Sharks Lose 5-2 to the Blues

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell to the St. Louis Blues 5-2 Saturday, at the SAP Center in San Jose. Blues goals came from Jordan Kyrou (2), Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Vince Dunn. Ville Husso made 29 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Dylan Gambrell scored for San Jose, and Devan Dubnyk made 16 saves in the loss.

The Sharks were penalized for a face-off violation in the third period, when the game was still tied 2-2. Patrick Marleau was taking the draw and the linesman took issue with the way he did it. Of the call, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I think everybody in the rink, including their team, our team, I think, the other linesman, the refs, I think everybody was shocked. It was a brutal, brutal call. It really in my mind, cost, it turned the whole game around.”

Patrick Marleau, who could not recall being penalized under this rule before, said: “Obviously he thought I cheated or turned too quickly on the draw. So I guess that was the reasoning behind the penalty.”

Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk was also asked about that penalty. He said:

“It’s 2-2 in the middle of the third period and you get a penalty called that I don’t think I’ve ever seen called except for maybe the first year, [in] exhibition season, when they first made the rule. And it’s embarrassing, it’s Mickey Mouse.”

Dylan Gambrell scored for San Jose at 2:33 of the first. The puck came to him high in the slot after Sorensen and Brent Burns chased it down behind the net.

St. Louis tied it up at 3:32 when Vince Dunn scored his fourth of the season. Dunn’s shot from the blue line looked likely to go wide but instead it hit Erik Karlsson’s shin pad and deflected in. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Ryan O’Reilly.

Kyrou gave the Blues the lead at 6:45. O’Reilly got control of the puck below the goal line and passed it up to Kyrou. Kyrou put the puck under Dubnyk in in the net. Assists went to O’Reilly and David Perron.

Mike Hoffman put the puck in the net near the 12 minute mark. The goal was called back after the Sharks challenged the play as offside.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks led on the shot clock 11-5. There was just one penalty in the first, to St. Louis. The Sharks had two shots on that power play.

Tomas Hertl tied the game 8:10 in to the second period. Nikolai Knyzhov’s pass from the defensive zone found Timo Meier on the other side of the neutral zone. Meier’s pass found Hertl speeding into the Blue’s zone. There was no one in the way to stop him as he took the shot.

The Sharks took two penalties in the second period and their penalty kill allowed just one shot to the Blues. The Sharks led in shots again, 10-8.

O’Reilly scored just 12 seconds into the power play that resulted from the face-off violation penalty. His shot from the face-off dot found its way through traffic and in. Assists went to Dunn and Perron.

Kyrou scored his second of the game at 15:51. Dubnyk followed the puck across to the right and Torey Krug passed it across the ice. Kyrou, who had just evaded Ryan Donato, tapped the puck in. Assists went to Krug and Perron.

David Perron scored into an empty net at 18:01 to make it 5-2.

The Final shot count was 31-21 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Sharks showed improvement over recent games, winning 59%. Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl both won 67% of their draws.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Los Angeles Kings, in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Lose to Blues 3-2 in OT

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 in overtime to the Blues on Thursday in St. Louis. Mike Hoffman, Brayden Schenn and David Perron scored for St. Louis. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 30 saves for the win. Noah Gregor and John Leonard scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 42 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said: “There were definitely parts of that game where we were in control of that game.” The team does seem to have shed it’s second period troubles, and is also playing better five-on-five. On that topic, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“We did some good things five-on-five tonight. And, you know, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Now it’s our penalty kill allowed that first goal in, took some momentum away from us. But we’re doing some better things and we’re working at it every day.”

St. Louis scored the only first period goal, on the power play at 6:12. Oskar Sundqvist tried to jam the puck under Martin Jones but was rejected. The rebound, however, went out to Mike Hoffman who had an open net to shoot into. Assists went to Sundqvist and David Perron.

St. Louis outshot the Sharks 12 to 10 in the first period. In the face-off circle, the Blues also prevailed with a 53% win percentage. The Sharks had one power play and one shot on that power play. The Blues had two power plays and got three shots in, including the goal.

Noah Gregor tied the game at 8:27 of the second period. The Sharks had been in their own zone for too long when Gregor carried the puck out. He maneuvered around the Blues defense and took a shot. That did not go but the Sharks got it back and eventually Nicolas Meloche got another shot in, this time from a bad angle. The shot rebounded to the other side of the net, where Gregor was ready to shoot it back in for his third of the season. Assists went to Meloche and Gambrell.

