Sharks Fall 5-4 in OT to Coyotes

San Jose Sharks goaltender Alexei Melnichuk (1) puts the stop on the Arizona Coyotes center Lane Peterson’s (93) putting the puck on net in the second period at SAP Center in San Jose Sat May 8, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-4 in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes Saturday. For the Coyotes, it was the last game of the season. Arizona’s five goals came from Christian Dvorak (2), Jan Jenik, Conor Garland and Phil Kessel. Aiden Hill made 44 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers, Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier and Alexander Barabanov scored for the Sharks. Alexei Melnichuk made 27 saves in his first NHL start.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner was asked about Rudolfs Balcers. He said:

“He’s another young guy that has probably played, with the schedule, more hockey than he’s ever been used to. And you can tell that some of these guys are hitting a little bit of a wall, physically and mentally. You know, I think once Rudy goes back in the offseason and trains and puts on a little more muscle and comes back after three months or three and a half months, and gets a regular training camp, I think you’re going to see even a better Rudy. He’s made major strides.”

Christian Dvorak scored during some four-on-four time at 3:32 of the first period. After skating away from the Sharks defense, he made his way to the slot and put a shot over Melnichuk’s shoulder. Assists went to Phil Kessel and Oliver Ekman-Larssen.

Rudolfs Balcers tied the game at 6:44. Alexander Chmelesvki carried the puck in along the boards and found Balcers in the slot with a pass. Balcers took the shot and the puck snuck under Hill and trickled over the line. Assists went to Chmelevski and Dylan Gambrell.

Dvorak scored his second of the period on a power play at 11:36. Christian Fischer set Dvorak up with a pass from below the goal line. Dvorak’s shot went by Melnichuk’s glove and in. Assists went to Fischer and Phil Kessel.

Kevin Labanc tied it back up at 15:28. Labanc skated into the zone with the puck while Erik Karlsson drew some attention from the defense. Labanc took the shot above the face-off circle and the puck flew around a defenseman and past Hill, just inside the post.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 19-8 in the first period. The Coyotes had one shot in two power plays, and the Sharks had one shot in one power play in the first period.

Timo Meier gave the Sharks a lead at 5:26 of the second period. Meier caught a pass for Kevin Labanc as he skated into the zone. Fending off Alex Goligoski with one arm while driving to the net, Meier skated in front of the blue paint and pushed the puck around the goalie. Labanc got the assist.

Jan Janik tied it up again with a shot from a bad angle. The puck went behind Melnichuck’s head and hit just inside the far post. Assists went to Christian Fischer and Victor Soderstrom.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 17-14 in the second period. The Sharks’ power play had two shots on goal in the period.

Conor Garland gave the Coyotes another lead at 16:07 of the third period. Garland skated around the defense for a pass in front of the goal. He was able to tuck the puck over the line into the far side. Assists went to Goligoski and Jakob Chychrun.

Alexander Barabanov tied the game again with 49 seconds to go in regulation. With the net empty and an extra skater for the Sharks, Evander Kane sent the puck to Tomas Hertl at the net, and Hertl passed it over to Barabanov just above the goal line. Barabanov took a quick shot into an open net. Assists went to Hertl and Kane.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 14-4 in the third period, and had two shots on one power play.

Phil Kessel scored the game winner 2:30 into overtime. Kessel intercepted Dylan Gambrell’s pass to Erik Karlsson in the neutral zone. He skated into the Sharks zone and put a shot under Melnichuk before the goalie knew where it was.

The Sharks will play their last game of the season on Wednesday in San Jose, against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights at 6:00 PM PT.

Sharks Trounce Kings 5-2

The Los Angeles Kings left winger Austin Wagner (27) tries to skate around San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) behind the net at SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 9, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 Friday at the SAP Center in San Jose. Kevin Labanc, Patrick Marleau, Rudolfs Balcers, Dylan Gambrell and Tomas Hertl all scored for San Jose. Brent Burns had three assists and Martin Jones made 32 saves for the win. Alex Iafallo and Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored for Los Angeles and Calvin Petersen made 24 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It was a good team win, it was a good team effort. They really came at us in the second period. We obviously didn’t like our second and I thought that, you know, they pushed hard and we didn’t really respond very well. But Jonesy was our best player tonight. And he’s in the zone, he’s seeing the puck and he made some big saves at the right time.”

