NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami: Blues look to even series, but Sharks look to move two games up tonight

Photo credit: @NBCSSharks

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 Joe explain the overtime goal from San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson that got guided in from teammate Timo Meier with the glove hand to teammate Gustav Nyquist, who stick passed it to Karlsson and shot it past St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.

#2 The Sharks got the Wednesday night comeback win from a 4-3 deficit as the Sharks’ Logan Couture scored the tying goal in the third period at 18:59. The Sharks, again, played like their playoff lives depended on it and made a comeback.

#3 Couture also leads NHL playoff leaders in goals with 13 goals and 19 points. He’s having a fine offensive postseason.

#4 The Boston Bruins swept the Carolina Panthers in four games with a 4-0 shutout Thursday night. The Bruins didn’t show any lows at all in the series and have been very consistent throughout the playoffs.

#5 The Bruins now wait for the winner of the St. Louis and San Jose series. Joe tells us who he thinks the Bruins prefer to play in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Joe Lami does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Start Round Two With a Win, Beat Avalanche 5-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks won 5-2 Friday, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in the first game of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Despite giving up the first goal, the Sharks roared back with three unanswered goals in the second period. The Sharks have scored five goals in four our of five playoff games this season. It has almost become a habit for them. Joe Thornton, Gus Nyquist, Kevin Labanc, Brent Burns and Timo Meier scored for the Sharks. Gabriel Bourque and Colin Wilson scored for the Avalanche. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win, while Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves in the loss.

The Avs opened the scoring at 2:10 of the first period. Cale Makar put the puck on net with an awkward shot from the blue line. Jones stopped that, but left a rebound. Gabriel Bourque was moving across in front of the net as the rebound came out, so was able to sweep it around Jones near the post. Assists went to Makar and Tyson Jost. It was Bourque’s first of the playoffs.

Gus Nyquist tied the game, scoring his first of the playoffs in a remarkably similar fashion at 14:44. From an offensive zone face-off, Brent Burns got the puck and moved to the high slot for the shot. His shot deflected off of some traffic, but still got to Grubauer, who kicked out a rebound. Gus Nuquist was there to put it around the goalie and in. Assists went to Burns and Logan Couture.

The Avs had a goal called back due to a distinct kicking motion before the end of the period, so the teams went into the first intermission still tied at 1. Colorado outshot San Jose 13-9 in the first and won 47% of the face-offs.

Colorado got their first power play at 2:46 of the second. After a very good chance in the first minute, they scored in the second. Mikko Rantanen sent a hard pass from the boards to the slot, where Colin Wilson deflected it to the net through traffic. The puck touched another skate or stick before going under Jones. The goal went to Wilson with assists to Rantanen and Nathan McKinnon. It was Wilson’s third of the playoffs.

Moments after that goal, Brenden Dillon went to the box for four minutes after a high stick that drew blood from J.T. Compher. The Sharks were able to kill that off with good sticks that helped them get the puck clear a few times.

The Sharks tied it up not long after that kill. Marcus Sorensen blocked a shot in the Sharks zone, then took the puck the other way. Joe Thornton went with him, making it a two-on-one. Sorensen carried the puck well past the blue line and then sent it across to Thornton, who put it it away with a broad swipe of a shot. Sorensen got the assist. That was Thornton’s second of these playoffs.

Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 16:02 with some nifty skating around the defense and a sharp wrister into the top corner. That was Labanc’s third of the playoffs. An assist went to Burns.

Marcus Sorensen provided a screen as he prepared to deflect a Brent Burns shot from the half boards. Cale Makar jostled him so he could not do that, but the shot went off of Makar instead. The puck went in on the far side of the net at 19:00. Assists went to Sorensen and Thornton, who had retrieved the puck from behind the net, sending it up the boards to Burns. It was Burns’ second of the playoffs.

The Sharks outshot Colorado 13-11 in the second, and won 43% of the face-offs.

The game finished with an almost scoreless, penalty-free third period. Colorado pulled their goaltender with a little more than two minutes to go but the Sharks held them off.

Timo Meier scored into the empty net at 19:31 to give the Sharks the fifth goal. A few seconds later, Matt Calvert and Brenden Dillon exchanged slashing penalties. Calvert got a double minor for that and Dillon just 2 minutes.

