Sharks Beat Stars 2-1, Marleau Scores Game Winner in 1700th Game

sfgate.com photo: San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) congratulates Patrick Marleau (12), who scored a goal against the Dallas Stars during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 11

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– Patrick Marleau scored the game-winner in his 1700th career game as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Saturday. Brent Burns also scored for the Sharks and Aaron Dell made 27 saves in the win. Jamie Benn scored for Dallas and Anton Khudobin made 24 saves in the loss. The Sharks have now won five of their last eight games, and earned points in seven of their last ten. The game also ended a six-game winning streak for the Stars.

This was the second game, and second win, for the Sharks after losing Logan Couture to an ankle injury. Of this challenge, Sharks forward Tomas Hertl said that “The best player has to be extra better if we’re missing a player like that but I think last two games was awesome for our team,” with every player doing exactly what he was supposed to do.

Asked whether the Sharks have turned a corner in their season, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said: “I think we’re turning a corner within ourselves internally. I think we’re playing the right way, we’re giving ourselves a chance to win every night. You know, we’re not looking at the standings board yet and we’re not looking too far ahead at the trip.”

This was Joe Pavelski’s first game back in San Jose since signing with the Stars over the summer. The game was preceded by a video tribute and ceremony for the Sharks fan favorite. Pavelksi received a warm welcome from Sharks fans, despite his new colors and new number, 16. (Bill Goldsworthy’s number 8 was retired by the Minnesota North Stars in 1992, just before they moved and became the Dallas Stars.) After 13 seasons with the Sharks and this season with the Stars, Pavelski recently played his 1000th NHL game. His Dallas teammates gave him a trip to Scotland for that, and some of his Sharks teammates got him a watch.

The first period began with a Stars goal in an early power play. Miro Heiskanen passed the puck across the ice to Tyler Seguin, who quickly took a shot for Jamie Benn to deflect in. Assists went to Seguin and Heiskanen. The time of the goal was 1:32.

At 8:57 of the period, Stafan Noesen put a puck in the net after Melker Karlsson kept the puck in the zone by lifting it in the direction of the net. The puck was on its way over the net and Noesen had to lift his stick well above his head to tip the puck. The goal was disallowed with little review.

The Sharks scored for real at 15:33 when Timo Meier’s shot went off of Brent Burns’ skate and under Anton Khudobin. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks had a 9-7 lead in shots and had won 68% of the face-offs.

The Sharks got their first power play of the game at 2:52 of the second, in which they had just one shot. Seconds after the penalty expired, Patrick Marleau picked up a trickling rebound right outside the blue paint to score. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns. It was Marleau’s eighth goal of the season.

As the Sharks went into their second power play of the game, at 11:31, Brent Burns went to the locker room after a hit from Roope Hintz. The penalty was unrelated to that collision and went to Radek Faksa for hooking Erik Karlsson. The Sharks registered no shots during the power play.

Brent Burns did not return to start the third period but was back on the ice in the first five minutes. After the game, Bob Boughner said: “It’s an upper body thing. He tried to come back in the third, and he played through it so I don’t think it’s anything major. But I think we’ll just see tomorrow. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow but I don’t think it’s anything too crazy.”

The teams were tied in shots during the second period at 10 each, and the Stars won 58% of the face-offs.

The Sharks had one penalty to kill in the third period, at 12:37. The Stars recorded one shot in that power play. Dallas pulled their goaltender with just under two minutes left but could not tie the game. The Stars out-shot the Sharks 11-7 in the third and won 67% of the face-offs.

San Jose’s Tomas Hertl and Antti Suomela each took 13 face-offs in the game and each won 8 of them.

The Sharks will next play on Tuesday in Arizona against the Coyotes at 6:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 5-2 to Blues, San Jose 1-3-0 Since Coaching Change

sfgate.com photo: St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo shoots for a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The Sharks fell 5-2 to the St. Louis Blues Saturday. Blues goals came from Jordan Kyrou, Jaden Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo, and Ryan O’Reilly. Jake Allen made 34 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Brent Burns and Stefan Noesen. This was Noesen’s first game as a Shark after being claimed off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 19. Martin Jones made 23 saves in the loss.

