Sharks Lose 2-1 in OT to Senators

mercurynews.com photo: The Ottawa Senators Chris Tierney (71) tries to put the puck past San Jose Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell (30) during a penalty shot in the second period on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks fell 2-1 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators Saturday at the SAP Center. Ottawa goals came from Nick Paul and ex-Shark Chris Tierney. Goaltender Craig Anderson made 31 saves for the win. The lone Sharks goal came from Evander Kane, while San Jose goalie Aaron Dell made 36 saves in the loss.

After the game, the Sharks goalie said: “We had only a couple breakdowns. For the most part I think we played a really solid game. And we had a lot of chances, just bounced over our stick a couple of times, just you know some bad luck I think. One of those goes in, it’s a whole different game.”

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was asked how he felt after getting 31.5 minutes of ice time. He said: “I feel great, I feel good. I think we’re all in the same boat. We all train for the summer to play more than what we ever play so it’s good. I get to eat more tonight now.”

The Senators scored on their ninth shot of the first period, at 10:33. The Senators moved the puck from the blue line, below the goal line, back to the blue line, and behind the net again. Jayce Hawryluk gathered the puck behind the net and Anthony Duclair made a short pass to the front for the net for Nick Paul.

The Sharks had the only power plays in the first period, one at 7:41, one at 17:11 and a third at 19:32. They got three shots on those power plays before finally scoring at the tail end of the period.

Evander Kane tipped a Brent Burns shot but that did not go through. Kane followed up and got his stick on the puck again to pop it into the net. Assists went to Brent Burns and Timo Meier.

The shot count for the period was 16-14 Sharks. San Jose also had a very good period in the face-off circle, winning 65% of the time. Joe Thornton, Evander Kane and Dylan Gambrell shared the bulk of those face-offs, each taking five draws.

In his first NHL game, Nikolai Knyzhov took the Sharks’ first penalty of the game at 4:28 of the second. The Sharks killed that off, allowing just one shot on goal.
The teams traded breakaways in the final few minutes of the second period but both goaltenders were up to the task.

Radim Simek kicked the puck into the net with 24.8 seconds left and the goal was immediately waved off. Simek then went to the other end and swept the puck away from the crease before it could cross the line. Since he closed his glove over the puck, that earned the Senators a penalty shot, taken by Chris Tierney. Dell attempted a poke check, and then Tierney lost control of the puck before he could take the shot.

By the end of the period, the shots were 10-9 Senators.

Both teams had good chances in the middle of the third period, including shots from Couture and Labanc in quick succession, without breaking the 1-1 tie. The Senators pressed hard in the final minute and Dell had to stop a great chance for Colin White in the final 20 seconds to get the game into overtime. The shot count for the period was 13-5 Senators.

Overtime did not last long, ending after just 35 seconds. Christ Tierney scored in a two on one after Anthony Duclair made a pass across the ice, around a sliding Brent Burns. Assists went to Duclair and Chabot.

The Sharks next play against the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday at 7:00 PM PT at the SAP Center.

Sharks Shut-out Penguins 5-0; Jones stops all 30 Penguin shots

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks goaltender Marty Jones (31) puts one of his 30 saves on the Pittsburgh Penguins Teddy Blueger (53) in the second period on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 Saturday, extending the Penguins’ losing streak to six. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Joel Kellman, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton. In all, nine Sharks players earned points in the game. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 30 saves for the win. Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry made 27 saves on 32 shots.

After the game, Sharks  captain Logan Couture said:

We know how it feels to be going through a tough time like that, when you get jumped on early. It really takes the wind out of your sails. So, that was our goal and I thought we did a very good job. You know, we started on time, we placed the puck in good spots and forced them to defend. With their skilled players they don’t like doing that was the big difference tonight.

The first period was scoreless until the 18:48 mark when Evander Kane took advantage of a turn-over in the neutral zone. He broke away form the pack and went right for the net. He moved right but then shot left to beat Tristan Jarry on the blocker side. Marc-Edouard Vlasic got the assist.

