NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Len Shapiro: Sharks-Blues meet for the sixth time for the Conference Finals

Photo credit: @Str8ToTheBanc

On the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals podcast with Len:

#1 This is going to be the sixth time that the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues have met in the Western Conference Finals. In those six meetings, the Sharks have won three of those series.

#2 The Sharks in 2016 played their only Stanley Cup Finals and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Are the Sharks a different team this season after facing elimination to the Vegas Golden Knights and taking out the Colorado Avalanche in seven games? Is this team more on a mission then that 2016 team?

#3 Sharks captain Joe Pavelski contributed to the cause with a goal after coming back from a critical concussion in Game 7 of the first round. How much did Pavelski inspire this team?

#4 In postseason play, the Sharks forwards Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl are in a two-way tie for second in NHL playoffs for scoring. Defensemen Brent Burns and Hertl have nine goals and 14 points so no doubt the Sharks are getting some offensive support.

#5 The Sharks open up the best of seven Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose for Games 1 and 2. Len sets this series up for us.

Len is covering the NHL Western Conference Finals podcasts Saturdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Lose to Blue Jackets 4-1

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks fell to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday by a score of 4-1. Despite outshooting Columbus 45-27, beating them soundly in the faceoff circle and taking the early lead with a goal from Kevin Labanc, San Jose could not beat the Blue Jackets’ defense or goalie again. Columbus goals came from Anthony Duclair, Seth Jones, Nick Foligno and Josh Anderson. Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 44 shots for the win. Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell made 23 saves for San Jose. The special teams were all penalty killers: the Sharks’ power play had three tries and did not score, and the Blue Jackets also failed to score with their power play.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said:

You look up at the end of the night and we have those shots. Didn’t probably feel like a 45 shot night. You know… the energy level was just a little bit off for us. But throughout that game we were right there at times, we just never found that spark we needed.

Logan Couture was asked about the ice, as the puck was bouncing a lot. He did not consider that a valid explanation: “Can’t blame the ice. Both teams play on it. It’s simple: we just didn’t play well enough. There’s no excuse of the ice being bad. We weren’t very good.”

When asked to elaborate, Couture said: “We weren’t good. We didn’t pass well, we didn’t play hard enough. We didn’t spend enough time in their end, we didn’t forecheck, we turned pucks over. I mean, you go down the list, we did a lot of things wrong tonight and we got what we deserved.”

The first period was balanced in scoring and shots. The Sharks spent a spell in the Columbus zone before finally scoring first at 11:50 of the first period. Couture was in front of the net, trying to get a shot off but the puck slipped away from him. Labanc was right on the spot to catch it and take the shot. Assists went to Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. It was Labanc’s second goal of the season.

The Blue Jackets tied it up at 16:30 with a goal from Anthony Duclair. The goal came after a lot of pressure from the Blue Jackets all around the Sharks’ zone. Ryan Murray sent the puck down from the blue line to bounce off the back boards where Duclair picked it up and took it behind the net for a wraparound. Assists went to Murray and Alexander Wennberg.

Columbus scored twice in the second period, the first at 9:15. Duclair, near the goal line, moved the puck out in front of the net where it went off the skate of Seth Jones as Jones was stopping in front of the blue paint. Assists went to Duclair and Lukas Sedlak.

Foligno gave the Blue Jackets a two goal lead at 18:40 of the period. Erik Karlsson’s pass to Vlasic along the blue line missed and went off the boards to Markus Nutivaara. He made a quick pass up to a fast-moving Foligno in the neutral zone. Foligno skated in and beat Aaron Dell on the left side.

The only goal of the third period came with just 1:01 left in the game, a short-handed, empty-net goal from Josh Anderson.

The Sharks ended the game with a 5-on-3 power play, but it only lasted 22 seconds before they ran out of time.

The Sharks will host the Philadelphia Flyers for their next game on Saturday at 7:30 PM PT.

