Sharks Fall 4-3 to Avalanche, Kane scores 500th Point

The San Jose get swept in the two game set with the Colorado Avalanche losing on Thursday 3-0 and on Sat May 1, 2021, 4-3 in Denver (@Avalanche photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost their final road game of the season to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky, Patrik Nemeth and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado. Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves for the win. Alexander Brabanov, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose. Josef Korenar made 39 saves in the loss. Evander Kane scored his 500th NHL point in the third period with an assist on Logan Couture’s short-handed goal.

Josef Korenar made 39 saves on 43 shots Saturday. After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture talked about the goaltender:

“I thought he kept us in the game. He was probably our best player for the majority of the night. I thought it could have been a lot more than the four that they got. So, he battled for us. We made it a game at the end there but wish we’d helped him out a little bit more throughout the game.”

The first period ended scoreless, with Colorado leading in shots 15-10. There was just one penalty, taken by the Sharks. The Avalanche power play got one shot on goal.

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, on a power play at 4:25 of the second period. It was their first power play goal in 28 power plays. Barabanov caught a rebound out in the face-off circle and shot it by Dubnyk on the blocker side. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson.

Nathan MacKinnon tied the game at 13:08 of the second. The teams were playing four-on-four with Brent Burns and Dan Renouf in the box for penalties taken less than 20 seconds apart. Conor Timmins made a pass across the ice to MacKinnon who was closing fast on the net without anyone in his way. Assists went to Timmins and Mikko Rantanen.

Andre Burakovsky gave the Avalanche the leads at 16:06. Burakovsky caught the puck out of an offensive zone face-off, skated toward the slot and took the shot through some traffic to score. An assist went to JT Compher.

The Sharks killed one penalty in the second period, but were out-shot 12-4 in the period. The Colorado power play had four shots in the second. The Sharks power play had the one shot.

Patrik Nemeth made it 3-1 for Colorado at 9:05 of the third period. His slap shot from the blue line zipped through traffic and into the net. Assists went to Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon.

Logan Couture cut the lead by one with a short-handed goal at 9:55. Evander Kane snatched up a fumbled puck at the blue line and skated away from Makar to get a shot on goal. Logan Couture followed in a hurry and put the rebound away.

The Avalanche challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Kane did make contact with Dubnyk without actually entering the blue paint. The NHL did not consider it enough to call back the goal.

Colorado took back their two-goal lead with 4:26 left in the period. Mikko Rantanen’s shot from the blue line went through a lot of traffic and in. Assists went to Devon Toews and Conor Timmins.

With the Sharks net empty, Brent Burns took a quick shot from the blue line at 17:47. The puck went off of Tomas Hertl for his 16th of the season. Assists went to Burns and Barabanov.

The Sharks made a good final push at the end but it was not enough. The Sharks finally won the shot battle for the period, 11-8. The Sharks had one power play and a bit in the third, which added two shots to their tally. Colorado had just one shot on their power play before Couture scored and the unsuccessful challenge ended the power play. The Sharks won just 41% of the face-offs in the game.

The Sharks next play on Monday, in San Jose. They will face the Avalanche again at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 6-3 to Wild; Skid extends to 8 games

Minnesota Wild left wing Marcus Foligno (17) puts the puck past San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) in the first period at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks celebrated Patrick Marleau’s new record in NHL games played Saturday. It was the team’s first game at home since Marleau played his 1768th NHL game, surpassing Gordie Howe’s record, in Las Vegas last Monday. Family members were able to attend the game for the occasion. The Sharks all wore Marleau Jerseys for warm-ups. A pantheon of Sharks and NHL players and alumni spoke in a video presentation before the game. The only thing missing was an arena full of fans.

The Minnesota Wild won the game 6-3. Ryan Suter, Marcus Foligno, Jared Spurgeon, Kevin Fiala, Kirill Kaprizov and Nick Bonino all scored for the Wild. Kaapo Kahkonen made 27 saves for the win. Logan Couture, Evander Kane and Joachim Blichfeld scored for San Jose. It was Blichfeld’s first NHL goal. Josef Korenar made 15 saves during the second two periods, while Martin Jones made five in the first period. The win clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Wild. The loss was San Jose’s eighth in a row.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “The start was a disaster, right from the first shift, the first goal.” Boughner pointed out that there were several “new guys” in the lineup and this may have accounted for missed coverage and other errors during the game. He went on to say: “It’s no secret, you know, look at their lineup, look at our lineup, and, you know, we’re missing a little depth there. And you know, it got us early, let’s be honest, you know, second and third goal, that’s where it got us.”