The shots were almost even at 11-10 Sharks. There was just one penalty, a tripping call against Mario Ferraro. The Penguins got three shots on the power play.

In the second period, penalties were called early and often. Each team had two penalties before the half-way mark of the period. Just 2:13 in, Evander Kane went to the box for a double-minor high-sticking against Chad Ruhwedel. Before that expired, Patrick Marleau was called for slashing Mario Ferraro. Less than a minute after that, Mario Ferraro was called for high-sticking Sidney Crosby. At 9:05, Marcus Pettersson was called for tripping Brent Burns. The Penguins got four shots during their time with the man advantage, while the Sharks got none.

Just seconds after that fourth penalty ended, Timo Meier added to the Sharks’ tally. Mario Ferraro held the puck in the zone and then, under pressure, got it to Marcus Sorensen. Sorensen made a quick pass to Timo Meier who was in the face-off circle. Meier took a shot that went under a defender’s stick and then through a hole against the post. Assists went to Sorensen and Ferraro.

At 14:15, Joel Kellman scored the Sharks’ third goal of the game. Marcus Sorensen carried the puck in along the boards, but had Schultz all over him. He dropped the puck to Kellman, who looked like he might pass to Radim Simek. Instead, he took the shot.

Radim Simek and Patrick Hornqvist added to the penalty tally with simultaneous minors at 14:56. A series of slashes around the Sharks net resulted in Simek challenging Hornqvist to fight but his invitation was declined. Simek went for roughing while Hornqvist went for slashing.

Logan Couture scored San Jose’s fourth of the game 8:01 into the third period. Ferraro took a shot from the blue line that Couture redirected under the goalie for his 16th of the season. Assists went to Ferraro and Kane.

Patric Hornqvist was called for interference at the same time as that goal, putting the Sharks on a power play. The Sharks got one shot on that power play.

Joe Thornton inadvertently scored the Sharks’ fifth goal. He tried to pass the puck to Timo Meier on the other side of the blue paint, but it went off a defender and into the net instead. Assists went to Meier and Tim Heed.

The final shot count was 32-30 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Penguins won 57% of the draws.

Midway through the third period, Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton and Penguins forward Dominik Simon left the game with injuries. Their injuries were not related but occurred at almost the same time in the game. Patrick Hornqvist pushed Middleton down in front of the net and Middleton seemed to get one leg in a bad position. “I just know Middsy went down pretty hard. I think it was his left ankle, he was screaming. It wasn’t good,” said Logan Couture after the game.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: Sharks have lost three of last five games; team lacking offense try for win tonight at MSG

photo sfgate.com: New Jersey Devils teammate celebrate with left wing Jesper Bratt (63), center, after Bratt scored a game-tying goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Newark, N.J. 

#1 The Sharks lost in very narrow game to the New Jersey Devils Thursday 2-1 it was the Sharks third loss in five games

#2 Tim Heed was the only player to score a goal from the Sharks on Thursday the offense was simply shut down by New Jersey

#3 How much of an impact were the season ending injuries for defenseman Erik Karlsson and forward Tomas Hertl?

#4 The suspension of Evander Kane has taken away a chunk of the offense the Sharks can just get over the hump right now.

#5 Sharks face the New York Rangers tonight at MSG New York could this be another handful for San Jose

Mary Lisa does the Sharks podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks, Jones, Shut Out Wild 2-0; Sharks win four out of last five

photo from nbcsports.com:

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks shut out the Minnesota Wild 2-0 Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. It was Martin Jones’ first shut-out of the season. He made 39 saves in the win, with goals from Dylan Gambrell and Melker Karlson. Alex Stalock made 19 saves on 20 shots in the loss.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

I think you have to give credit to the players. Facing the injuries that we were facing, and, I think, a little bit of adversity, and Jonesy coming in there and doing the job. I know they wanted to play hard for him. I thought we really defended well. You know, we gave up 39 shots and they threw a lot at us but I thought we played hard and I thought Jonesy made the saves that he had to.