Game 2 will be Sunday at SAP Center in San Jose at 4:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Avalanche 5-2, Erik Karlsson Returns

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on Saturday night. The win was Peter DeBoer’s 400th as an NHL Head Coach and Gus Nyquist’s 500th NHL game. Evander Kane scored his 30th of the season bringing the Sharks tally to four players with 30 or more goals this season. The Sharks’ 101 points earned them second place in the Western Conference. It was a good final game of the regular season. Sharks goals came from Brent Burns, Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc, Gus Nyquist and Micheal Haley. Martin Jones made 28 saves in the win, while Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves in the loss. Colorado goals came from Tyson Jost and Nathan MacKinnon.

After the game, Sharks forward Evander Kane said: “It was good to close the season out with a win, and have another 100 point season here. I think it’s nice to have a victory like that and to have everybody feeling good about their games heading into next week.”

Sharks fans got some good news on the injury front Saturday. Erik Karlsson was back in the lineup though Timo Meier was not, after an injury sustained in Thursday’s game against Edmonton. Meier is expected back for the playoffs and Karlsson had the second highest ice time Saturday.

After the game, Pete DeBoer said of Karlsson’s performance Saturday: “We went into the game and we didn’t really have a plan other than we wanted to play him normally until there was either red flags or he started to fatigue or the trainers thought that was enough. Really, he felt good, you know, deep into the third period so that was good.”

Colorado struck first, just 2:56 into the game. A Colorado shot was blocked high in the slot and the puck wandered in a crowd before being controlled again, by Tyson Jost. The shot went past a number of skaters before getting by Jones. Assists went to Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson.

Evander Kane had a nice breakaway chance, which led to an offensive zone face-off for the Sharks. Right off of that face-off, Brent Burns scored with a blast from the blue line. Tomas Hertl got the assist.

A few minutes later, Evander Kane gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 11:15. Kane was in front of the net battling two Colorado defenders when Gus Nyquist got the puck to the net with a spinning pass. Kane shrugged off the two defenders to find the puck and nudge it under Semyon Varlamov. Assists went to Nyquist and Brenden Dillon.

The Sharks were out-shot by the Avalanche 12-10 in the first period, but overwhelmed them in the face-off circle, winning 74% of them. The bulk of those face-offs were taken by Thornton, Goodrow and Hertl.

The Avalanche scored another early goal in the second period, this one at 1:29. Nathan MacKinnon scooted between Sharks defenders while catching a pass from Gabriel Landeskog. He stayed ahead of the Sharks just long enough to get a quick shot off, beating Jones on the glove side. Assists went to Landeskog and Samuel Girard.

Kevin Labanc scored at 6:57, giving the Sharks their lead back. Joe Thornton brought the puck into the zone and then waited for his line-mates to get into position. Labanc received the pass and seemed to be trying to pass it to Sorensen who was almost at the blue paint. Instead, the puck went off of an Avalanche stick and up and over Ian Cole and Sorensen, landing behind Varlamov. Assists went to Thornton and Sorensen.

The shot count tilted slightly in the Sharks’ favor in the second, ending up 12-9 for the Sharks. San Jose maintained their face-off success, still at 73% by the end of the second.

The Sharks did not give up a goal in the first five minutes of the third period. Instead, they scored again at 14:15. Evander Kane retrieved the puck in the corner and sent it away from the boards, where Nyquist picked it up on his way through the face-off circle. He picked the near corner of the net and sent the puck over Varlamov’s shoulder. It was Nyquist’s 22nd of the season. Assists went to Kane and Tomas Hertl.

The Avalanche pulled their goaltender with over three minutes to go. Joe Pavelski put the puck into that empty net with 3:01 left in the game, but it was challenged as off-side. Joonas Donskoi tried to straddle the blue line while the puck crept across but he couldn’t keep his back skate on the ice. The goal was called back.

A little over a minute later, Micheal Haley was able to break away and score in the empty net to make it 5-2. Brent Burns got the assists on that one.

The final shot count was 30-30, and the Sharks won 69% of the face-offs. Barclay Goodrow took 14 of the face-offs and won 86% of them.

