Sharks Offseason: Kane Accused, Jones Bought Out, Reimer Returns

Evander Kane (7) seen here skating against the Arizona Coyotes on March 26, 2021 has said his wife’s accusations that he bet on hockey are false. The NHL taking the charges serious are investigating to see if there is any proof that Kane did bet on hockey. (AP file photo)

By Mary Walsh

San Jose Sharks forward, Evander Kane, has been accused by his wife of betting on hockey games, including those he played in. She made the accusations by way of her Instagram account. Last Saturday, the NHL released a statement saying that they would investigate the charges. They said, in part: “The integrity of our game is paramount and the League takes these allegations very seriously. We intend to conduct a full investigation and will have no further comment at this time.”

The Sharks also responded to the charges, saying that they were in contact with the NHL about the allegations, and that they “support a full and transparent investigation into the situation to maintain the integrity of the game and consistency with our team values.”

Kane released his own statement denying the charges:

“Unfortunately, I would like to address the completely FALSE accusations that my estranged wife and soon to be ex wife has made against me. Even against the advice of my legal team I feel strongly that the public and fans hear this directly from me. I have NEVER gambled/bet on Hockey, NEVER gambled/bet on a Sharks game, NEVER GAMBLED/BET on any of my games and NEVER thrown a hockey game. The facts are I personally had my best season of my career last year and was the most consistent I’ve been throughout any season, I’m proud of that. I love the game of Hockey and would never do any of what was alleged. I look forward to cooperating with the league’s investigation, having my name cleared and looking forward to this upcoming season.”

Earlier in 2021, Kane publicly acknowledged that he had a serious gambling problem, and he filed for bankruptcy. The filing triggered a number of law suits from creditors. Despite those numerous investigations into his financial situation, this is the first time we have heard anyone seriously charge that he was betting on his own games.

In other offseason news from the Sharks, the team bought out goaltender Martin Jones’s contract. Jones quickly signed a one year dealwith the Philadelphia Flyers.

On July 28, the Sharks signed veteran goaltender James Reimer to a two-year contract. Reimer played 22 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, posting a 2.66 GAA and .906 save percentage. Reimer was with the Sharks in 2016 for their trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Earlier in the month, San Jose acquired goaltender Adin Hill from Arizona, along with a 2022 seventh-round pick, in exchange for Josef Korenar and a 2022 second-round pick.

The Sharks also added center Nick Bonino on a two-year contract and center Andrew Cogliano on a one-year deal.

On July 26, the Sharks traded defenseman Christian Jaros to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Nicholas Merkley. Merkley signed a one-year, two way contract on July 28.

Forward Alexander True was the Shark selected by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

Avalanche Shut Out Sharks 3-0

The San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson (65) tries to control the puck as the Colorado Avalanche’s left wing Andre Burakovsky gives pursuit at SAP Center on Fri Apr 30, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 3-0 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Friday. Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado, and Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the shut out win. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 33 saves in the loss.

The Sharks are clearly giving prospects a good look now and several played in Friday’s game. Left wing Ivan Chekhovich made his NHL debut with the Sharks Friday. He had one blocked shot in 10:55 of ice time. Center Alexander True made his third appearance of the season. He had one shot on goal and took one penalty in 13:01 of ice time.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “These young guys that are playing on the road in a tough building, against a good team, there was quite a few fans here tonight, so there was some atmosphere and it’s a good experience for them.”

Also getting a good look, the more experienced left wing Alexander Barabanov played his third in a row since joining the team at the trade deadline. He had a goal and two assists in his first two games. On a line with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane Friday, he had one blocked shot, one hit and one penalty in 19:15 of ice time.

Boughner said, of Barabanov: “He slows the game down a bit, and his skill takes over. We’re asking a lot of him, playing on that top line against those players and he doesn’t look out of place defensively.”

The first goal came on a Colorado power play at 11:13 of the first period. Cale Makar took a shot down the slot and Gabriel Landeskog subtly tipped it into the net. Assists went to Makar and Mikko Rantanen.

Landeskog was in front of Jones for the next goal as well, on another power play at 13:13. This time Makar’s shot went past Landeskog and in. Assists went to Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi.

