Marleau Ties Howe Record, Sharks Fall 5-2 to Wild

The Minnesota Wild center Nico Sturm gets the wrap around the goal post to score a second period goal against the San Jose Sharks on Sat Apr 17, 2021 at the Target Center in St Paul (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

Patrick Marleau tied Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 NHL Games Played record in St. Paul on Saturday. The Minnesota Wild made a special announcement for the occasion and, on the ice, the Minnesota players congratulated Marleau. It was a tremendous accomplishment, well-worth celebrating, but somewhat at odds with the loss Marleau’s team suffered the same night.

The 5-2 loss to the Wild was the Sharks’ fifth loss in a row. The Wild got goals from Mats Zuccarello, Joel Ericksson Ek, Zach Parise, Kirill Kaprizov and Nico Sturm. Three of those goals were scored in 72 seconds. Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves for the win. Brent Burns and Joel Kellman scored for the Sharks. In the Sharks net, Martin Jones made 19 saves before being replaced by Josef Korenar, who made 4 saves in the third period.

After the game, Marleau talked about reaching this milestone in the midst of a losing streak: “Obviously you want things to be going well, you want your team to be winning, all the time, regardless of milestones or not. Be nice to get back on track, get in the winning books, and feeling good about ourselves as a club.”

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns talked about Marleau’s accomplishment:

“I think at this point to play a game like that any night, obviously what he’s doing is special and, you know, it’s beyond one game. So tonight’s obviously big for him, it’s big for all of us to be a part of something like that. It’s incredible, it’s bigger than one game.”

Brent Burns started the scoring with a blast from the point that beat Kahkonen glove side at 12:02. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Tomas Hertl.

A little over two minutes later, Zuccarello scored a power play goal. Marcus Johansson made a back-hand pass form below the goal line for Zuccarello to tap in. Assists went to Johansson and Ryan Hartman.

36 seconds later, Martin Jones knocked Jordan Greenway’s shot away but it went off of Joel Ericksson Ek’s chest and into the net. Assists went to Greenway and Marcus Foligno.

36 seconds after that, Zach Parise made it 3-1 with a shot off the rush that beat Jones on the blocker side. Assists went to Jonas Brodin and Nick Bonino.

Minnesota out-shot the Sharks 17-9 in the first period. The Wild had 7 shots on 3 power plays, including some five-on-three time at the end of the period. The Sharks had no power play time in the first.

Kirill Kaprizov made it 4-1 1:14 into the second period with a goal in the final second of a power play. Mats Zuccarello made a pass from the boards to the slot. The pass went through Kevin Fiala who took a swing at it and missed. That gave Jones and the defense pause, before the puck landed on Kaprizov’s stick for the real shot.

Nico Sturm made it 5-1 at 19:11 of the second. Jones was down on the side of the net when Sturm went for the wrap-around on the other side. Carson Soucy got the assist.

It looked as if Sturm and Jones locked skates for a moment before the goal, but the challenge was unsuccessful.

San Jose out-shot Minnesota 8-7 in the second. The Sharks took one penalty in the second period, the unsuccessful challenge of the Sturm goal. The Wild had one shot on that power play.

Joel Kellman scored for San Jose at 17:45 of the third. Labanc made a tidy pass from below the goal line, jus as Kellman arrived in the slot. Assists went to Kevin Labanc and Ryan Donato. It was Kellman’s first of the season, in his fifth NHL game of the season.

Minnesota took two penalties in the third period, giving the Sharks power play one shot on goal. The Sharks out-shot the Wild 11-4 in the final period.

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

Sharks Trounce Kings 5-2

The Los Angeles Kings left winger Austin Wagner (27) tries to skate around San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) behind the net at SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 9, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose. Kevin Labanc, Patrick Marleau, Rudolfs Balcers, Dylan Gambrell and Tomas Hertl all scored for San Jose. Brent Burns had three assists and Martin Jones made 32 saves for the win. Alex Iafallo and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for Los Angeles and Calvin Petersen made 24 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It was a good team win, it was a good team effort. They really came at us in the second period. We obviously didn’t like our second and I thought that, you know, they pushed hard and we didn’t really respond very well. But Jonesy was our best player tonight. And he’s in the zone, he’s seeing the puck and he made some big saves at the right time.”