Asked about Dylan Gambrell’s goal, he said: “That whole line, the True line, I think they did their job. I had to put Dylan out there as a right-hand shot on a couple of key face-offs against some really good players and he did a really good job. And they chipped in with a goal 5-on-5 and that always helps, if you’re getting some depth scoring. And a lot of our skill is out and guys like that have to step up.”

The Sharks went into Saturday’s game in Minnesota down two more players as well as Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture. Evander Kane received a three-game suspension for an elbow in Friday’s game against the Jets. Kane’s comments on the NHL’s decision can be found on Twitter. The NHL may have a public response to those comments but they have not made one yet.

Erik Karlsson injured his hand in the same game and the team declared the defenseman out for the rest of the season. The Sharks filled out the roster with Antti Suomela and Tim Heed, who have both played with the Sharks this season. Heed last played on January 16 and Suomela played on February 1.

The Wild out-shot the Sharks in the first period 10-8, though the Sharks had two plus power plays, including a two man advantage for 1:52. They had four shots in those combined power plays. The Sharks also had to kill one penalty, allowing one shot to Minnesota’s top-ranked power play. The Sharks did very well in the face-off circle, winning 74% of them.

The shot disparity continued in the second period, with the count at 14-6 Wild. There was a single penalty in the second, an illegal stick penalty to Kevin Labanc. Labanc lost his stick in a collision along the boards and Timo Meier pushed it back to him with his own stick. The move by Meier made it illegal for Labanc to use that stick. the Wild got credit for one shot on that power play.

The face-off contest went to Minnesota in the second, with the Wild winning 67% of them.

The Sharks scored at 3:08 of the third when Brent Burns’ shot went off of Dylan Gambrell in front of the net. It was Gambrell’s third of the year with Burns and Antti Suomela getting the assists.

The Sharks had one more penalty to kill in the third, and again they allowed just one shot on goal.

The Wild pulled Stalock from the net for the extra skater with 1:36 to go in the third. Melker Karlsson and Patrick Marleau had shots at the empty net but the Wild defense was there to prevent those goals. Karlsson and Barclay Goodrow had another chance, this time as a two-man breakaway. Goodrow gave the puck to Karlsson for the shot and Karlsson took it. Goodrow got the assist.

The third period face-off battle went to the Wild as they won 62% of them. The shot count was also in their favor 15-7. The lion’s share of the Sharks face-offs were taken by Joe Thornton (won 13 of 19) and Barclay Goodrow (won 9 of 22).

The Sharks will next play on Monday in San Jose against the Florida Panthers at 1:00 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Jets 3-2 in Winnipeg; Sharks win three of last four games

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks Brendan Dillion (4) goes airborne after having a collision with the Winnipeg Jets Nikolaj Ehlers (27) as the Sharks Evander Kane (9) is in the background in Friday night’s game in Winnipeg

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 Friday, in Brent Burns’ 1,100th NHL game. Sharks goals came from Marcus Sorensen, Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier. Aaron Dell made 30 saves in the win. Jets goals came from Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler, with Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck making 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

You’re never going to come in and play the Jets and not give up some chances, with the team they have and the offense. But I thought we did some really good things away from the puck. I thought that we had guys climbing above and not giving too many odd-man rushes. And there were spurts in the game that we were really good defensively, and when they had their chances, Deller was there to make the big stop.

Timo Meier has three goals and four assists in the last six games, including the game-winner Friday. Of this streak, Evander Kane said: “He’s playing heavy. You know, he’s skating. He’s a big powerful guy with a good scoring touch. When he goes hard to the net, he can finish. So that was another example of that tonight.”

In the first period, the Sharks out shot the Jets 13-3. At 14:51, Marcus Sorensen scored in a chaotic scrum in front of Connor Hellebuyck. Assists went to Alexander True and Dylan Gambrell. The Jets challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the challenge was unsuccessful, giving the Sharks their first power play.

The second period was something of a reversal, with the teams even in shots at 11, but the Jets scoring twice.

Their first goal came on a power play at 8:21, with Evander Kane in the box for interference. From right in front of the net, Kyle Connor was able to put a shot between his legs and over Dell’s shoulder, into the top corner. Assists went to Blake Wheeler and Neal Pionk.