The Sharks had one power play in the first period, and got two shots on goal with the man advantage. Colorado had two power plays and got six shots with the extra man. Colorado outshot the Sharks 13-6 in the first.

The second period saw the Sharks kill off two penalties, one abbreviated by a Colorado penalty. Colorado’s power play got two shots in the period and the Sharks got none in their minute or so of power play time. The Avalanche out-shot the Sharks 12-8 in the period.

The Sharks put the puck in the net midway through the third period but Colorado challenged it as off side. Alexander Barabanov had knocked the puck out of the air above the blue line and after a review the goal was called back.

The third Colorado goal came at 18:21 of the third, when Mikko Rantanen scored into an empty net. Assists went to Landeskog and Carl Soderberg.

The Sharks power play took four shots in two tries in the third. The Avalanche still out shot the Sharks 11-7.

In keeping with attention to prospects, the Sharks’ AHL team was also playing Friday, in San Jose. Lengthy look-ins on that game were broadcast during intermissions of the Sharks game. The Barracuda won 6-4.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche at 5:00 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.

Marleau Passes Howe in Sharks SO Loss to Golden Knights 3-2

The San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau acknowledges the crowd at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas before the start of the game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Mon Apr 19, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks and the NHL celebrated Patrick Marleau’s 1768th game on Monday in Las Vegas. With that game, Marleau passed Gordie Howe and became the all-time leader for NHL games played. The Sharks wore a patch with a silhouette of Marleau against a background of the number 12. Martin Jones wore a mask specially designed for the occasion. After the first stoppage of play, the game was paused for some words from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to Marleau:

“You don’t get to play in one game, let alone 1,768 just because you’re a good guy or a positive role model and beloved by fans, though you are all of those things. To earn a precious spot in an NHL lineup, night after night, year after year, you have to earn it every single game.”

The Sharks lost to the Golden Knights Monday, by a score of 3-2 in the shootout. Mark Stone scored both regulation goals for Vegas and Alex Tuch scored the shootout winner. Robin Lehner made 29 saves for the win. Nikolai Knyzhov and Noah Gregor scored for San Jose and Martin Jones made 38 saves in the loss. The game extended the Golden Knights’ winning streak to seven and the Sharks’ losing streak to six.

Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov scored at 9:27 of the first. His shot from the point whistled through traffic and over Lehner’s blocker. It was Knyzhov’s second goal of the season.

The shot count for the first was 11-11. The Sharks took two penalties in the first and their p.k. gave up three shots. Tomas Hertl left the ice hastily during the period but returned to finish the game.

Noah Gregor made it 2-0 29 seconds into the second period. Gregor turned and fired from just above the face-off circle and the puck went through Lehner and over the line. That was Gregor’s fourth goal of the season.

Mark Stone cut the lead in half on a power play at 1:22 of the second. Stone tipped a shot from Shea Theodore, sending it into the top corner. Assists went to Theodore and Max Pacioretty.

Each team had one power play and one shot on the power play in the second period. The shot count was 14-7 for the Golden Knights.

Mark Stone tied the game with another power play goal at 3:25 of the third period. Stone brought the puck up from the goal line and lifted it over Jones’ pad. Assists went to Pacioretty and Theodore.

The shot total for the third period was 11-10 Sharks. The Sharks took two penalties and the Golden Knights one. Each power play had one shot in the period. The Sharks won 46% of their face-offs in the game.

The Sharks got credit for two shots in an almost non-stop overtime period. The Golden Knights had five overtime shots.

Patrick Marleau shot first for San Jose. Lehner made the save. Alex Tuch shot first for Vegas and scored. Ryan Donato shot second for San Jose and he was stopped too. Chandler Stephenson shot second for Vegas and missed. Logan Couture shot third for San Jose and he was stopped too.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday, again in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights at 6:30 PM PT.

Marleau Ties Howe Record, Sharks Fall 5-2 to Wild

The Minnesota Wild center Nico Sturm gets the wrap around the goal post to score a second period goal against the San Jose Sharks on Sat Apr 17, 2021 at the Target Center in St Paul (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

Patrick Marleau tied Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 NHL Games Played record in St. Paul on Saturday. The Minnesota Wild made a special announcement for the occasion and, on the ice, the Minnesota players congratulated Marleau. It was a tremendous accomplishment, well-worth celebrating, but somewhat at odds with the loss Marleau’s team suffered the same night.

