NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast with Joe Lami: Avalanche goaltender Grubauer puts the stop on Sharks’ scoring, series tied 2-2

Photo credit: @avalanche_fanly

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoff podcast with Joe:

#1 The Colorado Avalanche got out of the Pepsi Center in Game 4 with their hockey lives, tying the San Jose Sharks in the series 2-2. The last thing the Avalanche wanted to do was go back to San Jose for a Game 5 down 3-1.

#2 The Sharks’ Logan Couture blamed the turnovers for the loss.

#3 The Sharks just couldn’t get any offense going in the 3-0 shutout. Couture said they got some good looks, but just couldn’t score.

#4 The Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots for the shutout. Joe talks about his work between the pipes.

#5 So its onto Game 5 on Saturday night at SAP Center, who has the upper hand now and will the Sharks be able to take advantage of home ice?

Joe Lami does the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.comhttps://soundcloud.com/sports-radio-service/nhl-stanley-cup-playoffs-podcast-with-joe-lami-fri-may-3-2019

Avalanche Win 3-0, Tie Series with Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Colorado Avalanche tied their second round series with the San Jose Sharks by winning in 3-0 in Denver on Thursday. Their goal scorers were Nathan MacKinnon, Colin Wilson and Erik Johnson. It was MacKinnon’s sixth of the playoffs, and his second in this round against the Sharks. Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves for the shutout win, while Martin Jones made 25 saves in the loss.

Sharks forward Logan Couture blamed turnovers for the loss: “I thought we turned way too many pucks over. Way too many, handed them goals off turnovers inside of our blue line, and just bad decisions with the puck.”

Couture also pointed to missed opportunities: “It seems like it’s been the story of this series where we’ve had some good looks, we don’t score, and it costs us. The amount of times where we’ve had, you know, breakaways or good looks in the slot and we don’t score, and they come back and they score soon after.”

Five Sharks had three or more shots on goal, and they had more than one breakaway Thursday.

The game was remarkably even for the first half. Shot counts were within two in each period, there were no penalties in the first and two per team in the second. The Sharks won 53% of the face-offs in both of the first two periods.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “It was one of those games I thought, half way through, you know, I kind of had the feeling whoever was going to score first was probably going to win. And you know they got the goal, they got the energy they started to grab some momentum, win a few more battles than we were winning from that point on. But I really felt the game was right there at least up until that point.”

The Sharks’ first power play was cut short by an overlapping penalty to Kevin Labanc. That raised some eyebrows since Erik Karlsson had been conspicuously tripped while he carried the puck through the neutral zone, in full view of most observers. That was not called, which would have given the Sharks a two-man advantage.

The first goal came in the middle of the second period. It was scored by Nathan MacKinnon on a second effort, after Jones had already stopped a nice attempt. Cale Makar shot the puck for a deflection by Mikko Rantanen, and Jones stopped that with his mask, but the rebound went off of Burns in front of the net. Burns tried to knock it away from the net, but didn’t get all of it, so it started to fall down to the blue paint. MacKinnon was close enough to knock it past Jones.

The second Colorado goal came on a power play that saw Justin Braun in the box for tripping Alexander Kerfoot. A clearing attempt by Brent Burns was cut short by Colin Wilson and fell to Gabriel Landeskog to carry back in. The Sharks’ penalty killers were caught a little off kilter and, in a scramble by the net, none of them could get control of the puck again. It trickled out of traffic to Wilson, who had an open net by then. Assists went to Rantanen and Landeskog.

At 8:05 of the third, Braun went to the box again after a careless high stick that caught Colin Wilson in the face. Seconds before that penalty was to expire, Brent Burns joined Braun in the box for hooking Samuel Girard. The Sharks were doing a great job killing the first penalty, were in fact all south of the center line attempting some short-handed offense. Girard got past Burns and Burns got his stick up around Girard’s arms as Girard closed on the Sharks net. That gave the Sharks 14 seconds of five-on-three to kill.

The Sharks did kill it off. In the last two minutes of the period, they pulled Jones for an extra skater. Two goals in two minutes was unlikely even with six skaters. Instead, Colorado got their third of the night, put into the empty net by Erik Johnson. Assists went to Matt Calvert and Matt Nieto.

Game 5 will be in San Jose on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT.

Around the nine-minute mark of the third, Nyquist went down in a collision with MacKinnon and required some attention from the trainer. He did not miss much game time, if any, for that. The Sharks shortened their bench once again in the third period. Joakim Ryan did not skate in the third and Lukas Radil only had one shift. Micheal Haley and Marcus Sorensen also had their shifts cut down.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa Walsh: A win by the Sharks in Game 4 almost assures team to advance

Photo credit: ftw.usatoday.com

On the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks hold a 2-1 series lead on the Colorado Avalanche with Game 4 slated for Thursday night. The Sharks look like they have bead on things after they beat the Avs 4-2 in Game 3 at the Pepsi Center.