Blake Wheeler scored less than two minutes later. His shot went past a moving screen and into the top corner. Andrew Copp found him with a pass from the corner, and a second assist went to Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Sharks ended the second period on a power play when Josh Morrisey was called for holding Timo Meier. They started the third with 1:54 remaining on that power play. The did not get any shots on net in that power play.

At 5:18, Melker Karlsson did score, in a quick give and go play with Joel Kellman. The give and go had the Jets defense discombobulated enough that when Karlsson got to the front of the net and received the puck no one was in his way. Assists went to Kellman and
Stefan Noesen.

Timo Meier added another for the Sharks, just 1:29 later. Brent Burns sent the puck to the net where Kevin Labanc tried to get to it. Dmitry Kulikov was in his way so he couldn’t get control of it. The puck trickled out to the side of the blue paint, where Meier found it and put it in the net. Assists went to Labanc and Burns.

The teams played 4-on-4 at 6:55 when Marcus Sorensen went to the box for roughing against Jack Roslovic, and Roslovic went for cross-checking Sorensen. The Sharks killed Evander Kane’s second penalty of the game at 13:17 of the third, and held on to their lead for the rest of the period. The Jets pulled their goaltender with about two minutes to go. Those final minutes were marked by many good saves from Aaron Dell and some missed clearing opportunities for the Sharks, but they kept the puck out of the net.

The third period shot count was 16-11 Jets. The face-off contest went to the Jets 53%-47%.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in St Paul against the Minnesota Wild at 2:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Capitals 5-4 in OT; Losers of seven of their last nine games

sfgate.com photo: Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, celebrates his winning goal in overtime of an NHL hockey game with defenseman John Carlson (74) as San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) skates away Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Washington

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost to the Washington Capitals 5-4 in overtime on Sunday. The Sharks dominated through most of the game, with a second period hat-trick from Evander Kane, and an empty net goal from Logan Couture in the third. But the Capitals came back with two goals in the final minute of the third to tie the game. Washington goals came from Jakub Vrana (2), Nic Dowd, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 25 saves in the win, while Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 24 saves in the loss.

An important bright spot for the Sharks was that they scored two power play goals. With their game going so well, the last-minute collapse was a shock. After the game, Sharks forward Joe Thornton summarized his team’s game as: “It looked good, it looked real good, then all of a sudden just disappeared, real quick.”

Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner gave the Capitals some credit in the loss:

It’s tough to let that one get away, 4-2 with a minute to go. I mean, you know, third period we didn’t allow a lot five on five. Defensively, we were pretty tight. You could take a million great things out of this game for us but, you know, that’s why they’re leading the league. That’s why they’ve got the most points, because they find ways to win games. As disappointed as I am, I’m pretty content on the way our five-on-five game looks.

The first period was scoreless and penalty free, with the teams very close in shots at 13-10 Sharks. At 1:14 of the second period, Barclay Goodrow tipped a Timo Meier shot into the net. The goal was disallowed, as Goodrow’s stick was too high when he touched the puck.

The Sharks scored their first goal on the power play at 6:25. Joe Thornton picked up a rebound from an Evander Kane shot. He circled around by the boards and then gave the puck back to Kane for a quick shot to the far side of the net. Assists went to Thornton and Timo Meier.

The Capitals got that back at 7:29 when Nic Dowd skated to the net and got a pass from Brendan Leipsic. The Sharks were caught out of position defensively, allowing both Washington skaters to get a step on them. Assists went to Leipsic and Michal Kempny.

Another defensive breakdown by the Sharks left Martin Jones to make a save while Hathaway was tripping over him at 7:56. A slashing penalty to Evander Kane came out of that.

The Sharks killed that off and as soon as the penalty ended, Kane came out of the box and followed Logan Couture into the zone. Couture dropped the puck to him just inside the blue line. As Couture continued to skate to the net, he created a screen for Kane to shoot and score at 10:06. Assists went to Couture and Melker Karlsson.

