Sharks Shutout Blackhawks 2-0; Reimer makes 29 stops for SJ

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) makes one of his 29 saves this one against Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach (72) during the first period at the United Center in Chicago on Sun Nov 28, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Blackhawks 2-0 Sunday in Chicago. Timo Meier scored both Sharks goals and James Reimer made 29 saves for his 25th career shut out. Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach reflected on James Reimer’s shut out performance: “The double rebound in front, I mean that’s when you know you’re in the zone. When you make the save and it’s basically an open net and you find a way to stab your glove out and save another one.”

The Sharks needed that performance, especially in the first period, when the Blackhawks outshot the Sharks 11-4. Boughner said:

“I wasn’t happy about the way we were playing in our defensive zone. I thought that we weren’t collapsing, I thought we weren’t protecting the house, we weren’t stopping our feet, we were losing all kinds of battles. So we talked about that in between the first and second.”

Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro also talked about how well Reimer has been playing for the Sharks:

“His shut out should have came a lot earlier. So he’s been playing great for us, he’s the reason we why we have a lot of the wins that we do. Him and [Hill], they’ve stepped up big. So, super proud of him, we’re super happy for him, he was especially big in the first period when we weren’t playing very strong.”

The first period saw just one power play, for the Sharks. The Sharks had one shot in that power play. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 62%.

Timo Meier scored his first at 13:39 of the second period. Logan Couture’s pass got to Rudolfs Balcers deep in the slot. Balcers took a shot and it went off of Meier’s stick before going in. Assists went to Balcers and Couture.

The Sharks outshot the Blackhawks 15-9 in the second, and won 65% of the face-offs. The Sharks took the only penalty of the period, for too many men on the ice. Their penalty kill allowed two shots.

Meier scored his second from the middle of the neutral zone, into an empty net, at 18:29 of the third. Logan Couture got the assist.

The Blackhawks outshot the Sharks 9-3 in the third period. The Sharks took the only penalty in third period. Their penalty kill did not allow any shots. The face-off circle saw a big drop off for the Sharks in the third. They won just 35% of the draws.

The Sharks are scheduled to play on Tuesday against the Devils in New Jersey at 4:00 PM PT.

Sunday, the Sharks placed Evander Kane on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to the AHL Barracuda. .

Sharks Beat Senators 6-3; San Jose scores 3 unanswered goals in 3rd period

Timo Time the San Jose Sharks Timo Meier is exalted after scoring a third period goal against the Ottawa Senators at SAP Center in San Jose on Wed Nov 24, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks (10-8-1) won 6-3 against the Ottawa Senators (4-12-1) in San Jose on Wednesday. Matt Nieto, Tomas Hertl, Nick Bonino, Timo Meier, Logan Couture and Jacob Middleton all scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 26 saves for the win. Josh Norris, Brady Tkachuk and Connor Brown scored for the Senators and Matt Murray made 23 saves in the loss.

It was Jacob Middleton’s first NHL goal and Timo Meier had three points in the game. Nick Bonino scored his first point of the season in 700th NHL game.

The Sharks scored first but the Senators fought back to take the lead in the second period. The Sharks had a 3-0 third period to close it out. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“I was happy with the way we stuck with it. I think it could have went the other way on us real quickly. I didn’t like our first period at all. I thought we were playing an urgent team that was looking to get back on track and we knew they would come out hard. They won more battles than us and they were more hungry in the first period.”

The game started with and early fight, between Auston Watson and Jacob Middleton, before Matt Nieto gave the Sharks a lead at 7:16 of the first period. Nieto, Labanc and Weatherby broke into the zone three-on-two, with Nieto carrying the puck. With Weatherby driving the net, Nieto opted to take the shot and got it through on the far side. Assists went to Kevin Labanc and Erik Karlsson. It was Nieto’s first goal of the season.

Ottawa tied the game at 13:38 with a goal from Josh Norris. Assists went to Brady Tkachuk and Lassi Thomson. The goal was Norris’ eighth of the season.

The shots for the period were close, 12-11 Ottawa. Ottawa was better in the face-off circle, winning 60% of the draws. The Sharks power play had four shots on goal.

Tomas Hertl gave the Sharks the lead again just 47 seconds into the second period. Hertl carried the puck from behind his own net all the way to the other ed of the ice, finishing with a wrist shot into the near side. Assists went to Timo Meier and Mario Ferraro. It was Hertl’s eighth of the season.