Los Angeles scored first, at 2:27 of the first. Alex Iafallo, just arrived in front of the net, caught Dustin Brown’s quick pass from the boards and redirected it past Martin Jones. Assists went to Brown and Anze Kopitar.

The Sharks tied it up at 8:01. The Sharks had just finished killing a penalty, and won a defensive zone face-off. They broke out with Kevin Labanc carrying the puck. He carried it all the way down and took the shot. It went in. Assists went to Brent Burns and Mario Ferraro.

Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks the lead at 13:50 when Brent Burns sent the puck to the net and it went off of Marleau’s skate. Assists went to Burns and Marcus Sorensen.

Rudolfs Balcers made it 3-1 at 17:17, following Timo Meier on a breakaway. Petersen stopped the shot but Balcers was there to put the rebound away. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks in the first, 13-11. Each team had one power play. The Los Angeles power play had four shots on one power play and the Sharks power play had one in one.

In a scoreless second period, the Kings led again in shots, 11-8. They also led in penalties, taking two that resulted in a power play for San Jose. The Sharks took two shots in those two power plays. The Sharks had one penalty to kill and the Kings got one shot out of that. There were also two fights, which added a total of twelve penalty minutes on the score sheet. Jeffrey Viel fought Kurtis MacDermid and Marcus Sorensen fought Andreas Athanasiou. Sorensen and Athanasiou fought again at the final buzzer.

The Kings came to within one goal 1:02 into the third period, moments after a Sharks penalty expired. Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored, unassisted, by throwing the puck at the net from a sharp angle. The puck went from below the goal line, behind Jones’ near skate, off of his far skate and in.

Dylan Gambrell scored a short-handed goal at 17:00. Gambrell and Evander Kane broke away for a two-on-none. Gambrell passed first, then Kane passed it back, forcing Petersen to move in the crease. Gambrell took the shot. Assists went to Kane and Burns.

Tomas Hertl made it 5-2, shooting it down the ice into and empty net at 18:41. Assists went to Kane and Logan Couture.

The Kings won 58% of the face-offs through the game. The final shot count was 34-29 Kings.

The Sharks will play the Kings again on Saturday in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Fall 5-4 to Golden Knights

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 5-4 to the Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Wednesday. Vegas goals came from Shea Theodore, Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Ryan Reaves and Alec Martinez. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the win. Matt Nieto, Mario Ferraro, Kevin Labanc and Evander Kane scored for the Sharks. Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves in the loss.

The Sharks went into the third period with a 3-1 lead, but gave up four goals in the final frame. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how the game came undone:

“I think we pissed away a couple points. You know, the game got emotional and intense and physical, and I didn’t mind that at all. I think we did a good job sticking up for each other, those are things we want to keep doing. A little tough there when we lost [Couture], Hertl and Timo got called off the bench for concussion protocol after that hit all at the same time so we started juggling lines.”

Boughner did not consider that the real turning point. Rather, it came before that: “They didn’t have much going on the first six, seven minutes of that period and we had a horrible, horrible too many men call.”

Sharks Captain Logan Couture explained how it felt to let the game get away from them in the third:

“We played better. Should have won tonight, gave away points, so I mean it sucks to take away the moral victory in a game like this when you need to win and should have won. We’re in a position to win in the third period so, shitty feeling right now.”

Shea Theodore started the scoring at 3:45. Max Pacioretty gathered up an offensive zone turnover and passed it to Theodore at the point. Theodore’s slapshot sailed by Dubnyk, who may have been screened by some traffic.

San Jose took three penalties in the first period and their penalty kill allowed four shots. On the power play, they had three shots. For the period, the Sharks led in shots 11-10.

Matt Nieto got the Sharks on the board at 6:21. Timo Meier sent a pass from the goal line right onto Nieto’s stick by the blue paint. Assists went to Meier and Tomas Hertl.