Kane completed the second period hat trick with a second power play goal at 16:49. Radko Gudas was in the box for slashing Patrick Marleau as they competed for position in front of the net. Erik Karlsson took a shot right up the center and before anyone else could find the puck, Kane caught the rebound and knocked it in. Assists went to Karlsson and Timo Meier.

The Capitals got one back before the period ended, at 18:42. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s attempt to send the puck around the boards was thwarted by an official’s skate behind the net. T.J Oshie gathered up the puck and sent it to the front of the net where Jakub Vrana was waiting to shoot it in.

The shots were close again in the second period, 12-11 Capitals.

The Sharks held their lead but did not extend it through most of the third period. The Sharks had killed off a Washington power play and failed to score on two of their own. Logan Couture scored into the empty net at 19:00, giving the Sharks the two goal lead.

Washington got one back just 13 seconds later. The Sharks couldn’t get the puck out, under siege from six Washington skaters. When Lars Eller went to center the puck, his pass went off of Mario Ferraro’s skate and to Jakub Vrana in a perfect shooting position. Assists went to Eller and Radko Gudas.

The teams sat for some time then, waiting for an issue to be resolved by officials.

When they got back to play, T.J. Oshie tied the game at 19:45. With their net empty again, and with a clear prevented by a bounce off of an official (again), the puck ended up in the face-off circle, on Oshie’s stick. Assists went to Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom.

The shots in the third period were surprisingly low but shocking for the Sharks, who had only three. The Capitals had six.

The Sharks had some good moments in overtime. Timo Meier broke up a pass to prevent a three-on-one goal at early, then he sent a pass to Brent Burns for a breakaway. Timo Meier had a shot go off of the goal post, and then Burns and Kane had a two-on-one that Holtby stopped. The Sharks got two shots on goal before it was over.

The Capitals responded with a two-on-one against Erik Karlsson. John Carlson carried the puck in and made a pass across to Lars Eller, who scored as Martin Jones slid across to follow the pass. Assists went to Carlson and Holtby. It was Washington’s only shot of the overtime period.

The teams ended the game with 29 shots each.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in St. Louis against the Blues at 5:00 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Blue Jackets 3-2; SJ puts two straight wins together

mercurynews.com photo: Columbus Blue Jackets’ Gabriel Carlsson, left, of Sweden, and San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier, of Switzerland, battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Shark goals came from Barclay Goodrow, Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 21 saves in the win. Both Blue Jackets goals came from Zach Werenski and Elvis Merzlikins made 25 saves for Columbus.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

I just like the way we’re playing as a 20-man unit. We’re all on the same page, and we’re doing some good things, we’re managing our game. It’s a little bit of a more mature game I think lately. And we’re giving ourselves a chance to win every night which is the most important thing.

This win was the second after the team’s abysmal loss to Detroit Tuesday. Asked whether the Sharks know what they need to do here at the midpoint of the season, Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow said:

We know how we have to play to win hockey games. You know, we’ve seen it throughout this year. When we’re not playing the way we should be playing then it’s not a good look for us and then we’re not a successful team. It’s just a matter of bringing that game every night.

The first period was scoreless, though Sharks forward Joel Kellman put the puck in the net. Kellman carried the puck across the line and took a shot past the defenseman, putting the puck over the goalie’s pad and into the net. Unfortunately, the goal was called back for offside.

The Sharks out-shot the Blue Jackets 11-9 in the first and each team killed a penalty.

The second period was much more eventful. The Sharks scored the first goal to count at 7:05 of the period. The Blue Jackets had just completed a power play when Barclay Goodrow came flying out of the box. He picked the puck up in the Blue Jackets’ zone and and had no one between him and the goalie. He used a little backhand shot to slip the puck past Merzlikins. It was Goodrow’s seventh goal of the season and Tomas Hertl got an assist.

The Blue Jackets tied it up at 8:50. They moved the puck around the offensive zone for a long shift before Zach Werenski took a backhand shot from the slot and beat Aaron Dell. Assists went to Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno. It was Werenski’s 12th goal of the season.