The 5-2 loss to the Wild was the Sharks’ fifth loss in a row. The Wild got goals from Mats Zuccarello, Joel Ericksson Ek, Zach Parise, Kirill Kaprizov and Nico Sturm. Three of those goals were scored in 72 seconds. Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves for the win. Brent Burns and Joel Kellman scored for the Sharks. In the Sharks net, Martin Jones made 19 saves before being replaced by Josef Korenar, who made 4 saves in the third period.

After the game, Marleau talked about reaching this milestone in the midst of a losing streak: “Obviously you want things to be going well, you want your team to be winning, all the time, regardless of milestones or not. Be nice to get back on track, get in the winning books, and feeling good about ourselves as a club.”

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns talked about Marleau’s accomplishment:

“I think at this point to play a game like that any night, obviously what he’s doing is special and, you know, it’s beyond one game. So tonight’s obviously big for him, it’s big for all of us to be a part of something like that. It’s incredible, it’s bigger than one game.”

Brent Burns started the scoring with a blast from the point that beat Kahkonen glove side at 12:02. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Tomas Hertl.

A little over two minutes later, Zuccarello scored a power play goal. Marcus Johansson made a back-hand pass form below the goal line for Zuccarello to tap in. Assists went to Johansson and Ryan Hartman.

36 seconds later, Martin Jones knocked Jordan Greenway’s shot away but it went off of Joel Ericksson Ek’s chest and into the net. Assists went to Greenway and Marcus Foligno.

36 seconds after that, Zach Parise made it 3-1 with a shot off the rush that beat Jones on the blocker side. Assists went to Jonas Brodin and Nick Bonino.

Minnesota out-shot the Sharks 17-9 in the first period. The Wild had 7 shots on 3 power plays, including some five-on-three time at the end of the period. The Sharks had no power play time in the first.

Kirill Kaprizov made it 4-1 1:14 into the second period with a goal in the final second of a power play. Mats Zuccarello made a pass from the boards to the slot. The pass went through Kevin Fiala who took a swing at it and missed. That gave Jones and the defense pause, before the puck landed on Kaprizov’s stick for the real shot.

Nico Sturm made it 5-1 at 19:11 of the second. Jones was down on the side of the net when Sturm went for the wrap-around on the other side. Carson Soucy got the assist.

It looked as if Sturm and Jones locked skates for a moment before the goal, but the challenge was unsuccessful.

San Jose out-shot Minnesota 8-7 in the second. The Sharks took one penalty in the second period, the unsuccessful challenge of the Sturm goal. The Wild had one shot on that power play.

Joel Kellman scored for San Jose at 17:45 of the third. Labanc made a tidy pass from below the goal line, jus as Kellman arrived in the slot. Assists went to Kevin Labanc and Ryan Donato. It was Kellman’s first of the season, in his fifth NHL game of the season.

Minnesota took two penalties in the third period, giving the Sharks power play one shot on goal. The Sharks out-shot the Wild 11-4 in the final period.

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

Kings Defeat Sharks 4-2

The Los Angeles Kings right winger Dustin Brown (23) tries to control the puck behind the net as the San Jose Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov (71) on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday. Kings goals were scored by Jeff Carter, Andreas Athanasiou, Alex Iafallo, and Dustin Brown. Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the win. Sharks goals were scored by Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier. Martin Jones made 15 saves in the first two periods and Josef Korenar made 7 saves in the third period for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“Some nights, when things aren’t going your way and it’s a back-to-back situation, you simplify your game. And it didn’t look like we were ready to simplify that. We looked like we were still trying to play a skilled game and make plays through people and mismanage the puck and not take control of the game on our power play.”

He also pointed out that the team had some trouble shooting: “The biggest issue for me is we missed the net. In the second period we didn’t get a five-on-five shot on net. We had one power play shot and two short-handed shots. We had eight attempts and we missed the net on every one of them.”

The Kings struck first, with a Jeff Carter goal 11:43 into the game. Los Angeles had just successfully killed a penalty when Carter came out of the penalty box. The Kings held the Sharks up in the neutral zone and went on the attack. Mikey Anderson’s shot from the point hit Andreas Athanasiou and bounced over Martin Jones. It landed in the blue paint where Carter could nudge it across the line.

