Sharks Lose to Lightning 5-2 in Tampa Bay

San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) is knocked down by Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

by M. Walsh

The San Jose Sharks dropped the third game of this road trip to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 5-2. Two Lightning goals were scored by Tyler Johnson, two more by Nikita Kucherov and another by Cory Conacher. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made 25 stops in the game. Sharks’ goals were scored by Barclay Goodrow, who had just returned from injury, and Justin Braun. Martin Jones stopped 38 shots for the Sharks.

The loss was a modest improvement over their previous loss to Tampa Bay, a 5-1 loss in San Jose on November 8, but it ended a four-game winning streak for San Jose in Tampa Bay. The Lightning continue to dominate in the NHL standings, maintaining a slim lead over the Winnipeg Jets. Entering Saturday’s game, they had a record of 17-6-2. On the other hand, half of those losses came in their last four games.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer saw few bright spots in his team’s game. DeBoer said: “The good news was that our goalie was outstanding, he was by far our best player. He gave a us a chance going into the third to get some points tonight. But we didn’t have enough contributions. We would have needed 20 guys tonight plus Jonesy’s effort. They’re a desperate team and rested, and we didn’t help ourselves.”

Beyond that, DeBoer seemed willing to put the loss behind him and move on. DeBoer said: “We’re not going to be down here in a back-to-back with half our team out again so we don’t have to worry about that.”

Sharks forward Logan Couture expressed disappointment with the loss. Couture said: “They out played us again. You know, you can say we’re on a back-to-back and all, I know that but still got to show up and put forth a better effort than we did tonight.”

Later, Couture acknowledged that the team really is in a tough spot with injuries. Couture said: “You know, we’ve been playing good hockey. This is back-to-back, we got a bunch of guys go down within a few game period. It’s tough. You miss three forwards who usually play in your top nine, so other guys gotta step up and gotta find a way to be competitive.”

The Sharks’ injury list changed overnight between Florida games. Goodrow returned from injured reserve and Jones was ready to start. Joonas Donskoi and Tim Heed were placed on injured reserve, while Marcus Sorensen was called up from the AHL’s Barracuda. Sorensen did not play Saturday, but will be available Monday.

Both Heed and Donskoi’s IR status was retroactive to the last game they played. For Heed, that was November 25, and for Donskoi it was November 28.

Additionally, Melker Karlsson was not available after being injured Friday. Kevin Labanc was back in the lineup and got credit for four shots on goal, more than any other Shark Saturday.

San Jose did hang in there for the first two periods, but in the third, the Lightning took the Sharks apart. The Sharks scored first, the only goal of the first period. With just over three minutes left in the period, Ryan Carpenter made a cross-ice pass to Daniel O’Regan as he skated down the right side. O’Regan took the shot and the rebound went right to Goodrow on the left side. He had an open net from that angle and he put it away. Assists went to Carpenter and O’Regan.

The Sharks went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead, but had been outshot 15-8 by Tampa Bay.

The Lightning’s first period effort paid off early in the second period, as Nikita Kucherov tied the game up just 27 seconds in. Ondrej Palat carried the puck in and the Sharks defense set up to prevent a cross-ice pass to Kucherov. In doing so, they left their goaltender to handle any shot from Palat. Instead of shooting, Palat took the pass and it made it through three defenders to Kucherov, who had Martin Jones moving across and not quite ready to stop his shot. Assists went to Palat and Brayden Point.

The Lightning again outshot the Sharks in the second period, this time 16-8.

Joe Thornton was called for high sticking Tyler Johnson at the end of the second period. The Lightning started the third period with 1:56 of power play time. At 1:39 of the third, Johnson scored a power play goal to give the Lightning the 2-1 lead. Palat shot the puck into the zone so that it came off the back boards while Johnson skated in and caught it right in front of Jones. Assists went to Palat and Mikhail Sergachev.

Johnson scored again after Victor Hedman got a breakaway and would have scored had Brenden Dillon not caught the puck on the goal line. As he cleared it from the crease, Johnson was coming in fast and the puck came right to him. He put it back in over Jones.

Cory Conacher scored at 11:01, after a shoot in from Dan Girardi caught Justin Braun inside the knee. Seeing the defenseman drop to the ice, Conacher skated by him and caught a cross-ice pass from Alex Killorn. His shot went over Jones’ left shoulder as the goaltender came across to follow the puck. Assists went to Killorn and Yanni Gourde.

Braun did not stay down for long, and returned to stop the bleeding at 13:37. Braun caught the puck after an offensive zone faceoff. His blue line shot went cleanly through five skaters to beat Vasilevski on the glove side. An assist went to O’Regan.

Nikita Kucherov came back with a fifth goal at 15:37 off a breakaway after Logan Couture tried to shoot the puck in from the blue line and it his Kucherov instead. The bounce gave Kucherov the head start he needed.

The Sharks next play on Monday in Washington DC against the Capitals at 4 pm PT.

Sharks Beat Ducks in Shootout 2-1, Extend Win Streak to Four

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

by M. Walsh

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday. Corey Perry scored for the Ducks early in the first period, while Joel Ward scored late in the third for the Sharks. Joonas Donskoi scored the difference-maker in the shootout. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the win, while Ryan Miller made 44 saves for Anaheim.