John Leonard scored his second NHL goal to give the Sharks the lead at 14:31. Ryan Donato fanned on a shot from close in, then and spun around and sent the puck down to Leonard who was by the post. Leonard’s quick shot beat Binnington as the goalie tried to get back in position. Assists went to Donato and Patrick Marleau.

San Jose outshot the Blues 12-8 in the penalty-free second period. The Sharks also improved in the face-off circle, winning 58% of the draws.

The Sharks held onto that lead until 19:20 of the third, when Brayden Schenn tied it up to force overtime. The Blues net was empty for the extra skater. Mikke Hoffman shot the puck at the net from just above the goal line, hitting Jones in the shoulder pad. Schenn was on the spot to catch the rebound and knock it in. Assists went to Hoffman and David Perron.

The Blues dominated the face-off circle in the third, winning 72% of the draws.

David Perron scored the game-winner 4:00 into overtime. Patrick Marleau was called for hooking Ryan O’Reilly, giving the Blues a power play that started with 1:36 left in the period. As the Blues entered the zone, Torey Krug held the puck just below the blue line long enough for Perron to get to the net. The Shrs penalty killers were nowhere near Perron and he took a quick shot from the face-off circle. Assists went to Krug and Jordan Binnington.

The Blues out-shot the Sharks 10-1 in the overtime period.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 4:00 PM PT, again in St. Louis against the Blues.

Sharks Preseason 2017: San Jose Wins 5-3 to End Preseason

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

by M. Walsh

After two losses in a row, and six periods without a goal, the Sharks finished the preseason with a 5-3 win in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights. The game winner came on the power play from young defenseman Nick DeSimone. Goaltender Aaron Dell stopped 20 of 22 shots in the first half of the game, while Troy Grosenick stopped 14 of 15 in the second half. For Las Vegas, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 of 32 shots.

NHL regulars to skate for San Jose included Joel Ward, Chris Tierney, Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi and Brandon Bollig. Dylan DeMelo was the most veteran defenseman. John McCarthy and Barclay Goodrow, AHL veterans with significant NHL time under their belts, skated as well.

The Sharks were outshot 13-6 in the first period. Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas scored first at 8:08. The Sharks had an offensive zone draw but McCarthy lost it to Haula. As the puck bounced around behind Fleury’s net, Haula predicted its path well enough to reach it in the slot and took off down the ice before McCarthy or Simek could catch him.

Late in the period, DeSimone went to the box for holding the stick. During an abbreviated 4 on 3 power play, David Perron was unable to hold the puck in after Radim Simek cleared it from in front of the net. Marcus Sorensen was there, chasing the puck out and he had momentum on his side when the puck slid over the blue line. Perron and Vadim Shipachyov both gave chase. DeSimone pulled up as Fleury came out to meet him on the edge of the blue paint. DeSimone moved the puck to his left while diving over Fleury’s legs to tap the puck in. Simek got the assist on the tying goal.

The Sharks picked up their game in the second, scoring twice and outshooting Vegas 13-9. At 4:28, Chris Tierney scored on a power play while Jason Garrison sat in the box for tripping. It only took seven seconds for the team to get set up. Joel Ward sent the puck to the blue line where Tim Heed caught it and sent it to Dylan Demelo, who shot it. Tierney tipped it in for San Jose’s first lead in seven periods.

Near the halfway point of the period, Ryan Carpenter redirected a stray puck out of the Sharks zone, to Barclay Goodrow along the neutral zone boards. Finding himself free to do so, Goodrow skated to the faceoff circle and put a shot over Fleury’s left shoulder. It was the Sharks’ only even-strength goal of the game.

Two minutes later, the Sharks thwarted a three on two rush from Vegas, but could not get the puck back out before David Perron got control of the puck along the blue line. After a moment’s reflection, he took the long shot and scored. William Karlsson got the assist.

After that goal, the shot count was 22-11 Las Vegas.

A couple of minutes later, Cody Eakin carried the puck around behind the Sharks net and found Colin Miller just crossing the blue line. Eakin’s pass reached Miller perfectly for a quick shot to tie the game. Assists went to Eakin and Shea Theodore.

