Sharks Beat Jets 3-2 in Winnipeg; Sharks win three of last four games

photo from The San Jose Sharks Brendan Dillion (4) goes airborne after having a collision with the Winnipeg Jets Nikolaj Ehlers (27) as the Sharks Evander Kane (9) is in the background in Friday night’s game in Winnipeg

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 Friday, in Brent Burns’ 1,100th NHL game. Sharks goals came from Marcus Sorensen, Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier. Aaron Dell made 30 saves in the win. Jets goals came from Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler, with Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck making 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

You’re never going to come in and play the Jets and not give up some chances, with the team they have and the offense. But I thought we did some really good things away from the puck. I thought that we had guys climbing above and not giving too many odd-man rushes. And there were spurts in the game that we were really good defensively, and when they had their chances, Deller was there to make the big stop.

Timo Meier has three goals and four assists in the last six games, including the game-winner Friday. Of this streak, Evander Kane said: “He’s playing heavy. You know, he’s skating. He’s a big powerful guy with a good scoring touch. When he goes hard to the net, he can finish. So that was another example of that tonight.”

In the first period, the Sharks out shot the Jets 13-3. At 14:51, Marcus Sorensen scored in a chaotic scrum in front of Connor Hellebuyck. Assists went to Alexander True and Dylan Gambrell. The Jets challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the challenge was unsuccessful, giving the Sharks their first power play.

The second period was something of a reversal, with the teams even in shots at 11, but the Jets scoring twice.

Their first goal came on a power play at 8:21, with Evander Kane in the box for interference. From right in front of the net, Kyle Connor was able to put a shot between his legs and over Dell’s shoulder, into the top corner. Assists went to Blake Wheeler and Neal Pionk.

Blake Wheeler scored less than two minutes later. His shot went past a moving screen and into the top corner. Andrew Copp found him with a pass from the corner, and a second assist went to Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Sharks ended the second period on a power play when Josh Morrisey was called for holding Timo Meier. They started the third with 1:54 remaining on that power play. The did not get any shots on net in that power play.

At 5:18, Melker Karlsson did score, in a quick give and go play with Joel Kellman. The give and go had the Jets defense discombobulated enough that when Karlsson got to the front of the net and received the puck no one was in his way. Assists went to Kellman and
Stefan Noesen.

Timo Meier added another for the Sharks, just 1:29 later. Brent Burns sent the puck to the net where Kevin Labanc tried to get to it. Dmitry Kulikov was in his way so he couldn’t get control of it. The puck trickled out to the side of the blue paint, where Meier found it and put it in the net. Assists went to Labanc and Burns.

The teams played 4-on-4 at 6:55 when Marcus Sorensen went to the box for roughing against Jack Roslovic, and Roslovic went for cross-checking Sorensen. The Sharks killed Evander Kane’s second penalty of the game at 13:17 of the third, and held on to their lead for the rest of the period. The Jets pulled their goaltender with about two minutes to go. Those final minutes were marked by many good saves from Aaron Dell and some missed clearing opportunities for the Sharks, but they kept the puck out of the net.

The third period shot count was 16-11 Jets. The face-off contest went to the Jets 53%-47%.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in St Paul against the Minnesota Wild at 2:00 PM PT.

Jets Sink Sharks 3-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks fell to the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose. Jets goals came from Gabriel Bourque, Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers, with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck making a heroic 51 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Barclay Goodrow and Tomas Hertl with Martin Jones making 16 saves in the loss.

“It’s probably up there with our best game of the season. Disappointing to lose,” said Sharks captain Logan Couture, after a game in which the Sharks grossly outshot the Jets, 53-19.

The game might have gone to overtime with the teams tied 3-3 but for a disallowed goal in the second period.

“At the same time, we had a lot of other opportunities to put the puck in the net and we didn’t,” said Sharks forward Evander Kane, who had 7 shots on goal in the game and scored the disallowed goal.