The Senators tied it again at 14:38, when Brady Tkachuk scored his fourth of the season. Thomas Chabot’s shot from the circle went off of Tkachuk in the blue paint. Assists went to Chabot and Artem Zub.

Connor Brown gave the Senators their first lead of the game 93 seconds later. The teams were playing four on four when Chabot’s pass found Brown in the slot. Reimer was moving across as if to follow a cross-ice pass and he couldn’t get back in time when the pass stopped short. Assists went to Chabot and Tim Stutzle.

Nick Bonino scored his first of the season to tie it back up at 19:29 on the power play. Logan Couture made a pass down to Timo Meier on the goal line and Meier tapped it back up to Bonino for a shot from the slot.

The shots were close in the second period as well, 13-10 Senators. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 60%. Ottawa had three power plays as seven shots on the power play. The Sharks had two power plays and on power play shot. They also had one short-handed shot.

Timo Meier scored his seventh of the season to take the lead back for the Sharks. He held the puck for a moment, high in the slot, before sending a hard wrister under a Senators defender and over the goalie’s glove. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Logan Couture scored his seventh, into an empty net at 18:56. Jacob Middleton scored his first NHL goal at 19:28, into an empty net. Assists went to Andrew Cogliano and Erik Karlsson.

The Sharks power play had no shots in the the third period, and their penalty kill gave up none. Most of the penalty time in the third were overlapping our matching penalties, but the Sharks did have one full power play. The Sharks outshot the Senators 7-4 in the third.

The Sharks next play on Friday against the Toronto Maples Leafs at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Hurricanes 2-1 in OT; Barabanov gets gamer in late stanza

San Jose Sharks left wing Alexander Barabanov (94) puts in the game winner against Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) and and right wing Sebastian Aho (20) during overtime at SAP Center in San Jose on Mon Nov 22, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in overtime Monday. Kevin Labanc and Alexander Barabanov scored for San Jose and James Reimer made 22 saves for the win. Tony DeAngelo scored for Carolina and Antti Raanta made 25 saves in the loss.

The game looked like it might be the third this season in which the Sharks did not get a single power play. At the end of the second period, defenseman Erik Karlsson spoke to officials. That did not seem to make a difference, though the Sharks did finally get a call at the end of the third period.

On the lack of calls, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“We haven’t got a lot of power plays lately but we certainly deserved a few more tonight than zero. So, it’s frustrating, and I try to tell the players to let me do the talking to the refs and you guys just concentrate on the game.”

After the game, Sharks forward Kevin Labanc said: “It was a pretty tight game for the full 60. You know, they weren’t really giving us much we were creating chances and those are the games that you gotta find a way.”

Labanc was did not play Saturday, as he was serving a one-game suspension for a slew foot in last Thursday’s game. Monday, however, he was all business. Asked to talk about his performance and that of his team, he said: “We did our job tonight and it’s a good two points.”

In a scoreless and penalty-free first period, Carolina out-shot the Sharks 8-7, but the Sharks won 69% of the face-offs. Alexander Barabanov took a hard hit midway through the period but he did return for the second.

Tony DeAngelo scored for Carolina at 1:16 of the second period. His shot flew down the slot through some traffic and past Reimer on the stick side. Assists went to Teuvo Teravainen and Seth Jarvis.

The Hurricanes out-shot the Sharks again in the second 10-8, and the face-offs were even at 50%. The Hurricanes had one power play and the Sharks penalty kill allowed two shots.

Kevin Labanc tied the game at 3:54 of the third. Jasper Weatherby corralled the puck as it came out of a board battle and pushed it up to Labanc. Labanc carried it a little deeper before taking the shot and beating Raanta on the far side.

The Sharks out-shot the Hurricanes 8-5 in the third, and won 57% of the face-offs. The Sharks penalty kill allowed no shots to the Carolina power play in the third. Their own power play did not begin until 19:38 and bled into overtime.

Alexander Barabanov scored for San Jose 1:42 into overtime, just after the Sharks power play ended. Tomas Hertl took two quick shots at the net from in close, before sneaking the puck under the goaltender, across the crease to Barabanov. Barabanov had a clear shot and he took it. Assists went to Hertl and Mario Ferraro.

The Sharks had three shorts in the extra frame, and won both of the face-offs. The Hurricanes managed one short-handed shot in overtime.