Tied going into the third, the game winner came on a power play just past the halfway mark. After surviving a three on two short-handed rush, the Sharks went the other way quickly enough to keep the Knights from getting their penalty kill set back up. A shot from Daniel O’Regan produced a rebound that DeSimone was able to push under Fleury. Assists went to O’Regan and Timo Meier.

The Knights pulled Fleury with 1:45 left, and used their timeout. The Sharks kept the Knights to the outside of their zone until the final 30 seconds when Grosenick stopped a shot from Schmidt and kicked it right up into the slot. Luckily, Joel Ward was there to help it along, all the way down and into the empty net.

Ironically, Timo Meier and Mikkel Boedker led the Sharks forwards in shots on goal with four each, yet came away with just one assist between them. For the Knights, Jason Marchessault got credit for seven shots on goal.

The Sharks will play their first regular season game on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers in San Jose. The game starts at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Preseason 2017: Sharks Host Knights, Win 5-2

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

By M. Walsh

SAN JOSE- The  San Jose Sharks hosted the NHLs newest team on Thursday, defeating the Las Vegas Golden Knights 5-2. Sharks goals came from Kevin Labanc, Joe Pavelksi, Melker Karlsson, Jannik Hansen and Tomas Hertl. Knights goals came from David Perron and Teemu Pulkinen.

San Jose veterans seen in Thursday’s preseason match included Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Martin Jones, Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson. Noteable rookies seen included Timo Meir, Joakim Ryan and Kevin Labanc. The game winner was scored by Joe Pavelski, but the first Sharks goal was Labanc’s. Vegas did not have their presumed starting goaltender in net, Marc-Andre Fleury. Instead, they had Calvin Pickard, backed up by Maxime Lagace. Aaron Dell backed up Martin Jones for San Jose.

The Sharks held the Knights to a single shot for the first ten minutes of play, putting four of their own on net. Near the end of the first, Julius Bergman went to the box for tripping, giving the Sharks their second penalty in the period. By then, San Jose had six shots on goal, and Vegas took their second of the period during the power play.

A couple of minutes later, veteran Melker Karlsson went to the box for hooking. Joakin Ryan handled himself pretty well on the penalty kill, keeping the puck safely below the goal line while reinforcements arrived. The Sharks managed a couple of short-handed chances, including a breakaway for Tomas Hertl, but Vegas goalie Calvin Pickard kept it scoreless.

By the end of the period, the shots were 9-2 Sharks.

The Knights took their first penalty a few minutes into the second period. At first, the Sharks power play did not seem any more effective than the Vegas one. The Knights had their own breakaway, but Jones stopped that and when play went the other way, Kevin LaBanc found himself alone with the puck in the slot. His wrist shot found its way in for the first goal of the game at 4:13. Assists went to Timo Meier and Chris Tierney.

At 8:58 of the second, during a 5 on 3 power play, Joe Pavelski scored San Jose’s second. The first assist went to Burns for his feed from below the goal line. A second assist went to Dylan DeMelo. Curiously, Pavelksi had put one in the net moments earlier from a bounce off the safety netting. The whistle had already gone and no one really believed it was a goal.

Before the second penalty expired, Jannik Hansen picked up a rebound and put it behind Pickard for the Sharks’ third goal. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Joakim Ryan.

The fourth Sharks goal came from Brenden Dillon all the way up at the blue line. Chris Tierney opted to pass it back to him instead of taking a shot from the faceoff circle. That was the team’s first even-strength goal of the game.

The second period ended 4-0 Sharks, with the shot count at 19-8.

The Sharks had an early power play in the third period, but it was negated by a goaltender interference call against Joe Pavelksi. With 37 seconds left in the Pavelski penalty, Timo Meier went to the box for slashing. The Knights started the five on three in the offensive zone. After three tries at cycling the puck around the boards and back to David Perron on the goal line, the Knights broke the shutout. The Knights scored again before the power play expired, a simple-looking play off the faceoff that left Teemu Pulkinen unguarded and free to shoot from the slot.

Tomas Hertl got one back in a nice play with Timo Meier. The two of them skated in and, as Meier took a shot, they switched sides and Hertl picked up the rebound to make it 5-2. A second assist went to Joakim Ryan.

During the final 34 seconds of the game, Brandon Mashinter and Stefan Matteau engaged in some fisticuffs.

Final score, 5-2 San Jose. The Sharks will play their next preseason game on Saturday in Arizona.

