Sharks Fall to Stars 3-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 3-2 to the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center on Friday. The game was tied 1-1 going into a three-goal third period, with the Sharks scoring first and last. Stars goals came from Mattias Janmark, Miro Heiskanen and Brett Ritchie. Stars goaltender Ben Bishop made 41 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane and Logan Couture, with goalie Martin Jones making 27 saves in the loss.

After the game, Joe Pavelski talked about how the team is improving despite some of the recent losses:

It’s just about lengthening our stretches of playing good hockey, which we’ve been doing little bit in our games. Still going a good direction. We had good energy I thought, you know, up and down the lineup for most of the night. You know, there’s always momentum swings and I think we’be done a better job lately of handling them.

Evander Kane described a factor in the team’s inconsistency: “I think it’s just spells throughout the course of the season where I think we’re just a little too relaxed and we need to ramp up the intensity a little bit on the ice.

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer considered it a fairly good road game from the Sharks: “It’s a small margin right now. I don’t think they worked harder than us, I thought we played a pretty good road game. You know, we’re just finding the wrong side of that line right now and we’ve got to get on the right side of it.”

The Sharks scored the only goal in the first period, at 9:22. Brenden Dillon carried the puck out of the Sharks zone and through the neutral zone, then passed it to Joonas Donskoi, who was on his way into the offensive zone with Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane. Donskoi passed to Karlsson in the slot, he sent it left to Kane, and Kane took the shot, catching Bishop as he came across. It was Kane’s eighth goal of the season, with assists to Karlsson and Donskoi.

The Sharks outshot the Stars 13-5 in the first period. They had one penalty to kill in the first, and did so without allowing a shot on goal. That was a hooking penalty against Logan Couture. They killed another penalty right at the start of the second period, a delay of game against Marcus Sorensen for sending the puck out of play. The Sharks power play was unsuccessful.

The Sharks lost a goal to an early whistle at 4:09 of the second. The puck trickled across the line after Sorensen took a shot off the rush, but the whistle blew while the puck was still under Bishop.

The Stars tied the game at 14:05 of the second, when Mattias Janmark got a break during a change. Erik Karlsson had flipped the puck down the ice right as most of the Sharks went to change. Tomas Hertl was not able to get control of the puck one on three. It went back the other way, finding Janmark just off the bench and breaking through the zone. He beat Jones on the blocker side. It was Janmark’s second goal of the season with an assist to Roman Polak.

The shot clock evened out in the second period, with the teams almost tied 15-14 Dallas.

The Sharks had an early power play in the third but did not get a shot on goal. After the power play, the Stars brought a lot of pressure and had the Sharks scrambling on defense. That ended about two minutes later, when Miro Heiskanen gave the Stars the lead with a shot from the boards. Assists went to Tyler Pitlick and Radek Faksa.

The Stars extended their lead less than two minutes later. A zone entry went awry for the Sharks when Heiksanen knocked the puck away from Melker Karlsson and Jason Spezza passed the puck to a fast-moving Devin Shore. Shore took the puck into the zone two on one with Brett Ritchie. Shore made the pass and Ritchie put the puck under Martin Jones as he came across. Assists went to Shore and Spezza.

The Sharks got one back very quickly, at 6:59. Erik Karlsson took a blue line pass from Dillon and took the shot. It went off of Couture’s stick as he battled for position in front of Bishop. It was Couture’s ninth of the season with assists to Karlsson and Dillon.

The Sharks pulled Jones from the net with under two minutes to go but could not tie the game back up.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in Glendale against the Arizona Coyotes at 5:00 PM PT. The Sharks will see the Dallas Stars again next week, on the 13th in San Jose.

Sharks see Stars on New Year’s Eve in 6-0 loss in Dallas

Dallas Stars left wing Antoine Roussel (21) and center Radek Faksa (12) celebrate a goal by center Tyler Pitlick (18) on San Jose Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell (30) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. The Stars won 6-0. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

By: M. Walsh

The San Jose Sharks were roundly defeated by the Dallas Stars 6-0 in their last game of 2017. The Sharks were unable to recover from a sluggish first period, despite having their leading scorer (Logan Couture) back in the lineup after a two week absence.