After the game, Jones said:

I thought we played really well tonight. If you look at the really high quality scoring chances, I mean I could probably count them on one hand, for the ones we gave up. So, it was a really solid game for us, I mean we could have run away with that one if Miller doesn’t play the way he does. So it was a good game.

The win represents the Sharks fourth in a row, their first real win streak of the season.

Despite the lukewarm start to the season, Joe Pavelski said that the team is feeling no panic:

I don’t know if you guys are panicking, I mean your questions are kind of sounding like that. There was no panic on the bench, there hasn’t been. We believe we’ll score, we’re getting a little bit of depth scoring right now, we’re winning games. We’re playing with the lead, we’re doign a lot of stuff that we’re trying to accomplish out there.

Both teams were missing key players on Saturday. The Sharks went into the game without Marc-Edouard Vlasic or Paul Martin, putting added pressure on the younger blueliners Joakim Ryan and Tim Heed. Dylan DeMelo entered the lineup after sitting out the last 10 games. On the Ducks’ side, Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler and Ryan Kesler were absent. The lone Sharks goal from Joel Ward and Barclay Goodrow would be some of that depth scoring that Pavelski spoke of. Goodrow has only played two games this season, and Ward has only played eight of the team’s 13.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer chose to put Goodrow at center on Saturday, though he has mostly played on the wing for the Sharks.

DeBoer explained that decision after the game:

I talked to him a little bit about it. He admitted he hadn’t played there in a long time but he had taken some draws recently for us in some games and did a good job and he’s a smart player. The way we play, we’re interchangeable down low. I thought that he could do it and help us and he did.

The Ducks got on the board first with a goal from Corey Perry. Perry caught a long pass through and across the neutral zone from Grant. This gave him a clean breakaway. Jones almost stopped the shot but it trickled through his pads and sputtered into the goal. The first period ended with the Ducks leading 1-0 and the shots 12-7 Sharks. The Sharks had two power plays in the first period, but did not score.

The Ducks were very organized in their own zone. It was rare to see any space for the Sharks to work with. Through most of the game, the Sharks seemed to be struggling to execute.

Pavelski did not see it as struggling:

I don’t know if we struggled. I think there was a couple times we maybe got caught trying to do too much or trying to be a little aggressive and gave up some odd mans, which we haven’t done, you know on the road trip and in the previous couple of games. It’s just something you have to stay on top of, but overall I liked the effort, liked a lot of the plays we had. Just gotta find a way.

By the middle of the second period, the Sharks had taken eight more shots to the Ducks’ four but the score was unchanged. No penalties came, no goals. The period dragged on.

The Ducks had their only power play in the middle of the third period. At the very end of that power play, Joel Ward and Barclay Goodrow caught a break and escaped through the neutral zone with just one Duck back to defend. Ward’s pass got by the defender, and Goodrow took the shot. Miller stopped it but Ward right on top of him to pick up the rebound and put it home. Goodrow received the only assist.

The game remained tied through the third and overtime. During the overtime period, the Sharks got credit for four shots and the Ducks none. In a six round shootout, Joe Pavelski scored on the Sharks’ first shot, while Joonas Donskoi scored on their sixth. For the Ducks, Rickard Rakell scored with a reaching backhand.

Up Next
The Sharks next play on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Sharks Preseason 2017: San Jose Wins 5-3 to End Preseason

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

by M. Walsh

After two losses in a row, and six periods without a goal, the Sharks finished the preseason with a 5-3 win in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights. The game winner came on the power play from young defenseman Nick DeSimone. Goaltender Aaron Dell stopped 20 of 22 shots in the first half of the game, while Troy Grosenick stopped 14 of 15 in the second half. For Las Vegas, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 of 32 shots.

NHL regulars to skate for San Jose included Joel Ward, Chris Tierney, Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi and Brandon Bollig. Dylan DeMelo was the most veteran defenseman. John McCarthy and Barclay Goodrow, AHL veterans with significant NHL time under their belts, skated as well.

The Sharks were outshot 13-6 in the first period. Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas scored first at 8:08. The Sharks had an offensive zone draw but McCarthy lost it to Haula. As the puck bounced around behind Fleury’s net, Haula predicted its path well enough to reach it in the slot and took off down the ice before McCarthy or Simek could catch him.

Late in the period, DeSimone went to the box for holding the stick. During an abbreviated 4 on 3 power play, David Perron was unable to hold the puck in after Radim Simek cleared it from in front of the net. Marcus Sorensen was there, chasing the puck out and he had momentum on his side when the puck slid over the blue line. Perron and Vadim Shipachyov both gave chase. DeSimone pulled up as Fleury came out to meet him on the edge of the blue paint. DeSimone moved the puck to his left while diving over Fleury’s legs to tap the puck in. Simek got the assist on the tying goal.

The Sharks picked up their game in the second, scoring twice and outshooting Vegas 13-9. At 4:28, Chris Tierney scored on a power play while Jason Garrison sat in the box for tripping. It only took seven seconds for the team to get set up. Joel Ward sent the puck to the blue line where Tim Heed caught it and sent it to Dylan Demelo, who shot it. Tierney tipped it in for San Jose’s first lead in seven periods.

Near the halfway point of the period, Ryan Carpenter redirected a stray puck out of the Sharks zone, to Barclay Goodrow along the neutral zone boards. Finding himself free to do so, Goodrow skated to the faceoff circle and put a shot over Fleury’s left shoulder. It was the Sharks’ only even-strength goal of the game.