Oilers Slip By Sharks 2-1

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Frans

By Mary Walsh

A 2-1 loss in Edmonton ended the San Jose Sharks’ winning streak at four, and the Oilers’ losing streak at eleven.

As they have done often lately, the Sharks started slow in Edmonton. A poor first period did not seem to hurt them much, as they finished tied at zero. But their sluggish start may have given the Oilers some much needed confidence. Fairly solid defense in the third allowed the Oilers to hang on to a 2-1 lead and break their eleven game losing streak. It was also the Oilers’ first win this season over a western conference team.

The game winning goal went off of Sharks’ defenseman Brenden Dillon. After the game, he said: “A shot like that, it’s going wide, I’m kind of almost just trying to get out of the way, it hits me perfectly and just goes in.”

The Sharks’ lone goal was scored by Tye McGinn, in his first game since November 29. He described the goal after the game:

I just tried to get to the net. Paddy’s a great player, he can find you pretty much anywhere you are on the ice, so I tried to go to the net as quick as I could and he made a great pass.

It was a great pass, a very pretty backhand pass from the corner. Marleau had a very good game in general. He led the team in shots, had a couple of breakaways, and created several good chances for his team.

The Oilers goals were scored by Nail Yakupov and David Perron. Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves for the win, while Al Stalock made 22 saves on 24 shots. It was Stalock’s first game after returning from a knee injury.

The Oilers outshot the Sharks 11-2 in the first period. That may have helped goaltender Al Stalock find his game in a hurry. After the game, Stalock said as much: “I felt good, got some work early, got into the game, got my legs under me and got into it. So it was good that way.”

The first period saw Tomas Hertl miss a few shifts with an arm or wrist problem after he fell over an Oiler, but he was back in play before the end of the first.

The first penalty of the game went to Mirco Mueller for delay of game. That was almost 15 minutes into the period. A close call during the power play had Al Stalock scrambling but alert. He did stop it in his skates. Another Edmonton chance found Stalock out of the net and playing the puck. The Sharks finished killing the penalty off without incident.

6:18 into the second period, James Sheppard and Keith Aulie went to the penalty box with fighting majors and minors for roughing (Sheppard) and boarding (Aulie). Neither team got a power play out of that but just over a minute later Brenden Dillon was called for holding.

Seconds into the power play, Jordan Eberle skated through the paint in front of Stalock as the goaltender came out to freeze the puck. After the game, Stalock explained how he and Eberle ended up tangled up away from the net: “He had his stick under my glove and I was trying to freeze it and he wanted the puck and he won the battle.”

That became more complicated when Justin Braun, skating backwards, fell over Stalock, leaving the net open and two Sharks out of play. The Oilers managed to capitalize on that and take the lead with a power play goal. Nail Yakupov was the beneficiary, with assists going to Eberle and Jeff Petry.

A couple of minutes after that vaudevillian moment, the Sharks came back with a goal from Tye McGinn off a very slick backhand pass from Patrick Marleau in the corner. It was McGinn’s first of the season and as a Shark. Assists went to Marleau and Brent Burns.

By the end of the second, the Sharks had nine shots for the period, to the Oilers’ seven.

Early in the third period, Logan Couture drew a high sticking penalty against Boyd Gordon. The Sharks power play did not go particularly well, despite a good start. Once the Oilers got the puck out, the Sharks could not get set up again. Edmonton responded with some aggressive offense, keeping the Sharks on their heels for several shifts. That ended with a roughing penalty to Oilers forward Steven Pinizzotto at 5:30. This Sharks power play was a little more tenacious. Even after the penalty expired, the Sharks continued to attack for several shifts.

The Oilers got themselves together by the middle of the period, and after a long spell in the Sharks’ zone, took their second lead of the game. A shot from David Perron near the faceoff dot deflected off of Brenden Dillon and in. Assists went to Teddy Purcell and Mark Fayne.

Patrick Marleau led the Sharks in shots with five. Brenden Dillon led the team in hits with four. Brent Burns led the team in ice time with 24:33.

Tayor Hall led the Oilers in shots with three. Andrew Ference led is team in hits with six, and in ice time with 26:25.

With Matt Nieto out for a second game in a row, and Tyler Kennedy injured in Saturday’s game, the Sharks had all available skaters in the game with Tye McGinn and John Scott both playing.

The Sharks play the Oilers again on Tuesday in San Jose at 7:30 PT.