The Sharks did have some unfamiliar faces on the bench Saturday. Greg Pateryn joined the defense in the absence of injured Radim Simek. It was his first game in teal since coming over from the Colorado Avalanche. He was on the ice for one goal against and one goal for the Sharks. Joachim Blichfeld was in the lineup for his sixth NHL game. He was also on the ice for one goal against and one goal for, which he scored. Neither player seemed to have an out-sized impact on the game. There were plenty of errors to go around.

As Boughner mentioned, the game did not start well for San Jose. Just 19 seconds in, Ryan Suter scored his second goal of the year, on the first shot of the game. Suter skated in with the puck and took a shot from the face-off circle. It whizzed by Martin Jones’s shoulder. An assist went to Jordan Greenway.

Moments later, Timo Meier collided with Kirill Kaprizov, Meier went to the bench but returned to play without missing much time.

Marcus Foligno added another 12 minutes into the first. Joel Eriksson-Ek carried the puck in in a two-on-one with Foligno. Eriksson-Ek made a pass at the last moment for Foligno the take the shot.

Jared Spurgeon made it 3-0 at 17:43 of the first. Spurgeon got by the Sharks defense and took a shot into the far corner. Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello got the assists.

That first period saw the Wild out-shoot the Sharks 8-4. There was just one penalty called, a too many men on the ice call against San Jose. The Sharks penalty kill gave up no shots.

Josef Korenar was in the Sharks net to start the second period.

The score did not change again until the final minute of the middle frame. Marcus Johansson took a shot from the boards and created a rebound. Kevin Fiala was at the net to knock the bouncing puck in. Assists went to Johansson and Jared Spurgeon.

There were no penalties in the second period, and the Sharks led in shots 13-7.

Logan Couture got the Sharks on the board 1:19 into the third period. Couture passed the puck to Timo Meier as the skated to the net. Just as his pass got away, Couture was knocked down. As he slid, face-first, to the net, Meier’s rebound landed in front of him. He swept it into the net. Assists went to Meier and Rudolfs Balcers.

Kirill Kaprizov scored a power play goal to make it 5-1 at 4:28. Fiala swept the puck off the boards to the slot, where Kaprizov was ready for the shot. Assists went to Fiala and Nick Bonino.

Evander Kane scored for the Sharks at 4:47, when Nikolai Knyzhov took a shot from the blue line. Tomas Hertl knocked it out of the air and Kane cleaned it up for his 18th of the season.

Joachim Blichfeld scored his first NHL goal at 6:06. He took the shot from below the face-off dot. The puck went over Kahkonen’s glove and into the top corner.

Nick Bonino scored into an empty net at 19:38. An assist went to Ian Cole.

The Sharks took two penalties in the third period. The Wild’s power play got one shot on net during the period.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Arizona Coyotes in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to Wild 3-2

The Minnesota Wild Nick Bonino (3) goes for victory skate after scoring a goal in the first period against the San Jose Sharks at the Target Center in St Paul on Fri Apr 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh.

The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center Friday. Nick Bonino, Mats Zuccarello and Zach Parise scored for Minnesota, and goaltender Cam Talbot made 20 saves for the win. Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 15 saves in the loss.

The Sharks did not play a terrible game, but a loss at this point in the season is disheartening. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “Tough to break down that game and say that we didn’t come out, we didn’t respond and we didn’t play well. I thought all those things happened.”

Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

I thought defensively we were pretty good. We didn’t give up much but there wasn’t much out there offensively. But we gotta find a way to do more. We only scored two, three goals over the last two games, or three games, so we need to find some more offense.

Evander Kane had a penalty-free game as well as a goal, despite several tense scrums throughout the night. After the game, Boughner said, of Kane:

“He plays hard, he kills penalties, he’s on the power play, he’s playing against the top lines, he’s been a good player for us all year. He’s still involved, he’s still trash-talking a little bit, he’s still throwing the body around but he’s staying within himself and I think that’s helped his five-on-five game for sure.”

The Sharks were on the board first, at 3:32. Tomas Hertl skated through the neutral zone and in the Wild zone, with some help from a stick lift by Patrick Marleau near the blue line. Hertl took the shot from the face-off dot and beat Talbot on the short side. Assists went to Radim Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Nick Bonino tied it up at 9:30. A turnover right in the slot gave him a clear line to the net and he took it. It was unassisted.