Scott Reedy made his NHL debut in the absence of Jonathan Dahlen, who was injured in Saturday’s game. Reedy had two blocked shots in 10:56 time on ice.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday, against the Ottawa Senators at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 4-1 to Blues, Ending Blues Losing Streak

Its hard for San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer to look back as the St Louis Blues Brandon Saad (20) score a second period goal at SAP Center in San Jose on Thu Nov 18, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues Thursday. The Blues got goals from Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou, and two from Brandon Saad. Ville Husso made 26 saves for the win. Jonathan Dahlen scored for San Jose and James Reimer made 44 saves in the loss.

For the second time in four games, the Sharks had zero power play opportunities. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“I thought when we started getting back into the game, and we were trading chances a little bit, we took a terrible penalty, 200 feet away from our net and they scored. It’s 1-0, now we’re playing a little bit of catch up. It just seemed we couldn’t get a power play call. You know, I was whining a little bit there ’cause I’d had three or four there that I thought could have been a power play.”

Jacob Middleton and Robert Bortuzzo dropped the gloves off the opening face-off, starting the game off with some energy.

Logan Couture appeared to have scored the first goal at 8:21 of the game but it was called back because Jasper Weatherby was offside.

Brandon Saad scored the only first period goal, on the power play 10:35 minutes in. Ryan O’Reilly’s shot from the face-off circle went under Reimer and drifted into the blue paint. Saad had his stick ready to nudge it over the line. O’Reilly and David Perron got the assists.

Along with the one-goal lead at the end of the first period, the Blues also led in shots 16-13 and face-off wins at 62%. The Sharks penalty kill gave up six shots to the Blues power play.

Robert Thomas made it 2-0 for th Blues 1:35 into the second period. Pavel Buchnevich caught a pass from Scott Perunovich on the goal line, then sent it over to Thomas who was just below the hash marks. Thomas’s shot slipped by Reimer on the blocker side.

Jonathan Dahlen scored for the Sharks at 8:16. Timo Meier won a battle for the puck below the goal line and shot a pass to the front of the net. Dahlen was on the spot to push it in.

In a three-on-two, Brandon Saad scored his second of the game at 10:17. Oskar Sundqvist made a backhand pass from one circle to the other and Saad shot it in while Reimer was still trying to get across. Assists went to Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev.

The Blues out-shot the Sharks again, this time 19-8, though the Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 53%. The Blues had two power plays to the Sharks’ none, and their power play managed four shots on goal.

Jordan Kyrou made it 4-1 1:09 into the third period. David Perron’s cross-ice pass from the d-zone found Kyrou flying through the neutral zone. Kyrou took the shot from the top of the circle and beat Reimer on the far side.

The Blues had a single power play in the third period, and again the Sharks had none. The Sharks penalty kill gave up three shots. The Blues also out-shot the Sharks in the third period, 13-6. The Sharks won 62% of the third period face-offs.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, back in San Jose against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Wild 4-1; Reimer keeps pucks out of the nets with 26 saves

The Minnesota Wild’s Marco Sturm (7) takes a shot on net as San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) gets a pad save on Tue Nov 16, 2021 in Minneapolis (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 4-1 on the road, against the Minnesota Wild Tuesday. The win was a nice follow-up to Monday’s induction of Sharks GM, Doug Wilson, into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Mario Ferraro, Timo Meier, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose. James Reimer made 26 saves for the win. Joel Eriksson Ek scored for the Wild and Cam Talbot made 17 saves in the loss.

Sharks Captain Logan Couture, said, of the win: “Great effort. We played more of our style of hockey. Kind of frustrated them at times.” He also mentioned the upcoming game as a chance to show that the team is back on track: “St. Louis is a big game for us too, to finish off this trip on a good note. A three and two trip, with what we’ve gone through, would be pretty good.”

Mario Ferraro opened the scoring at 5:55 of the first. Timo Meier made a neat pass off the boards to Logan Couture, who was on his way to the net. Instead of taking the shot, Couture made a pass across to Ferraro by the opposite goal post. The puck landed right on Ferraro’s stick for the shot. It was his second goal of the season.

Timo Meier scored the next one. Coming out of the corner, he slipped between the Wild defenders to get the rebound from Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s shot. He had one knee on the ice as he took the shot for his sixth goal of the season. Assists went to Vlasic and Couture.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks led in shots 9-7. The Sharks power play got only one shot on goal, a power play that bled into the start of the second period.

