Sharks Fall to Oilers 5-2, Kahkonen Makes 36 Saves in SJ Debut

San Jose Sharks’ Noah Gregor (73) chases Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl (29) during first-period at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Thu Mar 24, 2022 (Canadian Press photo via AP)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost to Oilers in Edmonton by a score of 5-2 Thursday. Kailer Yamamoto, Leon Draisaitl, Derick Brassard, and Evander Kane scored for the Oilers. Mike Smith made 28 saves for the win. Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl scored for the Sharks. Kaapo Kahkonen made 36 saves in the loss, his first appearance as a Shark.

Logan Couture left the game midway through the second period after being injured by a Brent Burns shot. The puck seemed to hit him in the side and the injury was described as upper-body. There were no specific updates after the game. Timo Meier, who left Tuesday’s game with a lower body injury, was on the ice Thursday.

The Sharks penalty kill was conspicuously less good on Thursday than it has been this season. They failed to kill either of the penalties they took. That is in part due to the absence of regular penalty killers, Jake Middleton and Andrew Cogliano who were traded Monday and Matt Nieto who is still injured.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “We’re using a lot of different faces in our penalty kill and you could see that tonight.” Some of those new faces included Rudolfs Balcers, Sasha Chmelevski and Noah Gregor.

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson did not think the penalty kill was terrible: “They’re one of the best power plays in the league, I think they showed that today. The goals that they scored are high-skilled goals. There’s nothing you can do about it sometimes.”

Karlsson scored the first goal of the game at 1:08 of the second period. After cleaning up an odd-man rush the other way that started with a broken stick in the Oilers’ zone, Karlsson got the puck to Timo Meier by the blue line, then skated in. Meier passed the puck across the ice to Tomas Hertl, who sent it back across the ice to Karlsson by the net for the shot.

Kailer Yamamoto tied it up at 4:34 with a power play goal. The Oilers got past the Sharks at the blue line and Yamamoto was in a shooting position before the Sharks could get back. Assists went to Ryan McLeod and Duncan Keith.

Leon Draisaitl scored at 7:39. Zack Kassian got the puck off of Erik Karlsson’s stick by giving him a shove in the hip and throwing him off balance. That went uncalled as Draisaitl skated by and took the puck to the net to score. After the game, Karlsson said, of the incident: “That’s hockey, it’s going to happen.”

Derick Brassard made it 3-1 at 6:49 of the third period. Brassard thew the puck at the net from the blue line. At first it seemed to go off of Ryan-Nugent Hopkins as he dove for the net. It did not hit him as it bounced over the line. Assists went to Jesse Puljujarvi and Evan Bouchard.

Tomas Hertl cut the Oilers lead down to one with a goal at 7:18. Timo Meier Had the puck on his was to the goal line and he found Hertl in the slot with a pass. Hertl shot it past three Oilers and past Smith of the stick side. Assists went to Meier and Karlsson.

Leon Darisaitl scored his second of the night at 13:55, on the power play. Zach Hyman caught a cross- ice pass from Connor McDavid and sent the puck to the net for Draisaitl to tuck into the net.

Evander Kane scored into an empty net at 17:18, with assists to McDavid and Yamamoto.

The Sharks were outshot 41-30 and won 49% of the face-offs. Their power play had four shots in two opportunities.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at home against the Anaheim Ducks at 7:30 PM PT.

NHL Shutdown podcast with Joe Lami: If it’s over it was a great year for Ovechkin, Draisatl, and McDavid

photo from anchoragedailynews.com : The Capital Center in Washington DC sits empty on Thu Mar 12th the day that the NHL announced suspending all games due to the Coronavirus outbreak

NHL podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 How shocked were you to learn of the suspension of the NHL season?

#2 Some key players of note who were having such a great year Alexander Ovechkin, Leon Draisatl, and Connor McDavid

#3 NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says that he hopes to resume the season after the Coronavirus epidemic is over

#4 There were so many exciting things happening in the NHL before the season was suspended the St Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche were sitting at the top of the Western Conference standings

Joe Lami does the NHL podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Forget the Sharks’ recent funk, playoffs a whole new kind of season

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

On the Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro:

#1 The Edmonton Oilers fell on top of the San Jose Sharks’ Timo Meier on Thursday night at Rogers Place, the Old Rexall building. Meier went in the x-ray room after the game to take a look at his left wrist. Meier most likely will be in tonight’s game at SAP against the Colorado Avalanche.

