Jones Saves 39, Sharks Top Canes 5-1; That’s two straight wins for Sharks

photo from nhl.nbcsports.com: San Jose’s Joe Pavelski goes for the victory skate in front of the Sharks bench after scoring his season’s 18th goal as the Sharks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes at SAP Center on Wednesday night

By Matthew Harrington

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks won on the road for the second-straight game, shelling the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 at SAP Center on Wednesday night. Well, not quite. Despite the Sharks wearing the road whites and feeling the parts of weary travelers, they were actually the home team.

Joe Thornton and Timo Meier each had three points for San Jose, Martin Jones made 39 saves and Radim Simek picked up his first career NHL point in just his second game. Joe Pavelski scored his team-leading 18th goal and Meier, Marcus Sorensen, Tomas Hertl and Barclay Goodrow all scored for Team Teal. Lucas Wallmark scored the lone goal for the Canes.

The Sharks returned from a six-game road swing Sunday night, playing their first home game since November 23rd, but their bags really never had a chance to be unpacked, with San Jose off to Dallas for a Friday night contest before a trip to the Desert for a Saturday showdown with the Coyotes.

Both teams entered play 1-2 in high-danger scoring chances, so offensive fireworks were expected. The fact that they were completely one-sided came as a bit of a surprise though. Goodrow opened the scoring taking a Kevin Labanc feed and going top shelf just 3:44 into the game for his fourth goal of the year. Tomas Hertl scored a power play strike after Logan Couture’s cross-ice pass to Labanc pulled NHL journeyman Curtis McElhinney to his left. Labanc connected with Hertl just to the right of the netminder in the crease for the easy redirect and a 2-0 lead halfway through the first period. The Canes would pepper Jones with 17 shots in the frame but he stood tall to hold down the shutout after 20 minutes.

Timo Meier continued to blossom as San Jose’s best power forward since Owen Nolan, buzzing McElhinney right as Simek ripped a point shot. The naked eye gave Simek his first career goal, but by the grace of video review, Timo Meier was awarded his 14th goal. Simek had to settle for an assist for his first NHL point and a 3-0 Sharks lead 8:42 into the second. Thornton would pick up his first of three assists, notching the secondary helper on the final three San Jose goals.

Joe Pavelski scored what has to be the most fortuitous goal of his season, attempting to flip a puck on McElhinney that looked like it would be harmless. Instead the puck glanced off Jordan Staal and redirected into the Canes net for a 4-0 Sharks edge.

Carolina would finally crack Jones in the waning minute and a half of the middle stanza with Wallmark beating Jones glove side on the power play to score on the Hurricanes 26th shot of the contest. Marcus Sorensen got the goal pack after Meier threaded a pack hand pass that allowed the Swede to rip a shot past McElhinney with just 4:17 left in regulation.

San Jose has now collected a point in three-straight home games and is on a two-game win streak after a five-game skid. They’re off to the Big D for a showdown with Tyler Seguin and the Stars next.

Hurricanes Blow Out Sharks 5-2

By Mary Walsh

AP photo Carolina Hurricanes John Michael Liles (26) pass puck by the San Jose Sharks Melker Karlsson (68) in the first period of Friday’s game

The San Jose Sharks ended a three-game winning streak with a 5-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Like the Sharks, the Hurricanes played the night before. Where the Sharks won their Thursday game in a shootout, the Hurricanes lost 4-2 in Ottawa. Friday, the Hurricanes bested the Sharks in every area of the game, in faceoffs, hits, shots, shot attempts as well as scoring.

Sharks coach Pete DeBoer described it as a well-deserved loss:

They took the game over, you know, we didn’t have an answer. We pretty much got what we deserved I think tonight. I think we lost too many of the tough areas: the faceoffs, special teams. When you lose three or four significant areas in the game, you’re not going to win. They deserved the win and we deserved what we got.

The Hurricanes are this season’s least penalized NHL team so the fact that the Sharks did not have a power play in the game is not very surprising. The Hurricanes got two goals from Jeff Skinner, and goals from Chris Terry, Joakim Nordstrom and Jordan Staal. Cam Ward made 22 saves on 24 shots for the Hurricanes. Sharks goals were scored by Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl. Martin Jones made 32 saves on 36 shots for the Sharks.

The loss left the Sharks’ position in the standings unchanged from the night before, except for the loss of a game in hand over the Kings and the Ducks. The Sharks are still in third place in the Pacific Division, three points behind the Kings and one behind the Ducks.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski addressed the question of whether the Sharks’ tough schedule on this road trip had something to do with the loss:

They were in a similar situation, coming back last night. We weren’t very good all night. I was awful. That’s one of the worst games I’ve had in a while. There were a few plays out there, a lot of plays I’d like to have back… You never let that affect you though, three games in four nights. You’ve got to manufacture your game.

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer had a similar take on the game: “It’s one of those games. We’ve been consistently good for a long time, and you’re going to have those once in a while. It’s how we respond to it. I think we just have to throw it away and get ready for the next one.”

For the third game in a row, the Sharks gave up the first goal. This time it was a curious shot that bounced high off Chris Terry’s stick and over Martin Jones’ head. Assists went to Noah Hanifin and Riley Nash.