Joel Eriksson Ek scored for the Wild at 5:25 of the second. Though two Sharks were right with him as he entered the zone, his shot went by them and over James Reimer’s glove. It was Eriksson Ek’s sixth of the season. Assists went to Kevin Fiala and Jonas Brodin.

At 8:42 of the second, Matt Dumba threw a hit on Alexander Barabanov that looked ugly. Tomas Hertl took issue with it and went after Dumba. Hertl went to the box for roughing. Soon after, Jonah Gadjovich tried to revisit the matter with Dumba, but Marcus Foligno wound up being his fight partner.

After the game, Boughner described these events as turning points in the game and said:

“Tommy Jumping in for Barabanov and then later on [Gadjovich] going out and, you know, looking to get physical. I think our team feeds off of that, we need that element and I think it’s very very important.”

At 9:32, Erik Karlsson scored his third of the season to make it 3-1. With the teams playing four-on-four between abbreviated power plays, Karlsson let loose a blast from the top of the circle. The shot went off of the bar and in. Assists went to Jacob Middleton and Rudolfs Balcers.

The Wild took the shot lead in the second, 13-8. Four different players spent time in the penalty box during the second, but neither team had a full power play out of it because penalties overlapped. The Sharks got two shots during their abbreviated power play and the Sharks penalty kill allowed no shots to the Wild.

Tomas Hertl scored the only goal of the third period at 9:25. The Sharks moved the puck from the goal line to above the circle and back down to Hertl who was just above the goal line. Assists went to Barabanov and Balcers. It was Hertl’s seventh goal of the season.

Late in the period, Mario Ferraro blocked a shot and seemed to sustain an upper body injury. He went down the tunnel but returned and was on the ice when the final buzzer sounded.

The Sharks made a good showing in the face-off circle, winning 59% of the draws. The Sharks penalty kill allowed just one shot in the game.

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

Sharks Lose to Jets 4-1; Third loss in four games

Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Schmidt (88) scores the go ahead goal in the second period as Josh Morrissey (44) celebrates with Schmidt against the San Jose Sharks in Winnipeg on Thu Nov 11, 2021 (Canadian Press photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-1 to the Jets at Winnipeg Thursday. Kyle Connor, Nate Schmidt, Jansen Harkins and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for the win. Andrew Cogliano scored for the Sharks and James Reimer made 30 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Assistant Coach John MacLean was not willing to attribute the loss to fatigue: “I don’t know if [we] ran out of gas… I thought we had a couple of opportunities, we just weren’t able to bury it. And, you know, it was a close game there for a bit.” He also mentioned the lopsided penalty calls: “They get some power plays, we never really got any special… we never got any power plays. It was just one of those things, guys tried and it just didn’t come our way.”

The roster and the bench will likely look different for the next game, as players and staff will be returning from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. McLean assessed the performance of the team in the absence of those players:

“After a loss you’re not really pleased, I mean you wish, there’s a couple of opportunities there missed as well in that. So, I will say that I’m pleased with the total effort that these guys showed throughout this, you know, the guys who got called up and the guys who were here. I mean I think overall they all buckled down and gave us an opportunity each night to win.”

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, at 6:28 of the first period. Brent Burns picked up the puck near the boards and carried it across into the slot, then made a quick pass to Andrew Cogliano who was on the far side of the net. Cogliano lifted it into the short side for his second of the season.

Kyle Connor tied the game at 11:38. As the Jets entered the zone, Evgeny Svechnikov passed the puck from the right wide to Dubois in the middle of the ice. Dubois tok a shot that went off of Reimer’s pads for a short rebound. Connor was right there to shoot it back in behind Reimer.

The Sharks penalty kill gave up one shot on a single penalty for the period. The teams were dead even at ten shots each. It was the Sharks’ best face-off period, at 69%.

The second period started with an early fight, between the Sharks’ Jonah Gadjovich and the Jets’ Adam Lowry. The Sharks took a delay of game penalty at 7:24, and then matching roughing penalties at 10:02 went to Dominic Toninato and Ryan Merkley. Again, the Sharks penalty kill gave up just one shot.

The Jets took the lead at 14:11, with a shot from the blue line by Nate Schmidt. Assists went to Josh Morrissey and Blake Wheeler.

Jansen Harkins made it 3-1 at 19:16 of the second. Harkins and Adam Lowry got behind the Sharks for a two-on-one. From low in the slot, Lowry made a pass to Harkins for a deflection.

