Sharks Fall 4-3 to Avalanche, Couture Leaves Game With Injury

NHL on ice official Bob Meier (34) takes a look over San Jose Shark Logan Couture (39) after taking a deflected pass off his cheek in the first period Sunday night at SAP Center (photo sfgate.com)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks fell to the visiting Colorado Avalanche 4-3 Sunday. The loss extended the Sharks’ current losing streak to three. Colorado goals came from Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Vladislav Namestnikov and Joonas Donskoi. Avalanche goaltender, Pavel Fracouz made 22 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson and Noah Gregor. Martin Jones made

Before anyone scored a goal, Logan Couture took a deflected puck to the face. After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier explained what he had seen of the incident: “Unlucky play. I was trying to make a pass and it got deflected. He didn’t see it coming and I’m not sure where it hit him. Very unfortunate, I hope he’s doing well. A big part of our team, a big leader so I hope he’s recovering quick.”

Coach Bob Boughner said “I believe it was his cheek and he went under concussion protocol with the NHL. I think it was just precautionary, that we didn’t want to throw him back in there. But I don’t think it’s anything serious, I think he’s going to be fine.” Additionally, Boughner did not rule Couture out for the next game.

While Couture was being injured, Vladislav Kamenev was being called for interference against Joe Thornton. During the resulting power play, the Sharks started the scoring at 11:16. Timo Meier sent the puck from high in the slot to the net. Evander Kane was there to receive it but it went off of Erik Johnson’s skate and followed an unexpected trajectory. Kane reached for it and just pushed it across the goal mouth. Joe Thornton was right where he needed to be to gather the stray puck and put it in the net. Assists went to Kane and Meier.

Nathan MacKinnon tied it up with a power play goal for Colorado at 16:17. The Sharks had just stopped a shot by JT Compher but it rebounded up the slot to Gabriel Landeskog. He made a quick pass to MacKinnon who was waiting in the face-off circle to take the shot.

At the end of the first period, the shot count was 8-7 Colorado and the Avalanche won 69% of the face-offs.

Landeskog gave his team a lead early in the second period, just 1:59 in. A turnover in the neutral zone left Radim Simek facing a two on one of Landeskog and MacKinnon. MacKinnon took the shot and Jones stopped it but Landeskog was trailing just enough to put the rebound in the net. Assists went to MacKinnon and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Melker Karlsson tied it back up again less than two minutes later. Getting a jump on traffic through the neutral zone, Karlsson caught a pass from Marcus Sorensen near the Sharks blue line and skated the other way all alone. He went right up the middle and beat Pavel Francouz with a quick wrist shot. Sorensen got the assist.

Vladislav Namestnikov completed the goal set for his line at 8:41 of the second. Landeskog made a pass around the Sharks defenders and Namestnikov caught it but not in a great shooting position. He had to spin and shoot it back behind the goaltender to get the goal. Assists went to Landeskog and MacKinnon.

The Sharks had to kill a lengthy power play between 15:35 and 18:53, with a little under 40 seconds of five-on-three. Melker Karlsson went to the box for slashing, and then Timo Meier was called for hooking. The Sharks allowed just one shot during those penalties.

In the second period, the shot count was 10-7 Colorado and the Avalanche also won 60% of the face-offs.

A couple of things went unnoticed by the men in stripes during the third period. Colorado got away with too many men on the ice around the 10 minute mark, and then Timo Meier got whacked on the hands without any official noticing. The audience saw enough of both incidents to object loudly.

Joonas Donskoi made it 4-2 Avalanche after J.T. Compher found him with a backhand pass off the rush. It was a very nifty play, reminiscent of Donskoi in teal. Assists went to Compher and Erik Johnson.

With just under two minutes left, Evander Kane was felled with a high stick, putting the Sharks on a short power play. Kane appeared none the worse for wear during the power play.

With the Sharks goalie pulled, Noah Gregor scored his second goal of the season with 44 seconds left in the period. Assists went to Meier and Kevin Labanc.

The third period shot count was 11-6 Sharks, with the Avalanche winning 52% of the face-offs.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday in Chicago against the Blackhawks at 5:00 PM PT.

NHL podcast with Daniel Dullum: Islanders return to Uniondale next season; Thornton was hoping to be traded from Sharks; plus more

photo from masslive.com: Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly (52) skates the puck behind the New York Islanders net against defenseman Scott Mayfield (24) during the first period an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Uniondale, NY.