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

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

By M. Walsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharks Win Last Game Before Playoffs

By Mary Walsh

AP photo: Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith stops a shot from the San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl (48) during the first period at SAP Center Saturday

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks defeated the Arizona Coyotes to win their final game of the 2015-16 regular season. The lone goal of the game was scored by Joe Pavelski in a third period power play. Martin Jones made 20 saves for the shutout. It took the Sharks 32 shots to get one by Arizona’s Mike Smith.

In Los Angeles, meantime, the Kings fell in a shootout to the Winnipeg Jets. As a result, the Anaheim Ducks have a chance to supplant the Kings at the top of the Pacific Division on Sunday. The Sharks, therefore, do not know yet who they will play to start the first round of the playoffs.

Paul Martin did not play on Saturday, and Mirco Mueller got the call to fill in. Mueller started the game with Justin Braun, while Dylan DeMelo was paired with Brent Burns. Dainius Zubrus was back in the lineup after missing Thursday’s game, on a line with Tommy Wingels and Chris Tierney.

The Sharks were on the penalty kill early in the first, after a boarding call to Roman Polak. Arizona did not do much with that, and not long after the penalty expired, the Sharks had their first power play. With Connor Murphy in the box for two minutes, the Sharks did not even manage a shot on goal.

The teams were almost half way through the first when Polak dropped the gloves with Shane Doan. That sprouted from some bumping and pushing in the Sharks’ zone that also involved Joe Pavelski. Polak went to the box for his five minutes, but the Sharks wound up with a four minute power play, as Shane Doan received two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, two minutes for instigating a fight, five minutes for fighting, and a ten minute misconduct. Anthony Duclair served the four minutes for Doan.

The Sharks power play still did not produce. Better chances came back at even strength, where the Sharks kept the pressure on the Arizona defense.

The Sharks had a third power play in the first period, when Oliver Ekman-Larsson went to the box for hooking. The Sharks went 0-3 on the power play in the first period.

To start the second period, coach DeBoer switched his defensive pairs around, putting Justin Braun with Brent Burns, and Mueller with DeMelo. Arizona came out with some grit, trapping the Sharks in their own zone for a couple of minutes, but that seemed unrelated to the line adjustments, as Polak and Dillon were on the blue line for that unhappy spell.

The Coyotes had their second power play at 5:20 of the second, a cross checking call to Joel Ward. The Sharks’ penalty kill was a little fast and loose but it was effective and showed the Sharks to advantage. That was the only penalty for the second period, and by the end of forty minutes the game was still scoreless.

It was on the Sharks’ fourth power play of the game that they finally scored. The Sharks had a two man advantage at 6:33 of the third period, after Boyd Gordon was called for hi-sticking and Oliver Ekman-Larsson was called for unsportsmanlike conduct simultaneously. A little under a minute into the power play, Joe Pavelski scored his 38th of the season. Assists went to Joe Thornton and Brent Burns.

The NHL Playoffs start on Wednesday and a more specific schedule is expected late Sunday.

The Sharks presented their end of season awards during and after the game. Joe Thornton received the Sharks Foundation Player of the Year Award, as voted on by members of the media. Joe Pavelski won the Xactly Inspired Performance Three Stars of the Year Award, for the number of times he was named as one of the stars of the game. Joonas Donskoi took home the Rookie of the Year Award presented by SAP, also voted on by members of the media. Brent Burns won the Fan Favorite Award presented by Enterprise Exotic Car Collection. This was tabulated by fan votes on social media.

Saturday’s game was the 300th NHL game for Tommy Wingels and 200th for Tomas Hertl.

Another Preseason Win Looks Good on Sharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 in Glendale on Friday. The preseason game lineup proably closely ressembles the group that will start the regular season next week. The forward lines were: Donskoi-Thornton-Pavelski, Marleau-Couture-Ward, Nieto-Hertl-Wingels and Goodrow-Tierney-Brown. The defensive paris were: Vlasic-Braun, Martin-Burns and Tennyson-Dillon. Martin Jones was in net for the shutout. There will probably be only a couple of changes to that lineup when the Sharks play Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Joonas Donskoi distinguished himself again as a deserving member of the top line. His performance included good defensive sense and a few surprising offensive moves, including one pass that was so surprising it even caught Joe Thornton unawares.

