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.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2019: Sharks Take Game One 5-2 Over Knights

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 in the first game of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Wednesday. The Sharks goals came from Brent Burns, Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Martin Jones made 24 saves for the win. Both Vegas goals came from Mark Stone and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves against the Sharks.

The Sharks got the first power play of the game at 13:35. They had a few moments of delayed penalty time with Jones out of the net but that did not last long. The penalty was to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for tripping Micheal Haley.

The Sharks scored on that power play at 14:42. A Brent Burns blue line special went off John Merrill’s glove or stick, into Joe Pavelski’s face and into the net. For his pains, Pavelski got credit for the goal with the assist going to Burns. Pavelski went directly to the dressing room, did not even stop for the celebration.

In the last two minutes of the first period, Timo Meier had to leave for repairs after being hi-sticked behind the net.

The Sharks outshot the Golden Knights 8-5 in the first, and won 60% of the face-offs. Vegas out-hit the Sharks 25-17.

Pavelski returned for the second period with a lower face shield. Timo Meier, fresh from his facial repairs, also returned and spoke briefly with an official as the period got under way. 20 seconds in, Meier was called for tripping Jonathan Marchessault. The Sharks killed that penalty off.

Evander Kane and Deryk Engelland exchanged blows after a scuffle in front of the net, as did Brenden Dillon and Jonathan Marchessault. Only Dillon and Marchessault were sent to the box, and for just two minutes. While the teams were playing 4 on 4, Tomas Hertl drew a hooking penalty and gave the Sharks a 4 on 3 power play. That turned into a 3 on 3 when Joe Pavelski was knocked down near the crease and Nate Schmidt tripped over him. Pavelski was called for tripping Schmidt.

The Sharks were unfazed by that noise. Erik Karlsson got the puck across the blue line and to Brent Burns, who carried it around a couple of defenders and shot it past Fleury with calm precision. Assists went to Karlsson and Hertl. Time of the goal was 6:59.

The Sharks followed up with good pressure around the net, leading to a sneaky goal-line pass from Joe Thornton to Marc-Edouard Vlasic as he skated down from the blue line. Vegas was not ready for that and the shot went right by Fleury on the blocker side at 7:44. Assists went to Thornton and Evander Kane.

Vegas responded with a goal at 8:32. Pacioretty’s shot hit Paul Stasny’s skate to the left of Jones, and bounced across the goal mouth to Mark Stone, who was camped out to Jones’s right. Thus flanked by opponents, Jones could not stop the puck. Assists went to Stasny and Pacioretty.

The Sharks went back on the power play at 8:55 after William Carrier was called for tripping Logan Couture. Tripping was a popular penalty in Wednesday’s game.

The Sharks scored again with 18 seconds left in the second. Erik Karlsson’s blue line shot went between a defender’s legs and then was neatly deflected by Evander Kane over Fleury’s glove.

The Sharks increased their shot advantage in the second, winning that contest 14-5. Their face-off success flagged, though. Vegas won 58% of the second period face-offs. Paul Stasny and William Karlsson defeated nearly all comers in the second.

Nearly six minutes into the third, Jon Merrill pushed Micheal Haley down in the crease, right on top of Fleury. As the puck went the other way for what may have been a good chance, Fleury spent some time thumping on Haley with the help of a team-mate. The whistle stopped play for roughing calls all around. Haley went to the box and Paul Stasny went in Fleury’s place.

As that four-on-four got started, the Sharks played a little like it was three-on-three, holding onto the puck as if killing time more than trying to score. But it was early for that. Not long after the four-on-four expired, the Sharks had a power play that killed more time without scoring. Vegas had a turn on the scoreless power play at 11:44 after Barclay Goodrow went for slashing Shea Theodore.

Vegas got another power play at 15:11 when Kevin Labanc went for hooking Tomas Nosek. Mark Stone cut the Sharks lead in half with a goal at 15:26. His shot made best use of what little traffic there was in front of Jones to get the puck over the glove and into the net. Assists went to Shea Theodore and Max Pacioretty.

Toms Hertl scored into the empty net at 18:11 to stop the late game push from Vegas. Assists went to Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

By the end of the game, the Sharks had rebalanced the face-off results to 50-50. The shot count for the game was 33-26 Sharks.

Game 2 will be in San Jose on Friday at 7:30 PM PT.

Senators Sink Sharks 6-2 in Ottawa

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks gave up six goals for the second time on this road trip. The Ottawa Senators got goals from Ryan Dzingel, Ben Harpur, Mikkel Boedker, Mark Stone, Magnus Paajarvi and Bobby Ryan. Sharks goals came from Joe Thornton and Barclay Goodrow. It is worth noting that Mikkel Boedker earned four points in the game. Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson made 36 saves for the win and Martin Jones made 21 saves for San Jose.