#2 The Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl was working on a hat trick as he got goals 48 and 49 for the season, but the Sharks covered him well for the rest of the game as the Sharks got away with a close 3-2 win.

#3 The Sharks, with the win over the Oilers, picked up their second win in four games after a nasty seven-game skid. Are they beginning to show some signs of coming out of it?

#4 Joe Pavelski said the Oilers are a team who can get to another level of play and the Sharks need to commit to coming back when they get behind. Melker Karlsson is scheduled to come back and Erik Karlsson is day-to-day.

#5 After tonight’s final regular season game against the Colorado Avalanche, the Sharks will open with home ice for the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Vegas Golden Knights. Len sets this first round up for us.

Sharks podcasts are heard weekly with Len Shapiro Saturdays and Mary Lisa Walsh Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

2019 NHL All-Star Skills Competition Results

Photo credit: @ScoutingTheRefs

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The 2019 NHL All Star Skills Competition featured six events in front of a big crowd at SAP Center Friday evening. In the first event, the Fastest Skater, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid won for the third time in a row, this time with a time of 13.378. In second place, Buffalo’s Jack Eichel completed the course in 13.582, with the Islanders’ Matthew Barzal third at 13.778. The first skater in the competition was Kendall Coyne Schofield of the US Women’s National Team. Her time was 14.346.

The second event was demonstrated by Rebecca Johnston of the Canadian Women’s team. The Puck Control race started with a stick handling test, followed by a puck carrying exercise though cones. The third test was to put the puck through three variable gates. One of three gates in each pillar would light up as the skater finished the preceding test. At the end, they had to put the puck in a regular net. Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau took the prize with a time of 27.045. Chicago’s Patrick Kane skated first but came in second with a time of 28.611. Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux finished third with a time of 30.270.

In the Save Streak competition, each goaltender would face a shot from each skater on an opposing team, with the order of go to repeat if the goalie stopped a shot by a Divisional Captain. If he did not stop that shot, his turn was up. Henrik Lundqvist went last and won with 12 saves against the Atlantic Division.

Pekka Rinne was in the net first, making two saves in a row but no longer streak than that against the Pacific Division. Andrei Vasilevsky made 8 saves before Seth Jones scored from the Metro Division. John Gibson made 3 saves against the Central Division. Devan Dubnyk made 7 saves against the Pacific Division. Braden Holtby defended against the Atlantic Division but did not make more than 2 saves in a row. Jimmy Howard made 2 saves against the Metropolitan Division. Marc-Andre Fleury got the extra shots by making a save on the Central Dvivision captain, but he let in the very next shot and did not reach the eight-save threshold set by Vasilevsky.

Briana Decker of the USA Women’s National Team demonstrated the Premier Passer race. Contestants had to hit the sticks of three cutout skaters with a pass, then put pucks in four mini nets with a saucer pass over a low barrier. Finally, the skater had to hit five of six targets which would light up, signalling him to shoot at that one. If he did not hit the target before the light changed, it did not count. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl won it with a time of 1:09.088. The second best time was 1:18.530 from Carolina’s Sebastian Aho, and the third best was St. Louis’s Ryan O’Reilly with 1:25.897.

Washington’s John Carlson won the Hardest Shot contest with a 102.8 mph shot. San Jose’s Brent Burns came next with a 100.6 mph shot, while Columbus’s Seth Jones was third with a 99 mph shot. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos was the only other shooter and his best was 96.2 mph. San Jose’s Sharky won the mascot hardest shot with 85.2 mph.

The Final Event was Accuracy Shooting. Renata Fast from the Canadian Women’s National Team demonstrated the new setup. Instead of plates that break, the targets were LED lit and they only stayed lit for 3 seconds before going dark. Of course, they had to be hit while lit or it did not count. The standing record for five-target accuracy shooting is 11.1. Boston’s David Pastrnak won it this year with a time of 11:309. Kris Letang and Drew Doughty came in second and third with times of 12.693 and 13.591 respectively. San Jose’s Joe Pavelski finished with a respectable 14.423.

The NHL All-Star Game will start at 5:00 PM PT Saturday.