The Sharks took the lead back with a goal at 14:40. Timo Meier brought the puck across the line along the wall and made a pass to the center slot where Evander Kane had just arrived. Kane did not hesitate to shoot and he beat Merzlikins on the glove side. Assists went to Meier and Radim Simek. The goal was Kane’s 15th of the season, tying him with Hertl for the team lead in goals.

The Blue Jackets out-shot the Sharks 12-6 in the second period and had one power play.

Kevin Labanc scored the game winner at 16:59 of the third period. Erik Karlsson sent the puck up the ice where Marcus Sorensen chased it into the zone. He was knocked away from the puck around the face-off circle but Joe Thornton was right behind him to pick up it up and send it to the slot where Labanc was ready for the shot. Assists went to Thornton and Karlsson.

Zach Werenski narrowed the lead a few seconds later by shooting in a rebound that Sonny Milano created with a shot from the blue line. Assists went to Milano and Seth Jones.

The Sharks out-shot Columbus 11-2 in the third period. They had a good face-off game, winning 59% of them. Barclay Goodrow (14 draws) and Tomas Hertl (23 draws) both won more than 60% of their face-offs.

Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns led the Sharks in shots with four each, while Werenski led both teams with five. Neither team got any shots on net during the power play.

The Sharks next play on Sunday against the Washington Capitals in Washington DC at 9:30 AM PT.

Sharks Best Canucks 4-2; Six game skid comes to an end

photo from sfgate.com: The Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (left) tries to reach around on San Jose Sharks rightwinger Timo Meier on Saturday night at SAP Center.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks celebrated Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s 1000th NHL game with a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks Saturday. The win ended a six-game losing streak and no doubt made Star Wars night more fun for the fans at the SAP Center. Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Evander Kane and Logan Couture. Aaron Dell made 33 saves in the win. Canucks goals came from Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat with Jacob Markstrom making 23 saves in the loss.

After the game, Marc-Edouard Vlasic confessed that he did not keep the puck from his 1000th game: “No, that was for Bob. I’ll just pick up a random puck and tell everybody it’s 1000 games. Nobody’ll know the difference.” The win was also Bob Boughner’s first as head coach of the Sharks.

Boughner talked later about the work the team is doing: “We got a practice in yesterday so it was nice to get our lines together and work some offensive zone play that we’re trying to establish. I think that both ends of the ice really, we worked on a little different defensive structure.” He also gave credit to his goaltender:

Deller, you know, he was our best player. You know, he made some key saves at key times and, you know, really kept us in it when we were starting to take on water. And that’s what a goalie does in a win like that. I liked the way we played. We played with some poise. Second period we took on too much but, you know, I thought the third period we responded. Even though they were in our zone a little bit, we didn’t have too many let downs and so many break downs in the slot area.

The first goal of the game came at 10:50 of the first. Joe Thornton got the puck from Kevin Labanc and held it while Tomas Hertl went to the net. Vancouver’s Tyler Meyers dropped to block the pass but Thornton sent it behind him, between the prone defenseman and the goaltender to Hertl on the other side of the net. From there, Hertl had an open net to shoot at and he did not miss. It was Hertl’s 12th goal of the season.

The second period was scoreless with Vancouver out-shooting San Jose 12-7. San Jose had two unsuccessful power plays and one successful penalty kill.

A nice outlet pass from Erik Karlsson found Timo Meier in the neutral zone. Couture, Kane and Meier went into the zone three on two. Meier made a pass to Lane, who passed it right back. Meier wound up taking the shot from just above the goal line and it went in off of Markstrom. Assists went to Kane and Karlsson.

Less than a minute later, Adam Gaudette skated through the neutral zone with the puck, found his way around the Sharks defense and managed to make a quick pass to Jake Virtanen in the slot. Virtanen carried it a few strides before taking the shot and beating Dell on the far side. Assists went to Gaudette and Christopher Tanev.

The third San Jose goal came from Evander Kane at 18:39 of the third. After he missed the empty net twice, his team-mates held the zone and got the puck back to him for a third try. He got that one but did not celebrate. Assists went to Logan Couture and Barclay Goodrow.