The Sharks are 1-3-0 since Bob Boughner took over as Sharks Head Coach on December 11. In two of those games they gave up five or more goals against. After Saturday’s game, Sharks captain Logan Couture described the Sharks’ offensive zone struggles:

I thought in the offensive zone we didn’t have enough, I guess polish around their net, you know, we weren’t winning enough battles to score enough goals. The pucks were there, he wasn’t handling many of the shots well. There were a lot of rebounds in the slot, we just didn’t get there to got the second opportunities.

Asked for a reaction to these two losses in a row where the Sharks out-shot their opponent, Couture said: “I don’t care about shots on goal, I care about us losing. We’ve been doing a lot of that. So, the feeling sucks, I mean it’s not fun.”

At the other end of the ice, the Sharks fell short as well. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones said: “Made some mistakes that we shouldn’t be making late in the game and they cost us. When you do that you need a save and we’re not getting that either.” Of Jones’s performance, Bob Boughner said: “He was pretty decent. He gave us a chance. I think their first goal was just okay but there’s not much he could do on the other two. We ask our goalies not to try and have to win us a game, just give us a chance. I thought he gave us a chance tonight.”

The Sharks out-shot the Blues in the first period 15-6 but the period ended with the Sharks on a power play and no goals scored.

Brent Burns changed that at the start of the first period, before the Sharks power play expired. He scored his first goal in 16 games with a beautiful shot that went off the post and in. Receiving a pass from Burns in the corner, Erik Karlsson took a moment to settle the puck at the top of the slot before sending the puck back to Burns for the shot above the face-off circle.

The Blues got that back in less than two minutes. Jordan Kyrou entered the zone and split the defense with his formidable speed. One on one with Jones, his back hand went right under the goaltender.

The visitors went on to take the lead at 5:30 of the period during a power play caused by a delay of game penalty to Evander Kane. Brayden Schenn sent the puck right through the blue paint in front of Jones and Jaden Schwartz had his stick free on the other side of the net so he could tap the puck in. Assists went to Schenn and David Perron.

The Sharks tied it back up when Brenden Dillon’s stretch pass found Stefan Noesen just above the St. Louis blue line. Noesen caught it in stride and skated until he was a nose ahead of the Blues defender before he took the shot. He beat Jake Allen on the short side. Assists went to Dillon and Burns. It was Noesen’s second of the season and his first as a Shark.

The shot count was a little closer in the second period, 13-9 Sharks.

St. Louis took the lead back at 11:07 of the third period with a goal from Alex Pietrangelo. Pietrangelo and Ivan Barbashev came out of the neutral zone with only Marc-Edouard Vlasic back. Vlasic effectively eliminated the pass so Pietrangelo shot from the top of the face-off circle and put it in the top corner. Assists went to Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn.

The Sharks got a game-ending power play at 16:53, not unlike the end of their last game in Arizona. The Sharks could not score again and this time they also gave up a short-handed, empty net goal. That was scored by Ryan O’Reilly with an assist to Justin Faulk. Alex Pietrangelo scored another at 19:52.

The Blues out-shot the Sharks 13-8 in the third period.

The Sharks next play on Sunday at 7:00 PM PT against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Sharks Win 5th in a Row, Beat Ducks 5-3

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won their fifth in a row Saturday, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 at the Honda Center. Sharks goals came from the usual suspects: Tomas Hertl (2), Evander Kane, Brent Burns and Logan Couture. Martin Jones made 29 saves for the win. Rickard Rakell, Jakob Silfverberg and Max Jones scored for Anaheim, while John Gibson made 30 saves. Tomas Hertl has now scored in five games in a row. Regrettably, he left the game late in the third after a collision.

After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture talked about Hertl’s contribution to the team: “He’s playing tremendous. You hate to say you get used to it, because he’s playing at such an elite level but the way that he’s been playing these last two years, three years, however long it’s been, he’s been at that level and he’s getting better, so he’s a big piece of this team for sure.”

Asked about the injury, Couture said: “Anything to the knee doesn’t look good but from what I’ve heard, he’s okay.”

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “I thought in the third we found another level. You know, our entire team, we talked between the second and the third, that we had an opportunity to win this game if we could get some more guys going.”

To that end, they made some line changes after the second period: “I think we needed some type of spark. I thought Hertl’s line was productive, I thought especially in the second period, I thought some of other lines were kind of vanilla. So we moved some things around, we regrouped between the second and third and I thought we came out with a good push.”