The Sharks took a lead at with a goal from Mario Ferraro at 7:57. John Leonard’s shot went off of the post before Ferraro coraaled it behind the net and wrapped it around behind Fleury. Assists went to Leonard and Evander Kane.

Ryan Reaves put the puck in the net for Vegas at 11:00, but William Carrier was on top of Dubnyk when the puck went in. The Sharks challenged the goal and, after a review, it was called back for goaltender interference.

Kevin Labanc scored the Sharks’ third of the night at 15:07. Evander Kane attempted to deflect a shot from Ferraro on the blue line. When that didn’t go, he found it again and swept it in front of the net for Labanc to put away. Assists went to Kane and Ferraro.

The Sharks achieved their second period goal of avoiding penalties and the only one went to the Golden Knights. They outshot the Golden Knights 16-11 in the period, but did not get any shots on their power play.

Cody Glass scored for Vegas on the power play at 6:43 of the third period. John Leonard was in the box because his team was caught with too many men on the ice. The puck actually went off of Mario Ferraro’s skate. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Mark Stone.

Tomas Hertl and Mark Stone came to blows in front of the Sharks net moments later. Stone had delivered a hit on Timo Meier in the neutral zone. Meier was called away form the game for concussion protocol. That was Hertl’s first NHL fight.

Nicolas Hague tied the game at 10:03 with a shot right down the slot from the blue line. The assists went to Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson.

Logan Couture and Jonathan Marchessault fought shortly after that goal. That left the Sharks without Meier, Hertl of Couture for several minutes.

Ryan Reaves gave Vegas the lead at 12:27 with a deflection that bounced past Dubnyk. Assists went to Tomas Nosek and Zach Whitecloud.

Alec Martinez scored what would be the game winner at 14:46, on another power play. Labanc was in the box for tripping. the Sharks were just eight seconds away from killing the penalty when Tomas Nosek made a pass across the ice to Martinez. Assists went to Nosek and Theodore.

Evander Kane brought the Sharks back within on goal at 15:54 with a power play goal. Erik Karlsson took a shot from the point. Kane was there to battle for the rebound and tuck it in.

Vegas outshot San Jose 16-6 in the third period. The Sharks got two shots in on their one power play and the Golden Knights got seven shots in two power plays.

The Sharks won just 45% of the face-offs in the game. Of skaters to take more than five draws, only Logan Couture won more than 50%.

The Sharks next play on Friday against the St. Louis Blues at 6:00 PM PT, back in San Jose.

Sharks Win 3rd in a Row, Beat Ducks 3-1

The San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) allowed only one goal against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sat Mar 13, 2021 (@SanJoseSharks photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won their third in a row on Saturday, a 3-1 win against the Ducks in Anaheim. This is the first win streak for the Sharks this season. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Kevin Labanc and Dylan Gambrell. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. Max Jones scored for the Ducks and Ryan Miller made 30 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “It feels good to have a first little winning streak I guess you can call it, three games in a row. You know, especially on the road. The guys played well, it was a tight game.”

The first Sharks goal came just after an Anaheim power play in the first period. Taking advantage of a turnover in the Sharks’ zone, Kane went the other way in a hurry, with Tomas Hertl and Mario Ferraro just a step behind. Kane carried it all the way to the face-off circle before taking the shot and beating Ryan Miller on the blocker side.

The first period shot count was close, at 8-7 Sharks. There were five penalties called in the first, three to Anaheim and two to San Jose. The Sharks had four shots i their power plays and allowed just one powr play shot to Anaheim. In the face-off circle, the Sharks prevailed 58% of the time.

Anaheim tied it up at 5:38 of the second period. Max Jones skated around Radim Simek with the puck on his backhand. As he cut away from the wall he switched to his forehand for a quick shot into the far side of the net. Assists went to Kevin Shattenkirk and Isac Lundestrom.

Kevin Labanc grabbed the lead back for the Sharks just under a minute later. Tomas Hertl came around behind the net and, while losing his footing, passed the puck around the post to the front for Labanc to take the shot. Assists went to Hertl and Mario Ferraro.

The Sharks outshot the Ducks 14-9 in the second period, and out drew them in the face-off circle, winning 16 of 21 draws. There was just one penalty in the period, going to Anaheim. The Sharks did not get any shots on that power play.