The Jets out-shot the Sharks 13-8 in the second, but the Sharks continued to dominate in the face-off circle at 60%. The third period saw the Sharks slip in that area, winning only 44% of the draws. The Sharks penalty kill allowed two shots during the single third-period Jets power play.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his eighth of the season into an empty net at 19:27 of the third. Assists went to Andrew Copp and Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Sharks’ next game will be in Colorado against the Avalanche, on Saturday at 6:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Devils, 3-2 in a Shoot-Out

The San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer in goal and the New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson (28) who scores in the shootout for the game winner at SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Nov 6, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 in a shoot-out to the New Jersey Devils Saturday at SAP Center in San Jose. Ryan Graves and Janne Kuokkanen scored for the Devils and Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Rudolfs Balcers and Jonathan Dahlen. James Reimer made 26 saves in the loss.

New Jersey out-shot San Jose 10-9 in a scoreless first period. Each team had a chance on the power play, with the Devils power play getting two shots on goal and the Sharks power play getting three. The teams were also very close in the face-off circle, with the Sharks winning 11 draws and the Devils winning 10.

Rudolfs Balcers scored the first goal of the game early in the second period. The Sharks had just killed off an early penalty, having given up just one to the Devils power play. Mario Ferraro carried the puck all the way across the Devils blue line before making a pass through the blue paint to Balcers, who was able to put the puck in the net. Assists went to Ferraro and Brent Burns.

Devils defenseman Ryan Graves tied the game at 16:45 with his first goal of the season. He trailed the play into the zone and arrived just in time to catch a cross-ice pass from Nico Hischier. Reimer could not get across in time to stop the shot. Assists went to Hischier and Michael McLeod.

The teams continued to be very close in shots, with the second period count at 9-7 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Devils improved to 61%, or 11-18. The Devils had the only power play in the period, and had just the one shot on goal.

Jonathan Dahlen made it 2-1 with a shot on the power play into the top corner at 4:21 of the third. Assists went to Brent Burns and Ryan Merkley.

Janne Kuokkanen tied tied it back up at 17:04 of the third. His shot was one of many that flew at James Reimer in quick succession. Kuokkanen was able to shoot while Reimer was prone across the goal mouth. Assists went to Jimmy Vesey and Colton White.

Logan Couture shot first and scored with an assertive wrist shot through the Bernier’s five-hole.

New Jersey’s Jesper Bratt shot next. His shot hit Reimer’s pad and seemed to stop but instead slid over the line to count for a goal.

Rudolfs Balcers shot next for San Jose but his shot hit the post.

Alexander Holz shot next for New Jersey and Reimer stopped his shot.

Tomas Hertl shot next, but Bernier deflected the shot away from the net.

Damon Severson shot last for New Jersey and scored. After a shimmy and a shake he lifted the puck over Reimer and up into the corner.

The final shot count was as close as ever, 28-27 Devils. In the face-off circle, New Jersey also prevailed, winning 54% of the draws. The Sharks power play scored on one of three chances, and their penalty kill was perfect against four Devils power plays.

The Sharks will hit the road now and play next in Calgary against the Flames on Tuesday at 6:00 PM PT.

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.

COVID-19 Protocols Purge Roster, Sharks Beat Jets Anyway 2-1

San Jose Sharks left wing Alexander Barabanov (94) and Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (27) make contact while chasing the puck in the third period at the SAP Center in San Jose on Sat Oct 30, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in overtime Saturday. Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier scored for the Sharks and James Reimer made 34 saves for the win. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves in the loss. That could be the result of a Sharks game on most nights, but Saturday was distinctly different from regular regular season Sharks games.

Late Saturday afternoon, the Sharks roster looked a lot like a preseason game. A slew of players, eight in total, were pulled from the lineup at the last minute and seven were replaced by call-ups from the AHL Barracuda. Andrew Cogliano, Jonathan Dahlen, Erik Karlsson, Jacob Middleton, Matt Nieto, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Head Coach Bob Boughner were all held out of the game due to NHL COVID-19 protocol. Logan Couture was alsoout due to illness but not in COVID-19 protocol.

Seven players had just hours notice that they would be playing Saturday. Defenseman Santeri Hatakka made his NHL debut, with Ryan Merkley, Nicolas Meloche, and Jaycob Megna making their season debut on the blueline. The forwards making their season debuts were RW Nick Merkley, LW Jonah Gadjovich and LW John Leonard. Mike Ricci stepped in behind the bench to fill out the coaching roster.