The first period was penalty-free. The Sharks outshot the Wild 8-4 but won just 33% of the face-offs.

The Wild took the lead 2:15 into the second period with Mats Zuccarello’s goal. Right off an offensive-zone face-off, Zuccarello shot it under Jones. Viktor Rask got the assist.

Zach Parise scored what would be the game-winner just over a minute later. Matt Dumba made a pass across the slot to a waiting Parise at the net corner. Assists went to Matt Dumba and Nick Bonino.

The Wild outshot the Sharks 7-4 in the second. Each team had a power play. The Wild had three shots on theirs and the Sharks had one. The Sharks won just 31% of the second period face-offs.

Evander Kane scored a short-handed goal at 13:43 of the third period, bringing the Sharks to withing one. Kane knocked the puck free from Kevin Fiala at the point, then chased it down and shot it by Talbot on the glove side.

The Sharks had two penalties to kill in the third period, and out-shot the Wild 10-7. The Sharks penalty kill had two shots on goal and the Wild power play had two as well. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle to 50% for the third.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 5:00 PM PT against the Wild, again in Minnesota.

Sharks Fall 5-4 in OT to Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights right winger Mark Stone (61), defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (7) celebrate left wing Max Pacioretty (67) overtime goal against the San Jose Sharks on Fri Mar 5, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-4 in overtime to the Vegas Golden Knights Friday in San Jose. Vegas goals came from Max Pacioretty (2), Reilly Smith, Chandler Stephenson and Alex Tuch. Oscar Dansk made 25 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Brent Burns, Matt Nieto, Logan Couture and Matt Nieto. Devan Dubnyk made 17 saves for the Sharks, after taking over for Martin Jones. Jones made five saves on eight shots in the first 22 minutes.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how his team reacted to an altercation between Ryan Reeves and Kurtis Gabriel:

“I thought that worked in our favor. I know they scored right after but we had a sense of togetherness on the bench and we never stopped attacking. It didn’t matter that they got that fourth goal. We had nine minutes or whatever that was at that point that we were determined to find a way to tie the game up and to get a point and to try to get two in overtime.”

Vegas scored first at 5:48. William Karlsson carried the puck around behind the net as if to do a wrap around, drawing Martin Jones to the left side of the net. Karlsson then passed the puck through the blue paint to Reilly Smith for a shot into a wide-open net. Assists went to Karlsson and Jonanthan Marchessault.

Vegas doubled their lead at 7:03. Abouncing puck elluded the Sharks defenders and landed just right for Chandler Stephenson to shoot it between Logan Couture’s skates and into the net. Assists went to Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty.

The Sharks outshot the Golden Knights in the first, 9-6. The teams traded power plays, with two apiece. The Golden Knights had two shots on the power play and the Sharks had just one. Vegas won 63% of the face-offs.

Vegas added to their lead just 2:57 in to the second period. Max Pacioretty’s shot from just below the blue line went right under Martin Jones and in. Assists went to Alec Martinex and Ryan Reaves.

The Sharks pulled Jones out and put Devan Dubnyk in net. Dubnyk warmed up in game with a quick glove stop on Pacioretty.

Brent Burns got the Sharks on the board at 6:01 with a power play goal. His shot went in and out so quickly that play continued until the Situation Room interrupted with a goal horn. It had hit camera just under the crossbar. Assists went to Ryan Donato and Timo Meier.

Matt Nieto brought the Sharks within one at 12:43. After knocking down an arial pass from Erik Karlsson in the neutral zone, Nieto carried the puck in two on one with Joel Kellman. Nieto took the shot instead of passing.

The shots were very closein the second, at 12-11 for Vegas. The teams again had two power plays apiece. The Sharks just had one shot in their power plays and that was Burns’ goal. Vegas had four shots through their second period power plays. The Sharks improved in the face-off circle, winning 52% of their draws.

Alex Tuch added a fourth goal to the Vegas tally, 26 seconds into the third period. A defensive attempt to knock the puck off of William Carrier’s stick merely swept it across to Tuch for a quick shot over Dubnyk’s shoulder. Assists went to Carrier and Keegan Kolesar.

Logan Couture trimmed that Vegas lead back down at 6:23. Moments before the goal, Couture intercepted a pass in the Sharks zone and then carried the puck the other way. A few tidy passes later, Couture took a shot right up the slot and past Oscar Dansk. Assists went to Erik Karlsson and Kevin Labanc.

