Sharks Beat Sabres 5-3; Seven Sharks sit for Covid protocols still get second straight win

San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl celebrates scoring his fifth goal of the season on this third period goal at 6:02 against the Buffalo Sabres at SAP Center in San Jose on Tue Nov 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 Tuesday night in San Jose. Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl (2), Jonathan Dahlen, Ryan Merkley and Mario Ferraro. James Reimer made 25 saves for the win. Sabres goals came from Jeff Skinner (2) and Drake Caggiula. Craig Anderson made 22 saves in the loss.

The Sharks roster is still in a state of flux due to COVID-19 protocols. Jonathan Dahlen was back, as was Andrew Cogliano, but Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc were out. Erik Karlsson, Jake Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic remained out. Logan Couture returned after missing the last game, though not for COVID-19.

After the game, Couture said: “It was chaotic but proud of the effort again. I mean, found a way. Went down to five D early in that second period, or maybe even half way through that second period. Credit to those guys back there, they found a way. I mean, it wasn’t pretty, the whole game, but, found a way.”

Jonathan Dahlen scored first for the Sharks, at 7:25 of the first period. Brent Burns sent a shot from the blue line right down the middle and into a swarm of bodies at the net. The puck evaded Anderson and sliped back into open ice where Dahlen lifted it into the net. Assists went to William Eklund and Burns.

A little over a minute later, Buffalo’s Jeff Skinner tied the game during a delayed penalty. His shot zipped through traffic in the slot and past Reimer. Assists went to Vinnie Hinostroza and Robert Hagg.

Ryan Merkley made it 2-1 Sharks at 12:49. After holding the puck patiently at the blue line, he took a shot that went off of a couple Sabres in front of the net before landing behind Anderson. Assists went to Alexander Barabanov and Tomas Hertl.

Hertl made it 3-1 Sharks early in the second period. Rudolfs Balcers picked up a turnover in the Sabres zone and carried it almost to the goal line before passing it back to the Hertl at the top of the slot. Hertl carried the puck around traffic down to the net and put it past Anderson at 6:13.

Drake Caggiula cut the Sharks lead down a bit at 13:33. Hinostroza brought the puck across the line and then passed it to Caggiula on the boards. Caggiula took a hard shot that went by Reimer on the far side. Assists went to Hinostroza and Dylan Cozens.

Early in the third, Mario Ferraro scored his first of the season with a one-timer from the blue line, off a pass from Nick Merkley. Assists went to Merkley and Jasper Weatherby.
Tomas Hertl added another at 11:46 to make it 5-2. He got the puck from Balcers just as he entered the zone, then wove his way through traffic right down the slot before taking the shot. Assists went to Balcers and Ferraro.

Jeff Skinner scored his second of the game at 18:13. Just as the puck jumped off of Reimer’s glove, Skinner tapped it out of the air. It bounced off the back of Reimer’s helmet and landed over the line. Assists went to Tage Thompson and Rasmus Asplund.

A littl emore than half way through the second period, Sharks defenseman Santeri Hatakka left the game with an upper body injury. He did not return and the team did not have any updates after the game.

The Sharks made an excellent showing in the face-off circle, winning 64% of the draws. The shot count was consistently close through the three periods, ending up 28-27 Sabres. There were few penalties in the game, and fewer power play shots. The Sharks power play had one shot on goal, the Sabres power play had none.

The Sharks next play on Thursday, at home against the St. Louis Blues at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks’ road woes continue as Matt Duchene quickly scores game-winner to lift Senators to 6-5 win in OT

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost in overtime 6-5 to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre Friday night. Three third period goals propelled the Senators into the extra period, where Matt Duchene scored the game-winner just seven seconds in. The loss is the third for the Sharks on this five-game road trip. San Jose has just one win since they hit the road on New Years Eve 2017.

Tomas Hertl did his part for San Jose, scoring twice. Additional goals came from Brent Burns, Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson. For Ottawa, Matt Duchene scored twice, including the overtime winner, while Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingle and Derick Brassard scored the balance of the Ottawa goals. Aaron Dell made 37 saves for San Jose, while Craig Anderson made 30 saves for Ottawa.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about the team’s third period breakdown:

Positives are there, you know, you come out, you get that lead, we played well. We get a point out of tonight but obviously what we’re focussed on right now is that third period and that was uncharacteristic of us. We’ll have to be aware of the situation and next time we’re in it we got to, you know, establish our game better. We always talk about it: it doesn’t matter if we have the lead or not, we got to play a certain way in the third and you can’t sit back. We might have a little bit too much tonight.

The first goal of the game was scored short-handed by Hertl at 6:29. Brent Burns snuck a pass to Logan Couture along the wall and Couture hit Hertl as he crossed the San Jose blue line for the breakaway.

Dzingle tied it up after Stone picked off a Kevin Labanc pass to Logan Couture on the Senators’ blue line. Stone and Brassard got away from the Sharks defense and no one was there to cover Dzingle as he came down the slot late. He arrived just in time to catch a clean pass from Stone and slip the puck around Dell at 10:05. Assists went to Stone and Brassard.

Karlsson answered three minutes later, tipping a blue line shot from Joakim Ryan. A second assist went to Jannik Hansen.

The Sharks seemed to run away with the game in the second period with two power play goals in a row. The first came in the final seconds of the power play. Joonas Donskoi, Chris Tierney and Timo Meier entered the zone fast with a pass from Tierney to Donskoi. Donskoi’s shot came off of Anderson’s pads right to Tierney who kicked the puck to his stick and took the shot. Assists went to Donskoi and Tim Heed.

The next goal came less than two minutes later, on yet another power play. Joe Pavelski carried the puck in and had to pass the puck back to Couture at the point. Couture redirected the puck to Burns along the blue line and he wasted no time on the shot. Couture and Pavelski had the assists.

The Senators started the climb back with a power play goal from Mark Stone just over a minute later. Erik Karlsson took a shot from the blue line that broke Couture’s stick. The dead shot trickled to Hoffman. He quickly passed it to Stone who put it by Dell on the short side.

At 13:27, Hertl extended the Sharks lead again, with a desperate wrap around shot while falling to the ice. The puck went off of Anderson’s stick, but assists went to Couture and Brenden Dillon.

Derick Brassard scored just 26 seconds into the third period. His shot came from a bad angle and went off of Dell’s skate through a gap by the post. Assists went to Stone and Karlsson.

The shots were 11-1 for the Senators in the third, when Matt Duchene scored off a rebound created by Bobby Ryan’s shot from the slot. Matt Hoffman also had an assist.

Hoffman followed that up by tying the game at 10:48. Dell could not get across quickly enough to stop Hoffman’s one-timer off Duchene’s pass. Assists went ot Duchene and Bobby Ryan.

Hoffman won the faceoff and went right into a two on one with Duchene. His last-moment pas across the goal mouth left Duchene with an almost open net.

The Sharks next play on Sunday in Winnipeg against the Jets at 12 pm PT.