#2 The Sharks’ Logan Couture, who scored a hat trick, just couldn’t be contained. Once he got the puck, he never hesitated on throwing it on net.

#3 Sharks goaltender Martin Jones is thankful for the offensive help of Couture, saying his performance was clutch and he was all the difference in a game like that.

#4 To demonstrate how purposeful the Sharks were, they wasted no time in the first period, taking a 2-0 lead and taking the wind out of the Avs’ sails.

#5 Game 4 tonight this is a must win situation for the Avs or their season could end very soon. They have home ice and need a win to tie the series up. A win by the Sharks, taking a 3-1 series lead back to San Jose, could almost assure the Sharks a great chance to advance to the next round.

Join Mary Lisa for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs/San Jose Sharks podcast each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Take Game 3, Beat Avs 4-2 with Couture Hat Trick

Photo credit:

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks took a 2-1 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche, winning 4-2 in Denver Tuesday. Three of the Sharks’ goals came from Logan Couture, and one from Timo Meier. Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Nieto scored for Colorado. Martin Jones made 25 saves for the win, and Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves in the loss.

After the game, Martin Jones said of Logan Couture: “He’s clutch, I mean big games, big moments in games, he’s the guy that, every time, you can rely on. So, he was huge again tonight.”

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, but then saw the game tied 2-2 in the third period. Of the team’s response to this situation, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:

I loved our response, it was even-keeled, there was no panic, you know, it was just ‘get out there and let’s get back at this.’ I think we knew, at that point it was 2-2, but, you know, we deserved to be in a different spot than that. We knew what was working for us and we just needed to get back to that.

Power plays were remarkably unproductive in the game. None scored and only one power play in the game generated more than one shot, Colorado’s in the second period. That one only got two shots.

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun said, of his team’s defensive success in the game: “I think it came down to the pk. You know, we did a really good job, they had a lot of good chances but we kept it out of the net.”

The Sharks had two power plays by the time the middle of the first period had gone by. They had few shots on those power plays that looked dangerous, but hit a lot of metal. The Avs had their first power play abbreviated as it overlapped with the Sharks’ second one. The power plays and the four-on-four added to the speed of the period, which didn’t generate any scoring until the last five minutes.

Logan Couture was able to score after a prolonged attack on the Colorado net, at 15:24. Grubauer made several saves before Couture put the puck past him with a reaching swipe at his own rebound. Assists went to Gus Nyquist and Timo Meier.

Timo Meier added another in the final minute of the period. Rushing in after intercepting the puck in the neutral zone, Meier blew past the unsuspecting defense and took the shot without slowing down. The puck rang the bar on its way in.

The shot count for the first period was 13-7 Sharks. The Sharks jumped right into the second with four shots in the first 90 seconds of the period. The Avs had two in those 90.

The Sharks had a great shift from the Couture-Meier-Kane line around the 3:20 mark. While the forwards kept the Avs locked in the defensive zone, defensemen Vlasic and Burns got some shots in to stir things up. A shot from Vlasic bounced up and over Grubauer, but managed to stay out. Before the 10-minute mark, the Sharks were on the power play and already had eleven shots to Colorado’s three.

The power play came from a high stick to Micheal Haley’s face. The Sharks did not score but the power play time kept the Avs on their heels. The teams traded penalties again as the period wore on but penalty killers were perfect in the second, technically.

Less than a second after the second Sharks power play expired, Ian Cole intercepted a stretch pass from Brent Burns. He got the puck right to Nathan MacKinnon as he flew off the bench and through the neutral zone. Burns was caught flat-footed as MacKinnon went around him and beat Jones with a quick shot. It was MacKinnon’s fifth of the playoffs. Cole got the lone assist.

The Sharks again outshot the Avs, 13-9 in the second. The Avs came out energized for the third, and got six shots in to the Sharks’ two in the first half of the period. The Sharks also took a too many men penalty at 6:02. Colorado got one shot in that power play, but there were signs of fatigue from the Sharks.

Erik Karlsson’s attempt to move the puck up the boards from behind the net was blocked by Tyson Jost and bounced harmlessly to the corner. That led to an extended attack from Colorado against Sharks, who had already been on the ice for too long. Samuel Girard’s shot came down from the blue line into traffic and went off of Matt Nieto, into the net at 11:45. It was Nieto’s fourth of the playoffs. Assists went to Girard and Cale Makar.