Los Angeles scored first, at 2:27 of the first. Alex Iafallo, just arrived in front of the net, caught Dustin Brown’s quick pass from the boards and redirected it past Martin Jones. Assists went to Brown and Anze Kopitar.

The Sharks tied it up at 8:01. The Sharks had just finished killing a penalty, and won a defensive zone face-off. They broke out with Kevin Labanc carrying the puck. He carried it all the way down and took the shot. It went in. Assists went to Brent Burns and Mario Ferraro.

Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks the lead at 13:50 when Brent Burns sent the puck to the net and it went off of Marleau’s skate. Assists went to Burns and Marcus Sorensen.

Rudolfs Balcers made it 3-1 at 17:17, following Timo Meier on a breakaway. Petersen stopped the shot but Balcers was there to put the rebound away. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks in the first, 13-11. Each team had one power play. The Los Angeles power play had four shots on one power play and the Sharks power play had one in one.

In a scoreless second period, the Kings led again in shots, 11-8. They also led in penalties, taking two that resulted in a power play for San Jose. The Sharks took two shots in those two power plays. The Sharks had one penalty to kill and the Kings got one shot out of that. There were also two fights, which added a total of twelve penalty minutes on the score sheet. Jeffrey Viel fought Kurtis MacDermid and Marcus Sorensen fought Andreas Athanasiou. Sorensen and Athanasiou fought again at the final buzzer.

The Kings came to within one goal 1:02 into the third period, moments after a Sharks penalty expired. Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored, unassisted, by throwing the puck at the net from a sharp angle. The puck went from below the goal line, behind Jones’ near skate, off of his far skate and in.

Dylan Gambrell scored a short-handed goal at 17:00. Gambrell and Evander Kane broke away for a two-on-none. Gambrell passed first, then Kane passed it back, forcing Petersen to move in the crease. Gambrell took the shot. Assists went to Kane and Burns.

Tomas Hertl made it 5-2, shooting it down the ice into and empty net at 18:41. Assists went to Kane and Logan Couture.

The Kings won 58% of the face-offs through the game. The final shot count was 34-29 Kings.

The Sharks will play the Kings again on Saturday in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 5-4 in OT to Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights right winger Mark Stone (61), defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) celebrate left wing Max Pacioretty (67) overtime goal against the San Jose Sharks on Fri Mar 5, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-4 in overtime to the Vegas Golden Knights Friday in San Jose. Vegas goals came from Max Pacioretty (2), Reilly Smith, Chandler Stephenson and Alex Tuch. Oscar Dansk made 25 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Brent Burns, Matt Nieto, Logan Couture and Matt Nieto. Devan Dubnyk made 17 saves for the Sharks, after taking over for Martin Jones. Jones made five saves on eight shots in the first 22 minutes.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how his team reacted to an altercation between Ryan Reeves and Kurtis Gabriel:

“I thought that worked in our favor. I know they scored right after but we had a sense of togetherness on the bench and we never stopped attacking. It didn’t matter that they got that fourth goal. We had nine minutes or whatever that was at that point that we were determined to find a way to tie the game up and to get a point and to try to get two in overtime.”

Vegas scored first at 5:48. William Karlsson carried the puck around behind the net as if to do a wrap around, drawing Martin Jones to the left side of the net. Karlsson then passed the puck through the blue paint to Reilly Smith for a shot into a wide-open net. Assists went to Karlsson and Jonanthan Marchessault.

Vegas doubled their lead at 7:03. Abouncing puck elluded the Sharks defenders and landed just right for Chandler Stephenson to shoot it between Logan Couture’s skates and into the net. Assists went to Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.