The playoff schedule will be announced shortly. The Sharks will start at home next week, against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Sharks Down Jets 5-4, Win Streak at 6

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 Tuesday at the Bell MTS Center in Winnipeg. That puts San Jose’s current win streak at six in a row. Two goals came from Gustav Nyquist, with three more from Marcus Sorensen, Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Martin Jones made 21 saves in the win, while Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for Winnipeg. Jets goals came from Andrew Copp, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perrault and Kyle Connor.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic started the scoring in the first with a goal at 8:05. Vlasic took a shot from just below the blue line, then followed it to the net and shot his rebound in. Assists went to Joe Thornton and Marcus Sorensen.

Winnipeg responded 32 seconds later. Andrew Copp deflected Ben Chiarot’s shot from the blue line. A second assist went to Matthieu Perrault.

They scored another 33 seconds after that. Bryan Little’s shot went off of Justin Braun and in.

The Sharks drew even again at 16:04. Tomas Hertl carried the puck through the neutral zone, weaving between defenders and finally making a drop pass in the slot to Gustav Nyquist. Nyquist put the puck in the net without hesitation. Assists went to Hertl and Joonas Donskoi.

The first period shot count was 12-10 Sharks, with the Jets winning 59% of the face offs.

In the first minute of the second period, the Jets scored on a power play. Patrik Laine passed the puck to Kyle Connor, who was below the goal line. Connor moved over the line and looked like he was searching for a passing lane. Instead, he took a quick back hand shot over Dell’s pad. Assists went to Laine and Blake Wheeler.

Nyquist tied it back up for the Sharks at 10:33 of the second. Vlasic took a quick shot off of another rebound, this one created by Tomas Hertl. Vlasic’s shot went into a crowd at the net, off of Nyquist and in. Vlasic and Hertl got the assists.

The second period shot count was 13-11 Sharks, with 52% of the face offs going to the Jets.

The Sharks took the lead back two minutes into the third with a goal from Marcus Sorensen. Joe Thornton brought the puck out from behind the Winnipeg net and found Sorensen out above the blue paint. A bang-bang play put the puck in the net. Assists went to Thornton and Kevin Labanc.

Winnipeg tied the game at 16:22 with a goal from Mathieu Perrault. The goal came soon after a failed Sharks power play, which included an excellent save by Dell on a short-handed attempt by Winnipeg. This shot came from Tyler Myers on the blue line for the deflection by Perrault. Assists went to Myers and Brandon Tanev.

The game looked sure to go to overtime as the final seconds ticked down, with play in the Sharks zone. Vlasic broke up a pass and sent the puck rocketing out of the zone. Timo Meier was right on it and Pavelski chased caught him in the neutral zone so they went in two on one against Dmitry Kulikov. Meier waited for the right moment and made the pass across to Pavelski for the game winner at 19:54. Assists went to Meier and Vlasic.

The win puts the Sharks three points ahead of Calgary, who were still playing in New Jersey against the Devils when the Sharks game ended. The Sharks next play on Thursday against the Florida Panthers in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Injury notes:

Early in the first period, Radim Simek went down after a collision with Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp. The injury appeared to be to his lower leg. He did not return to the game.

On the subject of how well Simek has played with Brent Burns, Burns said after the game: “He just makes great reads. He’s aggressive. I think we read off each other well. Don’t understand him but he can make good reads out there so, I don’t know, it’s been fun.” If Simek is not available for the next game, Joakim Ryan could come back in as Burns’s partner.

Blake Wheeler also left the game early in the third. First, he had a collision in the corner with a referee’s elbow. Not long after, he fell while trying to check Couture. He left near the 11-minute mark.

Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson remain out of the Sharks lineup.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Sharks have the date circled ready to battle the Blackhawks Sunday

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

On the Sharks podcast with Matt:

#1 The San Jose Sharks’ Marcus Sorenson scored twice on Saturday night as the Sharks and Joe Pavelski scored his 36th goal of the season.

#2 Sorenson was out for the last two game of the Sharks last road trip due to taking a puck in the face, but returned on Friday.

#3 Evander Kane has been getting banged up. In the game against the Boston Bruins on the last road trip, Kane got into a fight with the B’s Zdeno Charo, but Kane is battling.

#4 Erik Karlsson has been suffering with a groin injury. How’s his progress and also talk about Gustav Nyquist and what his acquisition has meant to the team.