Despite appearances, the Sharks were not completely gassed yet, and they made their first significant push of the third into the offensive zone. After Gus Nyquist forced a turnover just inside the Colorado blue line, Logan Couture, who had been dawdling before leaving the zone, got the puck and had a clear lane to the net. With a couple of little moves, he avoided a defender’s stick and got Grubauer moving just enough to let the puck get by on the short side. It was Couture’s eighth of the playoffs. Nyquist got the assist.

Colorado finished the game on a power play, but they pulled their goaltender to add a sixth skater. Colorado could not really hold the zone and, after a few tries, the Sharks got an empty net goal. It was Couture’s for the hat trick.

Gus Nyquist was able to make it to the game even though he did not travel with the team. He stayed behind with his wife while she delivered their first child, a daughter named Charlotte.

After the game, Nyquist said: “It’ll be nice to lay down in bed tonight and think about a few good days.”

Game 4 will be Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Win 5-4 in Game 7 OT, Goodrow’s GWG Moves Sharks to Second Round

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The Sharks will advance to the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs after a 5-4 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday. The win represents comebacks from being down 3-1 in the series and being down 3-0 in the third period of Game 7. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture (2), Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc and Barclay Goodrow. Golden Knights goals came from William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Cody Eakin and Jonathan Marchessault. Martin Jones made 34 saves in the win, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 43 saves in the loss.

Do it for Joe x2?
Much has been made of the Sharks’ desire to succeed for the sake of Joe Thornton, whose career is in its sunset years. Then, halfway through the third period, there was an injury to their captain Joe Pavelski.

Like blood in the water, Pavelski’s blood on the ice galvanized the Sharks into a scoring frenzy in the third period. They were down 3-0 when their captain was helped off of the ice. They scored twice in the first minute of that 5 minute major, then twice more before the penalty expired. It was the first lead change in a game in this series. Logan Couture scored the first and the third, Tomas Hertl scored the second and Kevin Labanc scored the fourth. All of those goals in 4:01 of playing time.

That was all very surprising, bombarding the audience with stunning mix of emotions.

The Golden Knights scored first Tuesday, at 10:10. After an offensive zone face-off, Reilly Smith took a shot from the wall. The puck went off of Jonathan Marchessault, who was in front of Brenden Dillon, who was in front of Martin Jones. The puck veered to the right, where William Karlsson reached around to put the puck past all of the bodies and into the net. Assists went to Marchessault and Smith.

The Sharks had two scoreless power plays early in the first, one at 1:56 when Colin Miller went for hooking Kevin Labanc, and one at 4:15 when Brayden McNabb went for cross-checking Tomas Hertl. Tnd the Golden Knights had one at 12:36 when Erik Karlsson went for tripping Brandon Pirri. The Golden Knights had theirs cut short when Alex Tuch was called for interference on Justin Braun. That left the Sharks with some power play time after all that, but they couldn’t make much of it and spent too much time trying to get throught thethe neutral zone. In all, the Sharks power play generated six of their eleven first period shots. The Golden Knights got no shots on their partial power play but had four in the period.

The Sharks had good chances in the first minutes of the second, but hit the post at least twice. They earned a power play at 6:22, when Ryan Reaves tripped Martin Jones, who was outside of the net trying to retrieve the puck. San Jose had a few moments of good puck movement, but just one shot on goal.

Near the midpoint of the second, the Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 5-2. At the exact midpoint, Cody Eakin put the puck in the net for Las Vegas. The goal was reviewed for a high stick, and was upheld by the NHL. Assists went to Brayden McNabb and Shea Theodore.

The Sharks almost evened the shot count by the end of the second, but still had not scored. Their face-off percentage, which had been near 50% through the first, dropped to 40% in the second. Las Vegas definitely had the upper hand in the middle frame.

Max Pacioretty scored a third for Las Vegas at 3:36 of the third. After some good zone time for San Jose, and another post, Vegas pushed back and the Sharks were trying to clear the puck out. Mark Stone took the puck away from them and passed it across the slot to Pacioretty. Pacioretty was able to hold it for a beat and when he took the shot, there was no one between him and Jones. The puck went by Jones on the blocker side. An assist went to Stone.

At 9:13, Cody Eakin cross-checked Joe Pavelski right off of a face-off. As Pavelski stumbled backward, Paul Stasny skated into him from the side. Pavelski went backward over Stasny’s knee, and could not get his hands up to protect himself in time. He landed on the side of his head and bled onto the ice. After Pavelski was helped off the ice, Eakin was given a five-minute major. Then the Sharks started scoring. Their goals came from everywhere: both faceoff circles, a deflection in the slot, a shot from the slot.