Tomas Hertl’s preseason time as a center has not been wasted. He is to be handling the position well, and his game overall shows much improved confidence and strength.

The Coyotes took the first penalty of the game, as Michael Stone pulled Joonas Donskoi down at 5:29. The first Sharks power play unit included Burns, Pavelski, Thornton, Marleau and Couture. A pass from Marleau to Pavelski ended the power play just 17 seconds in to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Assists went to Marleau and Couture.

The Sharks took a penalty at 12:16, after two on one was thwarted by some smart speed from Joonas Donskoi. Matt Tennyson was called for hooking Steve Downie. The Sharks penalty kill was effective, but Brenden Dillon took a cross-checking penalty against Matthias Plachta shortly afer the Tennyson penalty expired. The Sharks killed that off as well, but lost most of their early lead on the shot clock. By the time the second penalty was over, the shots stood at 12-10 Sharks.

Three minutes into the second period, the Coyotes took another penalty, this time to Antoine Vermette for tripping Mike Brown. The Sharks did not score on that power play, and as it ended, Joel Ward was called for hooking Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The Sharks killed that off too, protecting their lone goal lead.

Tomas Hertl added to the Sharks lead early in the third period. Just after a line change, Matt Nieto and Tomas Hertl took off in a two on one against Coyotes defenseman Connor Murphy. A short hesitation from Nieto gave him a chance to pick his spot before passing it to Hertl, who put the puck away. Assists went to Nieto and Dillon.

A second goal from Pavelski was essentially the nail in the Coyotes’ coffin. Thornton, behind the Arizona net, made what appeared to be a blind pass to Pavelski. Pavelski wasted no time putting the Sharks up 3-0.

The Coyotes had a chance to redeem themselves with a power play at 13:42, when Brenden Dillon was called for tripping. They did not score and the teams went into the obligatory 3-on3 overtime session with a final score of 3-0 Sharks.

The Coyotes did score in the overtime period, which may have done something for their confidence but did not change the game result. The goal was scored by Anthony Duclair, off a feed from Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

The Sharks next play in Anaheim on Saturday at 6:00.

Friday, the Sharks recalled nine players from the AHL Barracuda. Many will likely play Saturday, avoiding the unnecessary stress of back to back preseason games for the regular NHL players. The group includes four players with fewer than three seasons in the AHL: goaltender Troy Grosenick, forwards Ryan Carpenter and Jeremy Langlois, and defenseman Gus Young. Karl Stollery more seasoned than those four, with just over three seasons of experience in the AHL. Forwards John McCarthy and Frazer McLaren have both spent significant time on the Sharks roster and were mainstays in Worcester. Forwards Micheal Haley and Bryan Lerg have over five seasons of professional experience as well.

The San Jose Barracuda, in a preseason game against the Stockton Heat, lost 4-2 at Sharks Ice on Thursday. Petter Emanuelsson and Julius Bergman scored for San Jose, the game featured four fights and 66 penalty minutes. Troy Grosenick and Aaron Dell shared the net, with Grosenick making eight saves on nine shots and Dell making 14 save son 17 shots. Peter Emanuelsson left the game after taking a hit from behind. The Barracuda will play another exhibition game in Bakersfield on Saturday against the Condors. The game will start at 7:00 pm and be aired on KDOW at AM 1220 and online at http://www.KDOW.biz.

Sharks Lose 5-1 in Final Home Game of Season

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– In their last home game of the season, the San Jose Sharks fell to the Dallas Stars 5-1. Before the game finished, both the Sharks and Stars were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. The Winnipeg Jets defeated the Minnesota Wild, putting the Jets out of reach for Dallas or San Jose. The Los Angeles Kings obliged the Sharks by losing in overtime to Vancouver. That makes it just possible that the Sharks could have the opportunity to play spoilers to the Kings’ last minute scramble into the 2015 playoffs. Probably that is not much motivation for the Sharks today. It is not clear what would motivate the Sharks at this point.