Winnipeg struck first with a goal at 13:34 of the first period. Kyle Connor took advantage of a bouncing puck that eluded Brent Burns in the Sharks’ zone. He got control of it along the boards and then found Gabriel Bourque coming into the zone. Bourque skated up the middle and beat Jones on the glove side. Connor got the assist.

The Sharks too the first penalty of the game, an interference minor to Logan Couture at 19:06. The Sharks successfully killed the penalty for the rest of the first and the beginning of the second period. The Jets got three shots on goal during the power play.

They followed that up with a goal at 3:18 of the second. A pass from Marc-Edouard Vlasic found Jonny Brodzinsky in the neutral zone. He made a pass at the Jets’ blue line, finding Barclay Goodrow in the slot. Goodrow skated to the net and shot the puck by Hellebuyck on the short side. Assists went to Brodzinsky and Vlasic.

The Sharks’ first power play came just over a minute later. They got credit for two shots on goal

Evander Kane put the puck in the net at 7:22 of the second. He started by carrying the puck into the zone and around behind the net. He gave it to a defender, who sent it back around and to the point. the puck came back to Kane behind the net and he got it out in front for Labanc and Hertl to shoot, but Labanc was taken down in the crease and the puck came back to Kane as he emerged form behind the net. He quickly lifted it over the now-prone Hellebuyck and into the net.

The Jets challenged for goaltender interference and the goal was overturned.

Moments later, Blake Wheeler scored off a pass from Mark Scheifele at 7:53. Scheifele and Kyle Connor got the assists.

The Jets had a second power play at 9:41, in which they got one shot on goal.

The Sharks had a second power play starting at 17:11 when Mathieu Perrault was called for tripping Erik Karlsson. The Sharks tallied eight shots on goal and still could not score.

During the second period, the Sharks outshot the Jets 28-9.

The Sharks did finally tie it with a deflection from Tomas Hertl 49 seconds into the third period. Kane took the initial shot with a second assist going to Kevin Labanc.

With three minutes left in the third, the Jets only had 3 shots to the Sharks’ 12. The shot count for the game was 51-18 Sharks.

Nevertheless, the Jets scored next, taking a 3-2 lead at 18:36. Nikolaj Ehlers . Assists went to Jack Roslovic and Bryan Little.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender right after that, but couldn’t get by Hellebuyck again.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT against the Vancouver Canucks in San Jose.

Jonny Brodzinsky was in the lineup for the first time since October 8, with Dylan Gambrell and Lukas Radil out as healthy scratches.

Jets Blow Past Sharks 4-1

By Mary Walsh

AP photo & Winnipeg Free Press Winnipeg Jets Drew Stafford gets congratulated after finding the back of the net against the Sharks on Saturday night

SAN JOSE– On home ice Saturday, the San Jose Sharks fell by a score of 4-1 to the Winnipeg Jets. It was yet another disturbingly lackluster performance from the Sharks, seen almost exclusively at home this season despite a remarkably good road record. Of the overall performance Saturday, head coach Pete DeBoer did not mince words:

That was an egg, it was just… I don’t have an explanation. Top to bottom, really poor effort, poor execution, sloppy, soft, not enough adjectives to describe it. You have to give Winnipeg credit, they were desperate, they won all the races, they won all the battles, they won the goaltending battle, not much more then that, it pretty much sums it up.

The Sharks seemed to have the game well in hand for the first ten minutes. Outshooting Winnipeg and controlling most of the play, it was probable that they would have the first power play. They did.

At 12:05 of the first, Ben Chiarot went to the box for delay of game. The first minute of the power play went fine, but then the Sharks started having some trouble getting through the neutral zone. The Sharks’ game of keep away was interrupted by an interception of Joel’s Ward’s backhand pass. The interloping Blake Wheeler skated in with Drew Stafford for a two on none against Martin Jones. The short-handed goal went to Stafford. It was just the second short-handed goal scored against San Jose this season.