The Golden Knights pulled their goaltender and at 19:13 they tied the game. Mark Stone moved the puck behind the net to Reilly Smith. Smith moved it quickly back above the blue paint, where Marchessault knocked it past Jones. Assists went to Smith and Stone.

The Sharks won 62% of the face-offs in the third period.

Both teams struggled with fatigue and what appeared to be bad ice in overtime. Passes missed the mark, any long-distance puck movement seemed to wobble. Both goaltenders were still alert and the period crept closer and closer to a fifth period.

Barclay Goodrow only had two shifts in the fourth period, but on his second, he ended the game. Erik Karlsson carried the puck over the blue line and Goodrow came across right behind him. Goodrow took the wide track close to the boards and Karlsson passed the puck ahead to him. Goodrow veered away from the boards and cut across in front the goal. Fleury could not stay in front of him and Goodrow slid the puck around the goaltender and into the net at 18:19.

The only roster change before Tuesday’s game was the replacement of Joonas Donskoi by Lucas Radil. Though Donskoi finished the game Sunday, he did take a big hit in overtime. He did not skate in the morning practice Tuesday, but there was no specific mention of injury. Joakim Ryan, who did not skate after the second period on Sunday, skated four shifts in the first and four shifts in the third, and then skated in overtime Tuesday.

After the game, there were no updates about Pavelski’s condition.

The second round against Colorado will start Friday in San Jose.

Sharks Force Game 7 With 2-1 Win Over Golden Knights in 2OT

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 2-1 in the second overtime of Game 6 of their playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday. Martin Jones was hands down the star of the game, making 58 saves to Marc-Andre Fleury’s 27. Those 58 saves set a record for Jones and also the franchise. Regulation goals came from Logan Couture for the Sharks and Jonathan Marchessault for the Golden Knights. The teams will return to San Jose for Game 7 on Tuesday.

The Sharks got off to a fast start in the game, taking a significant lead in shots until the middle of the period. That was the last such lead they would have in the game. In the first period, they fell behind by one shot, 10-9. In the second period, Las Vegas outshot them 17-7 and in the third period the Golden Knights won the shot contest by a whopping 17-4. On top of that, the Sharks blocked 34 more shots. This was the onslaught that Sharks goaltender Martin Jones faced Sunday.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said:

Yeah, we knew Joner was on, you could feel it, for sure. You know, you’re looking at the scoreboard and the shots are saying what they are. But the way Joner was moving, seeing the puck, you know, it wasn’t two-on-ones, breakaways, guys weren’t getting behind us. It was still a pretty tight-knit group out there and guys were blocking some shots and hanging in there.

Martin Jones said “It was a good game, obviously. We stuck with it the whole night. Give our guys a lot of credit, some huge penalty kills in overtime and the third. Yeah, everybody chipped in with stuff today.”

The officials seemed to have put their whistles away for overtime, ignoring some fairly obvious penalties from tripping to holding on both sides. They ignored it all until Barclay Goodrow slashed the stick out of Brayden McNabb’s hands at 10:46 of the second overtime. The Sharks still had no shots on goal in the period.

The penalty appeared to be the death knell for the Sharks. Instead, Marc-Edouard Vlasic cleared the puck from the front of the net up to Tomas Hertl in the middle of the blue line. Hertl took off as fast as skaters are able to halfway through the fifth period. He barely stayed ahead of Shea Theodore, then slowed and took a shot from inside the face-off circle. Fleury couldn’t stop it. The Sharks won the game short-handed with their first shot of the period.

The first goal of the game did not come until the final 10 seconds of the first period. While Timo Meier fought Deryk Engelland for the puck in the neutral zone, Logan Couture skated up and plucked the puck away from them. He kept skating into the slot and veered away into the face-off circle while taking a shot that got by Marc-Andre Fleury. Timo Meier got the assist. It was Couture’s fourth of the playoffs.

The Sharks had one power play in the first period, a penalty to Shea Theodore for tripping Tomas Hertl. They had just one shot in that power play.

The second goal of the game came in the middle of the second period, from Joathan Marchessault for the Golden Knights. Shea Theodore took a shot from the blue line into some traffic and Jones stopped that one, but there was a small rebound that Marchessault got to. He pulled it around the prone goalie and put it in the net. It was Marchessault’s third of the playoffs. Assists went to Shea Theodore and William Karlsson.

Each team had a power play in the second period. Las Vegas had a power play at 14:26 after Timo Meier was called for tripping William Karlsson. Las Vegas had no shots on that power play.