Joe Thornton scored the Sharks’ only goal on Monday. Jamie Benn scored the game winner for Dallas. Jason Demers was roundly applauded by the Sharks fans when he was featured on the jumbotron. The Sharks gave away a lot of signed jerseys and gifts for fan appreciation night. It is possible that those last two facts are more significant than the first two.

It did not matter, as far as playoffs go, who won Monday. Still, one team was more eager to win than the other.

28 seconds into the game, Jason Demers took a shot from the blue line. Al Stalock stopped it but kicked it out to Colton Sceviour, who was waiting, unmolested, between the blue paint and the faceoff circle. Sceviour scored, assists went to Demers and Vernon Fiddler. A few seconds later, Mike Brown and Antoine Roussel fought. They both went to the box and the score was still 1-0 Stars.

The Sharks took the first penalty of the game, a tripping penalty to Melker Karlsson. The Sharks killed the penalty off and by the midpoint of the period, they were near even on the shot clock.

At 9:51, Mike Brown was called for charging Trevor Daley, a call that did not go over well with the crowd or Brown. The hit was a beat late but Daley did just release the puck. The hostile encounter with Roussel just after the hit on Daley could have been called roughing, but the ref opted to go with the hit on Daley. The Sharks killed that penalty too.

The Sharks finally got a power play when Shawn Horcoff went to the box for holding the stick at 14:21. The power play generated some good chances but did not change the score.

The Sharks went back on the penalty kill with just 2:50 left in the period. Barclay Goodrow was in the box for elbowing Tyler Seguin. While everyone was mulling over that call, the Stars scored. They had some help from a couple of Sharks skaters who crowded their own goalie and did not help him out. Patrick Eaves had a clear shot at the net, though Logan Couture did try to impeded him from behind. Eaves got the goal, with assists going to Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza.

At the end of the first, the score was 2-0 Stars, with the Stars leading on the shot clock 11-9.

The Sharks made it to 6:12 of the second period without taking another penalty or giving up another goal. This time, Joe Pavelski went to the box for hooking. Al Stalock was not happy about the call, since he had just gotten a shoulder to the face from a falling Dallas Star. Perhaps the officials felt the hook caused the fall. In any case, back to the penalty kill went the Sharks.

With 46 seconds left in that penalty, Brent Burns joined Pavelski in the box for slashing. It was a fairly blatant slash, breaking Eaves’ stick.

Logan Couture, Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon and Al Stalock managed to kill 26 seconds of the five on three, but with 20 seconds left, Jamie Benn scored from the faceoff circle. Assists went to Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza.

At 11:29, Shawn Horcoff went to the box for interference. The Sharks power play looked stymied by the Stars’ penalty killers and spent too much time chasing rushes the other way. In the final two seconds of the power play, one of those short handed rushes trapped two Stars in the Sharks’ zone while Chris Tierney went the other way with the puck. He dropped it to Thornton at the Stars’ blue line and charged ahead one on two to add to a screen in front of Jhonas Enroth. Joe Thornton followed him in and shot through the three-man wall to put the Sharks on the board. The assist went to Tierney.

At the end of the second period, the Stars led 3-1 and 20-15 in shots.

Just over four minutes in to the third period, the Sharks showed some life on a delayed penalty, maintaining control of the puck in the Stars’ zone for over 20 seconds before the whistle blew and their power play officially began. They did not score on that power play.

Tommy Wingels went to the box for boarding at 9:15. The highlight of that penalty kill, possibly the second best Sharks play of the game, was a short-handed breakaway by Barclay Goodrow and Chris Tierney. They didn’t score but they looked very dangerous.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed. A shift from the Thornton line followed and they looked rejuvenated. That was not enough to change the course of the game, but it did help slow the Stars down.

The Sharks held the Stars scoreless for 15:08 of the period. With 4:52 left in the game, Patrick Eaves evaded Brenden Dillon along the boards in the Sharks zone. He was clear just long enough to get a pass to Jamie Benn, who was loitering below the faceoff circle. 4-1 Stars.