With 7:56 left in the game, Ryan Reeves sustained a skate cut as he took Kurtis Gabriel into the boards. He had to be helped off the ice.

The Sharks had a late power play in the third period, and got two shots in there but did not tie the game until Kevin Labanc scored at 18:53. A long pass to the neutral zone from Brent Burns made its way all the way down before the Dansk tried to swat it away. Nieto was there to knock it in.

Overtime lasted 1:25 and ended with a goal from Max Pacioretty. A backhand pass from Alex Pietrangelo went through the slot to Pacioretty for a quick shot. Dubnyk could not get across in time to stop that one. Assists went to Pietrangelo and Mark Stone.

The teams were tied in shots in both the third and overtime periods, with eight each in the third and one each in overtime. The face-offs overall went to the Golden Knights at 57%.

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

Sharks Beat Blues 5-4

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Blues 5-4 in St.Louis on Saturday. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Logan Couture (2), Rudolfs Balcers, and Patrick Marleau. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for the win. The Blues goals were scored by Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou. Jordan Binnington made 22 saves in the loss.

Despite allowing another four-goal second period to the Blues, the Sharks persisted for the win. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about coping with penalties and questionable calls: “We stuck with it and we had some great kills, character kills, and we found a way to get three points out of these two games. It could have easily been four.”

Evander Kane ended a four-game goal drought at 7:24 of the first, giving the Sharks the first lead of the game. Logan Couture tried to move the puck from the boards to Kane but it went to Zach Sanford instead. Sanford turned it right over to Kane, with some help from Kevin Labanc. Kane was ready to spin, settle the puck and shoot before Binnington could get set.

Couture doubled the lead at 10:10. Kane chased the puck down behind the net and sent it up ice to Kevin Labanc, who found Couture in front of the net with a quick pass. Couture tapped it right in.

The first period ended with the Sharks leading in shots 10-9, and in the face-off circle at 54%. The Sharks took one penalty in the first, and the Blues had one shot on that power-play.

The second period was much busier than the first. The Sharks added to their tally at 3:48. Rudolfs Balcers scored his first as a Shark by stopping above the blue paint and waiting for a pass from Tomas Hertl, who was below the goal line. Despite the Blues defense around him, Hertl got the pass cleanly to Balcers for a one-timer past Binnington.

The Blues scored at 4:45. Jordan Kyrou, with Marc-Edouard Vlasic blocking his path, bounced the puck off of the post from below the goal line. It went right to Brayden Schenn for a shot past Devan Dubnyk on the blocker side. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Mike Hoffman.

Patrick Marleau gave the Sharks a three-goal lead at 8:18. Evander Kane sent the puck under a leaping Matt Nieto to Marleau on the far side of the net. Marleau tapped it in behind Binnington.

The Blues came right back with their second goal at 8:37. Torey Krug took a shot from the Blue line that went off of Zach Sanford. The goal was reviewed for a high stick but was allowed. Assists went to Krug and Schenn.

Ryan O’Reilly’s one-timer from just above the goal line cut the Sharks lead to one at 15:30. The Sharks were short-handed as Mario Ferraro left the ice abruptly after losing his helmet. Assists went to Hoffman and Kyrou.

Kyrou tied it up ith just 1:19 left in the second. Kyrou skated in, two-on-one with David Perron. Perron drew the defensive attention so Kyrou took the shot and beat Dubnyk on the glove side. Assists went to Perron and O’Reilly.

The Blues led on the second-period shot clock, 15-10, and in the face-off circle, at 54%. As in the first, the Sharks took one penalty but the Blues didn’t get any shots out of it.

Couture, just on the ice after a line change, gave the Sharks a new lead at 11:51 of the third. His shot from the face-off circle slipped through traffic at the net before Binnington could find it.

The Blues pulled their goaltender with just over a minute left but the Sharks held on. The Blues took their first penalty in the third period, but it was offset by a penalty to the Sharks as well, for some four-on-four play. The Sharks took a second penalty in the third, but their penalty kill did not allow any shots. The final shot count was 32-27 Blues, and the face-offs went to the Blues 52% of the time.