The Sharks had one shot on their second period power play, the result of a penalty to Marchessault for slashing Logan Couture.

In the scoreless third period, the Golden Knights had the only power play, due to a goaltender interference penalty to Melker Karlsson. They had one shot on that power play.

Labanc and Thornton had a good chance near the middle of the first OT period, and Labanc’s shot may have gone under Fleury and back out just on the outside of the net.

With about three minutes to go, the teams exchanged wild scrambles at the net, with defensemen piled up, at Fleury’s end, he had two of his own defensemen spreadeagled on top of of each other in the blue paint after a puck got by Fleury. It was so close to the line that the NHL reviewed the video.

By the 10-minute mark of the first OT, the teams were tied with two shots each. Then the NHL changed that to a 3-1 lead for the Golden Knights. Eventually, it evened out to 7-6 for the Golden Knights in the first OT.

Approaching the midpoint of the second OT, the Golden Knights had seven shots and the Sharks had none on the books. And then Hertl scored.

The Sharks played more than two periods with only five defensemen. Joakim Ryan did not skate after the second period.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Golden Knights Take 2-1 Series Lead with 6-3 Win Over Sharks

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3, scoring a first-minute goal in all three periods. Three Vegas goals came from Mark Stone, two from Paul Stastny and one from Max Pacioretty. For the Sharks, goals came from Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture and Timo Meier. Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for the Vegas win, while Martin Jones made 34 saves in the Sharks loss.

After the game, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer talked about the high-scoring line of Stastny, Stone and Pacioretty:

They’ve eaten us up here this series so far, so, we haven’t had an answer for them. What do they do well? I mean you’ve got three very good players that are playing at a really high level right now. So, you know, that is part of the issue. We’ve got to find an answer to slow those guys down.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about the impact of early goals against, summarizing it as: “It’s tough to keep it going or get it back when you do that at the start.” Forward Logan Couture also talked those period starts, saying “they made some nice plays but we’ve got to be ready to start periods.”

On his goaltender’s performance, Couture said: “I think he made a lot of saves. I mean, you look at that game, their power play chances, their chances in the slot, he made a lot of big saves. They could have had eight tonight. Some of their goals, you can’t give up breakaways, two on ones, and let a guy walk past the half way mark in the crease. You’re just asking for trouble.”

Yet again, Vegas scored early the game, putting the Sharks down by one just 18 seconds in. Right off of the opening face-off, Erik Karlsson’s pass missed its mark and ended up on Mark Stone’s stick. Stone charged into the zone, pursued by Sharks, and scored with a back hand. Assists went to Nate Schmidt and Deryk Engellund.

Max Pacioretty gave Vegas a 2-0 lead at 12:16 with a power play goal. Evander Kane was in the box for a four-minute high-sticking penalty. Pacioretty’s shot was the first of the power play and only took five seconds. The face-off was still dispersing when Pacioretty shot from near the point. His shot went through some traffic and between Justin Braun’s legs. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Paul Stastny.

The Sharks got one back late in the period at 15:16. Joe Thornton got to the puck behind the net and made a quick back hand pass up to Kevin Labanc as Labanc skated to the net. Labanc took the shot some feet from the blue paint, then collided with Colin Miller in front of Marc-Andre Fleury. The Golden Knights challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the goal was upheld. Assists went to Thornton and Marcus Sorensen.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 20-12 in the first period, and won 59% of the face-offs.

Paul Stastny restored the Golden Knights’ two-goal lead 21 seconds into the second period. Pacioretty took a shot from the slot and the rebound went to Stastny out beyond the traffic around the net. He took a shot from above the face-off dot and it went by two Sharks defenders and under their goaltender. Assists went to Pacioretty and Stone.

The Sharks got their first power play at 10:02 of the second period. The Golden Knights had already had three.

Stastny added another goal at 16:04, on the sixth Vegas power play. This time, it was Kevin Labanc in the box for interference against Ryan Reaves. The Sharks had killed off most of the penalty when Mark Stone made an impressive pass across the slot, evading skates and sticks, right to Stastny for the shot. Jones was still trying to get across when the puck went in. Assists went to Stone and Theodore.

Las Vegas outshot San Jose 10-7 in the second period, but only won 40% of the face-offs.

The Sharks made some line changes for the third. Gus Nyquist moved to Logan Couture’s line with Timo Meier. Joe Pavelski moved to Tomas Hertl’s line with Evander Kane.

The Golden Knights scored a third first-minute goal in the third, this time 36 seconds in. Mark Stone’s pass to Jonathan Marchessault became a rebound that Stone was in a perfect spot to tap in. Assists went to Marchessault and Stastny.