It was not an ideal first game back in Ottawa for Erik Karlsson (he had nine shots on goal but was still a minus 2), but he was grateful for the tribute before the game. He also talked about how the Sharks are struggling: “At the end of the day it’s up to us in that room to figure that out and find a way to get back to the team that we know we can be. As of right now it’s going to be tough to do that but we’re going to do everything we can to figure that out and we’re going to sort this thing out for tomorrow’s game against Montreal.”

He was asked about the experience of returning to Ottawa for the first time since being traded to San Jose, and whther he was glad to have this game behind him. He said:

I was happy to be able to play this game, yes. It’s not a lie that we’ve all known when it was coming up. There’s been a lot of talk and I’ve been trying to stay focused on the games that we had before that and I think I did a good job at that. I was happy and this was a great experience I had a lot of fun out there even though this was not a great game at all and I’m not happy by any means. But it’s going to be nice to move on now here. I’m excited to be able to play tomorrow in Montreal and hopefully sort this mess out.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski was with the team when they played their first game against Ottawa after Dany Heatley came to San Jose. After Saturday’s loss, he said: “Yeah, yeah very disappointing. You know, you come back in this situation, I remember when we came back when Heater was with us, you know, and winning that night. It always feels good that you can support a guy in an emotional night. We came out, we had a good first I think, we were right there, it felt like we were on top of them. We just didn’t sustain it.”

After a scoreless first period, the Senators got a power play just a few minutes into the second period. While Marcus Sorensen and Justin Falk were in the box with fighting majors, Evander Kane tripped Bobby Ryan. In the second minute of that power play, Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick broke in the Senators’ end, inspiring an odd-man rush for the Senators. Justin Braun and Martin Jones handled that well, with Vlasic doing what he could without a stick.

Once the power play had ended, though, Ottawa took the lead at 7:30. A shot from Thomas Chabot on the blue line got through to Jones, who kicked the puck out. But two Senators were right in front of him and Ryan Dzingel got to the rebound before Brent Burns could. It was Dzingel’s 11th goal of the season, with assists to Chabot and Matt Duchene.

The Sharks got a power play not much later when Cody Ceci hooked Joe Pavelski. That turned into a five-on-three for under a minute when Tom Pyatt tripped Evander Kane. Two seconds after the five-on-three expired, Joe Thornton tied the game off a tic-tac-toe play from Burns to Pavelski by the goal line. Pavelski’s pass went through the crease to Thornton. The play had Anderson moving from post to post and that left Thornton an open net to shoot at. It was Thornton’s fourth of the year with assists to Pavelski and Burns.

Ryan Dzingel almost had another goal at 11:17 when he broke away and took a shot that hit the the crossbar.

The Senators did score the next goal at 12:56. Ben Harpur received a pass from Zack Smith in the neutral zone, then took a shot off the rush for his first NHL goal. Assists went to Smith and Magnus Paajarvi.

Less than a minute later, two former Sharks combined to give the Sens a two-goal lead. Bobby Ryan’s pass found Chris Tierney on the Sharks’ blue line. Tierney sent the puck ahead of Mikkel Boedker, who was flying to the Sharks net. Boedker put the puck under Martin Jones with a last-moment backhand. It was Boedker’s third goal of the season, with assists to Tierney and Ryan.

The third period was more of the same, with Ottawa not letting up at all. A power play goal came at 4:03, off a three-on-one created when Vlasic was tied up briefly in the offensive zone. It was Mark Stone’s goal, with assists to Boedker and Chabot.

Pete DeBoer opted to pull Martin Jones with over five minutes left in the game. That lasted only seconds after the next faceoff, as Magnus Paajarvi’s shot went all the way down the ice and into the empty net.

Barclay Goodrow got one back for the Sharks with two minutes left. Goodrow deflected Brenden Dillon’s hard shot from the blue line for his third of the season. Assists went to Dillon and Joakim Ryan.

Bobby Ryan was able to restore the four-goal lead in the final minute, deflecting Boedker’s shot from above the faceoff circle. Assists went to Boedker (his fourth point of the night) and Cody Ceci.

The Sharks next play on Sunday in Montreal against the Canadiens at 4:00 PM PT.

Sharks’ road woes continue as Matt Duchene quickly scores game-winner to lift Senators to 6-5 win in OT

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost in overtime 6-5 to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre Friday night. Three third period goals propelled the Senators into the extra period, where Matt Duchene scored the game-winner just seven seconds in. The loss is the third for the Sharks on this five-game road trip. San Jose has just one win since they hit the road on New Years Eve 2017.