The Sharks next play on Monday, back in San Jose, against the Minnesota Wild at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Kings 4-3 in Shootout

The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring a third period goal as the Los Angeles Kings could only look away Mon Feb 9, 2021 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 4-3 against the Los Angeles Kings at Staple Center Tuesday. It was their fifth shootout of the season and their third in a row. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture, Timo Meier and Evander Kane, with Couture also scoring the shootout winner. Martin Jones made 24 saves for the win. Kings goals came from Dustin Brown (2) and Anze Kopitar, while Calvin Petersen made 37 saves in the loss. Patrick Marleau passed Jaromir Jagr in Tuesday’s game, on the NHL’s all-time games played list. His 1,734 games are good for third, just behind Mark Messier.

Sharks captain Logan Couture had an outstanding game with a goal, an assist and six shots on goal before the shootout. Only Brent Burns had more shots with seven. After the game, Sharks goalie Martin Jones said: “He just brings it every night. He’s got kind of a workmanlike attitude and, you know, he comes and he brings it every night and that’s something that, you know, I definitely respect about him.”

The Sharks started the scoring early, just 1:20 in. Radim Simek put the puck off to the right of the net and Ryan Donato caught up to it just in time to send a pass backwards to where Timo Meier was arriving at the net. Goalie Calvin Petersen was following the puck to the left and Meier moved it back to the right and into an open net. Assists went to Donato and Simek.

The Sharks’ second goal came in the final minutes of the first. Knyzhov put the puck on Patrick Marleau’s stick by the net and he passed it across the crease to Logan Couture. Petersen could not get back across in time and Couture scored his sixth of the season. Assists went ot Marleau and Knyzhov.

The Sharks took one penalty mid-period but allowed no shots. Instead, Marcus Sorensen got credit for a short-handed effort. The Sharks led the first period in shots 12-4, and the teams were even in face-off wins.

The Sharks started the second period on a power play that carried over from the first period. They got two shots in on that power play but then took three penalties over the course of the period. Timo Meier went for hi-sticking, Mat Nieto went for hooking and Ryan Donato sat for a too many men penalty. Those penalties gave the Kings six shots and a goal.

Seven minutes into the second, Anze Kopitar got a breakaway, skating most of the length of the ice to beat Martin Jones one-on-one. Assists went to Alex Iafallo and Dustin Brown.

Dustin Brown tied the game with a power play goal at 17:54. Adrian Kempe took a shot from the blue line that hit Jones’ glove and dropped to the ice. Before Jones could cover it, Brown lifted it over the goalie’s glove and into the net. Assists went to Kempe and Drew Doughty.

The Kings led in shots during the second period 12-9, and in face-off wins at 53%.

Brown scored his second of the game to give the Kings a lead at 10:45 of the third period. Iafallo fought his way down the ice and around behind the Sharks net and made a quick pass up to Brown just as he came through the face-off circle. His quick shot squeezed between Jones and the post.

Evander Kane tied the game back up at 19:15. With the net empty, Couture took a shot from high in the slot. As the puck bounced around in the blue paint, Kane pushed it over the line through sticks and bodies. Assists went to Couture and Brent Burns.

The shots were 11-10 Sharks in the third. The Sharks won just 44% of their third period face-offs, but in the brief over-time session, they won 80%.

Despite outshooting the Kings 8-1 in overtime, the Sharks could not end it without another shootout. Jones was perfect in the shootout, allowing Logan Couture’s goal to win it for San Jose.

The Sharks will play the Kings in Los Angeles again on Thursday at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Fall to the Ducks 2-1 in Shootout

The San Jose Sharks Nikolai Knyzhov (71) gets behind the puck while the Anaheim Ducks Rickard Rakell (67) stays right behind Knyzhov during Sat Feb 7, 2021 game at the Honda Center in Anaheim (AP News photo) 

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 2-1 in a shoot-out to the Anaheim Ducks Saturday. Max Comtois scored the game winner in the shoot-out for Anaheim, with Isac Lundestrom scoring in regulation and Troy Terry also scoring in the shoot-out. Ryan Miller made 26 saves for the win. Logan Couture scored for the Sharks and Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves in the loss.

Saturday’s game was very different from Friday’s goal-fest. While the Sharks held the Ducks to a single goal in regulation and over-time, they did not manage to score more than one either. There was just one change in the forward roster, with Rudolfs Balcers coming in for Alex Chmelevski. Dubnyk was in net instead of Martin Jones, which was to be expected with back-to-back games. Finally, two of the three the defensive pairings were different: Burns was with Ferraro, Karlsson was with Simek, and Vlasic was with Knyzhov. Those changes on defense were probably the most impactful adjustments.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said, of the blue line pairings:

“I thought they all held their own. It was just, it was a bit of a sloppy game. You know, defensively, I have to watch the tape again and it’s tough for e to comment right after, but you know, I thought we had some breakdowns but I thought for the most part we didn’t give up a ton.”