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns said that a crazy day like Saturday can be good for a player who is making a debut with an NHL team: “Sometimes that’s the best thing. So those guys got to play their first game with not a lot of time to think about it and they get a good result in it and I think that can just really help all those guys.”

After the game, Sharks assistant coach John Maclean talked about the team’s response to these strange circumstances:

“They had great energy and they all knew that they had to play. Everybody got ice. It was like, the bench was lively, they were pretty much coaching themselves. They were excited to get out there and play. So that’s always fun to see.”

The first period shot count was very close, 14-13 San Jose. The Sharks power play got two shots on net. In the face-off circle the Sharks struggled. Nick Bonino won 60% of his draws and Jasper Weatherby won 50%, but Tomas Hertl was around 20%. As a result, the Sharks won just 25% of their draws in the first.

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, 54 seconds into the second period. Barabanov carried the puck down the wall to the goal line, where he spun and threw it at the net. The puck went off of Timo Meier’s stick and across the goal mouth to Tomas Hertl, who was able to put it away. Meier and Barabanov got the assists.

The Sharks out-shot the Jets 13-7 in the second period. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 54%, but Hertl still seemed outmatched, especially against Pierre-Luc DuBois, who he drew against 7 times in the first two periods, and won only once.

Sharks Defenseman Santeri Hatakka did something about that at 3:43 of the third period, drawing a high-stick from DuBois. DuBois earned a double-minor and Hatakka went to the box for cross-checking. Still, the Sharks did not get credit for a single shot during that power play, and their face-off numbers did not improve.

The Jets tied the game at 16:48 of the third. DuBois drew the Sharks defense to himself as he drove the net. His shot bounced into the slot, where Nikolaj Ehlers picked it up for another try. Reimer stopped that too but Kyle Connor found the puck and put it in the net before Reimer could get across. Assists went to Ehlers and DuBois.

By the end of regulation, the only Shark with a better than even win percentage was Jasper Weatherby, who only took nine draws. He won six (67%) of those. Bonino had dropped from a high of 60% to 41% and Hertl went from 20% to 21%. All around, it was not a good night for the Sharks in the face-off circle. In shots, the Jets out-shot the Sharks 15-6 in the third.

Thirty seconds into overtime, Nikolaj Ehlers was called for interference on Brent Burns and Timo Meier scored the game winner 1:07. Burns sent the puck to Labanc near a face-off dot. Labanc skated with it to the top of the slot and then made a subtle touch-pass to Meier for the winning shot.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday, in San Jose against the St. Louis Blues at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Predators 3-1; Loss is second in a row for Sharks

San Jose Sharks defenseman Mike Ferraro (38) skates around the back of the net in the second period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Tue Oct 21, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks were defeated 3-1 by the Predators in Nashville Tuesday. Nashville goals came from Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg and Mikael Granlund. Juuse Saros made 28 saves for the win. Timo Meier scored for the Sharks, and James Reimer made 23 saves in the loss.

The Predators scored less than two minutes into the game, on a very early power play. Duchene skated right down the slot, with Brent Burns in front of him. His shot slipped around Burns’ stick and past Reimer at 1:20. Assists went to Roman Josi and Ryan Johansen.

That was only penalty the Sharks’ took in the game. The Sharks power play had two shots on goal in the first, and the teams were dead even in shots for the first period at nine each. In the face-off circle, the Predators had an edge with a 52% win percentage.

Filip Forsberg made it 2-0 Predators at 12:31 of the second period. Roman Josi held the puck around the face-off dot until two Sharks and their goalie moved to defend against his shot. Then he found Forsbeg in the slot with a centering pass. Forsberg’s shot went between Mario Ferraro’s legs and over Reimer’s glove. Assists went to Josi and Dante Fabbro.

The Sharks had a slight edge in shots during the second period, 12-10. Their pwoer play got four shots in two tries. They improved in teh face-off circle to 57%.

Timo Meier scored for San Jose 11:54 into the third period. After an offensive zone draw, Meier jumped on a rebound and managed to get the puck in the net before tripping over Juuse’s outstretched left arm. Assists went to Jonathan Dahlen and Logan Couture.

Mikael Granlund scored into an empty net at 19:07, with a shot from his own net front. An assist went to Alexandre Carrier.

The Sharks finished with a 29-26 edge in shots and won 54% of their face-offs.

The Sharks next play on Thursday, at home in San Jose against the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 PM PT.