Two minutes later, the Sharks thwarted a three on two rush from Vegas, but could not get the puck back out before David Perron got control of the puck along the blue line. After a moment’s reflection, he took the long shot and scored. William Karlsson got the assist.

After that goal, the shot count was 22-11 Las Vegas.

A couple of minutes later, Cody Eakin carried the puck around behind the Sharks net and found Colin Miller just crossing the blue line. Eakin’s pass reached Miller perfectly for a quick shot to tie the game. Assists went to Eakin and Shea Theodore.

Tied going into the third, the game winner came on a power play just past the halfway mark. After surviving a three on two short-handed rush, the Sharks went the other way quickly enough to keep the Knights from getting their penalty kill set back up. A shot from Daniel O’Regan produced a rebound that DeSimone was able to push under Fleury. Assists went to O’Regan and Timo Meier.

The Knights pulled Fleury with 1:45 left, and used their timeout. The Sharks kept the Knights to the outside of their zone until the final 30 seconds when Grosenick stopped a shot from Schmidt and kicked it right up into the slot. Luckily, Joel Ward was there to help it along, all the way down and into the empty net.

Ironically, Timo Meier and Mikkel Boedker led the Sharks forwards in shots on goal with four each, yet came away with just one assist between them. For the Knights, Jason Marchessault got credit for seven shots on goal.

The Sharks will play their first regular season game on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers in San Jose. The game starts at 7:30 PM PT.

San Jose Barracuda Tuesday game wrap: Fischer and Wood get Roadrunners early lead hand Cuda 2-1 loss in first of two meetings photo: San Jose Barracuda forward John McCarthy (17) is chased by the Tucson Roadrunners center Chris Mueller (19) as the Roadrunners goaltender Adin Hill (33) looks on Tuesday night at SAP Center

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda pulled within a goal in the second period, but their comeback bid fell short and they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Tuscon Roadrunners at SAP Center Tuesday.

The Barracuda — the Roadrunners

The Roadrunners got on the board first. Christian Fischer took a pass from Chris Mueller and put it into the net for his 20th goal of the season at 15:57 of the opening period.

The Roadrunners went on their first power play of the game after Barclay Goodrow went to the box for tripping at 12:22. They capitalized with the man advantage for a 2-0 lead 43 seconds later. Kyle Wood used a wrist shot to beat Troy Grosenick stick-side for his 14th goal of the season. With that goal, Wood currently leads the AHL in power-play goals (11) among all rookies.

Shots were 12-9 in favor of the Barracuda, but they trailed the Roadrunners 2-0 after 20 minutes.

The Barracuda cut the lead in half with 5:51 left in the second period. Adam Helewka tried to beat Adin Hill five-hole, but hit the left post. Ryan Carpenter proceeded to clean up the rebound for his 14th goal of the season.

Alex Schoenborn was called for cross-checking just as time expired at the 20-minute mark. Despite outshooting the Roadrunners 21-16, the Barracuda continued to trail 2-1 after 40 minutes.

Schoenborn served his cross-checking penalty during the first two minutes of the third period.

The action intensified midway through the period. Dakota Mermis was called for hooking at 12:38. Less than a minute later, Jamie McBain received a double minor for high-sticking Rourke Chartier.

In his postgame press conference, Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer confirmed Chartier was okay after taking a stick to the face.

Hill was called for delay of game with 20.5 seconds left in regulation. The Barracuda went on the power play, but were unable to capitalize with the man advantage, and their comeback fell short.

The Barracuda (43-16-2-5) dropped a 2-1 decision to the Roadrunners (27-31-8-0).

“I think our power play is kind of (good) and we got some weapons on there,” Colin Blackwell said when asked if there was anything his team could’ve improved on the power play. “I don’t think they have to really improve anything…I think if we just keep shooting, we’ll score on the power plays…It was just one of those nights where we didn’t get ahead of them, but they’re a good team and I expect them to that (capitalize on power plays) for the rest of the year.”

“I thought we were (real) flat,” Sommer said. “You know, especially the first 20 minutes, 25 minutes until we scored in the second (period) and then the game picked up a little bit.”

The Barracuda honored Grosenick’s AHL Goalie of the Year victory on the jumbotron. Fans gave him a big round of applause.

The Barracuda were without Zack Stortini as he served the first game of his two-game suspension after a controversial incident with the Stockton Heat Sunday. Stortini was accused of kneeling Heat defenseman Oliver Kylington.

The Barracuda went with six defenders: Joakim Ryan, Tim Heed, Mirco Mueller, Julius Bergman, Dan Kelly and Jacob Middleton.

Up Next
The Barracuda and Roadrunners return to action Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

San Jose Barracuda Sunday post game wrap: Cuda wrap up conference title in overtime 2-1 over Stockton photo: San Jose Barracuda celebrate on their bench as they defeat the Stockton Heat 2-1 in overtime on Sunday afternoon at SAP Center

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda clinched the Western Conference, wrapping up their 12-game season series against the Stockton Heat with a 2-1 overtime victory at SAP Center Sunday.

After a quick stop in Stockton Saturday night, the Barracuda returned to San Jose to open a three-game homestand, starting with the Heat.

Following a brief fight, Zack Stortini received a slashing penalty while Jamie Devane sat in the box for cross-checking.

“It’s two teams that compete hard against each other,” Stortini commented. “We’re both playing for something and we’re very competitive so those kinds of games are very fun to play in.”