The Sharks started early with a goal just 11 seconds in. Mario Ferraro took a shot that jumped around in some traffic before Logan Couture found it behind Ryan Miller and knocked it in. Assists went to Ferraro and Evander Kane.

That was it for scoring in the first. Special teams got to warm up in the first, with each team getting one power play and a four-on-four. The Sharks did not register any shots on their power play, while Anaheim got credit for seven. The shots were 12-10 Anaheim and the face-off advantage went to the Sharks at 53%.

The Ducks tied the game 5:42 in to the second period. Hampus Lindholm’s shot from the blue line deflected off of Ferraro and then again off of Isac Lundestrom before getting by Dubnyk. It was Lundestrom’s first NHL goal and assists went to Lindholm and Kevin Shattenkirk.

The Sharks had to kill two penalties in the second period and they had no power plays. The Ducks registered three shots in their second period power plays, with a total of nine in the period. The Sharks added twelve shots to their game tally, all at even strength. The Sharks saw a big drop off in their face-off success, winning just 33% in the second period.

The Sharks had just one shot in the third period with 3:56 left in the period. A second later, Mario Ferraro got credit for the team’s second shot. (The first came just over five minutes in, from Patrick Marleau.) The Ducks had eight shots in the same time frame. The Sharks improved a little in the face-off circle but still came in at just 46%. No penalties were called in the third period.

The Sharks had no shots in the overtime period. The Ducks had just two but they had the puck for almost the whole period, though the Sharks won 67% of the draws.

The shoot-out did not start well for either goaltender as the first three shots went in the net. Troy Terry and Max Comtois scored for Anaheim and Ryan Donato scored for San Jose. Logan Couture, Kevin Shattenkirk and Kevin Labanc all had their shots stopped.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Los Angeles against the Kings at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Ducks 5-4 in Shoot-Out

The Anaheim Ducks center Rickard Rakell (right) with outstretched stick can’t stop the San Jose Sharks right winger Matt Nieto (left) who takes the puck down ice on Fri Feb 5, 2021 in the Honda Center in Anaheim (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 in a shoot-out at the Honda Center Friday. Sharks goals came from Matt Nieto, Logan Couture, Evander Kane, and Brent Burns. The shoot-out winner came from Kevin Labanc. Martin Jones made 33 saves for the win. The Ducks got goals from Adam Henrique, Troy Terry and Max Comtois (2). John Gibson made 26 saves in the loss. An eight-goal performance was unexpected from two of the lowest-scoring teams in the league. Stranger still, each team had a three-goal period.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the stunning shift in momentum from the first period to the second, when the game lurched from 1-0 Sharks to 3-1 Ducks:

“Your character’s in question there, when you have such a good first period and you come back and all of a sudden, you know. Hey, our power play didn’t go as well as we thought and that we wanted, and we lost momentum I think that way. But, you know, at the end of the day it’s a five-on-five game and we’ve got to get our five-on-five game established again. I just didn’t like a couple of the goals. I thought we looked basically uninspired in parts of the second period.”

Coming into the game, the Ducks were 4-5-2 on the season. In their previous game, they defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Ryan Getzlaf was out with a lower body injury Friday. The Sharks were 3-5-0. Due to COVID protocol schedule changes, they had a week off after a shut-out loss to Colorado. Alexander Chmelevski made his NHL debut.

Matt Nieto started the scoring with his third goal of the year. Matt Nieto and Marcus Sorensen jumped into the zone two one one. Sorensen had the puck on the outside and waited until he was almost at the goal line before making a pass to Nieto in front of the net at 12:50 of the first period. Assists went to Sorensen and Alexander Chmelevski, Chmelevski’s first NHL point.

At the end of the first period, the Sharks had a 17-8 lead in shots. They had one shot on one power play, gave up a short-handed shot, and trailed in the face-off circle at 44%.

The second period was all Ducks. At 10:03, Adam Henrique tapped a rebound under Martin Jones to tie the game. Assists went to Derek Grant and Troy Terry.

A few minutes later, Terry scored to give Anaheim the lead. Cam Fowler brought the puck into the zone and then passed it to Terry on the outside. Fowler kept going and acted as a screen for Terry’s shot. The assists went to Fowler and Grant.