With the three-goal lead, Ryan Garbutt decided it would be a good idea to elbow Matt Irwin in the neck as the Sharks defenseman skated into the Dallas zone. The Sharks power play did not score.

Ryan Garbutt did score at 18:00, on a breakaway with a backhand.

The Stars took another penalty with 37.3 seconds left in regulation. Shawn Horcoff went to the box for the third time, this time for goaltender interference.

Final score 5-1 Dallas. Shots 25-24 Dallas.

Matt Irwin led the Sharks in shots with six. Mike Brown and Tommy Wingels led the team in hits with four each. Karl Stollery and Brenden Dillon led in blocked shots with four each. Al Stalock made 20 saves on 25 shots.

Jason Spezza and Jamie Benn led the Stars in shots with four each. Antoine Roussel led the Stars in hits with three. Jyrki Jokipakka led in blocked shots with four. Jhonas Enroth made 23 saves for the win.

The Sharks next play in Edmonton on Thursday at 6:30 PT.

Sharks Start Strong Again, Win 3-2 in Philly

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost two defensemen and had to go to a shootout after outshooting the Philadelphia Flyers 44-18, but they won 3-2. The shootout winner was scored by Brent Burns. Matt Irwin and Joe Pavelski scored the regulation goals for the Sharks, while Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux scored for the Flyers. Goaltender Al Stalock made 16 saves on 18 shots from the win, while Steve Mason made 42 saves on 44 shots for the Flyers.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic sustained a lower body injury during the first period and is not expected to play in Pittsburgh. Scott Hannan was also injured later in the game and is also likely to be out Sunday. Of finishing the game after so many injuries, head coach Todd McLellan said:

When you get to four, it’s pretty easy, you just keep saying “next.” You know, at five, which happened fairly early in the game, I thought our D did a really good job and our forwards protected them. We played enough in the offensive zone to not have them too taxed in our end. Where we ran into trouble is a little bit on the penalty kill against a very good power play but we managed the game well once they got hurt.

As they did in Detroit on Thursday, the Sharks had a very strong first period in Philadelphia. On those good starts, Joe Pavelski said:

We had a good practice the other night in Detroit. The same thing happened, we were pretty good all night, we weren’t really … it wasn’t that taxing of a game I don’t think in our own end and I think that probably helped a little bit.

The Flyers took an early penalty that let the Sharks warm up with a power play, but it was not until that power play had expired that Matt Irwin put the Sharks on the board. Jakub Voracek made an ill-advised clearing attempt up the middle, which Irwin caught and threw right back at the net. Assists went to Chris Tierney and Tommy Wingels.

The lead only lasted a couple of minutes. The Sharks had spent a long shift in their own zone when they finally cleared the puck. Unfortunately, Flyers’ Nicklas Grossmann brought it back in more quickly than expected. The tired Sharks defenders could not stop a shot from the blue line that hit a couple of players on the way in. The goal went to Michael Raffl, with assists going to Grossmann and Voracek.

Grossmann went to the box at 15:06 for holding. The Sharks power play held the zone pretty well, and the Flyers had to thwart several shots from the blue line. With 21 seconds left on the power play, Joe Pavelski threw the puck at Steve Mason from behind the goal line. The puck went under Mason and then trickled into the net. The referee blew the whistle early, and a review in Toronto deemed the whistle to be “irrelevant to continuous play.” No one had touched Mason and he did not seem to realize the puck was underneath him. Assists went to Logan Couture and Brent Burns.

During the first period, the Sharks lost Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who was deemed questionable to return at the start of the second period. At the end of the first period, the shots were 15-7 Sharks. By the middle of the second period, the Sharks had added five shots to their tally, while the Flyers had added one.

The Flyers got their first power play at 9:45 of the second, when Matt Nieto went to the box for interference. The Flyers had one shot during the power play, and Logan Couture ate up some time with a short-handed breakaway in the second half of the power play. Mason stopped the back-hander without much trouble but the Sharks got an offensive zone faceoff out of that.