NHL podcast with Daniel Dullum:

1 Islanders return full-time to Nassau Coliseum for next season

2 Sharks’ Thornton said he was disappointed that no trade happened at the deadline

3 Rangers’ Chris Kreider signs extension, breaks ankle

4 YouTube TV reaches agreement on temporary extension with Sinclair, Fox regional sports networks; Ticket companies back removal of hidden fees

5 Blues’ D Jay Bouwmeester to sit out remainder of the season

6 CBS News correspondent not impressed with Zamboni driver’s feat

Daniel Dullum hosts the NHL podcast each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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: Patty Marleau is back in San Jose this time as a Penguin tonight

sfchronicle.com photo: Pittsburgh Penguin Patrick Marleau is returning to San Jose tonight who played 19 seasons in San Jose will return to grind it out against his former team at SAP Center

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The Pittsburgh Penguins Patrick Marleau just can’t stay away from San Jose, his home is in San Jose and he played in San Jose 19 seasons in San Jose and he returns to SAP Center tonight

#2 Marleau hasn’t been away from the Sharks too long but he will get a warm ovation when he is introduced in tonight’s starting line ups

#3 The question is will Marleau return to San Jose again? He was traded in 2017 to Toronto and returned last season

#4 The Sharks Joe Thornton would like to finish up his career with San Jose he was on the trade block but survived getting traded around the time Marleau was shipped to the Penguins

#5 The Sharks (27-33-4) and the Penguins (37-19-6) go at it tonight Mary Lisa sets the scenario for us

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

NHL podcast with Daniel Dullum: Ovechkin joins 700 goal club; Sharks Marleau and Thornton on trade block; plus more

photo from whec.com: Alexander Ovechkin celebrates his 700th goal scored on Saturday

NHL podcast with Daniel Dullum

1 Alex Ovechkin finally gets career goal No. 700

2 Sharks’ Marleau and Thornton find themselves ranked high on the TSN Trade Bait Board

3 Injury-riddled Blue Jackets still in hunt for East Wild Card

4 Blues’ D Bouwmeester releases statement after cardiac episode

5 Zamboni driver becomes emergency NHL goalie

NHL podcasts with Daniel Dullum are heard every Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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 Give up Lead, Lose 3-2 to Kings in OT

photo from sfgate.com: Los Angeles Kings Jeff Carter (77) scored the game winning goal in overtime at 1:31 to get the Kings the victory on Friday night over goalie Aaron Dell (30) and the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime Friday night at SAP Center. Sharks goals were scored by Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton. Aaron Dell made 35 saves in the loss. Both regulation goals for Los Angeles came from Martin Frk, while Jeff Carter scored the overtime winner. Jack Campbell made 22 saves in the win.

The teams played a scoreless first period, trading power plays and finishing close in most respects, shots 10-8 Kings, five blocked shots each, hits 9-6 Sharks. In the face-off circle, though, the Kings walloped the Sharks, winning 71% of them. Tomas Hertl and Anze Kopitar took the lion’s share of those.

The Sharks took a lead at 6:16 of the second period with a shot from Erik Karlsson just below the blue line. He got the puck just off of an offensive zone face-off, and he held on to it until he saw his chance. A screen created by several skaters, including Patrick Marleau, blinded Campbell to the shot. Assists went to Marleau and Joe Thornton.

Joe Thornton scored his first of the season at 11:39 of the period. Marcus Sorensen carried the puck across the blue line and dropped it to Thornton on the left side. Thornton passed it across the ice to Marleau, who moved it closer to the center of the ice with a pass to a speeding Radim Simek. Simek made a back-hand pass just as he approached the blue paint, finding Thornton open while attention was drawn to Simek. Assists went to Simek and Marleau.

The teams finished the second period with 11 shots each. The Sharks narrowed the face-off gap a bit, winning 44% of them.

The Kings scored at 1:30 of the third period. Jeff Carter took a hit from Mario Ferraro in order to send the puck around behind the net to Nikolai Prokhorkin. Prokhorkin sent it post-haste to the front of the net where Martin Frk was arriving fast. Frk took a diving shot and beat Dell for his first goal of the season.

Near the mid-point of the period, the Sharks still had no shots on goal, while Los Angeles had five. In the final minutes, the Sharks had all of three shots on the period, and they were dumping the puck in during the final two minutes when the Kings broke through the neutral zone.

Prokhorkin knocked Erik Karlsson off the puck in the corner, Jeff Carter took the puck and lifted it over a Sharks stick to Frk in the slot. Frk scored his second of the game. The goal sent the game to overtime.

The Sharks had recovered in the face-off circle during the third period, but obviously winning 69% of those did them little good. Being out-shot 15-4 may also have contributed to letting the Kings tie it up.

In overtime there were only three shots recorded, two for Los Angeles and one for San Jose. 1:31 in, the Sharks lost track of the puck behind their net and the Kings found it while Aaron Dell was diving for it. With the goalie down and out and no one else covering, Jeff Carter scored the game winner into an open net. Alex Iafallo got the assist.