The Sharks outshot the Golden Knights in the first, 9-6. The teams traded power plays, with two apiece. The Golden Knights had two shots on the power play and the Sharks had just one. Vegas won 63% of the face-offs.

Vegas added to their lead just 2:57 in to the second period. Max Pacioretty’s shot from just below the blue line went right under Martin Jones and in. Assists went to Alec Martinex and Ryan Reaves.

The Sharks pulled Jones out and put Devan Dubnyk in net. Dubnyk warmed up in game with a quick glove stop on Pacioretty.

Brent Burns got the Sharks on the board at 6:01 with a power play goal. His shot went in and out so quickly that play continued until the Situation Room interrupted with a goal horn. It had hit camera just under the crossbar. Assists went to Ryan Donato and Timo Meier.

Matt Nieto brought the Sharks within one at 12:43. After knocking down an arial pass from Erik Karlsson in the neutral zone, Nieto carried the puck in two on one with Joel Kellman. Nieto took the shot instead of passing.

The shots were very closein the second, at 12-11 for Vegas. The teams again had two power plays apiece. The Sharks just had one shot in their power plays and that was Burns’ goal. Vegas had four shots through their second period power plays. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle, winning 52% of their draws.

Alex Tuch added a fourth goal to the Vegas tally, 26 seconds into the third period. A defensive attempt to knock the puck off of William Carrier’s stick merely swept it across to Tuch for a quick shot over Dubnyk’s shoulder. Assists went to Carrier and Keegan Kolesar.

Logan Couture trimmed that Vegas lead back down at 6:23. Moments before the goal, Couture intercepted a pass in the Sharks zone and then carried the puck the other way. A few tidy passes later, Couture took a shot right up the slot and past Oscar Dansk. Assists went to Erik Karlsson and Kevin Labanc.

With 7:56 left in the game, Ryan Reeves sustained a skate cut as he took Kurtis Gabriel into the boards. He had to be helped off the ice.

The Sharks had a late power play in the third period, and got two shots in there but did not tie the game until Kevin Labanc scored at 18:53. A long pass to the neutral zone from Brent Burns made its way all the way down before the Dansk tried to swat it away. Nieto was there to knock it in.

Overtime lasted 1:25 and ended with a goal from Max Pacioretty. A backhand pass from Alex Pietrangelo went through the slot to Pacioretty for a quick shot. Dubnyk could not get across in time to stop that one. Assists went to Pietrangelo and Mark Stone.

The teams were tied in shots in both the third and overtime periods, with eight each in the third and one each in overtime. The face-offs overall went to the Golden Knights at 57%.

The Sharks play the Golden Knights again on Saturday at 7:30 PM PT in San Jose.

Sharks Beat Ducks 5-4 in Shoot-Out

The Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell (right) with outstretched stick can’t stop the San Jose Sharks right winger Matt Nieto (left) who takes the puck down ice on Fri Feb 5, 2021 in the Honda Center in Anaheim (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 in a shoot-out at the Honda Center Friday. Sharks goals came from Matt Nieto, Logan Couture, Evander Kane, and Brent Burns. The shoot-out winner came from Kevin Labanc. Martin Jones made 33 saves for the win. The Ducks got goals from Adam Henrique, Troy Terry and Max Comtois (2). John Gibson made 26 saves in the loss. An eight-goal performance was unexpected from two of the lowest-scoring teams in the league. Stranger still, each team had a three-goal period.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the stunning shift in momentum from the first period to the second, when the game lurched from 1-0 Sharks to 3-1 Ducks:

“Your character’s in question there, when you have such a good first period and you come back and all of a sudden, you know. Hey, our power play didn’t go as well as we thought and that we wanted, and we lost momentum I think that way. But, you know, at the end of the day it’s a five-on-five game and we’ve got to get our five-on-five game established again. I just didn’t like a couple of the goals. I thought we looked basically uninspired in parts of the second period.”