Andrew Mangiapane was called for high-sticking with 9:22 left in the period. The Barracuda got into another fight with the rival Heat. This time, it was over a questionable call made by the officials. Julius Bergman’s shot bounced off the end boards and Ryan Carpenter tried to slam the puck into the net, but the call stood. No goal for San Jose.

The Barracuda opened the scoring with just 51.5 seconds left on the clock. Garnet Hathaway went to the box for holding the stick. Tim Heed sent a pass to Danny O’Regan, who blasted it into the net, beating David Rittich for a power-play goal — his 22nd of the season.

The Barracuda led the Heat 1-0 after 20 minutes. Shots were 20-7 in favor of San Jose.

Things remained chippy in the second period as Mirco Mueller dropped the gloves with Ryan Lomberg for a fight at 13:08. As a result, both players served two-minute minors for roughing.

The Barracuda held a 1-0 lead over the Heat after 40 minutes. San Jose outshot Stockton 36-14.

The action ensued in the third period. Buddy Robinson dropped the gloves with Austin Carroll for an intense fight just 2:03 into the period. Consequently, both players served 10-minute misconducts and two-minute roughing minors.

Jacob Middleton was called for tripping at 14:07. Mike Angelidis then finished a tic-tac-toe play from Mangiapane and Mark Jankowski for a power-play goal — his seventh goal of the season — tying the game 1-1 at 13:39.

The game headed into overtime after the Barracuda and Heat remained in a 1-1 deadlock after 60 minutes. Troy Grosenick made a notable save, stopping the puck with his glove to prevent a potential game-tying goal from a Heat forward.

Barclay Goodrow scored the game-winning goal — his 25th of the season — to lift the Barracuda to a 2-1 win at 2:48 of the overtime period.

The Barracuda (43-15-2-5) edged the Heat (33-25-5-2) in a 2-1 overtime victory. Grosenick finished with 20 saves for San Jose.

“I was a little bit bored there,” Grosenick said when asked about how he shot the puck back and forth with Rittich. “So I wanted to play pass with somebody and I passed it to him. Then he took a shot on that and I wasn’t happy with that.”

Rittich made 47 saves in a losing effort for Stockton.

When asked about the melee between both teams, Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer didn’t have much to say.

“I don’t know man,” Sommer responded. “It was kind of just a heat of the moment thing…I don’t remember what he said. It was just one of those things and it’s kind of a team thing. They get under your skin and into your mind and shame on me, I guess.”

Notes Sommer received a misconduct — his second of the season — after attempting to discuss a call with the Heat bench. He now has 20 penalty minutes, zero goals and zero assists.

O’Regan was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team Wednesday.

Grosenick and Heed were selected to the AHL First and Second All-Star Team Thursday.

Up Next The Barracuda continue their homestand Tuesday when they host the Tuscon Roadrunners (26-31-8-0) at 7:00 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW

San Jose Barracuda Wednesday game wrap: Meier scores twice as Barracuda crush Ontario 5-1 photo: San Jose Barracuda forward Timo Meier (28) finds the back end of the net as he scores on the Ontario Reign’s defenceman Matt Roy (3) at SAP Center on Wednesday night in AHL action

By Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda dethroned the Ontario Reign with a 5-1 victory at SAP Center Wednesday.

The defense was strong in the opening period. It was a goaltending duel as Barracuda goalie Troy Grosenick and Reign backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff made the necessary saves to keep the game scoreless.

Things got chippy late in the period when Zack Stortini dropped the gloves with Paul Bissonnette for an action-packed fight. Both players received five-minute majors for fighting and two-minute minors for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Barracuda and Reign skated to a scoreless tie after 20 minutes. Shots were 16-9 in favor of San Jose.

Timo Meier broke a scoreless deadlock halfway through the second period. Meier collected a pass from Barclay Goodrow and fired the puck into the net, beating Zatkoff short-side for his 13th goal of the season.

The Barracuda took a 2-0 lead when Danny O’Regan sent a pass to Meier, who tipped it into the net to beat Zatkoff for his second goal of the game and 14th of the season.

The Barracuda outshot the Reign 28-16 and led 2-0 after 40 minutes.

The Reign cut the Barracuda’s lead in half when T.J. Hensick scored a power-play goal — his 14th overall — after Colin Blackwell went to the box for hooking at 13:48 of the third period.

However, the Barracuda extended its lead to 3-1 with 7:29 left in the period. Tim Heed fired a shot from the right point past Zatkoff for his 14th goal of the season.

Joakim Ryan’s shot missed the net, but Buddy Robinson tipped it in for his 15th goal of the season, extending the Barracuda’s lead to 4-1 with 4:03 left in the period.

48 seconds later, Adam Helewka collected a pass from Joakim Ryan and put it into the net for his 13th goal of the season, expanding the Barracuda’s lead to 5-1.

The Barracuda (42-14-2-5) beat the Reign (33-20-10-0) by a score of 5-1. Grosenick finished with 23 saves in a San Jose victory.

Zatkoff made 33 saves in a losing effort for Ontario.

“They (Barracuda) don’t always go in for you,” head coach Roy Sommer said when asked about his thoughts on tonight’s power play opportunities. “But they get a lot of good looks. I think we’re leading the whole American Hockey League in power-play percentage…As long as you’re getting the looks and you’re getting some quality chances on it…The PP (Power Play) and PK (penalty kill) ebbs and flows are normal…I don’t think there’s a lot of stuff to worry about. We only had three of them tonight.”