Anaheim struck first, just 1:09 into the first period. Rickard Rakell scored his sixth of the season with his team’s first shot of the game. A failed clear by Radim Simek took a bounce and ended up on Rakell’s stick as he was crossing the blue line. He skated in and took a quick shot from the top of the circle, beating Jones on the far side. An assist went to Jakob Silfverberg.

Tomas Hertl tied the game at 6:44 in a 2-on-1 with Barclay Goodrow. The play started when Marc-Edouard Vlasic broke up a 2-on-1, at the same time getting the puck to Timo Meier, who found Hertl breaking into the neutral zone. The puck wound up crossing the line between Gibson’s skate and Hertl’s stick blade, and the official did not see it. It was not until the next stoppage of play that an official review caught it. Assists went to Goodrow and Timo Meier.

A few moments later, Sharks defenseman Dalton Prout and Nicolas Deslauriers fought after a hit on Brenden Dillon. It was Prout’s first game back after being injured in the Sharks’ first game of the season in Las Vegas.

Tied at the end of the first, the teams were also very close in shots on goal (11-10 Sharks) and face-off wins (9-8 Ducks).

The Sharks got into penalty trouble early in the second period. Kevin Labanc was called for hooking at 4:18, followed by Melker Karlsson being called for a face-off violation as that first penalty ended. The Sharks managed decent short-handed attempts in each of those penalties and got lucky on a couple of plays before killing off almost four minutes short-handed.

The Sharks were back on the penalty kill at 12:30 after a tripping call to Brent Burns. 30 seconds in, Jakob Silfverberg pushed a puck under Martin Jones after a great cross-ice pass by Ryan Getzlaf forced the Sharks penalty kill to switch sides in a hurry. Assists went to Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell.

The Sharks got a their second power play of the night at 13:56 when Max Jones was called for hooking Barclay Goodrow. They had a couple of good chances at the end of the power play, but could not push the puck through the melee in front of the net. No shots were recorded for the power play.

Tomas Hertl tied it again with a hard wrist shot from the faceoff dot at 18:28. Timo Meier had collected the puck from the below the goal line and found Hertl with a quick pass after a long shift on offense. The second assist went to Brent Burns. It was Hertl’s 10th goal of the season.

At the end of the second, the teams were still close in shots (11-10 Ducks) but now Anaheim had a heftier 9-6 lead in face-off wins.

The Sharks had their third power play of the night at 6:42 of the third. It did not start well, allowing two good short-handed rushes by the Ducks. Momentum shifted when Brent Burns gathered up the puck in the defensive zone. After a giving the power play time to set up, he carried the puck end to end and took his shot from the slot. It went off of a defenseman and past Gibson to give the Sharks their first lead of the game. Assists went to Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson.

Soon after, Dalton Prout was called for hooking. In the second minute of the power play, the Sharks had their own short-handed chance. Logan Couture carried the puck into the zone with Evander Kane on the other side of the ice. Couture waited until Kane was in shooting position to make the pass and caught Kane with a pass just above the blue paint. It was Kane’s 12th goal of the season and Couture’s 15th assist.

Anaheim answered with a goal at 15:50. Max Jones took a harmless-looking shot off the rush but it deflected off of Radim Simek’s body, bounced under Martin Jones and into the net. Assists went to Carter Rowney and Sam Steel.

The Ducks pulled their goaltender with just under two minutes left. Nick Ritchie, the sixth Anaheim skater, had a great chance just after taking the ice, but it went off of the post. In the final minute, Gibson was back in the net for a face-off in the Sharks’ zone.  Just as he was preparing to leave again, Logan Couture stole the puck skated out on a breakaway. With a couple of quick moves, Couture got Gibson moving and then shot the puck underneath him.

At then end of the game, the teams were still very close in shots (35-32 Sharks) and face-off wins (51% Ducks).

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

Sharks Fall to Predators 5-2 in Nashville

mercurynews.com photo

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-2 to the Nashville Predators Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville goals came from Roman Josi (2), Kyle Turris, Filip Forsberg and Dante Fabbro. Pekka Rinne made 33 saves for the win. Evander Kane and Brent Burns scored for San Jose, while Martin Jones made 20 saves in the loss. The Sharks are still looking for a win this season after four losses.

The only first period goal went to Nashville, at 6:16. Roman Josi scored after making a neutral zone pass to Colton Sissons, who carried the puck into the zone and then passed it back and into the slot. Josi was there to put it away. Assists went to Sissons and Ryan Ellis.

