday and was assessed a double minor and the overtime penalty.

The Sharks next play on February 14 at home, against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 PM PT.

Lightning Strike Sharks 7-1

photo from sfgate.com: Lightning center Brayden Point gets around a stick check by Sharks defenseman Brent Burns during the second period of the Tampa Bay victory.

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 7-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Despite two first period power plays, including a double minor, the Sharks lost by their largest margin this season. Goals came from Tyler Johnson (2), Alex Killorn, Steven Stamkos (2), Victor Hedman and Carter Verhaeghe. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 37 saves in the win. The Sharks’ lone goal came from Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Martin Jones made 17 saves on 21 shots before being replaced by Aaron Dell, who made 14 saves on 18 shots.

After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

I thought we played pretty well through two, I thought we had some good five-on-five looks, they scored a power play one at the end there. But I didn’t like our third period. Kinda gave them some freebies and let our goalies down out there, but for the first forty I thought we played hard and could have been one, two goal game. But, yeah, I just didn’t like our third period.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer had the same view of the third period: “You know, the third period was just unacceptable, it was just a poor effort. I think instead of sticking with it, I think we felt sorry for ourselves after that fourth goal and, you know, maybe started thinking about tomorrow but you can’t do that in this league.”

Tyler Johnson’s first goal of the game came at 3:10 when he caught Carter Verhaeghe’s pass from the half boards. Steven Stamkos was skating across in Jones’ line of sight as the puck sailed by him.

The Sharks out-shot the Lightning 15-10 in the first period and had two power plays, one four-minutes long after Mathieu Joseph caught Marcus Sorensen with his stick and drew blood. They held the Lightning to just the one goal until 12:29 of the second period.

Alex Killorn scored his eighth goal of the season when Martin Jones got turned around making a save and lost track of the puck. Killorn found the puck just outside the blue paint and lifted it over the prone goaltender.

Steven Stamkos scored his eighth at the very end of the second period, during a four minute power play caused by a a high stick from Kevin Labanc. Stamkos spent a long time hovering around the face-off dot while his team moved the puck around and finally passed to him. He used a neat wrist shot to beat Jones on the short side. Assists went to Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn.

The Sharks out-shot the Lightning 15-9 in the second period.

Victor Hedman scored 52 seconds into
the third. Anthony Cirelli carried the puck right up to the doorstep and then made a pass through the blue paint to Hedman. Hedman was at the goal line and his shot was from an impossible angle, except that it went off of Jones and in. Assists went to Cirelli and Killorn.

Aaron Dell came in to replace Jones in net after that.

Tyler Johnson scored his second of the game at 3:51 of the third. Aaron Dell had come out to play the puck but Carter Verhaege was there to take it away from him and send it back up ice to Stamkos in the face-off circle. Johnson was on his way to the net and arrived just in time for the pass from Stamkos.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored for the Sharks at 14:44. Vlasic caught a rebound from an Erik Karlsson shot and carried it down below the face-off dot to shoot it into the top corner on the short side. Assists went to Karlsson and Timo Meier.

Stamkos scored his second of the game on a power play at 15:36. Timo Meier was in the box for slashing Brayden Point. Just seven seconds into the penalty, Victor Hedman took a shot from the blue line. Killorn and Stamkos were both set up to tip the shot but Killorn got it. Dell stopped that one but Stamkos was ready to tap the rebound in. Assists went to Killorn and Hedman.

Carter Verhaege scored his first NHL goal at 19:35 on a breakaway. He shot it into the far side from a sharp angle without ever slowing down. Assists went to Pat Maroon and Yanni Gourde.

The Sharks will next play Sunday at 2:00 PM PT against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise.

2019 NHL All-Star Game: Metropolitan Eliminates Atlantic Division 7-4

Photo credit: @NHL

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The second game of the 2019 All-Star Game series was between the Metropolitan Division and the Atlantic Division. Though most of the game was close, the Metropolitan Division took the lead late and ran away with it for a 7-4 win. The Metropolitan team was coached by Washington’s Todd Reirden and the Atlantic team was coached by Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper. New York’s Henrik Lundqvist was in the Metropolitan Division net for the first half, with Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy defending the Atlantic Division net.

Fifteen seconds into the first half, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby gave the Metropolitan Division the lead. Cam Atkinson got an assist.

The Metropolitan team took a 2-0 lead at 1:56 with a goal from Seth Jones with assists to Kyle Palmieri and Cam Atkinson.

The Atlantic Division got a goal back from Buffalo’s Jack Eichel at 2:04, assisted by David Pasternak.

The Metro Division got a second goal from Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos at 3:13 with an assist to Toronto’s John Tavares.

The Atlantic Division got a second goal from Seth Jones in the final moments of the first half.

To start the second half, Washington’s Braden Holtby took the net for the Metropolitan Division and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard took the net for the Atlantic.

Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner scored for the Atlantic Division just 56 seconds into the second half, beating Washington goaltender Braden Holtby. Boston’s David Pastrnak got an assist. Holtby gave up another at 1:28 to Toronto’s John Tavares. Florida’s Keith Yandle got an assist there.

The Metropolitan Division tied it back up at four with another goal from Sidney Crosby at 3:57. An assist went to his Pittsburgh teammate, Kris Letang. Letang added a fifth Metropolitan goal at 6:22.

Carolina’s Sebastian Aho scored a sixth goal for the Metropolitan team, with an assist to Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux. The lead grew to a 7-4 lead at 9:14 when Columbus’s Cam Atkinson scored, assisted by Sidney Crosby.

The Metropolitan Division moved on to the second round to face the Central Division team.