The Sharks tied it up at 16:54 with a goal from Dylan Gambrell. The Kings had killed off another Sharks power play moments before when Christian Jaros took a shot from the boards. It went off of John Leonard and Jonathan Quick thought he had it. Instead, it trickled out in front of the net and Gambrell swept it in.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings 12-6 in the first period, and had two shots in two power plays.

Athanasiou gave the Kings their lead back at 2:28 of the second period. Jeff Carter looked like he was going to carry the puck to the net from the point and instead made a pass to Anthanasiou for a deflection right in front of the net. Assists went to Carter and Olli Maatta.

Alex Iafallo made it 3-1 Kings less than two minutes later. Anze Kopitar passed the puck between Nikolai Knyzhov’s legs and Iafallo caught it on the far side of the net. Jones moved to cover the shot but Iafallo instead kept moving and used a backhand to put it around him. Assists went to Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Dustin Brown scored a power play goal at 19:52 to give the Kings a three-goal lead. Three Sharks were in the offensive zone on a short-handed bid and had to hussle back when Brown caught the puck in the neutral zone and went the other way. He took a shot past Radim Simek to beat Jones on the short side. It was Brown’s 16th of the season.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 13-4 in the second period, including five shots in three power plays. The Sharks had one shot in two power plays.

The Sharks changed goaltenders for the third period, putting Josef Korenar in net for his first NHL appearance. Boughner talked about putting 23-year old Josef Korinar in goal for the third period:

“I think he did great. I think good time to put him in. Our team was completely flat in the second period. You know, they got one goal late in the period there and it looked like we just needed some kind of injection of some energy. And I was hoping that, you know, kid being in his first game, we’d play a little harder around him and maybe rally around him a little bit.”

Timo Meier trimmed the Kings’ lead with a power play goal at 12:31 of the third. Brent Burns took a shot from the slot and Quick got in front of it but could not control the puck. Meier dug it out of a scramble above the crease and pushed it around the goalie for his eighth of the season.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings 12-7 in the third, including three shots on one power play. The Kings had three shots in two power plays. The Kings won 52% of the face-offs in the game. Tomas Hertl won 70% of his face-offs but he was the only Shark to take more than five draws and win more than 42%.

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

Sharks Trounce Kings 5-2

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

By Mary Walsh

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

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kings Shutout by Sharks 3-0; Jones stops all 30 shots

Los Angeles Kings center Jaret Anderson-Dolan, left, takes a shot for not on San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks went to Los Angeles and beat the Kings 3-0 Friday. Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Rudolfs Balcers scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 30 saves for the shutout win. Calvin Petersen made 33 saves for the Kings in the loss. The win is the third in a row for the Sharks. Three was a good number for the Sharks Friday.

Hertl, Meier and Balcers were skating on the same line. Meier had eight shots in the game and scored his first goal after a nine game dry spell. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “From what we see tonight, if he’s playing that way, and he’s that confident, he can be dangerous. It was good to see. I think that whole line, Tommy Hertl, Rudy’s playing great hockey. Those guys were a force tonight.”

Of Martin Jones, Boughner said:

“He looks calm in there, you know, he’s making the right saves at the right time. He’s allowing us to get that second goal and keep it 1-0 instead of 1-1 and the game completely changes. And, you know, he’s been one of our better players now for the past three weeks.”

The Sharks took an early lead when Tomas Hertl tipped Nikolai Knyzhov’s shot from the point. Assists went to Knyzhov and Rudolfs Balcers. The time of the goal was 2:57.

There was just one penalty in the first period, to Anze Kopitar for tripping. The Sharks power play got credit for two shots on goal. The Sharks outshot the Kings 9-7 in the first.

Timo Meier made it 2-0 for the Sharks nine minutes into the second period. Tomas Hertl’s pass from behind the net landed just right on Meier’s stick for a one-timer. Assists went to Hertl and Balcers.

The Kings challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Balcers pushed Kings defenseman Drew Doughty into the crease and Doughty fell on Calvin Petersen. A second or two passed after that contact and the play moved around the net before the goal was scored. The challenge was unsuccessful.