There was just one power play in the first period, a penalty to the Sharks’ Evander Kane for interference. The Predators outshot the Sharks 9-7 in the first.

In the second period, Josi scored again on a mid-period power play. Brenden Dillon was in the box for slashing Filip Forsberg at 9:40. A pass from the corner found Forsberg wide open in the faceoff circle, but his shot went off the post and bounced into the blue paint, where Marc-Edouard Vlasic swept it away, into the slot. Josi was there to shoot it back in for the goal.

The Sharks got their own power play goal at 15:12. Matt Duchene was called for interference on Kevin Labanc. A quick play off the faceoff moved the puck to Burns at the point. He moved along the blue line as if to pass ahead, then moved the puck back to Logan Couture, who took a shot from the point. Evander Kane tipped it in for his first of the year. Assists went to Couture and Burns.

The Sharks killed two of three penalties in the second period, and Nashville did the same. The Sharks outshot the Predators 18-7 in the period.

The Sharks started the third period with some good chances, but it was Nashville who scored at 2:51. A neutral zone breakdown allowed Kyle Turris and Calle Jarnkrok to go in two on one. Turris took the shot to give Nashvillea 3-1 lead. Rocco Grimaldi got the assist.

Nashville made it 4-1 at 7:24. Matt Duchene followed the puck down the slot and made a quick backhand pass across to Forsberg on the wing. Forsberg took the shot and beat Jones on the stick side as he came across. Assists went to Duchene and Mikael Granlund.

Brent Burns got one back for the Sharks at 15:37. The Sharks drew all of the Nashville defense off to one side with their forecheck. The puck slipped out across the ice, where Burns picked it up and shot it in with a hard wrist shot. Assists went to Lean Bergmann and Dylan Gambrell.

Dante Fabbro made it 5-2 with a shot all the way down the ice, in an empty net at 18:19. An assist went to Ryan Johansen.

The Sharks outshot the Predators 10-9 in the third, 35-25 in the game.

The Sharks next play against the Blackhawks in Chicago on Thursday at 5:30 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Daniel Dullum: Sharks set tone in Game 1 with Meier lighting up the lamp

photo from nbcsports.com: The San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier can’t contain the thrill of scoring one of his two goals in the Sharks win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday in game 1 at SAP Center in San Jose.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Daniel:

1 Timo Meier scores twice, Sharks rout St. Louis in Game 1 of Western Conference Finals

2 Sharks’ Brent Burns has played much more than anyone in this year’s Cup playoffs

3 NHL Odds: Sharks given worst chance among remaining teams to win Stanley Cup

4 NHL explains controversial overturn of goal in San Jose-Colorado Game 7

5 Edmonton fires Ken Hitchcock, names Holland GM

Daniel does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Len Shapiro: Sharks-Blues meet for the sixth time for the Conference Finals

Photo credit: @Str8ToTheBanc

On the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Len:

#1 This is going to be the sixth time that the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues have met in the Western Conference Finals. In those six meetings, the Sharks have won three of those series.

#2 The Sharks in 2016 played their only Stanley Cup Finals and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Are the Sharks a different team this season after facing elimination to the Vegas Golden Knights and taking out the Colorado Avalanche in seven games? Is this team more on a mission then that 2016 team?

#3 Sharks captain Joe Pavelski contributed to the cause with a goal after coming back from a critical concussion in Game 7 of the first round. How much did Pavelski inspire this team?

#4 In postseason play, the Sharks forwards Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl are in a two-way tie for second in NHL playoffs for scoring. Defensemen Brent Burns and Hertl have nine goals and 14 points so no doubt the Sharks are getting some offensive support.

#5 The Sharks open up the best of seven Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose for Games 1 and 2. Len sets this series up for us.

Len is covering the NHL Western Conference Finals podcasts Saturdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals podcast with Joe Lami: Sharks’ DeBoer didn’t underestimate Avs; Bruins getting it done on the power play

nbcsports.com file photo: San Jose Sharks’ Joe Pavelski (8) and the St. Louis Blues’ Vince Dunn (29) battle for the puck as the two teams meet Saturday night for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals at SAP Center in San Jose.

On the NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals with Joe Lami:

San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer, after things settled down after the Sharks’ Game 7 victory on Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche, said the Avalanche were a team that handled a tough Calgary Flames team and got through them in the first round and it gave him some concern having to face Colorado.