With six minutes left in the second, Philadelphia’s Ryan White hit Tommy Wingels from behind and a little high. Wingels was slow to get up and White went to the box for boarding. The Flyers again handled hard shots from the blue line, and made plays near the net very difficult for the Sharks. The Sharks did manage three shots but they could not extend their one goal lead.

The second period ended with the Sharks leading in shots 22-12 and in faceoffs 26-20.

The Flyers mustered some good offensive pressure to start the third period, but despite a couple of close calls they were still being outshot 2-1 in the first five minutes.

Scott Hannan went to the box at 7:00 for hooking. The Flyers started their power play with a couple of chances at an open net when Stalock was caught out of the blue paint. They missed and it looked like the Sharks’ penalty killers had dodged a bullet. When the Flyers next attacked, Claude Giroux tied the game. He caught a cross-ice pass from Voracek and beat Stalock from the faceoff circle. Ryan White and Brayden Schenn were both screening Stalock and it is surprising that the puck did not touch either of them. Assists went to Voracek and Michael Del Zotto.

A scrum stopped the action with 7:23 left, after Nick Cousins hit Scott Hannan, sending the Sharks defenseman into the boards. Cousins’ hit seemed to catch Hannan’s arm from behind, so that Hannan could not protect himself as he might have. He went face-first into the glass. Hannan left the game and Oliver Lauridsen went to the box. The penalty was a result of the scrum, not the hit. Lauridsen then went to the dressing room, as did John Scott, both with ten minute misconducts.

At 15:43, Joe Thornton was called for tripping Jakub Voracek. The hit could have been called kneeing, as the players connected knee to knee when Voracek skated past Thornton at the Flyers’ blue line. Though they were missing Thornton and two defensemen now, the Sharks killed the penalty off.

Each team had good chances in the final minute. The Flyers’ Voracek gave the Sharks a scare when he skated into the zone and evaded three defending Sharks. At the last moment, Matt Irwin knocked the puck away from him and sent it to Matt Nieto, who took it the other way. Chris Tierney and Nieto gave the Flyers some grief that ended with Justin Braun getting a shot that just went wide of the net. With that, regulation time expired.

The Sharks started overtime well, with a lot of offensive zone time for defensemen. Braun, Dillon and Irwin all spent some time below the faceoff circle, supporting the forwards. It was in the Sharks’ zone, however, that Matt Irwin took a hit from Brayden Schenn and put the Sharks on the power play. The power play looked very good, and the Flyers had a tough time trying to clear the puck. At one point, Brent Burns seemed to be everywhere on the blue line, keeping a couple of pucks in that looked bound to get out. The Flyers did finally get the puck out just past the minute mark of the power play, but the Sharks were back in quickly. The Flyers had to work very hard for that kill but they got it.

The Sharks had a couple more chances and near misses but time expired before anyone could score.

Jakub Voracek shot first for the Flyers and scored with a late shot from almost at the goal line. Logan Couture shot next but hit the post.

Claude Giroux shot second for the Flyers but Stalock caught his slapshot. Joe Pavelksi shot next but his shot went off of Mason’s skate.

Matt Read tried some misdirection followed by a shot through the five hole but Stalock was not fooled. Melker Karlsson followed with some stick handling and a shot to the top right corner. He tied it up.

Sean Couturier shot next but Stalock stopped his backhand shot. Patrick Marleau shot low but Mason stopped him.

Vincent LeCavalier lost the puck before getting a shot off. Brent Burns went next for the Sharks. Skating in at a moderate pace, he faked to the right then shot backhand into the top left corner for the win.

The Sharks led the game in faceoff wins 38-35. Joe Pavelski led the Sharks with seven shots, and Logan Couture came in second with six. John Scott and Tomas Hertl led with three hits each. Brent Burns led with four blocked shots. Burns also led the Sharks in ice time with 27:33.

Claude Giroux led the Flyers with three shots. Zac Rinaldo led his team with eight hits. Nick Schultz and Chris Vandevelde led their team with four blocked shots each. Michael Del Zotto led the Flyers in ice time with 30:18.

The Sharks next play at 4:30 PT on Sunday against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.