O’Regan was named to the 2016-17 AHL All-Star Team.

Sommer celebrated his 60th birthday. He was born on April 5, 1967 in Oakland, Calif.

Sharks reassigned Meier to the Barracuda.

Up Next
The Barracuda head to Stockton Arena to face the Stockton Heat (32-25-4-2) Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

San Jose Barracuda Saturday post game wrap: Barracuda offense chips away at Moose to take two game set 6-3 photo: San Jose Barracuda forward John McCarthy (17) puts some follow through into his swing against the Manitoba Moose on Saturday night at SAP in AHL action

by Ana Kieu

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Barracuda swept the back-to-back series with a 6-3 victory over the Manitoba Moose at SAP Center Saturday.

The Barracuda and Moose wrapped up their four-game season series this weekend. San Jose entered the second game of a back-to-back with the AHL’s best home winning percentage (.776) while Manitoba ranks 21st in road winning percentage (.429).

The Barracuda controlled the tempo for a little over half of the opening period as they had the first eight shots until the 9:06 mark. The Moose committed two penalties when Brian Strait went to the box for tripping at 13:38 and Kevin Czuczman was called for delay of game less than two minutes later. San Jose then broke a scoreless deadlock as Buddy Robinson cleaned up the rebound of Adam Helewka’s shot and put it into the net, beating Jamie Phillips for his 14th goal of the season.

“Absolutely,” Robinson said when asked about his thoughts on home-ice advantage. “Home-ice advantage is important in the playoffs and I think anyone who you talk to is going to say the same thing…The (Barracuda) fans out here have been great and this team has been hot so the fans have been coming out to show their support and we love it…It’s easier to play at home (SAP Center) because you have the same routine everyday…The more home ice we get, the more better we’ll be.”

Ryan Carpenter made it a 2-0 game with just six seconds left in the period. Carpenter collected a pass from John McCarthy and stuffed the puck through traffic, which went over Phillips’ pads for his 13th goal of the season.

The time on the clock winded down and the Barracuda held a 2-0 lead over the Moose after 20 minutes. Shots were 21-6 in favor of San Jose.

The Moose cut the Barracuda’s lead in half early in the second period. Patrice Cormier’s shot from the point deflected off of Jacob Middleton. Czuczman tipped in the deflection to beat Clarke Saunders top-shelf for his eighth goal of the season.

Peter Stoykewych was called for tripping at 13:52. The Barracuda went on the power play and capitalized with the man advantage. Joakim Ryan collected a pass from Tim Heed and fired it into the net for his 10th goal of the season, giving his team a 3-1 lead 21 seconds later.

The Moose scored another power-play goal to pull within one at the 14-minute mark. Mirco Mueller was called for cross-checking. Dan DeSalvo then collected a pass from Scott Kosmachuk and beat Saunders for his 16th of the season.

The Barracuda outshot the Moose 31-23 and brought a 3-2 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes.

Zach Stortini scored his third goal of the season early in the third period, expanding the Barracuda’s lead to 4-2. Stortini’s scoring attempt worked despite crashing the net for a goal and then crashing into the net himself. However, San Jose’s comfortable cushion was short-lived as the Moose went on the power play after Barclay Goodrow was assessed a slashing penalty at 15:59. Kyle Connor put home the rebound to make it a one-goal game 16 seconds later.

The Barracuda scored an insurance goal for a 5-3 lead over the Moose with a little over three minutes left in regulation. Helewka sent a pass to Rourke Chartier, who fired a long-range shot past Phillips short-side for his 17th of the season. McCarthy capped off the scoring with an empty-net goal — his 18th of the season — with 51.7 seconds left in regulation.

“We’re all kind of on the same page,” McCarthy said. “It’s a nice feeling.”

The Barracuda (41-14-2-5) beat the Moose (25-36-4-5) by a score of 6-3. Saunders stopped 32 of 35 shots in his first appearance in San Jose. Phillips made 36 saves in a losing effort for Manitoba.

“It was an unbelievable way to start,” Saunders gushed. “And it kind of let me ease my way into it. I just want to thank them (Barracuda) for working their butts off tonight.”

The Barracuda are 4-0 against the Moose and won seven straight games against Central Division teams.

“It’s kind of unusual,” Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer recalled. “But they (Moose) had 3-for-5 or something like that. We were pretty much right on, but we had some rebounds and stuff like that. Overall, the game we had was alright.”

Carpenter played in his 200th AHL game.

Up Next
The Barracuda host the Ontario Reign (33-19-10-0) Wednesday to conclude a three-game homestand. You can tune into the game on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.

Barracuda Cool Off Heat in 5-1 Win

By Mary Walsh

photo credit: San Jose Barracuda

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Barracuda trounced the Stockton Heat to the tune of 5-1 on Sunday. It was the Barracuda’s first game back from the holiday break, while the Heat were playing their second in two days. It may not have been a must-win for San Jose, but it certainly was a should-win. Barracuda goaltender Troy Grosenick made 31 saves on 32 shots. Barclay Goodrow scored two goals, Trevor Parkes, Petter Emanuelsson and Bryan Lerg scored the other three. Ryan Carpenter had two assists in the game. The lone Stockton goal was scored by Derek Grant.

