Sharks Shut Out Blues 4-0, Erik Karlsson Scores

Photo credit: @nbcbayarea

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — In an unusual twist, the San Jose Sharks defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-0, a mirror image of their loss in St. Louis eight days ago. Joe Pavelski scored twice, with additional goals from Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane. It was Karlsson’s first goal as a Shark. Logan Couture had assists on three of those goals. Aaron Dell, who was also in net on the eighth in St. Louis, made 30 saves for the shutout. Blues goaltender Chad Johnson made 25 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said:

Tonight was kind of classic Shark hockey and that’s good, that’s what we were striving for. No breakaways, that was nice. I don’t know if they had any two on ones, you know there was a couple of breakdowns here and there and Deller was great for us. But we got the offense off of being smart and it comes if you do it right, for the most part. Tonight was a good bounce back game for us.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer credited the team’s attention to detail: “I thought our attention to detail was much better. It helped getting the lead and getting a couple goals and playing out in front. I thought Deller made a couple saves at the right time. There were some scrambles there where, you know, if we let one in maybe the game swings a little bit, but I thought overall our attention to detail all over the ice was the best it’s been in probably a week or so.”

The first period was contentious, with the teams exchanging good chances without many whistles. The Blues had a power play very early in the period, a tripping call against Couture 48 seconds in. The Sharks killed that off and had their own power play start in the final seconds of the period. David Perron went to the box for interference at 19:38. The Sharks had the lead in shots 14-9, but overall, the period did not favor either team.

The conclusion of that Sharks’ power play started the second period. San Jose did not score, but the Blues could not clear the puck either. The Sharks did not even get a chance to change units until the penalty expired. Just as it did, Kevin Labanc was tripped, giving the Sharks another power play.

As the final seconds of the second power play wound down, the Sharks gained the zone and a Couture shot rebounded right up the slot for Karlsson. Karlsson picked a corner over Johnson’s shoulder and scored his first goal as a Shark. Assists went to Couture and Kane.

The Blues responded with furious energy in their offense. They got a three on one shortly after the goal, and then spent a long spell in the Sharks zone, thwarting efforts to clear the puck. They did not, however, get many shots on goal. It was the Sharks who scored next.

Pavelski went into the zone 2-on-1 with Timo Meier. He passed it to Meier for the shot, but Johnson stopped that. Pavelski got to the rebound just as he reached the goal line and muscled a shot past Jay Bouwmeester by the post. Assists went to Meier and Couture. It was Pavelski’s 12th goal of the season.

The Sharks did not wait long to stretch out their lead. 1:14 later, a pass off the rush from Karlsson found Kane in the slot as both skaters moved to the net. Kane took the shot for his seventh goal of the season. Assists went to Karlsson and Antti Suomela.

At the break that followed the third goal, the shots for the period were 11-2 San Jose. That count shifted a little as the period went on, with some important saves from Dell. The Blues in their own zone a couple of times, wearing them down so that a stop by Dell was the only option for relief. By the end of the period, the shots were 13-10 for the Sharks, or 7-2 Blues for the second half of the period.

That shot disparity carried on through the third period, with the Sharks only getting credit for two shots in the final frame. The Blues got 11 shots during the third, but the only goal was scored by Pavelski. Couture pushed his way across the blue line with the puck and created a two on one opportunity with Pavelski. Couture’s timely pass found Pavelski inside the faceoff dot with the goaltender still coming across the goal mouth. It was Pavelski’s 13th of the season. Assists went to Couture and Meier.

The Sharks next play Tuesday against the visiting Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 PM PT.

Blues Shut Out Sharks 4-0

Photo credit: @StLouisBlues

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on Friday–their second loss in a row, both to Central Division teams. Goals came from Alex Pietrangelo, Ryan O’Reilly, Jaden Schwartz and Alexander Steen. Chad Johnson made 33 saves for the shutout. Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell made 27 saves on 31 shots for the Sharks.

Each team had four power plays, but all of the goals were at even strength. It was the sixth win of the season for St. Louis and the sixth loss for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “I think yesterday we were reckless but we had energy. Today we were reckless without energy.”

Sharks captain Joe Pavelksi said: “We’re a better team than we showed the last two games. Just the simple breakdowns, kind of getting out of the system, we kind of see what happens. It can cost you.”

Asked about the Sharks’ defensive game, Pavelski said: “I’m fine with our foundation, you know, I’m really satisfied with that. It’s about us executing it a little bit better. And we need to be a little bit more committed to it.”

Asked if the breakdowns might be attributed to having new faces on the team this season, Sharks forward Logan Couture said: “We’re 17 games in. It’s almost a quarter of the season. You can use that excuse for one or two or maybe even three, you can’t use it for 17. So, we’ve got to figure it out.”

After the game in Dallas on Thursday, coach DeBoer made some line changes. Marcus Sorensen was with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, while Evander Kane was on a line with Antti Suomela and Joonas Donskoi. Barclay Goodrow was on a line with Rourke Chartier and Melker Karlsson. With Tomas Hertl still out with concussion symptoms, Kevin Labanc was on the top line with Logan Couture and Timo Meier. On defense, Tim Heed stepped into Joakim Ryan’s spot with Brent Burns. Aaron Dell was in net, which was to be expected in the second game of back to backs.

The Blues scored at 14:50 of the first period. The teams were playing four on four, with Joe Pavelski and Vince Dunn in the box for mutual slashing penalties. Ironically, no one was in the box for Alex Pietrangelo’s stick to Barclay Goodrow’s face, which sent the Sharks forward to the room for repairs.

Just over 30 seconds into the penalties, Pietrangelo caught a pass from Vladimir Tarasenko right in the slot. He had time to pick a spot and shoot over Dell’s shoulder. Assists went to Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly.

The Sharks ended the first period in the middle of a power play. That power play wound down without a goal to start the second period. The Blues extended their lead with a goal at 5:28 from Ryan O’Reilly. The Sharks had been outshooting the Blues 5-0 on the period, including some short-handed chances, but play went the other way and Tarasenko got the puck out from behind the Sharks net to Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz sent the puck across the slot to O’Reilly, who caught Dell moving across.

Almost ten minutes later, the Blues scored again. This time, the goal followed a prolonged assault from St. Louis. The Sharks were forced to ice the puck and the Blues took advantage of tired defenders. Jaden Schwartz went to the net an awaited a pass from Tyler Bozak to his right. the short pass set him up for a nice shot over a moving goalie. Assists went to Bozak and Alexander Steen.

The Blues ended the second period on a power play and started the third finishing it off. The Sharks got their third power play of the game at 8:11 of the third. The power play was not very strong and the Sharks gave up a short-handed breakaway to Bozak in the final seconds. Dell was able to prevent another goal.

At 12:21, Steen scored a fourth for the Blues while Sharks got tangled up with a flurry of Blues skaters in the slot. Steen skated around and through the traffic and put his shot over Dell’s pads. Assists went to Bozak and Colton Parayko.

Brent Burns took a tripping penalty moments later, putting the Sharks on the penalty kill. The Blues did not take chances with their power play and killed time, holding the zone. Dell made a good glove save on Parayko, but didn’t have to make many saves for that penalty kill.

The Sharks next play on Sunday back in San Jose against the Calgary Flames at 6:00 PM PT. That game will kick off a six-game homestand for Team Teal.