Dylan Gambrell gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead at 2:07 of the third. Ryan Donato gathered the puck up behind the net after it came loose in the corner. Donato tried for a wrap around but was thwarted by traffic. Gambrell was in the thick of that traffic on his knees when he managed to push the puck in. Assists went to Donato and John Leonard. It was Gambrell’s first goal of the season, and his first in over a year.

The Ducks pulled their goaltender for an extra skater, with almost three minutes left in the game.

The third period shots were dead even at 11 each. The Sharks took the only penalty in the period, but allowed just one shot to the Ducks’ power play. Additionally, the Sharks took four short-handed shots during that penalty kill. The Sharks slipped badly in the face-off circle, dropping to 30% for the period. Overall, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl won more draws than they lost, and, through the first two periods, Dylan Gambrell won more than 50%.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Golden Knights in Las Vegas at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Shut-Out Ducks 6-0

The San Jose Sharks celebrate one of their six goals against the Anaheim Ducks on Fri Mar 12, 2021 at the Honda Center in Anaheim (photo by AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks shut out the Anaheim Ducks 6-0 in Anaheim Friday. Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Fredrik Handemark. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves for the shut-out win. Friday was Devan Dubnyk’s third start in a row for the Sharks. Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 19 saves on 24 shots before being relieved by Ryan Miller, who made 2 saves on 3 shots.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It was good to see the guys at the end of the game, still with the lead, playing hard and blocking shots and doing the things that we talk about. It was a great team win and Duby was our best player when we needed him.”

The Sharks scored the only goal in the first period. Just back from a COVID-19 protocol absence, Tomas Hertl scored on the power play at 7:57. Brent Burns faked a shot just below the blue line, then passed to Hertl at the side of the net. Hertl’s shot went off of a defender and in. Assists went to Brent Burns and Timo Meier, also just back from injury. Cam Fowler limped off the ice mid-penalty kill after blocking an Evander Kane shot with his skate. He did return to play.

The Sharks had just 5 shots in the period, to the Ducks’ 11. Each team had one power play in the period and just one power play shot each. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 53% of the time. Just past the mid-point of the period, Kurtis Gabriel and Nicolas Deslauriers fought, evidently as a response to Gabriel’s hit on Jacob Larsson.

The second Sharks goal came early in the second period, from Evander Kane 37 seconds in. Brent Burns carried the puck through the neutral zone and down almost to the goal line before making a pass across to Kane as the forward skated to the net. Assists went to Burns and Kevin Labanc.

The Ducks out-shot the Sharks in the second period as well, 16-11. There was only one penalty called in the second, against Anaheim. The Sharks had no shots during that power play. In the face-off circle, the Ducks won 65% of them.

The third period was busier than the previous two with the Sharks scoring three more times. The first of those came on the power play at 5:58, from Erik Karlsson. His shot came right down the slot from the blue line about half-way into the power play. Assists went to Labanc and Logan Couture.

Timo Meier scored at 8:03. About half way up the boards, Meier dragged the puck around the Ducks defender and let the shot fly before Gibson could adjust. Assists went to Kane and Mario Ferraro.

Kevin Labanc scored his sixth of the season just over a minute later. The play looked a lot like Kane’s goal earlier, but this time with Kane carrying the puck deep into the zone and finding Labanc on the other side of the net. Assists went to Kane and Ferraro.

The Ducks pulled Gibson after that goal and put Ryan Miller in net to finish the game.

Fredrik Handemark scored his first NHL goal in his second NHL game at 14:59. No assists were awarded on the goal but Patrick Marleau skated in with Handemark, helping out by pressuring the nearest Ducks defender, Sam Steel.