The Sharks did not score on that power play, and they were on their heels for most of the rest of the period.

As the second period began, the shots stood at 8-7 Sharks, the score 1-0 Jets. The first hits came in the Sharks’ zone, as the Jets made the first move. During a four player puck battle along the boards, someone caught Joe Thornton near the right eye, but nothing was called.

At 2:45, Joel Armia skated into the Sharks’ zone, went around Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and put the puck on net. Matt Halischuk was standing by at the crease. With Justin Braun on hand but unable to stop him, Halischuk scored his first of the season from very close range.

Penalties started to stack up then, with Toby Enstrom going to the box for interference at 2:58, and Joe Pavelski going for an illegal heck to Bryan Little’s head just 18 seconds later. The four on four time created by those penalties favored the Jets, and they passed the Sharks up on the shot clock.

Bryan Little did go to the room for further evaluation but returned to the game before the period was half over.

At 8:29, Dustin Byfuglien was called for slashing. Under a minute after that, Brent Burns got the Sharks on the board with a hard shot from just above the faceoff circle. Assists went to Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. The assist extended Thornton’s point streak to eight games.

On the next shift, the Sharks finally managed to stop the Jets in the neutral zone, and then Tommy Wingels tried to take the puck back the other way. Instead, he was tripped by Toby Enstrom and the Sharks went on another power play.

The power play started with a rush by the Jets into the Sharks’ zone. The Sharks stopped them from scoring another short-handed, but when they did get set up in the o-zone, San Jose’s plan seemed too complex to work. They made too many passes, too creatively executed, while time ticked off the clock. With 47 seconds left in the power play, they were taking a draw in the defensive zone.

With 5:31 left in the second, Justin Braun went to the penalty box for delay of game after sending the puck over the glass. It took the Jets 26 seconds to score on their power play. The goal was Mathieu Perrault, with assists going to Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler.

Joe Pavelski went to the box again witbh 4:02 left in the period, this time for too many men on the ice. The Sharks did kill that penalty, and showed a touch of vim in the final minutes of the period. Tommy Wingels even got tangled up with Dustin Byfuglien after the buzzer. Fortunately for the Sharks, nothing came of that as the officials intervened.

Al Stalock was in the Sharks’ net to start the third period. He had only been there for a minute and 13 seconds when he skated to the bench for a delayed penalty all. Blake Wheeler went to the box for tripping Tomas Hertl. The Sharks’ power play created a few chances but the Jets’ penalty killers broke up most of their attacks quickly.

Tommy Wingels and Matt Halischuk went to the box shortly thereafter for unsportsmanlike conduct. Two minutes of four on four did not produce any more goals.

Pete DeBoer has not done a lot of in-game line changes this season, but by the third period on Saturday, only one forward line and one defensive pair looked as it had during the first. When the game started, Melker Karlsson was on a line with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, Couture was back with Marleau and Ward. Hertl, Wingels and Nieto were a third line, while Donskoi, Tierney and Zubrus made up the fourth. Dillon was paired with DeMelo, Burns with Martin and Vlasic with Braun.

In the third period, Karlsson was with Tierney and Zubrus. Donskoi was up with Marleau and Ward, and Logan Couture was out with Thornton and Pavelski. On defense, Paul Martin ended up paired with Dylan DeMelo, and Brendan Dillon with Burns.

Of course, the netminders had also swapped positions.

Al Stalock tried a nice stretch pass to Joel Ward with about six minutes left, but Ward could not do much with it. The puck got to him but he didn’t have any help in the zone.

Al Stalock went to the bench for the extra attacker with nearly three minutes left in the game. With 2:43 left, the Jets scored into the empty net after handily escaping the Sharks in the neutral zone. The goal was Nikolaj Ehlers’ and it was unassisted.

The Sharks next play the Detroit Red Wings. That game will be on Thursday, January 7, at SAP Center, at 7:30 PT.