The Sharks got it back near the end of the period, when a nice pass from Joel Ward found Brent Burns high in the slot. It was Burns’ 19th goal of the season and his first in 19 games. Assists went to Ward and Matt Nieto.

The teams ended the period tied in shots was well as goals with eight each.

Early in the second period, the teams played four on four while Melker Karlsson and Eric Staal sat in the box for and embellishment respectively. Neither team scored.

The first power play went to Carolina in the second period, a delay of game penalty to Tomas Hertl after he swept the puck out of play during a frantic scramble in front of the Sharks’ net. Carolina had three shots during the power play and the Sharks cleared the puck out twice, though not until the final half minute of the penalty.

Carolina took the lead back at 12:25 of the second. Joakim Nordstrom crossed the blue line without any pressure and his shot from high in the slot blew by Jones as if unseen. The Sharks had three skaters back but none got in Nordstrom’s way. Assists went to Jordan Staal and Bret Pesce.

Instead of tying the game up again before the period ended, the Sharks finished the period on the penalty kill. Mike Brown took issue with a hit on Marc-Edouard Vlasic and three penalties resulted: Brown for holding Jordan Staal, Staal for roughing against Mike Brown and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to Brown.

The Sharks were badly outshot in the second period, 18-4. They were also losing in the shot attempts category 42-21 and the faceoff circle 21-6. It was hardly surprising that they were behind 2-1 on the scoreboard.

The Sharks started the third period with most of the Brown penalty still to kill. Before the first minute elapsed, Carolina seemed to score but the official called it back for incidental contact with the goaltender. Eric Staal seemed to hook Martin Jones under the pad and pulled him to the right while Jones was trying to reach to his left. Carolina challenged the call and the play was reviewed and the call was overturned.

The power play goal went to Jeff Skinner with assists to Eric Staal and Kris Versteeg.

10:38 into the third period, the Sharks cut the lead to 3-2. Patrick Marleau stole the puck from Carolina goaltender Cam Ward behind the net and passed it quickly to the front of the net. Tomas Hertl was there to tap it in. It was Hertl’s 12th goal of the season and Marleau’s 20th assist.

With just under five minutes remaining, Carolina took back their two goal lead when Jaccob Slavin’s shot bounced off a skate to Skinner in the slot. An empty netter from Jordan Staal sealed the deal at 17:35.

The Sharks next play in St. Louis against the Blues on Monday.

Forward Mike Brown was in the lineup for the first time since January 24, as Tommy Wingels was injured early in Thursday’s game in Sunrise. Melker Karlsson took the open spot on the third line with Joonas Donskoi and Logan Couture, and Brown took Karlsson’s spot on the fourth line with Chris Tierney and Dainius Zubrus. Brown had one hit and three blocked shots in the game. The top two lines remained as they have been, with Hertl, Thornton and Pavelski on the top line and Marleau, Ward and Nieto on the second line.

Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon missed his fourth game. Matt Tennyson has played in his stead with Dylan Demelo on the blue line. Tennyson finished Friday’s game with a -1 rating , a blocked shot and a hit.

Sharks fall to Hurricanes 5-3

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 06: Jiri Tlusty #19 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 of the San Jose Sharks watch a shot deflect away from Alex Stalock #32 during their NHL game at PNC Arena on December 6, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC – DECEMBER 06: Jiri Tlusty #19 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Marc-Edouard Vlasic #44 of the San Jose Sharks watch a shot deflect away from Alex Stalock #32 during their NHL game at PNC Arena on December 6, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Phillip Torres

RALEIGH, N.C-The San Jose Sharks (19-5-5)  fell to the Carolina Hurricanes (13-12-5) 5-3 on Friday as they hosted the San Jose Sharks. The victory for Carolina gave them the all-time series lead, 15-14, against the Sharks. The Hurricanes rallied to score four goals in the final period to earn the victory.

The Sharks lead 2-0 for the first half of the game. Tommy Wingels and Marc-Edouard Vlasic put San Jose on the board to give them the early advantage. Jason Demers earned the assist on the first goal and Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl earned the assists on the Vlasic snap shot goal.

Jay Harrison scored his second goal of the season at 11:36 in the second period to cut the lead in half to make it 2-1. Zach Boychuk and Riley Nash earned the assists on the play. The score remained 2-1 Sharks until the start of the third period.

The final frame was dominated by Carolina as they exploded for four goals. Nash scored his second goal of the game and third on the year to tie the game at 2-2. Jordan Staal gave the Hurricanes the 3-2 advantage and first lead of the game at 6:42. Nathan Gerbe and Elias Lindholm were credited with the assists.

Justin Braun tied the game for the Sharks with a slapshot at 9:35 with assists from Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski. This was the last goal that San Jose scored in the contest. Elias Lindholm scored what proved to be the game winning goal at 14:00. Eric Staal tacked on an an insurance goal late in period to cap off the four goal period.

San Jose will be back on the ice Tuesday December 10 as they will be hosting the New York Islanders. The puck will drop at 7:30 PM.