In the final minutes of the period, Max Comtois made it 3-1. The Sharks had just finished their second scoreless powerplay. An offside call led to a neutral zone face-off that Anaheim won. It took the a couple of tries to get through the neutral zone but finally they made it into the Sharks’zone. Rickard Rakell took advantage of a give-away and skated behind the Sharks net. He found Comtois with a short pass and Comtois’ shot squeezed between Jones and the post.

In the second period, the Ducks out-shot the Sharks 13-3 and won 60% of the face-offs. On the Sharks’ power play, they had one shot and gave one up.

After the game, Boughner acknowledged that a lot was said during the second intermission: “It was time to look ourselves in the mirror a little bit and it was a gut check. And they responded.”

The Sharks’ big guns did indeed respond in the third period. Logan Couture scored in the first minute. Couture dumped the puck in and Evander Kane chased it down in time to sling it in front of the net. Couture was at the net by then and tapped it in while goalie John Gibson was trying to come across. Assists went to Kane and Brent Burns.

Evander Kane tied the game with a short-handed goal at 2:06 of the third. He stole a pass meant for Hampus Lindholm. Chipping it to himself and took a shot from above the face-off dot. The puck sailed by Gibson on the far side.

Brent Burns gave the Sharks their second lead of the game at 8:04. John Gibson had just gotten back into his net after a stroll behind it. Burns took a pass from Ryan Donato and buried it.

The Ducks tied it back up with another goal from Max Comtois. The Ducks won a defensive zone draw, and followed that up with a gruelling long shift in the Sharks zone. Comtois received a cross-ice pass from Carter Rowney and shot the puck past Jones on the glove side. Assists went to Rowney and Lindholm.

The Sharks improved a little in the face-off circle in the third, winning 46% of them. The shot clock favored the Ducks 11-8.

The teams traded good chances for the first couple of minutes until a high stick penalty put the Ducks on the power play. The Sharks got a nice short-handed chance when Marc-Edouard Vlasic got control of the puck and carried it out of the zone. The Sharks killed off a good chunk of the power play moving the puck around the Ducks’ zone and taking one shot.

Ryan Donato shot first for the Sharks and scored. Rickard Rakell shot first for the Ducks and Jones made a great save.

Couture shot second for the Sharks but Gibson shut down the five-hole attempt. Comtois shot second for Anaheim but Jones stopped him with an outstretched toe.

Kevin Labanc shot third and, though he tripped over Gibson’s skate, he still got the puck in the net.

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

Sharks Win 2-1 in Shootout Against Blues

The San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl (right) puts the puck on net for the game winner in the overtime shootout against St Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (left) in St Louis in the second game of their two game series on Wed Jan 2o, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 2-1 against the St. Louis Blues in a shootout Wednesday. The Sharks got a regulation goal from Marcus Sorensen and the shootout winner from Tomas Hertl. Martin Jones made 22 saves for the win. The lone Blues goal came from Brayden Schenn and their goaltender, Jordan Binnington, made 37 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the improvements he saw in his team’s game:

“I thought our turnover rate was better, I thought our wall play was better, our possession time I think was a little better. And line changes, as crazy as that sounds, as simple as that sounds, I thought we did a better job of, you know, our shift length and changing and just all the fundamentals that we’ve been talking about.”

Boughner also pointed to how the team’s third and fourth lines helped in the win, beyond scoring the Sharks’ only regulation goal: “I believe the third and fourth line created some of our best o-zone shifts tonight when we needed it, just at the right time. They jumped over the boards and they played a little bit of a blue-collar style game which was perfect for us.”

The teams traded penalties in the first period but ended with no score. The Sharks had two penlaties to kill and the Blues had three. The shots were close, at 10-9 St. Louis.

The Blues scored first, at 4:27 of the second period. With the Sharks on a power play, Jordan Kyrou brought the puck through the neutral zone with speed before running into the Sharks defense. He held on to the puck until Brent Burns made some contact, knocking the puck loose. From there, Torey Krug and Brayden Schenn got it to the net and Schenn put it into the top corner. Assists went to Kyrou and Krug.

The Sharks tied it up with just over two minutes left in the second. Marcus Sorensen pushed the puck deep into Blues territory before gathering it up and sending it back up to Burns on the blue line. Mario Ferraro took a shot that touched Matt Nieto’s stick and trickled wide. Sorensen was right there to knock it in. Assists went to Nieto and Ferraro.