While it gave DeBoer pause, he said he was proud of the job that the Sharks did in taking the second round against the Avalanche. Winning the second series without team captain Joe Pavelski, how both Brent Burns and Erki Karlsson both contributed with strong offensive performances. Burns and teammate Tomas Hertl combined with nine goals and 14 points.

The Boston Bruins held it together on Thursday night in Game 1 of the third round with a three goal win 5-3 over the Carolina Hurricanes, mostly because of the power play. The Bruins’ Marcus Johansson and Patrice Bergeron scored power play goals in 28 seconds. The Boston Bruins forward Charlie Wagner commented on the NHL Network that the Bruins took advantage of the power play, getting that huge 5-4 advantage gets them in their other end and they found their way to the back end of the net.

The Bruins, with their 5-3 win and having a 1-0 series lead, go to Game 2 on Sunday and the Bruins feel good to be on their home ice for this second game. Joe says the Bruins the huge favorite to take this series in five or six games.

Joe Lami does the NHL Stanley Cup Conference Finals podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Avalanche Force Game 7 with 4-3 OT Win Against Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime at the Pepsi Center Monday. The win means that the teams will come back to San Jose to play a seventh game in their second round playoffs series. Avs goals came from JT Compher (2), Tyson Jost and Gabriel Landeskog. Sharks goals came from Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2) and Brent Burns. Philipp Grubauer made 19 saves for the win, while Martin Jones made 22 saves in a losing effort.

Although the overtime game-winner was scored by the Avs team captain Gabriel Landeskog, Sharks forward Logan Couture said: “Their depth guys beat us tonight. We got beat by JT Compher, Tyson Jost, their second, third, fourth line.”

Similarly, two of the Sharks’ three goals also came from an unusual suspect, Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “We got three goals from our defensemen. I thought if there was one disappointing area, I thought our forwards could have found a way to do a little bit more. I thought, as a group, they have to be better for us if we’re going to move on here.”

The first period was marked by three penalties called in a bunch between 12:06 and 17:34. Two went against the Sharks, one on Kevin Labanc for holding, another on Joe Thornton for tripping Matt Nieto. A penalty against Colorado roughly 30 seconds into the second Colorado power play gave the teams 90 seconds of four-on-four. The Sharks only allowed one shot in those penalty kills, but got no shots during their very short power play. The Sharks only got credit for five shots in the first period, while Colorado got 11.

The second period made up for the lack of scoring in the first. The teams traded goals back and forth for four goals period.

Starting with a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone from Ian Cole to JT Compher, the Avalanche moved up the ice fast. Compher sent the puck back across the ice to Jost who was almost to the net, setting him up to shoot before Jones could get across. Assists went to Compher and Cole. The time of the goal was 6:04.

The Avs kept the pressure on for some shifts after that. A minute or so later, Brent Burns caught Mikko Rantanen with a hip check in open ice, sending Rantanen to the dressing room for a spell. The Sharks finally responded with some offensive zone time and after a couple of false starts, sustained pressure on the Colorado net.

They were rewarded with a goal at 14:36 from Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Timo Meier had just brought the puck in and tried to get a shot away as he fended off Cale Makar. The puck bounced harmlessly off of Grubauer, but Vlasic was trailing the play and time to lift the puck over the goalie’s pad. Colorado challenged the goal for goaltender interference, after Meier’s skate touched Grubauer’s pad. The goal stood up. Assists went to Meier and Gus Nyquist.

Colorado took the lead back at 18:44. A clearing attempt was thwarted by Alexander Kerfoot on the blue line. While Carl Soderberg carried the puck around the boards, Kerfoot moved to the net to provide a screen. With Vlasic pressuring him, Soderberg made a short pass to Compher, who was at the blue line. Compher’s shot whizzed by Jones unseen by the goalie. Assists went to Soderberg and Kerfoot.

The Sharks tied it again just over a minute later, with 10 seconds left in the period. Tmo Meier fought his way into the zone before losing the puck. Erik Karlsson was there to find it and make a pass to Brent Burns, who was just coming off of the bench. Burns skated in for the shot and beat Grubauer on the right side. Karlsson got the assist.

Through the second period, the teams were tied in shots as well as goals, with eight each.