Troy Grosenick in net for San Jose, Joni Ortio in net for Stockton. San Jose wore home whites and Stockton was in their red and black uniforms. Despite starting the game by chasing down Turner Elson in their own zone, the Barracuda quickly established themselves in the offensive zone and kept pressure on for several shifts.

The Heat pushed San Jose back in the third minute of play, though most of their progress was facilitated by Barracuda errors. Turnovers and ill-conceived passes almost combined to give Stockton the lead, but Troy Grosenick stopped the puck and allowed San Jose to regroup.

McNally had a very good shitft early in the first period. He stole the puck, intercepted passes, took a couple of shots, kept the puck in when it looked on its way out.

The Barracuda took the lead 7:49 into the first period. Nikolay Goldobin caught puck near boards behind goal line, shot it at Ortio’s pads, and had it come back to him. He shot it again, and Jeremy Langlois caught that rebound. Langlois shot it and Trevor Parkes deflected it in.

San Jose padded their lead less than two minutes later when Ryan Carpenter caught puck behind net and passed it to Gus Young at the point. Young shot it and Petter Emanuelsson caught the rebound and threw it past Ortio.

The Barracuda took the first penalty of the game at 12:06, Nikita Jevpalovs went to the box for high-sticking, but his teammates killed the penalty off.

With 5:54 left in the period, San Jose got a power play as Stockton’s Garet Hunt went to the box for slashing. The Heat penalty kill was as effective as the Barracuda one. After the power play ended, Stockton came on with renewed vigor. The Barracuda could not seem to get in passing lanes as the Heat came through the neutral zone, and San Jose found themselves trapped for a long spell, defending their zone. Grosenick had a couple of close calls but he kept the Heat off the board.

With 1:09 left in the period, the Barracuda’s Bryan Lerg went to the box for slashing. San Jose started the penalty kill with a short-handed rush, and when the play returned to the Barracuda zone, Grosenick made a good save through traffic, snuffing some energy from the Heat.

At the end of the first, the score was 2-0 Barracuda, and the shots were 14-10 Barracuda.

San Jose killed off the rest of the penalty to strt the second, and then followed up with another strong push.That was cut off by a penalty to Joakim Ryan for interference at 3:27.

The Heat power play was cut short when Emile Poirer was called for hooking at 4:09. The Barracuda made good use of their short power play when Karl Stollery took a shot from the point, while Goodrow and Carpenter waited at the net. Ortio scrambled to keep the puck out but Goodrow and Carpenter kept after it. Bryan Lerg arrived late as the puck came away from the scramble. He took the shot to give the home team a 3-0 lead. Assists went to Stollery and Carpenter.

Near the half way mark, a Stockton shot rang off the post in an unusual manner, triggering a video review that came to naught. The review did give the Barracuda a little time to rest up for a penalty kill, as McNally had just gone to the box for high-sticking.

With 8:27 remaining in the second, Barlcay Goodrow skated in to the Stockton zone and put a puck right under Ortio for a 4-0 lead. Stockton changed goalies after that, putting Kent Simpson in net.

Gallant and Ryan Lomberg exchanged blows after a questionable hit, and both went for five minutes. Kenny Agostini served the two minutes for Lomberg’s charging penalty.

The Barracuda power play was ineffective and almost as soon as it ended, Petter Emanuelsson went to the box for interference. The Stockton power play opened with a quick short-handed chance for San Jose. Grosenick’s shutout ended with that penalty, as the Heat took the puck round the outside of the Barracuda zone, ending with a near-the-goal-line shot from Derek Grant over Grosenick’s shoulder. Assists went to Jakub Nakladal and Morgan Klimchuk.

Another fight ensued, this time between Turner Elson and Julius Bergman. They joined Gallant and Lomberg in the box.

With almost three minutes remaining in the second, Mitchell Heard went to the box for cross-checking, giving the Barracuda another power play that they did not score on.

At the end of the second, the score was 4-1 and the shots 29-20 Barracuda.

The Barracuda did not have a shot through the first three minutes of the third period. Barclay Goodrow took one of their first shots of the period and scored his second goal of the game. Stockton goaltender Simpson tried to cover the puck in front of the blue paint, by falling forward onto it. The puck escaped him and Goodrow had a clear view of an open net. An assist went to Bergman.

The middle ten minutes of the period were relatively uneventful, save another Lomberg fight, this one with Greger Hanson. Another Heat power play came during the last six minutes, when Trevor Parkes went to the box for tripping. San Jose was pretty efficient at getting the pucks out without giving Stockton much time to shoot.

The Barracuda had yet another power play opportunity during the final two minutes, as Turner Elson went to the box for slashing.

Final score: 5-1 San Jose. Final shot count was 35-32 San Jose.

The Barracuda next play on Monday at 1:15 PST, against the visiting Charlotte Checkers.

Sharks Beat Ducks With Lively 3rd in Home Opener

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– Saturday, the San Jose Sharks won their home opener 2-0 against the Anaheim Ducks. The Sharks’ best period of the game was their third, and it was a relentless one. It seemed to be just the kind of game head coach Pete DeBoer was looking for from the Sharks:

That’s how we want to play with the lead. You want to keep your foot on the gas. We kept rolling four lines to keep our energy and our legs. The best defense for me in that situation is spending the period in the other team’s end and I think we did a good job of that.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski also talked about that third period push:

We kind of got better as the game went on, right from the start. The second was a little better and the third was definitely our best and it needs to be. I’d say last year that was one of the problems in this rink, we didn’t have strong thirds. So hopefully we can continue with that trend.