At 4:57, the Sharks scored on their third power play. William Karlsson was in the box for slashing Tomas Hertl. Early in the power play, Marc-Andre Fleury lost his glove while on his back after a shot almost went in. The whistle went and the delay allowed conflict to erupt, resulting in matching roughing penalties for Brent Burns and Tomas Nosek.

Erik Karlsson’s neutral zone pass found Logan Couture just above the blue line. Couture carried it down the side past the face-off dot and sent the puck to the net where Pavelski was arriving for a deflection. The puck never reached Pavelski as Brayden McNabb’s stick got in the way and directed the puck past his own goaltender. The goal went to Couture with assists to Karlsson and Martin Jones.

Timo Meier scored a third goal for the Sharks at 5:51. Gus Nyquist took a shot from in close created a rebound that went right to Meier in the slot. Meier’s shot was just too quick for Fleury to catch. Nyquist got the assist.

Those two quick goals were followed by a lull in scoring, until Mark Stone got his third of the game at 13:57, restoring the three-goal lead for Vegas. A neutral zone interception sent Stone and Stastny into the Sharks zone. Stastny sent the puck off the boards to Stone, who skated to the net, faked to the right and shot to left with a backhand. Assists went to Stastny and Theodore.

Vegas outshot the Sharks 40-28 in the game and won 53% of the face-offs.

Sharks forward Micheal Haley was injured blocking a shot in the second period and did not return. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, injured the same way in Friday’s game, was not in the lineup Sunday and was replaced by Tim Heed.

Game four will be on Tuesday in Las Vegas at 7:30 PM PT.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Golden Knights Beat Sharks 5-3; Tie Series 1-1

Photo credit: @GoldenKnights

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-3 Friday, tying their first round NHL Playoff series 1-1. Vegas goals came from Cody Eakin, Colin Miller, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone and William Karlsson. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves in the win. Martin Jones made four saves on seven shots for San Jose, then Aaron Dell came in to replace him and made 14 saves on 16 shots.

The Sharks had eight power plays in the game while the Golden Knights had just three. The Sharks scored one power play goal and Vegas scored one power play goal and two short-handed ones.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about how the Sharks’ power play failed them: “We would get turned back and try to make the play up top and they would take that away and it would be out of the zone. It can be a little cleaner, a little quicker, a little bit more direct and we’ll go from there.”

The curse of the first five minutes reared its head again for the Sharks. Martin Jones had just saved a Max Pacioretty shot, which wound up behind the net. Following it as it came back around, Jones found himself screened by his own defensemen when Cody Eakin took a shot from the slot. An assist went to Pacioretty.

That was not the end of it. Before five minutes had elapsed, Vegas scored again. 2:10 into overlapping Sharks power plays, Colin Miller emerged from the penalty box to score short handed at 4:37.

Vegas added another at 6:11. Paul Stastny deflected a pass in the neutral zone, and Pacioretty picked it up. He carried the puck in just off the wall and took his shot before passing the face-off dot. The shot went by Jones on the far side and in. Stastny got the assist.

After that goal, Peter DeBoer replaced Martin Jones with Aaron Dell in net.

After the game, DeBoer said: “We were down three-nothing ten minutes in. I didn’t put it on Jonesy. We needed a shot in the arm to kind of change our momentum.”

The Sharks took some time to stem the bleeding. Once they had done that, they engaged their offense.

Logan Couture got the Sharks on the board at 16:59. The Sharks had just finished killing off a two-man advantage for Vegas, and were playing 4-on-4. Erik Karlsson made a pass across the offensive zone to Pavelski, who quickly passed it back across to Couture in front of the net. Couture put it carefully over Fleury and into the net. Assists went to Pavelski and Karlsson.

After the goal, the Sharks had a brief power play and scored again at 17:38. Couture passed the puck from the point along the blue line to Erik Karlsson, who had a long line of traffic between himself and the net. That traffic made an effective screen for Karlsson’s shot, and a deflection by Tomas Hertl made it all the more elusive. It was Hertl’s second of the playoffs. Assists went to Karlsson and Couture.

Joe Thornton completed the comeback at 19:08 of the period. The Sharks had just spent quite a while hemmed in their own zone when Logan Couture flipped the puck out of the zone. Evander Kane took off in hot pursuit though Pacioretty had several steps on him. Kane caught up and pushed Pacioretty off the puck, took it around behind the net and sent it back up to Brenden Dillon on the blue line. Dillon sent it back down to Thornton for a deflection. Dillon and Kane got the assists.