While the teams were waiting for that to be resolved, referee Pierre Lambert was escorted from the ice, looking unsteady. He had been hit by a puck.

The second period saw two penalties to each team. The Sharks penalty kill gave up two shots and their power play took three. The shot count was 14-13 Kings.

At 7:59, Dylan Gambrell put the puck in the net with a nice shot down the middle. It was called back, however, when the Kings successfully challenged for offside.

The Kings pulled their goaltender with more than two minutes left. The Sharks took several shots at that empty net but it was Balcers with the fourth good look who hit it at 19:33. An assist went to Brent Burns, who was using Balcers’ stick. After Burns’ stick broke, Balcers gave him his and had just gone to get another when the puck came to him for the shot.

The third period was penalty-free and the sharks outshot the Kings 14-9. The Kings won the face-off battle in the game, winning 55% of the draws.

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

Sharks Tame Wild 4-2

The Minnesota Wild forward Nico Sturm (7) tries to reach for the puck as the San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) and defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) defend during Wed Mar 31, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in San Jose Wednesday. Rudolfs Balcers, Ryan Donato, Nikolai Knyzhov and Evander Kane Scored for the Sharks, while Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. The Sharks defense generated five points in the game. Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 29 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the Sharks defensive game:

“I liked how aggressive we were in the d-zone, jump in and check. We didn’t give much, you know, we blocked shots. I thought we were really physical tonight, you know, and yeah, we played a lot in the o-zone. That is the blueprint for how we want to play on most nights and every night.”

Sharks Captain Logan Couture talked about what they need to do to carry this success forward:

“We’ve just got to keep playing the way we are. I thought we defended pretty hard and we created a lot of offense. We could have had more than the three we scored, or the fourth with the empty-netter, but a lot of good looks, I think our game’s in a good spot right now.”

In a scoreless first period, the teams each got credit for 10 shots. Evander Kane took three of those shots for the Sharks. Each team had one power play. The Wild had one shot on their power play and the Sharks had two on theirs. The Wild won 60% of the first period face-offs.

The Sharks got the scoring started in the second period, at 4:41. Rudolfs Balcers caught a pass from Tomas Hertl just as he arrived in front of the blue paint. He did not slow down as he stopped the puck on his backhand, then swept it around Kahkonen’s skate. Assists went to Hertl and Brent Burns.

The Sharks made it 2-0 at 9:22 with a power play goal. Brent Burns shot the puck right up the middle. Kahkonen stopped it but left a rebound. Ryan Donato was there to gather it up and tuck it under the goaltender. Assists went to Burns and Mario Ferraro.

That was the only power play for the second period. The Sharks outshot the Wild 14-9. The Sharks improved in the face-of circle, winning 55% of them.
Kirill Kaprizov cut the Sharks lead to 2-1 at 8:23. He carried the puck at speed from below the goal line, past one point to the other before taking the shot, which went past Jones on the far side. Carson Soucy got the assist.

The Sharks’ third goal started when Rudolfs Balcers carried the puck onto the zone. It was knocked off of his stick but Tomas Hertl was right there to get it back and pass it to Erik Karlsson. Karlsson found Nikolai Knyzhov just coming across the blue line, Knyzhov let the traffic settle into place in front of the net before shooting it past Kahkonen’s glove. Assists on Knyzhov’s first NHL goal went to Karlsson and Hertl.

Kaprizov knocked Logan Couture off the puck at 12:18. While Evander Kane was giving Kaprizov a piece of his mind about the hit, Ryan Hartman went after Kane. All the skaters on the ice converged after that but the result was just two minor penalties: cross-checking to Hartman and roughing to Kane.

The Wild made it 3-2 with their net empty and 12.1 seconds left in the game. Kevin Fiala took a shot from the point with three skaters blocking Jones’ view. The puck went off of Mats Zuccarello and in. Assists went to Fiala and Jared Spurgeon.

Evander Kane scored from just outside the Sharks’ blue line, into an empty net with one second left in the game. It was his sixth shot of the night.

The Sharks won the third period face-off battle 9-6. Each team had a power play in the period, with the Sharks taking three shots and the Wild taking two. In overall third period shots, the teams were tied at 9 each.

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