Coming into the game, the Ducks were 4-5-2 on the season. In their previous game, they defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Ryan Getzlaf was out with a lower body injury Friday. The Sharks were 3-5-0. Due to COVID protocol schedule changes, they had a week off after a shut-out loss to Colorado. Alexander Chmelevski made his NHL debut.

Matt Nieto started the scoring with his third goal of the year. Matt Nieto and Marcus Sorensen jumped into the zone two one one. Sorensen had the puck on the outside and waited until he was almost at the goal line before making a pass to Nieto in front of the net at 12:50 of the first period. Assists went to Sorensen and Alexander Chmelevski, Chmelevski’s first NHL point.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks had a 17-8 lead in shots. They had one shot on one power play, gave up a short-handed shot, and trailed in the face-off circle at 44%.

The second period was all Ducks. At 10:03, Adam Henrique tapped a rebound under Martin Jones to tie the game. Assists went to Derek Grant and Troy Terry.

A few minutes later, Terry scored to give Anaheim the lead. Cam Fowler brought the puck into the zone and then passed it to Terry on the outside. Fowler kept going and acted as a screen for Terry’s shot. The assists went to Fowler and Grant.

In the final minutes of the period, Max Comtois made it 3-1. The Sharks had just finished their second scoreless powerplay. An offside call led to a neutral zone face-off that Anaheim won. It took the a couple of tries to get through the neutral zone but finally they made it into the Sharks’zone. Rickard Rakell took advantage of a give-away and skated behind the Sharks net. He found Comtois with a short pass and Comtois’ shot squeezed between Jones and the post.

In the second period, the Ducks out-shot the Sharks 13-3 and won 60% of the face-offs. On the Sharks’ power play, they had one shot and gave one up.

After the game, Boughner acknowledged that a lot was said during the second intermission: “It was time to look ourselves in the mirror a little bit and it was a gut check. And they responded.”

The Sharks’ big guns did indeed respond in the third period. Logan Couture scored in the first minute. Couture dumped the puck in and Evander Kane chased it down in time to sling it in front of the net. Couture was at the net by then and tapped it in while goalie John Gibson was trying to come across. Assists went to Kane and Brent Burns.

Evander Kane tied the game with a short-handed goal at 2:06 of the third. He stole a pass meant for Hampus Lindholm. Chipping it to himself and took a shot from above the face-off dot. The puck sailed by Gibson on the far side.

Brent Burns gave the Sharks their second lead of the game at 8:04. John Gibson had just gotten back into his net after a stroll behind it. Burns took a pass from Ryan Donato and buried it.

The Ducks tied it back up with another goal from Max Comtois. The Ducks won a defensive zone draw, and followed that up with a gruelling long shift in the Sharks zone. Comtois received a cross-ice pass from Carter Rowney and shot the puck past Jones on the glove side. Assists went to Rowney and Lindholm.

The Sharks improved a little in the face-off circle in the third, winning 46% of them. The shot clock favored the Ducks 11-8.

The teams traded good chances for the first couple of minutes until a high stick penalty put the Ducks on the power play. The Sharks got a nice short-handed chance when Marc-Edouard Vlasic got control of the puck and carried it out of the zone. The Sharks killed off a good chunk of the power play moving the puck around the Ducks’ zone and taking one shot.

Ryan Donato shot first for the Sharks and scored. Rickard Rakell shot first for the Ducks and Jones made a great save.

Couture shot second for the Sharks but Gibson shut down the five-hole attempt. Comtois shot second for Anaheim but Jones stopped him with an outstretched toe.

Kevin Labanc shot third and, though he tripped over Gibson’s skate, he still got the puck in the net.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, in Anaheim again, against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Shut Out 3-0 by Avalanche

By Mary Walsh

The Sharks fell 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Thursday. Goals came from Nazem Kadri (2) and Andre Burakovsky. Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the win. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves in the loss. It was the first time the Sharks were shut out this season.