JT Compher gave the Avs yet another lead four minutes into the third period. Colin Wilson got the puck across the line before he ran into the Sharks defense. Derick Brassard was coming into the zone too fast for the Sharks to adjust. He took the puck below the face-off dot for a bad angle shot that bounced off of Jones. Meanwhile, Compher had come down the other side and skated across in front of the net for a back hand shot over Jones’ pads. Assists went to Brassard and Wilson.

The Sharks had an astonishingly long offensive zone late in the period. A broken stick for Mikko Rantanen helped them out there. Rantanen got a new stick, but not before the Sharks had worn the Colorado defense to a frazzle. Finally, a shot from Marc-Edouard Vlasic tied it for the third time, at 17:32. Logan Couture made a short pass form behind the net to Vlasic. Vlasic didn’t have a shot, but he sent it through the blue paint, where Meier might have been able to knock it in. Instead, it went off of Nikita Zadorov’s skate and in. Assists went to Couture and Nyquist.

In the third period, the Sharks out-shot the Avalanche 8-5, and killed one more penalty during which they allowed not shots. Colorado dominated the face-off battle in the first period, winning 72% of them. As the game went on, the Sharks improved there, winning 52% in the second and 58% in the third.

Overtime did not last long. Colorado started the period with early pressure. The Sharks had a couple of good shifts in the second minute, but Colorado’s top line finally got on the board with the winner at 2:32. After the Sharks almost cleared the puck out of a battle in the corner, Cale Makar kept it in at the blue line and sent it back down. Gabriel Landeskog, who had dumped the puck in, then fought for it in the corner, was there in the slot to get the pass. The puck tried to bounce off of his stick but he reached for it and nudged it under Jones. Makar got the only assist.

Neither team has won two games in a row in this series. The last time the Sharks played in back-to-back seven-game series was 1994. Their next Game 7 will be on Wednesday at SAP Center in San Jose at 6:00 PM PT.

Avalanche Tie Series with 4-3 Win Over Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The Colorado Avalanche edged the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 with a 4-3 win at SAP Center Sunday, tying the second round playoff series at one apiece. Avs’ goals came from Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Barrie, Matt Nieto and Nathan MacKinnon. Sharks’ goals came from Evander Kane and Brent Burns (2). Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves for Colorado, while Martin Jones made 28 saves on 31 shots for San Jose.

After the game, Sharks forward Evander Kane said: “I thought we did a good job early on, we just let them hang around too long.”

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson elaborated on the same theme:

I think that we played well, we did a lot of good things out there. Just couldn’t find a way to score goals and got a little frustrated as the game went along and started doing our own thing a little too much. We know that doesn’t work in here and you know we should have learned by now but we didn’t. They capitalized on the chances they got and made us play from behind.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer pointed to the Sharks’ net-front presence as an issue: “I thought it was a pretty even game. I thought we didn’t get to their net enough. We had some real good looks where he made a couple big saves but I thought we could have made it a little tougher on him traffic-wise on our point shots. And I thought we could have done a better job in front of Jonesy, you know, on their point shots.”

Evander Kane started the scoring at 7:57 of the first. Kane was in front of the net and got behind Cale Makar as a blueline shot from Brent Burns came in. With a couple of strong moves, he fended off Makar and put the puck past Grubauer. Assists went to Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl. It was Kane’s second of the playoffs.

Colorado tied it up at 8:21. Tyson Barrie took a shot from the blue line into traffic and it went off of Gabriel Landeskog right on the edge of the blue paint. It was Landeskog’s second of the playoffs. Assists went to Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon.

The Avalanche got a lead on a goal from Tyson Barrie at 16:31. The play could have easily been called an icing, as Marc-Edouard Vlasic was the first to the hash marks, but the officials did not call it and play continued on.

After the game, Vlasic said “I’ll take the high road and wait for the League’s apology tomorrow.”

Barrie’s shot came from above the face-off circle when the puck emerged from a battle by the other side of the net. Jones was coming across from that and could not stop Barrie’s shot. Assists went to Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen.

Colorado’s lead expanded at 10:10 of the third. Martin Jones looked like he thought he had the puck frozen under him but it was slowly moving behind him. Brenden Dillon got his stick in there to push it away from the goal line but he hit it a little too hard and it bounced off of Jones back into the net. The goal went to Matt Nieto, his third of the playoffs. Assists went to Matt Calvert and Barrie.

The Sharks had some good luck in the form of Alexander Kerfoot’s broken skate, which left Brent Burns free to move and shoot without Kerfoot getting in his way. Burns did just that and brought the Sharks within one at 15:26. Assists went to Erik Karlsson and Marcus Sorensen.