The Sharks next play on Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat LA 4-1

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 Friday afternoon at the SAP Center. Sharks goals came from Patrick Marleau, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Noah Gregor and Logan Couture. Martin Jones made 33 saves for the win. The lone Kings goal came from Kyle Clifford and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves in the game. Friday’s win came after an ugly 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

The Sharks’ ability to rebound from losses has improved recently.

After the game, Sharks goaltender Martin Jones said: “Based on our record, I’d say yes. You know, we’ve got a lot of veteran guys in here, it’s nothing new. You go through it every year, tough stretches. It’s pretty important to get it turned around as quickly as you can, not let it spiral.”

One of the Sharks goals was a career-first.

Joe Thornton talked about Noah Gregor scoring his first NHL goal: “It changes your mindset when you get that first one. Confidence is such a big part of sports and you could see after he scored that, confidence just grew and hopefully it can grow from there.”

“It felt was awesome,” said Gregor. “It took, I think this is game 11? It took a bit but it was awesome to see the puck go in the net for the first time.” Of what the coaches have asked from him over this season, he said: “Just try to stay consistent in my game. Bring that speed. I think the speed is my biggest attribute, just try to bring that every single night. Also, my defensive game, always trying to improve it, be a little harder on pucks and plays a little bit quicker.”

The first goal came shortly after a Sharks power play, at 7:26 of the first period. Joe Thornton wrested control of the puck by the Kings net, carried it out to center and then found Marcus Sorensen on the wing. Sorensen convinced everyone that he was about to shoot, drawing defensive attention to him, and making Jonathan Quick come out to stop the shot. Instead, he sent a pass across the ice to Patrick Marleau, who was skating toward an open net. It was Marleau’s sixth of the season. Assists went to Sorensen and Thornton.

The second goal came from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at 13:14 during a delayed penalty. With two skaters lined up in front of Quick, Vlasic shot it in the short side, sneaking over Quick’s pad and through a narrow gap by the post. Assists went to Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 8-4 in the first period.

The Sharks resumed their scoring ways at 2:58 of the second period. Noah Gregor broke away through the neutral zone. He passed two Kings before catching a pass from Brenden Dillon and shooting on the fly. It was Gregor’s first NHL goal, in his 10th NHL game. Assists went to Dillon and Martin Jones.

The second goal of the second period came from Logan Couture at 14:42. Erik Karlsson sent a shot right down the slot. First it hit Barclay Goodrow’s stick, then Logan Couture’s right on the edge of the paint. Goodrow and Karlsson got the assists.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 13-9 in the second period.

At 12:54 of the third, Antti Suomela collided with Kurtis MacDermid and had to leave the game. MacDermid was given a match penalty but after an official review that was downgraded to a minor interference penalty.

The Kings broke Martin Jones’ shutout bid with a couple of minutes left in the game. Matt Luff found Kyle Clifford in the slot with a pass from the boards. Clifford sent it in without hesitation and it went right by Jones.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 11-8 in the third period. the Kings won 54% of the face-offs in the game.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona against the Coyotes at 5:00 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Final podcast with Joe Lami: Joe talks Sharks free agency plus Bruins-Blues, who’s the best?

photo from wbur.org: Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stops a penalty shot by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner during Game 4 of their second-round series.

On the Stanley Cup Final podcast with Joe:

#1 The San Jose Sharks’ season ended last week as the players cleaned out their lockers the discussion of free agency was turned up as the Sharks might shop or drop free agents, forwards, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Joonas Donskoi, Michael Healy, and Gus Nyquist.

#2 The Sharks are also looking at their defensemen free agents who may not return next season — Erik Karlsson and Tim Heed

#3 Will restricted free agents Timo Meier and Kevin LaBanc be back?

#4 The Boston Bruins swept through the Stanley Cup Playoffs and made it look easy. Joe takes a look how easy it will be against the St. Louis Blues in the Final.

#5 The Bruins have home ice and had plenty much of a flawless postseason, going almost error free.

Listen for Joe Lami on the NHL Stanley Cup Finals podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Warriors get some rest, wait for next opponent; Will Thornton and Karlsson stay with Sharks?; plus more

Photo credit: @warriors

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The Golden State Warriors are now waiting to see who their next opponent will be after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers in a sweep.

#2 Does a sweep by Golden State in four games over the Blazers and doing it without Kevin Durant pretty much tell the power of this team?

#3 The San Jose Sharks’ loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 on Tuesday — is that a testament that after the hand pass win by the Sharks in Game 4 fired up the Blues towards a common goal?

#4 What would it mean for the Sharks if Joe Thornton and Erik Karlsson were to leave the team?

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes are headed to Toronto this Sunday. The Quakes’ Chris Wondolowski scored four goals against the Chicago Fire last Saturday.

London Marq does Headline Sports podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com