The Canucks gave some extra weight to that empty net goal at 19:31 with their goaltender pulled again. Quinn Hughes took a shot from the blue line. Dell stopped that but gave up a trickling rebound. Bo Horvat was there to tuck it in the net. Assists went to Hughes and Brock Boeser.

The Canucks pulled their goalie again. A few seconds later, Marc-Edouard Vlasic stole the puck at the Sharks blue line and found Logan Couture with a pass for another shot into the empty net. The time of that goal was 19:52.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes at 7:30 PM PT in San Jose.

Sharks Power Play Scores, Still Lose 5-1 to Panthers

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-1 to the Florida Panthers Sunday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Panthers goals came from Keith Yandle, Aleksander Barkov, Mike Matheson, Brett Connolly and Frank Vatrano. Their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, made 30 saves for the win. The Sharks goal was scored by Kevin Labanc, the team’s first power play goal in 23 tries. Martin Jones made 28 saves in the loss.

After the game, Labanc said:

Today, we were working we just weren’t scoring so it sucks. Like I said, I mean we’re getting a ton of chances but we’re just not capitalizing on them. And… just… it’s all in the detail of the game and it’s not that they’re a better team than us it’s just that we’re making more mistakes.

Sharks forward Evander Kane, who sat out for a period’s worth of penalties, said: “I think we’re a little too relaxed right now. A couple games, that we’re off to bad starts and we didn’t really fight back and we didn’t really have much fight back after we got down so that’s really the most disappointing part.”

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer identified goaltending and special teams as the problem in Sunday’s game:

I thought we hung in there and, you know, kept fighting but you know it wasn’t enough. And, you know, their goalie was better, their special teams were better tonight than ours. That was probably the story. I thought five-on-five we probably carried a lot of the play but, those two areas, they were better than us.

The Panthers started the scoring on a power play at 4:15 of the first. Kevin Labanc was in the box for hooking. Jonathan Huberdeau’s pass up the boards found Keith Yandle for a shot from the blue line. Assists went to Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov.

Barkov scored the next one at 8:15, putting the Panthers up 2-0. The Panthers entered the zone three-on-two with Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic defending. With Karlsson covering Keith Yandle but letting Barkov slip by at the last moment. Evgenii Dadonov was the puck carrier and he sent the puck to the net for Barkov to tap in. Assists went to Dadonov and Huberdeau.

Kevin Labanc made up for his penalty with a power play goal at 10:13. Labanc took a pass from Erik Karlsson up near the blue line and took the shot from above the face-off circle. The puck went up over Bobrovsky’s shoulder as Timo Meier was blocking the goaltender’s view. Assists went to Karlsson and Evander Kane. The goal ended a scoreless streak 23 power plays long for San Jose.

The Panthers out-shot the Sharks 12-9 in the first period.

Florida scored again on the power play at 6:32 of the second period. With Brett Connolly in the goaltender’s eyes, Mike Matheson took a shot from the blue line that made its way all the way in. Assists went to Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano.

Just 4:16 into the second period, Evander Kane was given multiple penalties for fighting, instigation and misconduct. That all resulted from his response to a hit from behind. The penalties put him out of play for the rest of the period and the start of the third. After the game, Kane was asked about the incident and said: “A guy hits me in the head and no call, you know, you gotta protect yourself. Nobody else is gonna protect you on the ice, not the refs, not the other team, so sometimes you gotta stick up for yourself.”

At the end of the second period, the Panthers took an interference penalty that put the Sharks on the power play for almost a minute of the third period. Seconds into the third, the Panthers took a delay of game penalty, giving the Sharks a brief two-man advantage. That was not enough and the Sharks finished those power plays still down 3-1.

Brenden Dillon went to the penalty box for four minutes, two for high-sticking and two for slashing. The penalties came shortly after a slash that Huberdeau delivered to Dillon earlier that was not called.

The score quickly became 4-1 on the next Panthers power play. Mike Hoffman’s shot from the blue line created a rebound that Connolly was able to put in the net despite losing his footing in front of Martin Jones. Assists went to Hoffman and Keith Yandle.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with just over two minutes to go and Frank Vatrano put the puck in the net a little over 30 seconds later. Assists went to Mackenkie Weegar and Aaron Ekblad.