Tomas Hertl did his part for San Jose, scoring twice. Additional goals came from Brent Burns, Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson. For Ottawa, Matt Duchene scored twice, including the overtime winner, while Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Ryan Dzingle and Derick Brassard scored the balance of the Ottawa goals. Aaron Dell made 37 saves for San Jose, while Craig Anderson made 30 saves for Ottawa.

After the game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski talked about the team’s third period breakdown:

Positives are there, you know, you come out, you get that lead, we played well. We get a point out of tonight but obviously what we’re focussed on right now is that third period and that was uncharacteristic of us. We’ll have to be aware of the situation and next time we’re in it we got to, you know, establish our game better. We always talk about it: it doesn’t matter if we have the lead or not, we got to play a certain way in the third and you can’t sit back. We might have a little bit too much tonight.

The first goal of the game was scored short-handed by Hertl at 6:29. Brent Burns snuck a pass to Logan Couture along the wall and Couture hit Hertl as he crossed the San Jose blue line for the breakaway.

Dzingle tied it up after Stone picked off a Kevin Labanc pass to Logan Couture on the Senators’ blue line. Stone and Brassard got away from the Sharks defense and no one was there to cover Dzingle as he came down the slot late. He arrived just in time to catch a clean pass from Stone and slip the puck around Dell at 10:05. Assists went to Stone and Brassard.

Karlsson answered three minutes later, tipping a blue line shot from Joakim Ryan. A second assist went to Jannik Hansen.

The Sharks seemed to run away with the game in the second period with two power play goals in a row. The first came in the final seconds of the power play. Joonas Donskoi, Chris Tierney and Timo Meier entered the zone fast with a pass from Tierney to Donskoi. Donskoi’s shot came off of Anderson’s pads right to Tierney who kicked the puck to his stick and took the shot. Assists went to Donskoi and Tim Heed.

The next goal came less than two minutes later, on yet another power play. Joe Pavelski carried the puck in and had to pass the puck back to Couture at the point. Couture redirected the puck to Burns along the blue line and he wasted no time on the shot. Couture and Pavelski had the assists.

The Senators started the climb back with a power play goal from Mark Stone just over a minute later. Erik Karlsson took a shot from the blue line that broke Couture’s stick. The dead shot trickled to Hoffman. He quickly passed it to Stone who put it by Dell on the short side.

At 13:27, Hertl extended the Sharks lead again, with a desperate wrap around shot while falling to the ice. The puck went off of Anderson’s stick, but assists went to Couture and Brenden Dillon.

Derick Brassard scored just 26 seconds into the third period. His shot came from a bad angle and went off of Dell’s skate through a gap by the post. Assists went to Stone and Karlsson.

The shots were 11-1 for the Senators in the third, when Matt Duchene scored off a rebound created by Bobby Ryan’s shot from the slot. Matt Hoffman also had an assist.

Hoffman followed that up by tying the game at 10:48. Dell could not get across quickly enough to stop Hoffman’s one-timer off Duchene’s pass. Assists went ot Duchene and Bobby Ryan.

Hoffman won the faceoff and went right into a two on one with Duchene. His last-moment pas across the goal mouth left Duchene with an almost open net.

The Sharks next play on Sunday in Winnipeg against the Jets at 12 pm PT.

Senators Hand Sharks 8th Home Loss

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- A 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators was not the game the Sharks were looking for. Home is where the heart is, or maybe it’s just where they have to let you in when you come knocking. In any case, home has not been a very lucky place for the Sharks. After seven straight losses, the Sharks were looking for their first home win in February. They finished the month with not one home win.

Sharks goals were scored by Tommy Wingels and Patrick Marleau. Wingels is the only Shark to have faced Senators’ goalie Andrew Hammond before Saturday, as they played against each other in college. Ottawa goals were scored by Mike Hoffman (2), Mark Stone and Erik Karlsson. The loss left the Sharks still two spots and three points out of a wild card playoff position, with just 19 games left to play. Eight of those will be played at home, for better or worse.

The game started auspiciously for the Sharks. Matt Irwin battled his way past one Senator then eluded three more to put the put in the vicinity of the blue paint. From there, James Sheppard and Tommy Wingels took over to push the puck past Ottawa goaltender Hammond. Coming off of back to back shutouts, it ended his streak at 122:27. Assists on the goal went to Matt Irwin and Matt Nieto.

The Sharks continued to assert themselves through the rest of the first period. The shot gap was as high as 9-2 at one point, which did not accurately reflect how disorderly the Senators were. Their best chance came during the final minute of the period, when a couple of shots and rebounds made Niemi work in the Sharks’ net. The Senators buzzed but the Sharks pushed them back out.

The first ended with the score 1-0 Sharks and the shots 12-10 Sharks.