If there was a lost opportunity in the game, it was the Sharks’ three first period power plays. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“First of all, we’re losing draws on the power play, so we’re chasing pucks down the ice. Then, we get in, we get set up, we get a shot and, you know, no retrieval. They get it back down. So now you’ve gone up and down the ice twice and you don’t have any gas. We gotta win more draws on the power play. They sniffed out a couple of our entries, we made a change between the first and second but we never got to use it, we never had a power play after that.”

Of the Sharks’ defensive game, goaltender Devan Dubnyk said: “I thought the guys played great, honestly. I thought we made very, very good adjustments from last game. We got a little bit away from it in the third I think when they got the two. But if you look at the adjustments that we made in the first two periods it was huge, and that’s how we have to play that team to be successful.”

The first period was close in shots (7-6 Sharks) but less balanced in other respects. The Avalanche dominated in the face-off circle at 59%, and also in penalty minutes, taking three penalties to the Sharks’ one. Colorado had one shot in their power play, and the Sharks had two in three tries.

The second period saw the shot count tip to Colorado, 12-6. The Sharks took two penalties in the period and had no power plays. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 50%.

After five shots off the post, Colorado finally broke through in the third period. Nazem Kadri scored at 9:55. The Sharks had just finished two good offensive pushes and had just changed lines. Colorado converged in the slot and, with Joonas Donskoi down and five bodies in front of Dubnyk, Kadri found himself outside the scramble with a view of an open net corner. Assists went to Brandon Saad and Donskoi.

Moments later, Logan Couture and Brent Burns collided in front of their net, both in pursuit of the same Colorado player. Couture’s skate made contact with Burns’ ankle and he seemed to be in distress on the bench. A few minutes later Burns could still be seen trying to walk it off. He missed a shift or so before getting back on the ice.

Colorado scored again at 11:53 on a three-on-two. Drawing the Sharks to the right, Kadri made a pass across the center to Andre Burakovsky who had just arrived at the net, ready for a deflection. Assists went to Kadri and Saad.

The Sharks had a power play in the final four minutes but couldn’t score, though they pulled Dubnyk for an extra skater and did manage two shots. Then they found themselves killing a penalty with just 1:14 to go after Noah Gregor was called for tripping Gabriel Landeskog. With six seconds left in the period, Nazem Kadri tipped Cale Makar’s shot from the blue line. Assists went to Makar and Nathan MacKinnon.

Colorado’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare left the game in the first period, with a lower body injury. He was injured after Ryan Donato lost an edge and collided with him.

The Sharks are scheduled to play on Monday. They will be in their temporary home arena in Arizona, playing the Vegas Golden Knights at 6:00 PM PT. There is some doubt about that schedule as the Golden Knights may not play due to COVID-19 exposure.

Sharks Beat Wild 5-3; SJ playing .500 hockey now at 3-3

The San Jose Sharks Mario Ferraro (38) tries to get the stick on the puck against the Minnesota Wild’s Marcus Foligno (17) at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul on Sun Jan 24, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 5-3 against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul Sunday. Goals came from Ryan Donato, Evander Kane, Noah Gregor, Brent Burns and Matt Nieto. Martin Jones made 26 saves in the win. Wild goals came from Nick Bjugstad, Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala. Kaapo Kahkonen made 31 saves in the loss.

The game-winner from Brent Burns was a spectacular feat in itself, but it also came at the perfect time. Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said, of the goal:

“At that point in the game we were just, you know, we were taking on a little water, we had some kills in the third period. At that point in time you’re trying to maintain at least the point and trying to win it in overtime. You know, if you get a break, great. But guys like that, elite players, they find ways to make huge differences in the game and that’s exactly what Burnzie did. We needed that.”

Boughner made some changes before Sunday’s game. Forward Timo Meier moved down to the third line from the second line, to play with Dylan Gambrell and Noah Gregor. John Leonard came back into the lineup to play in Meier’s spot with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane. The defensive pairs were also adjusted, with Mario Ferraro playing with Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic playing with Brent Burns.