The second period started with another goal against the Sharks in the first five minutes, but only after the Sharks had a goal called back 51 seconds in. The goal did not count as it occurred just after Logan Couture was penalized for goaltender interference. The call was questionable as the contact came well outside the blue paint and appeared to be initiated by the goaltender. Nevertheless, the goal did not count.

On the ensuing power play, Vegas scored at 1:31. Mark Stone deflected a blue line shot from Shea Theodore. Dell stopped the deflection but the puck made its way back out to Stone, who was able to poke it through traffic and in. It was Stone’s third of the playoffs. Assists went to Stastny and Alex Tuch.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic finished his final shift of the game at 1:06, after the face-off for that Vegas power play, so the Sharks finished the game with five defensemen. Vlasic was injured blocking a shot.

Vegas scored a second short-handed goal at 7:35 of the third period. William Karlsson broke away as Reilly Smith was collecting the puck in the defensive zone. The pass got to him on the center line when he was already up to speed. He faked a shot as he approached the net and then put it away with a back-hand over a prone goaltender. Assists went to Smith and Tuch.

That goal came on Vegas’s first shot of the period. They did not have another shot until 13:53 of the period. In total, they only had four shots in the period but that was enough for them.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with over two minutes to go for an offensive zone draw. The Sharks had a total of 15 shots in the period but could not beat Fleury again.

Through the first two periods, the Sharks won over 60% of the face-offs, but in the third won just 33%. The Golden Knights put Colin Miller in for Nick Holden on their blue line Friday. The Sharks made no roster changes, but may have to for Sunday, if Vlasic is not available.

Game 3 will be in Las Vegas on Sunday at 7:00 PM PT.

Flames Roast Sharks 5-3, Sharks to Face Las Vegas in First Round

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks fell 5-3 to the Calgary Flames at SAP Center Sunday. The win clinched the Western Conference for Calgary, while the loss cemented San Jose’s playoff position at second in the Pacific Division. They are now certain to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round. Calgary goals came from Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Dalton Prout, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier, Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc. Flames goalie Mike Smith made 12 saves in the win, while Sharks goalie Aaron Dell made 23 saves in the loss.

The Sharks are still without Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson and Radim Simek. Pavelski and Karlsson are expected to return for the playoffs if not before. Asked about what he hopes the team will accomplish before playoffs, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said:

I want to get healthy. I think that’s probably the biggest thing. I think it catches up to you. You know, you can go to the well so many times with guys but I think we’re missing some of our key people here. And it shows in a game like that, against a team that is healthy at this time of year that’s one of the top teams in the league and we had a hard time with it.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon was also asked about how the injury list changes the game. He said:

I don’t think defense is one guy or one D-pair or one forward or one goalie, to be honest. I think for us, over the years that’s kind of been our brand of hockey, is defensive style, and you definitely see the result when we get away from that. I think all around we’re trying to be a little more aggressive but I think we’ve got to kind of find that happy medium for it.

Timo Meier gave the Sharks an early lead 12:01 into the first period. Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi were in the corner competing for the puck against two Flames. They got the puck out of the corner to the face-off circle, where Meier had just arrived. He got control of the puck while reversing direction just enough to use a defenseman as a screen and shoot the puck past Smith on the far side. It was Meier’s 30th of the season, a career high. Donskoi and Couture got the assists.

The Sharks made it through the first 10 minutes of the opening period without giving up a goal but the Flames heated up in the second half. At 14:58, Sean Monahan tied the game with a quick shot off a feed from Johnny Gaudreau. While Marc-Edouard Vlasic harried Gaudreau and Justin Braun guarded the passing lane, no one was really on Monahan as he slid up to the blue paint. Assists went to Gaudreau and Rasmus Andersson.

At 15:29, Mark Jankowski gave Calgary the lead, pulling the puck out of a crowd that was moving across the slot. His quick shot went under Dell to the back of the net. Assists went to James Neal and Austin Czarnik.

Less than a minute later, again, the Flames scored to make it 3-1. Dalton Prout, with his first goal since 2016, snuck by Vlasic and Couture in the neutral zone to chase the 1-on-1 between Tim Heed and Andrew Mangiapane. Mangiapane passed to Prout as they approached the net and Prout’s shot beat Dell. Assists went to Mangiapane and Garnet Hathaway.

During the first period, the Flames had 11 shots to the Sharks’ 6, and Calgary own 67% of the face-offs.

The only goal in the second period went to the Flames when Mikael Backlund made it 4-1 at 7:27. Receiving Noah Hanifin’s pass from the boards, Backlund stopped it with his skate and tried to get control of it but failed. Instead, it pinballed across the goal mouth and the off of Joakim Ryan’s skate and into the net. Assists went to Hanifin and Gaudreau.