#5 The Sharks host the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday and Patrick Kane has been playing lights out and Corey Crawford has been in the nets and some nights standing on his head.

Matt does the NHL podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Lose 4-1, Another Tough Loss to Bruins

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 4-1 to the Bruins in Boston Tuesday. Boston goals came from David Krejci, Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand. Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves in the win. Logan Couture scored the only Sharks goal, while goaltender Martin Jones made 28 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:

I thought the first ten minutes of the second, we started to get some legs and grab some momentum. I liked our game. Then, you know, within a minute and a half we’re down 3-1. Couple mistakes, you know, but that’s what a good team does to you. And I think the game ran away from us from there.

Gustav Nyquist made his debut as a Shark since being acquired at the trade deadline. He had one shot on goal in 17:21 of ice time, skating on Joe Thornton’s line.

After the game, DeBoer said of Nyquist: “I liked him. I liked everything about him, he’s a good hockey player, he’s going to help us.” As for the adjustment period, DeBoer is not concerned about that: “No issue with that. This guy’s been well coached and he’s a smart player. I was really impressed with what he did tonight and the potential where he fits for us going forward.”

Five minutes into the second period, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson fell and went to the dressing room with what appeared to be a lower body injury. He was back on the ice before long. He skated four shifts in the second half of the period but did not return for the third. After the game, there was no specific information available as to the nature or severity of his injury.

Logan Couture gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 12:47 of the first on the team’s first power play. Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking Melker Karlsson as Karlsson cut to the net. Midway through the power play, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl were below the goal line trying to get the puck away from the Bruins’ defense. The puck bounced behind Hertl and up above the goal line unexpectedly. Zdeno Chara and Couture scrambled for it and it ended up behind Jaroslav Halak.

The Bruins responded with their own power play goal at 14:39. It was a double minor after Timo Meier was called for high-sticking and drawing blood to Jake DeBrusk. The Bruins dd not use all four minutes. They scored just nine seconds in. Brad Marchand made a backhand pass to the blue line for Torey Krug to tap it back down to David Krejci in the faceoff circle. Krejci’s quick shot went right through Martin Jones. Assists went to Krug and Marchand.

At the end of the first period, Boston was outshooting the Sharks 16-8 and had won 68% of the faceoffs.

Charlie McAvoy gave the Bruins the lead at 9:09 of the second. Marchand brought the puck over the line and then passed it before he hit the faceoff circle. McAvoy was the recipient of the pass and he took the shot from the slot. Assists went to Marchand and Danton Heinen.

Boston struck again fewer than 40 seconds later. Jake DeBrusk, part of a three-on-one attack by the Bruins, touched the puck into the net with a backhand while he changed direction. The three had traded four passes and Jones had made a good attempt to keep up with all of them but he was outnumbered. Assists went to Krejci and Marcus Johansson.

Micheal Haley went down awkwardly against the boards in that same span but he went to the bench instead of the room.

Boston did not let up and Brad Marchand scored a short-handed goal at 12:28 of the second. The Sharks were on a power play after Sean Kuraly went to the box for tripping Joe Thornton. The penalty only had a second left when Marchand took the puck from the neutral zone, around Erik Karlsson, and down to the net to score. Assists went to Patrice Bergeron and Brandon Carlo.

The Bruins outshot the Sharks in the second period as well, again 2-1 with a count of 8-4 Bruins. San Jose made some progress in the faceoff department but still trailed Boston there as everywhere else in the game.

Evander Kane and Chara came to blows early in the third period after exchanging hits during play. Kane got the worst of those hits, a shoulder to the head. They went to the box for fighting but nothing was made of Chara’s shoulder in Kane’s face. Rather, Kane got two extra minutes for instigating.

Almost as soon as play resumed, Bruins forward Noel Acciari took a puck to the face from Brent Burns. Before play resumed after that, Evander Kane was excused from the game for misconduct in the box. As soon as the puck dropped, Micheal Haley invited David Backes to fight and they went to the box.

Five minutes had not yet elapsed in the third period. The game came back to some degree of order for the rest of the period. Pete DeBoer pulled Martin Jones for an extra skater with almost four minutes left in the game and a three goal deficit. The Bruins did not score into that empty net, and Jones went back into the net for the final minute.