After the game, Timo Meier was asked about the line change. He said: “Playing with Gregor and Gambrell, I think it’s, you know, two good hockey players so I think it was an opportunity. I mean, Gregor with his speed and obviously Gambi, I think we had a lot of fun out there.” Asked about how he thought the game went for them, Meier said: “Every time we stepped on the ice we tried to make a difference and use our strengths and, you know, it worked for us.”

Asked what he thought of Meier’s performance, Boughner said: “He was a beast out there. I thought that every time his line was out there he was taking pucks to the net, dragging people on his back, he was finishing on the forecheck, all those kinds of things. That line played well together.”

The Sharks started fast, with three shots in the first two minutes of play. Still, Minnesota scored first at 4:21.

As Karlsson tried to defend a two-on-one, Kirill Kaprizov made the pass across to Zach Parise, who put the puck past Martin Jones as he tried to come across.

The teams traded penalties in the middle of the period, with no change in score.

The Sharks tied it up in the final minute of the period. Erik Karlsson drove the puck deep, and Kevin Labanc gathered it up below the goal line. Labanc made a neat backhand pass to Ryan Donato, who jammed the puck through two Wild players in the direction of the net. The puck touched one of the defenders and slipped under Kaapo Kahkonen.

The Sharks out-shot the Wild 12-3 in the first period, and won 64% of the face-offs. Tomas Hertl drew a penalty with 15 seconds left in the period, so the Sharks started the second on the power play. The Sharks gave up a short-handed chance to Joel Eriksson-Ek in the first minute of the second but no other damage was done.

The Sharks had another power play opportunity at 5:17. Late in the penalty, Donato made a drop pass to Timo Meier, then drifted toward the net. Meier, on the wall, made a pass over to Kane for a one-timer inside the circle. By then, Donato was skating across in front of the net to add a screen.

A little over a minute later, the Wild put the puck in the net, but they did so while pushing Martin Jones across the line with the puck. Bob Boughner challenged the goal and, after a review, it was called back.

Noah Gregor padded the Sharks’ lead at 8:26, his first goal of the year. Gregor skated into the zone with his line spread across the ice. He looked like he would pass as he came down the wall but then took the shot. An assist went to Mario Ferraro.

Nick Bjugstad cut the Sharks’ lead back down to one at 16:47. The teams were playing four-on-four after Jordan Greenway and Nikolai Knyzhov went to the box for matching roughing penalties. Bjugstad posted himself in front of the net for a tip around Mario Ferraro and the Sharks goalie. Assists went to Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Suter.

The Wild led in shots during the second period, 15-12. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 57% of the second period draws.

The Wild tied the game 7:20 in to the third period with a power play goal from Kevin Fiala. It only took them three seconds of power play time. Ryan Suter got the puck out of an offensive zone draw and sent it to Fiala for a shot right up the middle. Assists went to Suter and Parise.

The Sharks snatched the game back with just 1:48 left in regulation. It was worth waiting for. Timo Meier had the puck after and offensive zone draw when Brent Burns came down off of the blue line. Meier got the puck to him and Burns bobbed and weaved his way through four Wild skaters before putting the puck away with a backhand lift. Assists went to Meier and Tomas Hertl.

Matt Nieto scored his second of the season into an empty net after gathering the puck in the D zone and carrying it out to take a shot a few strides over the Wild blue line. A quick review for off side showed that it was very close, even under the new rules that say any skate, on or off the ice, can keep you on side. The goal stood up.

Each team scored once in four power plays in the game. The Sharks finished with a solid lead in the face-off circle at 57%, though the Wild improved with each period. The standout Sharks in the face-off circle was Dylan Gambrell, winning 12 of his 16 draws (75%). Logan Couture won 11 of 18 (61%). Tomas Hertl was not very successful, winning just 9 of 22 (41%).

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Avalanche in Colorado at 6:00 PM PT.

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.