That Sharks momentum was shattered when, moments later, Timo Meier allowed his stick to get into Nathan MacKinnon’s skate and that put the Avalanche on a power play. The Sharks killed off the penalty, but had little time to get the tying goal. With just over a minute to go, they pulled their goaltender for the extra skater. Nathan MacKinnon got control of the puck and put it in the empty net at 18:58. Assists went to Calvert and Philipp Grubauer.

The Sharks did get that third goal, in a 17-second power play at the end of the game. Four skaters battled for puck in the slot, but Tomas Hertl got to it first and tapped it ahead to Burns, who was moving through the outside of the face-off circle. He had a clear shot and he took it. Assists went to Hertl and Kane. That left the Sharks 10 more seconds to tie it with a fourth but they couldn’t get that done.

Melker Karlsson left the game late in the third period after being crushed against the glass by Derick Brassard.

Game 3 will be Tuesday at the Pepsi Center in Denver at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Start Round Two With a Win, Beat Avalanche 5-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks won 5-2 Friday, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in the first game of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite giving up the first goal, the Sharks roared back with three unanswered goals in the second period. The Sharks have scored five goals in four our of five playoff games this season. It has almost become a habit for them. Joe Thornton, Gus Nyquist, Kevin Labanc, Brent Burns and Timo Meier scored for the Sharks. Gabriel Bourque and Colin Wilson scored for the Avalanche. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win, while Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves in the loss.

The Avs opened the scoring at 2:10 of the first period. Cale Makar put the puck on net with an awkward shot from the blue line. Jones stopped that, but left a rebound. Gabriel Bourque was moving across in front of the net as the rebound came out, so was able to sweep it around Jones near the post. Assists went to Makar and Tyson Jost. It was Bourque’s first of the playoffs.

Gus Nyquist tied the game, scoring his first of the playoffs in a remarkably similar fashion at 14:44. From an offensive zone face-off, Brent Burns got the puck and moved to the high slot for the shot. His shot deflected off of some traffic, but still got to Grubauer, who kicked out a rebound. Gus Nuquist was there to put it around the goalie and in. Assists went to Burns and Logan Couture.

The Avs had a goal called back due to a distinct kicking motion before the end of the period, so the teams went into the first intermission still tied at 1. Colorado outshot San Jose 13-9 in the first and won 47% of the face-offs.

Colorado got their first power play at 2:46 of the second. After a very good chance in the first minute, they scored in the second. Mikko Rantanen sent a hard pass from the boards to the slot, where Colin Wilson deflected it to the net through traffic. The puck touched another skate or stick before going under Jones. The goal went to Wilson with assists to Rantanen and Nathan McKinnon. It was Wilson’s third of the playoffs.

Moments after that goal, Brenden Dillon went to the box for four minutes after a high stick that drew blood from J.T. Compher. The Sharks were able to kill that off with good sticks that helped them get the puck clear a few times.

The Sharks tied it up not long after that kill. Marcus Sorensen blocked a shot in the Sharks zone, then took the puck the other way. Joe Thornton went with him, making it a two-on-one. Sorensen carried the puck well past the blue line and then sent it across to Thornton, who put it it away with a broad swipe of a shot. Sorensen got the assist. That was Thornton’s second of these playoffs.

Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 16:02 with some nifty skating around the defense and a sharp wrister into the top corner. That was Labanc’s third of the playoffs. An assist went to Burns.

Marcus Sorensen provided a screen as he prepared to deflect a Brent Burns shot from the half boards. Cale Makar jostled him so he could not do that, but the shot went off of Makar instead. The puck went in on the far side of the net at 19:00. Assists went to Sorensen and Thornton, who had retrieved the puck from behind the net, sending it up the boards to Burns. It was Burns’ second of the playoffs.

The Sharks outshot Colorado 13-11 in the second, and won 43% of the face-offs.

The game finished with an almost scoreless, penalty-free third period. Colorado pulled their goaltender with a little more than two minutes to go but the Sharks held them off.

Timo Meier scored into the empty net at 19:31 to give the Sharks the fifth goal. A few seconds later, Matt Calvert and Brenden Dillon exchanged slashing penalties. Calvert got a double minor for that and Dillon just 2 minutes.

Game 2 will be Sunday at SAP Center in San Jose at 4:30 PM PT.