Joel Ward was asked about the developing chemistry between himself and his linemates, Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau:

When you get a chance to play with guys like Cootch and Marleau, it makes it a lot more fun, how dynamic they are and how skilled, what they can create on their own is pretty cool to watch. So, as you can see what Patty did tonight was a good example of that. Just try to get in the open areas and I just try to feed off them and know what they want from me, just communicating as best we can, it’s just going to continue to build.

Ward seemed to be communicating quite well with his linemates on Saturday, turning up in the right spot again and again, on both ends of the ice.

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones has also made an excellent impression in this two game sample. Martin Jones, after his second game and second win as a Shark, praised the team in front of him:

I thought we did a really good job. I mean, that’s a big, strong team up front and typically they do a really good job, getting in front of the net with bodies and with sticks. I thought we did a really good job boxing out and I was able to see a lot of pucks tonight.

As second games of the season go, this one was impressive: two goals from Patrick Marleau, two points for Joel Ward, and a second win from Martin Jones. The game even had two 31s in net, one at each end. Jones and Anaheim goaltender Frederik Andersen both wear 31.

With nine minutes left in the first, the shots were 7-3 Anaheim. Sharks had killed one penalty, but had had no power plays. They did, however, have a very good spell right about then, lasting almost three minutes and shifts for as many lines. The third line started it, with some aggressive play in the Ducks’ zone. The top line followed it up and the Sharks seemed to be on a roll and likely to score. When they finally had to defend again, Martin Jones was there to stop the Ducks. The game remained scoreless, but by the end of that little sprint, the shots were almost even, 9-8 Ducks. By the end of the period, the Sharks had a solid 13-9 lead in shots.

They were right back at it to start the second period, spending most of the first two minutes in the Ducks’ zone. After that, however, the Ducks pinned the Sharks for a solid couple of minutes. A breakaway from the third line broke up the Ducks’ momentum and ended with a discussion by the Ducks’ net. The second line picked up where the third left off, and added three shots to the Sharks’ tally in the space of a few seconds. By now, the Ducks were getting a little incensed.

By the middle of the second period, the game was clearly a goaltender battle. Both 31s were snuffing out scoring chances wherever they cropped up. Admittedly, they were few but that was partly due to quick reactions from the goalies.

The other limiting factor for those scoring chances was timing. A couple of shots fell flat for lack of follow-up and bodies in the right places. It was a reminder that this was only the Sharks’ second game of the season.

The game took on a delayed back and forth tempo, with each team trapping the other for a long shift before going the other way. The Ducks seemed to have the edge at the end of the period, catching up in shots and holding the zone just a little longer than the Sharks could.

The period was winding down to a scoreless close, but the Sharks’ second line had other plans. Joel Ward and Logan Couture chased the puck into the corner and kept after it. The announcer had just made the “one minute left” call when Ward got the puck to the net. Couture caught up with it on the other side and took a shot. Just then, Marleau followed up to take the third and fourth shots. He gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with the fourth one. Assists went to Couture and Ward.

The Sharks ended the second period up by one goal and three shots, 27-24.

In the middle of the third period, the fourth line of Barclay Goodrow, Chris Tierney and Mike Brown had a very good shift, holding the zone with tenacity, getting a couple of shots in, and maintaining their composure when the Ducks finally got the puck out. They finished by slowing Anaheim down enough in the neutral zone for the defense to get organized for a line change.

Around the 13 minute mark, the fourth line held the zone again with aplomb, aided by Tomas Hertl Hertl, who had missed his line change. Eventually, he did manage to switch with Tierney, without the Ducks ever gaining control of the puck. It was an impressive shift by the fourth line and the top defensive pair of Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun.

With almost six minutes left, the Sharks had taken twelve shots during the period. The Ducks had taken three.

Shortly after the next faceoff, Marleau scored his second of the game on the team’s 40th shot. It was a lovely wraparound after he carried the puck across the blue line and through the o-zone against two Ducks. The lone assist went to Joel Ward, who apparently made the pass while also playing it safe:

I knew he can do that so I just kind of “here, you take it, you go.” I came back to the bench… I knew we were in our zone a little bit and I just kind of tried to play it safe, I didn’t want to get caught up the ice. Next thing you know hands are up in the air and I was looking for water.

The Sharks got their first power play with 3:07 left in the game. The penalty went to Mike Santorelli for hooking Barclay Goodrow. They did not score but the power play prevented Anaheim from pulling their goalie or coming back in the last minutes.

The final shot count was 44-27 Sharks.

Patrick Marleau led the Sharks in shots with seven. Mike Brown led in hits with eight. Brent Burns had the most time on ice with 24:43. Martin Jones made 27 saves for the shutout.

Frederick Andersen made 42 saves for the Ducks, no small feat. That earned him the third star of the game. The first star was Marleau and the second was Martin Jones.

Jakob Silfverberg led the Ducks in shots with four, and Andrew Cogliano made the most hits for them: four.

The Sharks will hit the road and play Tuesday in Washington against Ward’s old team, the Capitals. The game will start at 4pm PT.