The Sharks bounced back in the face-off circle for the third period, winning 53% again. They also out-shot the Ducks in the third, 11-7. They had just the one shot on their power play, the only one of the period.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in Anaheim against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Blue Jackets 3-2; SJ puts two straight wins together

mercurynews.com photo: Columbus Blue Jackets’ Gabriel Carlsson, left, of Sweden, and San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier, of Switzerland, battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Shark goals came from Barclay Goodrow, Evander Kane and Kevin Labanc. Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 21 saves in the win. Both Blue Jackets goals came from Zach Werenski and Elvis Merzlikins made 25 saves for Columbus.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

I just like the way we’re playing as a 20-man unit. We’re all on the same page, and we’re doing some good things, we’re managing our game. It’s a little bit of a more mature game I think lately. And we’re giving ourselves a chance to win every night which is the most important thing.

This win was the second after the team’s abysmal loss to Detroit Tuesday. Asked whether the Sharks know what they need to do here at the midpoint of the season, Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow said:

We know how we have to play to win hockey games. You know, we’ve seen it throughout this year. When we’re not playing the way we should be playing then it’s not a good look for us and then we’re not a successful team. It’s just a matter of bringing that game every night.

The first period was scoreless, though Sharks forward Joel Kellman put the puck in the net. Kellman carried the puck across the line and took a shot past the defenseman, putting the puck over the goalie’s pad and into the net. Unfortunately, the goal was called back for offside.

The Sharks out-shot the Blue Jackets 11-9 in the first and each team killed a penalty.

The second period was much more eventful. The Sharks scored the first goal to count at 7:05 of the period. The Blue Jackets had just completed a power play when Barclay Goodrow came flying out of the box. He picked the puck up in the Blue Jackets’ zone and and had no one between him and the goalie. He used a little backhand shot to slip the puck past Merzlikins. It was Goodrow’s seventh goal of the season and Tomas Hertl got an assist.

The Blue Jackets tied it up at 8:50. They moved the puck around the offensive zone for a long shift before Zach Werenski took a backhand shot from the slot and beat Aaron Dell. Assists went to Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno. It was Werenski’s 12th goal of the season.

The Sharks took the lead back with a goal at 14:40. Timo Meier brought the puck across the line along the wall and made a pass to the center slot where Evander Kane had just arrived. Kane did not hesitate to shoot and he beat Merzlikins on the glove side. Assists went to Meier and Radim Simek. The goal was Kane’s 15th of the season, tying him with Hertl for the team lead in goals.

The Blue Jackets out-shot the Sharks 12-6 in the second period and had one power play.

Kevin Labanc scored the game winner at 16:59 of the third period. Erik Karlsson sent the puck up the ice where Marcus Sorensen chased it into the zone. He was knocked away from the puck around the face-off circle but Joe Thornton was right behind him to pick up it up and send it to the slot where Labanc was ready for the shot. Assists went to Thornton and Karlsson.

Zach Werenski narrowed the lead a few seconds later by shooting in a rebound that Sonny Milano created with a shot from the blue line. Assists went to Milano and Seth Jones.

The Sharks out-shot Columbus 11-2 in the third period. They had a good face-off game, winning 59% of them. Barclay Goodrow (14 draws) and Tomas Hertl (23 draws) both won more than 60% of their face-offs.

Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns led the Sharks in shots with four each, while Werenski led both teams with five. Neither team got any shots on net during the power play.

The Sharks next play on Sunday against the Washington Capitals in Washington DC at 9:30 AM PT.

Sharks Power Play Scores, Still Lose 5-1 to Panthers

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-1 to the Florida Panthers Sunday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Panthers goals came from Keith Yandle, Aleksander Barkov, Mike Matheson, Brett Connolly and Frank Vatrano. Their goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky, made 30 saves for the win. The Sharks goal was scored by Kevin Labanc, the team’s first power play goal in 23 tries. Martin Jones made 28 saves in the loss.

After the game, Labanc said:

Today, we were working we just weren’t scoring so it sucks. Like I said, I mean we’re getting a ton of chances but we’re just not capitalizing on them. And… just… it’s all in the detail of the game and it’s not that they’re a better team than us it’s just that we’re making more mistakes.

Sharks forward Evander Kane, who sat out for a period’s worth of penalties, said: “I think we’re a little too relaxed right now. A couple games, that we’re off to bad starts and we didn’t really fight back and we didn’t really have much fight back after we got down so that’s really the most disappointing part.”