The shot count was close again in the second period, at 11-10 Sharks. The game remained scoreless after that. The Sharks had one third period power play, and killed two penalties. In all, the Sharks out-shot the Blues 17-4 in the final period.

After the game, Logan Couture talked about the third period: “I think in the third period, we played the style of hockey that we want to play. Obviously throughout the game there were a lot of penalties back and forth and it’s tough to get a flow going. But I liked our third period for sure.”

The Sharks seemed to score in the final 11 seconds of OT, but it was called back for incidental contact with the goaltender.

The shootout went an extra round as Martin Jones faced David Perron, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou without letting in a goal. Binnington faced Ryan Donato, Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc before tomas Hertl’s shot got by him.

The Sharks next play on Friday in Minnesota against the Wild at 5:00 PM PT.

Sharks Start Season with 4-3 Shootout Win Over Coyotes

The San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl (48) jubilant after scoring against the Arizona Coyotes he is joined by Evander Kane (9), John Leonard (right of Kane), and Nilolai Knyzhov (71) in the first period (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks started the 2021 season with a 4-3 shoot-out win in Arizona against the Coyotes. Tomas Hertl scored twice, John Leonard got two assists in his first NHL game. Evander Kane scored the Sharks’ third goal and Logan Couture scored the game-winner in the shootout. Conor Garland, Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel scored for Arizona. Martin Jones made 34 saves for the win, while Darcy Kuemper made 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Logan Couture said: “I thought we were sloppy at times but I thought we did a lot of things really well. We had some speed through the neutral zone and that one line, Tommy Hertl’s line, created some nice goals. And Joner made some big-time saves when we had those breakdowns.”

Martin Jones did a lot of work during the long layoff and looked good Thursday. After the game, he said: “I think I took full advantage of the time and I put in a lot of work. So, it was nice to be able to play well in the first game but, you know, it’s one game, we gotta keep working at it here. There’s a lot of things that we can clean up.”

Couture gave a post-game nod to the rookie Sharks, saying: “Some guys played their first NHL game tonight, I thought they were terrific tonight.” Those first-timers were John Leonard and Nicholas Meloche. Leonard had two assists in his 13:14 of ice time. Meloche was a +1 in his 5:43 on the blue line.

Tomas Hertl scored twice in the first period for the Sharks, the first a power play goal at 12:43. Logan Couture took a shot from the boards, which bounced arond in the crease before Hertl put it away. Assists went to Evander Kane and Couture.

The second goal came with just over three minutes left in the period. John Leonard had just thrown the puck to the net, creating a rebound for Hertl to put away. Assists went to Leonard and Kane.

The Coyotes rallied in the second, Conor Garland scored for the Coyotes on a power play at 16:51 of the second period. Joel Kellman was in the box for tripping Derick Brassard. It was the Sharks’ third penalty in a row. The Coyotes were able to move the puck cross-ice several ties before Christian Dvorak’s shot found Garland’s tick for a tip in front of the net. Assists went to Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun.

Going into the third period, Evander Kane had two assists. With an aggressive charge to the net, and a Coyote on one arm, he scored the Sharks’ third goal a little past the midway point of the third period. Assists went to John Leonard and Tomas Hertl.

The 3-1 lead held up well into the third period.

Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes’ with just 3:30 left in the third. Finding himself alone in the high slot, he caught the puck as it came out of a skirmish in front of the net and put it over Jones’ right shoulder before the goalie could get across. Assists went to Garland and Chychrun.

Phil Kessel tied the game up with just four seconds left in regulation. Under a lot of pressure with the Coyotes net empty, Martin Jones made a couple of good saves before it got by him. The Coyotes had three skaters in front of him and they all got a shot before Kessel’s went in. Assists went to Alex Goligoski and Clayton Keller.

The Sharks got a power play at 3:13 of overtime, when Clayton Keller was called for tripping Kevin Labanc. The Sharks OT power play started with Logan Couture, Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl. After a shot went over the glass, Kane came onto the ice with Timo Meier and Ryan Donato, with Karlsson staying on. Neither unit scored before time ran out, in the power play and the period.

Each team scored on their first shot in the shootout, first Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz and the San Jose’s Ryan Donato. After that, Martin Jones stopped Clayton Keller and Conor Garland missed. Logan Couture scored to close it out.

The modified season has the Sharks playing against the Coyotes again on Saturday before moving on to St. Louis.