The Flames out-shot the Sharks 14-3 and won 56% of the face-offs in the second period. The Sharks took two penalties to Calgary’s one.

The Sharks had a little more than a minute of power play time to start the third period, and got another power play at 2:01 but did not score on either of those.

At 5:23, the Sharks finally got one back. Tomas Hertl made a big zone entry, pushing through and dancing around defenders. He carried the puck down below the face-off dot before passing it across the ice to Timo Meier. Meier sent it back across the ice to Logan Couture, who had just arrived in the slot. His shot went in before Mike Smith could get across. It was Couture’s 27th goal of the season. Meier and Hertl got the assists.

Calgary took that one back about three minutes later. Sharks and Flames converged behind the Sharks net and when the puck came back out, Mark Giordano and Michael Frolik were set up on either side of the ice with a clear view of Dell. Giordano passed it to Frolik for the shot and Dell could not get across in time. Assists went to Giordano and Matthew Tkachuk.

Kevin Labanc got one more for the Sharks at 16:34 of the third. He had just passed the puck to Tim Heed in the slot and Tim Heed tapped it right back to him for the shot from the right side. It was Labanc’s 15th of the season. Assists went to Heed and Joakim Ryan.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Vancouver against the Canucks at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 4-2 to Kings, Losing Streak Up to 4

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center Thursday. Kings goals came from Dustin Brown, Matt Roy, Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. Jonathan Quick made 23 saves in the win, while Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 31 saves in the loss. Sharks goals came from Barclay Goodrow and Tomas Hertl. The Flames won in Calgary on Thursday, so the Sharks have now fallen five points behind them for first in the Pacific.

After the game, Sharks forward Tomas Hertl said:

We got now 4 in a row. We know the playoffs are coming soon and… we have to wake up and be ready for tomorrow’s game because if we play like that in playoffs, you know, it’s just four-zero and you’re out and we have to be ready and start playing our hockey and everything else comes with that.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was asked whether losing four in a row at this point of the season was particularly concerning. Burns said: “Every loss is doomsday and every win feels good. I think that’s just kind of the way this game is. You lose one game and you want to try to get it back right away and we haven’t done it. So we’re just gonna kinda get our game back and start winning.”

The Sharks started the game without several key players. Joe Pavelski has been out with a lower body injury since Monday. Erik Karlsson was also still out. Finally, Logan Couture was out with the flu Thursday. Of the holes in their lineup, Burns said: “It’s tough to lose anybody but you gotta play, you just play. I mean it’s good for somebody else to, they get more time or move up or whatever it is.”

Los Angeles took the lead 5:19 into the first. Dustin Brown skated up the boards with Hertl between him and the net. He took a no-look shot between Hertl’s skates. With two more skaters screening him, Jones did not see Brown’s shot coming. The Sharks challenged the goal for goaltender interference because one of those skaters, Alex Iafallo, had a skate in the blue paint. Toronto did not consider it sufficient to erase the goal. Assists went to Sean Walker and Adrian Kempe.

The Sharks tied it up at 17:33 of he period. Joonas Donskoi brought the puck up from the goal line and passed it to Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the point. Vlasic took a quick shot into heavy traffic and Barclay Goodrow deflected it past Jonathan Quick. It was Goodrow’s seventh of the season, with Vlasic and Donskoi getting the assists.

The Kings outshot the Sharks 15-7 in the first period. There were no power plays, only matching minors in the final two minutes that resulted in some four-on-four play.

The Sharks took the lead early in the second period, at 3:45. Hertl made a pass to Burns as Burns approached the Los Angeles blue line, then followed Burns into the zone. Burns drew several defenders to him before the made a pass back to Hertl for the shot. The puck went by Quick on the far side.

The Sharks had a power play near the end of the period, but did not score there. The teams were tied in shots for the second period at 11.

Matt Roy tied the game up for Los Angeles 9:28 into the third period. Iafallo had the puck above the face-off circle and he sent a gentle pass to nearby Roy at the point. Roy blasted it to the net and it went off of a Sharks stick and into the net. Assists went to Iafallo and Anze Kopitar.

Kopitar gave the Kings the lead at 11:45. He got behind the Sharks defense and found the puck as it came out of a board battle up below the blue line. He faked to the right and shot left and beat Jones. Assists went to Iafallo and Brown.

Jeff Carter ended a 20-game goal drought with a back-hand from the defensive zone into an empty net at 18:43. The Sharks were on a power play and also pulled Jones for a six-on-four advantage.

The Kings outshot the Sharks 35-25 in the game.

The Sharks play again Friday against the Anaheim Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.