Sharks Lose 5-1 in Final Home Game of Season

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– In their last home game of the season, the San Jose Sharks fell to the Dallas Stars 5-1. Before the game finished, both the Sharks and Stars were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The Winnipeg Jets defeated the Minnesota Wild, putting the Jets out of reach for Dallas or San Jose. The Los Angeles Kings obliged the Sharks by losing in overtime to Vancouver. That makes it just possible that the Sharks could have the opportunity to play spoilers to the Kings’ last minute scramble into the 2015 playoffs. Probably that is not much motivation for the Sharks today. It is not clear what would motivate the Sharks at this point.

Joe Thornton scored the Sharks’ only goal on Monday. Jamie Benn scored the game winner for Dallas. Jason Demers was roundly applauded by the Sharks fans when he was featured on the jumbotron. The Sharks gave away a lot of signed jerseys and gifts for fan appreciation night. It is possible that those last two facts are more significant than the first two.

It did not matter, as far as playoffs go, who won Monday. Still, one team was more eager to win than the other.

28 seconds into the game, Jason Demers took a shot from the blue line. Al Stalock stopped it but kicked it out to Colton Sceviour, who was waiting, unmolested, between the blue paint and the faceoff circle. Sceviour scored, assists went to Demers and Vernon Fiddler. A few seconds later, Mike Brown and Antoine Roussel fought. They both went to the box and the score was still 1-0 Stars.

The Sharks took the first penalty of the game, a tripping penalty to Melker Karlsson. The Sharks killed the penalty off and by the midpoint of the period, they were near even on the shot clock.

At 9:51, Mike Brown was called for charging Trevor Daley, a call that did not go over well with the crowd or Brown. The hit was a beat late but Daley did just release the puck. The hostile encounter with Roussel just after the hit on Daley could have been called roughing, but the ref opted to go with the hit on Daley. The Sharks killed that penalty too.

The Sharks finally got a power play when Shawn Horcoff went to the box for holding the stick at 14:21. The power play generated some good chances but did not change the score.

The Sharks went back on the penalty kill with just 2:50 left in the period. Barclay Goodrow was in the box for elbowing Tyler Seguin. While everyone was mulling over that call, the Stars scored. They had some help from a couple of Sharks skaters who crowded their own goalie and did not help him out. Patrick Eaves had a clear shot at the net, though Logan Couture did try to impeded him from behind. Eaves got the goal, with assists going to Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza.

At the end of the first, the score was 2-0 Stars, with the Stars leading on the shot clock 11-9.

The Sharks made it to 6:12 of the second period without taking another penalty or giving up another goal. This time, Joe Pavelski went to the box for hooking. Al Stalock was not happy about the call, since he had just gotten a shoulder to the face from a falling Dallas Star. Perhaps the officials felt the hook caused the fall. In any case, back to the penalty kill went the Sharks.

With 46 seconds left in that penalty, Brent Burns joined Pavelski in the box for slashing. It was a fairly blatant slash, breaking Eaves’ stick.

Logan Couture, Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon and Al Stalock managed to kill 26 seconds of the five on three, but with 20 seconds left, Jamie Benn scored from the faceoff circle. Assists went to Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza.

At 11:29, Shawn Horcoff went to the box for interference. The Sharks power play looked stymied by the Stars’ penalty killers and spent too much time chasing rushes the other way. In the final two seconds of the power play, one of those short handed rushes trapped two Stars in the Sharks’ zone while Chris Tierney went the other way with the puck. He dropped it to Thornton at the Stars’ blue line and charged ahead one on two to add to a screen in front of Jhonas Enroth. Joe Thornton followed him in and shot through the three-man wall to put the Sharks on the board. The assist went to Tierney.

At the end of the second period, the Stars led 3-1 and 20-15 in shots.

Just over four minutes in to the third period, the Sharks showed some life on a delayed penalty, maintaining control of the puck in the Stars’ zone for over 20 seconds before the whistle blew and their power play officially began. They did not score on that power play.

Tommy Wingels went to the box for boarding at 9:15. The highlight of that penalty kill, possibly the second best Sharks play of the game, was a short-handed breakaway by Barclay Goodrow and Chris Tierney. They didn’t score but they looked very dangerous.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed. A shift from the Thornton line followed and they looked rejuvenated. That was not enough to change the course of the game, but it did help slow the Stars down.

The Sharks held the Stars scoreless for 15:08 of the period. With 4:52 left in the game, Patrick Eaves evaded Brenden Dillon along the boards in the Sharks zone. He was clear just long enough to get a pass to Jamie Benn, who was loitering below the faceoff circle. 4-1 Stars.

With the three-goal lead, Ryan Garbutt decided it would be a good idea to elbow Matt Irwin in the neck as the Sharks defenseman skated into the Dallas zone. The Sharks power play did not score.

Ryan Garbutt did score at 18:00, on a breakaway with a backhand.

The Stars took another penalty with 37.3 seconds left in regulation. Shawn Horcoff went to the box for the third time, this time for goaltender interference.

Final score 5-1 Dallas. Shots 25-24 Dallas.

Matt Irwin led the Sharks in shots with six. Mike Brown and Tommy Wingels led the team in hits with four each. Karl Stollery and Brenden Dillon led in blocked shots with four each. Al Stalock made 20 saves on 25 shots.

Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn led the Stars in shots with four each. Antoine Roussel led the Stars in hits with three. Jyrki Jokipakka led in blocked shots with four. Jhonas Enroth made 23 saves for the win.

The Sharks next play in Edmonton on Thursday at 6:30 PT.