The Sharks continue their road trip with a game in Nashville on Tuesday against the Predators at 5:00 PM PT.

The Sharks will be without one of their regular defensemen, Radim Simek, for about two weeks as he is undergoing a surgical procedure.

Sharks Sink Islanders 2-1 in OT; Loss Snaps Isles’ 5-game Win Streak

photo from sfgate: San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, right rear, is congratulated by left wing Evander Kane (9) and defenseman Brent Burns, front right, after scoring against the New York Islanders during overtime in an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. The Sharks won 2-1.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks beat the New York Islanders 2-1 in overtime Saturday. Marcus Sorensen and Logan Couture scored for San Jose, while Martin Jones made 27 saves for the win. Casey Cizikas scored for New York and Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves in the loss.

“We didn’t help ourselves tonight by getting in the box but we still found way and I thought it was a pretty gutsy effort,” said Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer. That was in reference to the six penalties in a row that the Sharks had to kill for the win. Sharks forward Evander Kane said: “We killed a lot tonight, let’s be honest. I mean we did a great job with the penalty kill and Joner was fantastic in stopping, some key saves there in some real dangerous scoring areas.”

The New York Islanders are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, with just one road loss before Saturday’s game. Asked whether that added value to the win, Logan Couture said: “The big thing was, I mean we saw all the teams around us before the game, they won. So we wanted to keep pace. You know, we’re right in it now, after a horrendous start. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity to make a push here and collect some more points. I think that’s enough motivation right there.”

A scoreless first period was marked by speed and offense from the Sharks as they out-shot the Islanders 8-1 in the first seven minutes of play. By the end of the period, the Sharks had an advantage in shots 13-7 and had won 73% of the face-offs. Barclay Goodrow won five of those face-offs and lost none. Each team took a penalty, each team killed one. The Sharks had four shots during their power play, the Islanders had none.

The second period started with a fight 37 seconds in, between Brenden Dillon and Casek Cizikas after a hit on Mario Ferraro.

Almost seven minutes in, Martin Jones had to make a save on a breakaway by Brock Nelson before the rest of his team arrived to help defend the zone. They made quick work of that and went the other way with Mario Ferraro and Marcus Sorensen attacking two on one. Ferraro’s pass bumped almost gently off of Sorensen’s stick and around Semyon Varlamov. Assists went to Ferraro and Joe Thornton.

Less than 30 seconds later, New York tied it up with a goal from Casey Cizikas. Adam Pelech’s shot went off of Cizikas’s body as he fought Brent Burns for position in front of the net. Assists went to Pelech and Ryan Pulock.

The Sharks challenged the goal for goaltender interference. The replay did look a good deal like the disallowed goal in Las Vegas Thursday, but the only contact with Jones was Brent Burns’ stick as Cizikas pushed his way through it. The goal was upheld and the Sharks were shorthanded but killed the penalty. They killed another at 12:08 when Lukas Radil was called for tripping Scott Mayfield. And another at 16:42, when Kevin Labanc was called for slashing Anthony Beauvillier. Over the course of those four power plays, the Islanders got credit for four shots.

Over the period, the Islanders had ten shots and the Sharks had only six. In the face-off circle, their dominance dwindled to 58%.

The Islanders were back on the power play early in the third period. This time it was Patrick Marleau in the box for tripping Scott Mayfield. This time the Islanders brought some real pressure to bear, getting three shots on goal and spending very little time retrieving the puck in their own end. The Islanders had another chance at 12:26, their sixth power play in a row, when Kevin Labanc went to the box for tripping.

In the third period, the Islanders out-shot the Sharks 11-5 but the game remained tied. The Sharks had some time to recover from the endless penalty kills during the pre-overtime break.

Exactly half way through overtime, Evander Kane picked up a drifting puck that Brent Burns left behind. He had to battle for possession but he got it and eventually found Logan Couture in front of the net for a game-winning shot.

The Sharks finished the game with a 53% winning percentage and the Islanders had 28 shots to the Sharks’ 26.

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