The Sharks will next play back in San Jose on Friday at 7:30 PM PT against the Colorado Avalanche.

Pavelski’s Hat Trick Leads Sharks to 5-3 Win Over Red Wings

Photo credit: @PR_NHL

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 at Little Caesars Arena Sunday. Joe Pavelski scored three unanswered goals, after goals from Tim Heed and Brent Burns. The Red Wings got goals from Darren Helm, Gustav Nyquist and Mike Green. The Sharks’ Aaron Dell made 20 saves for the win while Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves in the loss.

The Sharks passed some milestones in Sunday’s game. Joe Pavelski earned his 350th (and 351st) NHL points, Marc-Edouard Vlasic earned his 300th and Brent Burns passed the 70 point mark in 65 games for the season. Burns became the first defenseman to do that since 1994 when Ray Bourque did it.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Tim Heed described the team’s approach to a fast Detroit team: “Like you said they have a really speedy team and a lot of skills. In the first period they were all over us, then in the second and third I thought we took away their time and space and that’s… after that I think we took over the game.”

Tim Heed gave the Sharks an early lead with a goal at 3:46. Initially it looked like Joe Thornton had tipped Heed’s blue line shot but the puck actually went off of a defenseman’s skate. Assists went to Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Kevin Labanc.

The Red Wings responded with goals at 14:39 and 19:23. Darren Helm tied the game with a shot off of a breakaway, narrowly avoiding Brent Burns’s stick. Assists went to Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green.

Gustav Nyquist gave the Red Wings a lead in the final minute of the period. A backhand pass from Tyler Bertuzzi near the blue line found Dylan Larkin on the goal line. Larkin quickly moved it to the net where several Sharks and Red Wings descended upon it. Aaron Dell wound up down on the left side of the blue paint with Burns on the ice behind him. Burns stopped a couple of shots but Nyquist finally found the puck in the open and put it away. Assists went to Larkin and Bertuzzi.

At the end of the first, the Sharks had just five shots on goal to Detroit’s 15. The Sharks had some zone time but the Red Wings did a good job of limiting shot opportunities and blocking the ones the Sharks attempted.

One minute into the period, the Sharks were on the penalty kill after Brenden Dillon was called for high sticking Dylan Larkin. The Detroit power play lasted just 14 seconds before Dylan Larkin was called for hooking Tomas Hertl.

The Sharks made some adjustments for the second period, including some extra time on the ice for Evander Kane. In the first five minutes, the Sharks had five shots to the Red Wings one. Nevertheless, the Red Wings scored again at the 8 minute mark.

Mike Green found himself very much in the open with all the attention on the other side of the ice, where Justin Abdelkader had the puck in the corner. Abdelkader made a pass through traffic and across the goal mouth to Green. Dell tried to get across but could not get there in time. Assists went to Abdelkader and Anthony Mantha. That was Detroit’s third shot of the period and their last.

The Red Wings held the two goal lead until 13:50 of the second. Logan Couture won an offensive zone faceoff and Timo Meier helped the puck get to Brent Burns at the point. Burns’s shot went right through for his 13th of the season. Assists went to Meier and Couture.

Joe Pavelski tied the game at 15:50 on the power play. The Sharks spent a lot of time moving around the offensive zone before Joe Thornton finally took a shot. Bernier stopped it but the rebound didn’t travel far. Joe Pavelski was right in front of the goaltender and, while falling to his knees, he pushed the puck around the goalie and in. Thornton and Burns got the assists.

Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead at 16:45, deflecting a Vlasic shot while standing eight feet or so outside the slot. Assists went to Vlasic and Hertl.

The Sharks had 16 shots in the second to Detroit’s 3 in the second. In the third, the Red Wings got their first shot near the 14 minute mark, on a power play. The Sharks had 12 by then for the third period.

The only goal of the period came in the final minute, an empty net goal right off the faceoff. Joe Pavelski completed a natural hat trick with an almost casual backhand from the neutral zone. Logan Couture picked up an assist on that goal.

The faceoff was preceded by an off side call on the Red Wings, which followed a strange collision at the bench between players changing and the goalie leaving the ice. Kronwall seemed to get the worst of it, being knocked down. The extra skater in the final minute did little to help.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Boston against the Bruins at 4:00 PM PT.