A couple of minutes into the second period, Tommy Wingels was called for hooking. It was the first penalty of the game. The Sharks handled the penalty kill well, and a couple of minutes later Brent Burns was called for interference after taking Colin Geening into the boards a little bit late.

The Senators’ power pay had a good chance early when Mika Zibanejad got around the Sharks defenders. He skated in close enough to push Niemi back a little but the Sharks netminder gloved the puck anyway.  It took the Sens another try to tie the game. A shot from the point came off the back boards to Erik Karlsson. Karlsson put the puck under Niemi’s pads for his 15th of the seaosn. Kyle Turris was given the assist.

The teams were also tied on the shot clock near the midpoint of the game, with 17 shots each.

To balance things further, each team sent a player to the box at 9:10: Logan Couture for tripping and Mark Stone for cross-checking. The game did remain pretty even for a while, with the teams trading shots and not scoring.

The Sharks got their first power play with 7:03 left in the second period, when Colin Greening went to the box for boarding. It took the Sharks 22 seconds to sort out their power play. A shot from Brent Burns at the blue line hit Pavelski in front of the net and bounced to Marleau on the side. Marleau put it past Hammond for his 14th of the season. Assists went to Pavelski and Burns.

The calls kept coming. With 5:42 left in the second, Kyle Turris went to the box for holding. The Senators started their penalty kill better this time, making the Sharks chase them around the ice for a bit. The Sharks got control of the puck with almost a minute gone in the power play, and then they were called for icing. Their next attempt produced a shot but did not hold the zone for long.

The second power play was a mess but the shift after it ended was good. Barclay Goodrow made a legitimate nuisance of himself for the Sens, at both ends of the ice. The fourth line seemed to lead the way back for the Sharks, as the Thornton-Pavelski-Hertl line came back with a better shift than they had had in some minutes.

The Senators had a good last minute of the second period, as they had in the first, but they only gained ground on the shot clock, not the score board. The second ended with the Sharks still ahead in both categories, 23-22 in shots and 2-1 on the scoreboard.

The Senators tied the game up again when Antti Niemi could not corral a rebound, leaving a gap for Mark Stone to shoot through. The goal came at 3:52. The assist went to Kyle Turris.

Brendan Dillon went to the box for tripping, a reasonable penalty to take as he was stopping a dangerous-looking breakaway. The gamble did not pay off, as the Senators took the lead during the ensuing power play. A shot from the point went close by the outside of one post, came off the backboards perfectly for the Senators’ leading scorer Mike Hoffman. The assists to Mika Zibanejad and Erik Karlsson.

There were moments in the latter part of the third period that looked like a mirror image of the first period, with the Sharks struggling to get through the neutral zone and the Senators stopping them at every turn. The Sens crept ahead on the shot clock and held fast to their 3-2 lead.

In the last five minutes, the Sharks did show more composure, minimizing turnovers and throwing the puck away less. But the Senators had their game in order and the lead made them steadfast. When the Sharks pulled Niemi for the extra skater, it did not take long for the Sens to take the puck off of them. It was Mike Hoffman who scored in the empty net.

Line changes: Tye McGinn was inserted on a line with Andrew Desjardins and Barclay Goodrow. Matt Nieto moved to a line with Tommy Wingels and James Sheppard. Tomas Hertl got another shot at the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. That left Melker Karlsson on a line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau.

Joe Pavelski led the Sharks in hits with five, and in shots with four. Marc-Edouard Vlasic blocked four shots and Brent Burns led in ice time at 25:17. Antti Niemi made 27 saves on 30 shots.

Six Senatoers had three shots apiece, while only four had no shots. Mark Borowiecki led the Sens in hits with six and Erik Karlsson was their ice time leader at 28:22. Andrew Hammond made 28 saves on 30 shots for the win.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Montreal Canadiens.

With the trade deadline looming, Sharks fans may have no more than trade envy to look forward to. To that end, the Blackhawks have acquired pending UFA Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes, in exchange for defenseman Klas Dahlbeck and a 2015 first round pick. They also added Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for conditional picks.

The Anaheim Ducks acquired Tomas Fleischmann from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Dany Heatley and a third round pick.

The Panthers added Jaromir Jagr to their lineup in exchange for picks to the New Jersey Devils. With the Dany Heatley addition they must have felt a need for some veteran playoff experience to guide their thriving young group forward. They got it.

The LA Kings acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a prospect and a first round pick. The Winnipeg Jets acquired Jiri Tlusty from the Hurricanes, in exchange for a 2016 third round pick and a 2015 conditional sixth round pick.

Out of the conference but still worth noting for Sharks fans: Daniel Winnik has been traded from the Maple Leafs and has joined the Pittsburgh Penguins for the playoff run.