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer identified goaltending and special teams as the problem in Sunday’s game:

I thought we hung in there and, you know, kept fighting but you know it wasn’t enough. And, you know, their goalie was better, their special teams were better tonight than ours. That was probably the story. I thought five-on-five we probably carried a lot of the play but, those two areas, they were better than us.

The Panthers started the scoring on a power play at 4:15 of the first. Kevin Labanc was in the box for hooking. Jonathan Huberdeau’s pass up the boards found Keith Yandle for a shot from the blue line. Assists went to Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov.

Barkov scored the next one at 8:15, putting the Panthers up 2-0. The Panthers entered the zone three-on-two with Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic defending. With Karlsson covering Keith Yandle but letting Barkov slip by at the last moment. Evgenii Dadonov was the puck carrier and he sent the puck to the net for Barkov to tap in. Assists went to Dadonov and Huberdeau.

Kevin Labanc made up for his penalty with a power play goal at 10:13. Labanc took a pass from Erik Karlsson up near the blue line and took the shot from above the face-off circle. The puck went up over Bobrovsky’s shoulder as Timo Meier was blocking the goaltender’s view. Assists went to Karlsson and Evander Kane. The goal ended a scoreless streak 23 power plays long for San Jose.

The Panthers out-shot the Sharks 12-9 in the first period.

Florida scored again on the power play at 6:32 of the second period. With Brett Connolly in the goaltender’s eyes, Mike Matheson took a shot from the blue line that made its way all the way in. Assists went to Aaron Ekblad and Frank Vatrano.

Just 4:16 into the second period, Evander Kane was given multiple penalties for fighting, instigation and misconduct. That all resulted from his response to a hit from behind. The penalties put him out of play for the rest of the period and the start of the third. After the game, Kane was asked about the incident and said: “A guy hits me in the head and no call, you know, you gotta protect yourself. Nobody else is gonna protect you on the ice, not the refs, not the other team, so sometimes you gotta stick up for yourself.”

At the end of the second period, the Panthers took an interference penalty that put the Sharks on the power play for almost a minute of the third period. Seconds into the third, the Panthers took a delay of game penalty, giving the Sharks a brief two-man advantage. That was not enough and the Sharks finished those power plays still down 3-1.

Brenden Dillon went to the penalty box for four minutes, two for high-sticking and two for slashing. The penalties came shortly after a slash that Huberdeau delivered to Dillon earlier that was not called.

The score quickly became 4-1 on the next Panthers power play. Mike Hoffman’s shot from the blue line created a rebound that Connolly was able to put in the net despite losing his footing in front of Martin Jones. Assists went to Hoffman and Keith Yandle.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with just over two minutes to go and Frank Vatrano put the puck in the net a little over 30 seconds later. Assists went to Mackenkie Weegar and Aaron Ekblad.

The Sharks continue their road trip with a game in Nashville on Tuesday against the Predators at 5:00 PM PT.

The Sharks will be without one of their regular defensemen, Radim Simek, for about two weeks as he is undergoing a surgical procedure.

Sharks Streak at Six, Beat Red Wings 4-3 in Shoot-Out

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The San Jose Sharks won their sixth in a row, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in a shoot-out Saturday. Sharks goals came from Kevin Labanc (one in regulation and the shoot-out winner), Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Erik Karlsson. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the win. Detroit goals came from Andreas Athanasiou (2) and Taro Hirose. Jimmy Howard made 16 saves for the Red Wings.

After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture said: “It’s nice to win. It’s a lot more fun playing hockey right now than it was three weeks ago. So we’re having a good time.”

Couture also talked about the way the team has been winning lately, compared to expectations at the start of the season:

It feels like we’ve been scoring enough goals lately to win. It’s weird, I mean we said at the start of the year we weren’t going to win 5-4, 4-3 games but that’s what we’ve been doing. So if we’re finding ways to score goals right now and that’s why we’re winning, I still think we can be tighter defensively, give up less odd-man rushes. But it’s nice winning.

The win brought the team’s record to even at 10-10-1.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer talked about the significance of that: “It’s been a lot of work to scratch back into this race. We’ve got a lot of work left to do. But it’s nice to win that game. I think we would’ve walked out of here with only one point tonight, you know, we would’ve been disappointed.”

Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the first period. Entering the zone with Logan Couture and Evander Kane 3 on 2, he took the shot from the middle of the slot, but Howard stopped it and fell forward to cover it. He didn’t quite have it and it trickled out to the side, where Labanc found it again and lifted it over the prone goaltender. Assists went to Logan Couture and Radim Simek.

At the end of the first, the shots were 9-8 San Jose and the Red Wings had won 56% of the face-offs.

Just 1:11 into the second period, the Sharks extended their lead with a blast from Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the point. His shot hit Howard on the inside of the arm and went in. Assists went to Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc.

Detroit got one back 13 seconds later when Andreas Athanasiou scored his fourth of the season. After helping to thwart the Sharks in the neutral zone, Athanasiou skated into the o-zone and around the Sharks defense to put a backhand shot under Jones and into the net. Assists went to Robby Fabbri and Joe Hicketts.

An impressive push from Detroit followed that goal, but it was halted by a penalty to Anthony Mantha for goaltender interference at 5:41. While it slowed the Red Wings, the power play did nothing else for the Sharks. They did not register any shots with the man advantage. Detroit had their own shotless power play at 8:21 after Melker Karlsson was called for high-sticking.

Detroit did tie it at 11:34 when Taro Hirose scored his first of the season. Brendan Perlini found Hirose in the slot right in front of Jones while the Sharks defense seemed not to see him at all. Hirose had room and time to pick his shot but he did so quickly. Assists went to Perlini and Madison Bowey.

The Sharks retook the lead just under a minute later. After shots from Couture and Labanc in the face-off circles could not get by Howard, Labanc skated down the slot and made a backward pass to Karlsson. Karlsson sent the puck right back to the net and in. A mass of bodies screened Howard from seeing what was coming in time. Assists went to Labanc and Couture.

Detroit had another power play at 16:27 when the Sharks were penalized for too many men on the ice. The Red Wings got two shots, but no more in those two minutes.

Athanasiou forced overtime by scoring his second of the game at 15:46 of the third period. Valteri Filppula and Athanasiou broke fast through the neutral zone and went in two-on-one against Radim Simek. Filppula made a cross-ice pass and Athanasiou took the shot. Assists went to Valtteri Filppula and Robby Fabbri.

After a fast-moving overtime, including a penalty kill for the Sharks, Kevin Labanc was the only shooter to score in the shoot-out. Martin Jones stopped Frans Nielsen, Andreas Athanasiou and Dylan Larkin. Jimmy Howard stopped Logan Couture.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:30 PM PT in San Jose. If that sounds familiar, it is because the Sharks played the Oilers last Tuesday as well, also in San Jose.

Sharks Fall 4-1 to Maple Leafs

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena Friday. Toronto goals came from Jake Muzzin, Morgan Reilly, Ilya Mikheyev and Auston Matthews. Goaltender Frederik Andersen made 15 saves for the win. The lone Sharks goal was scored by Kevin Labanc, while goaltender Martin Jones made 24 saves in the loss. It was Patrick Marleau’s 1500th game as a Shark.

The Sharks had to kill five penalties in the game, and only had one power play. Captain Logan Couture talked about how the team handled this second game in two nights, and third in four days:

I thought we put ourselves in a position to win a game. Obviously too many penalties, but the kill was great, kept us in it. Joner made big saves when we had breakdowns on it. You’re gonna have nights like tonight when, you know, you’re not feeling it and you’re not getting much offensively. We were close to pulling out a point there. It’s tough we couldn’t get one but I liked our kill and I liked our defensive, I guess, desperation.

The penalty problem was something the Sharks had discussed before the game. Head Coach Peter DeBoer said:

I think we talked coming in, in 3 in 4 and a back-to-back, that we needed to do a few things and one of them was stay out of the penalty box. You know, you can’t, you got a little bit of a tired team, we took, what, five minors? It’s hard and I thought we ran out of gas in the third killing all those penalties. Made it tough on ourselves with the penalties.

Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon was asked about a hit he made on Auston Matthews during the game: “Obviously you want to be physical on the good players but I never want to see a guy get injured like that. I saw him leave, I was happy to see him come back in the third. Kinda said, you know, didn’t mean to catch him like that but at the same time, you know, you gotta be hard on those guys, they’re such good players.”

The Sharks started the scoring midway through the first period. Tomas Hertl made a quick play up the boards to Brent Burns at the blue line and Burns took a shot at the net. Kevin Labanc got a piece of it as it went in the net for his fourth of the season. Burns and Hertl got the assists.

Through the second period, the Sharks successfully killed two penalties but only managed three shots on goal. The score stayed 1-0 until the final minute of the second.

Jake Muzzin scored for Toronto with just 3 seconds left in the period. As Muzzin skated to the net, the puck came to him from the corner off of Jason Spezza’s stick. Assists went to Spezza and Ilya Mikheyev.

Toronto took the lead in the third period with a goal from Morgan Reilly at 14:31. William Nylander, Alexander Kerfoot and Cody Ceci entered the zone at speed, drawing the attention of the Sharks defense. Morgan Reilly trailed and Nylander found him as he came across the line. Reilly had also started the play with the first pass in the defensive zone.

Two more goals came from Ilya Mikheyev and Auston Matthews in the final minute of the third. Mikheyev’s goal was into an empty net, with and assist to Mitch Marner. Marner also got an assist on the Matthews goal.

The Sharks next play on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators at 4:00 PM PT.

Sharks Put Out the Flames to Win 3-1

sfgate.com photo: San Jose Sharks center Dylan Gambrell, top, reaches for the puck behind Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 at the SAP Center Sunday. It was San Jose’s first home win of the season. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, and Tomas Hertl. Martin Jones made 30 saves for the win. Elias Lindholm scored the lone goal for Calgary. Cam Talbot made 17 saves for the Flames.

The final score drew an eerie parallel to Patrick Marleau’s last regulation home game as a Shark in 2017, which was also against Calgary and was also a 3-1 Sharks victory. Though Marleau did not score Sunday, it is hard to ignore the impact his return has had on the team. After the game, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said:

I don’t think it’s an accident that we’ve won the last two and he’s been in the lineup. I think that’s a piece for sure. He just plays the right way, he does the right thing when he’s out on the ice, you know, all the time. It’s really helped solidify our lineup a little bit.

That solidification is evident to the players as well. Team captain Logan Couture said:

I thought Dylan Gambrell has played two really really good games now in a row. That’s something that we need. He’s been given an opportunity and I think these last few games he’s shown what he’s capable of. So, when we have that line playing well and the other three rolling over, we’re a tough team to beat.

The Sharks took an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Timo Meier at 3:04. Logan Couture carried the puck in around the Calgary defense and then paused at the red line before finding Meier right in front of the net. Assists went to Couture and Patrick Marleau.

San Jose added to their lead at 10:13 when Kevin Labanc skated through the neutral zone, handed the puck off to Tomas Hertl at the blue line, then got it back as he went flying into the zone. His wrist shot beat Cam Talbot glove side. Assists went to Hertl and Erik Karlsson.

Each team took one penalty and killed one in the first period. Calgary outshot San Jose by 11-6.

Calgary got one back at 6:43 of the second period. Calgary won an offensive zone draw and got the puck right to TJ Brodie at the blue line. He gave the ice a quick look and then took a shot right up the middle. Elias Lindholm tipped it mid-slot and past Jones glove side. Austin Czarnik was screening Jones until the lest second. An assist went to Brodie.

The Sharks reclaimed their two-goal lead at the end of the second period with a short-handed goal from Tomas Hertl. Brent Burns was in the box for tripping Michael Frolik. Logan Couture cut off a Calgary pass in the defensive zone, carried the puck all the way to the Calgary zone, then found Hertl just as he came into the zone. Hertl took a quick shot past Talbot for his first of the season.

Each team took a penalty in the second period, but neither scored on the power play. The teams were tied with 11 shots each in the second.

Calgary pulled their goaltender with almost three minutes to go in the game but could not alter the score. The final shot count was 33-20 Calgary.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday in San Jose against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 PM PT.