First period goals came from Stars defenseman John Klingberg and Stars forward Tyler Pitlick.

The first goal came just over six minutes into the game. Alexander Radulov pushed his way past the Sharks defenders on the boards and got the puck to Janmark. Janmark carried it behind the net and passed it up to Klingberg, whose quick shot beat Jones on the far side. Assists went to Janmark and Radulov. The second goal came at 15:07 just after a faceoff in the Sharks zone. Pitlick narrowly avoided losing the puck to Joe Thornton, and then to Melker Karlsson, before beating Jones over the right shoulder with a wrist shot. An assist went to Faksa.

The Stars outshot the Sharks 17-5 in the first period.

Second period goals came from Stephen Johns and Tyler Seguin.

In the second, the shots went the other way with the Sharks up 12-5, but still, the Stars scored twice. The teams were trading penalties during the first five minutes. The Sharks’ Joonas Donskoi and the Stars’ Brett Ritchie were in the box so the teams were playing four on four. The Stars took control after a defensive zone faceoff and moved quickly through the neutral zone. Stephen Johns took a shot from almost the blue line that made its way through traffic and past Jones’s right glove. Janmark and Faksa got the assists.

Near the seven minute mark, Alexander Radulov went into the boards after a not very dangerous-looking push from Justin Braun. He was down for some time before skating off the ice under his own power. He left the ice presumably for evaluation.

The Stars scored on a power play at 9:33, a Klingberg shot redirected by Tyler Seguin.

Third period goals came from Pitlick and Devin Shore. Klingberg, Pitlick, Jamie Benn, and Mattias Janmark each turned in two-point games, while Radek Faksa earned three.

The third period goals came just fifty seconds apart. Devin Shore picked up the puck at the blue line as he raced into the zone and slipped past everyone to get in front of Aaron Dell. He used a late backhand to get around the Sharks’ backup goaltender.

The final goal came after Faksa and Antoine Roussel entered the zone on a brief two on one. The Sharks caught up to them but a rebound snuck out to Pitlick who was trailing the play. He shot it through the mass of players in front of the goal and scored his second of the game. Assists went to Faksa and Roussel.

Joe Pavelski, Justin Braun and Brent Burns each got credit for four shots on goal, with Timo Meier coming in second for the Sharks with three.

Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop made 26 saves for the shutout. For the Sharks, Martin Jones made 18 saves in the first two periods, and Aaron Dell made eight saves in the third.

Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said, of the first period: “We were fighting the puck, it was tough out there early. And they might have done a little of it but a lot of it came from us at the start and just really allowed them to stay in our end. It wasn’t one guy either, it was a group effort out there and we all contributed to that showing.”

Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer dismissed the suggestion that this game was symptomatic of a larger problem with how the team plays on the road: “I don’t look at this like we’ve been a poor road team. This was a poor game tonight. We’ll see, I’d like to think that we can go on the road and play our game, we’ve done it even this year for stretches. So I don’t think it’s a symptom of something bigger, just a bad night.”

The only good news in the game for Sharks fans was Logan Couture’s return to the ice after missing four games to injury. Couture was asked after the game whether he had any doubts while he was recovering:

There’s always doubt and there’s always anxiousness. A lot of times, when you’re going to sleep at night when you’re dealing with this injury, you’re always doubting yourself and you’re always doubting coming back from it. Thinking of the worst just comes with the territory. I think the first shift I got out there and chased the puck around in our own end for about fifty seconds. First period was tough but from there on I felt okay. I didn’t play very well but I felt okay.

The Sharks next play in Montreal against the Canadiens at 4:30 pm PT on Tuesday.

Stars Hand Sharks Third Straight Loss

By Mary Walsh

AP photo: The Dallas Stars Mattias (13) Janmark was on the mark finding the back of the net twice Saturday against the San Jose Sharks here he goes for a victory lap with teammates after his second period goal

SAN JOSE- The Dallas Stars beat the San Jose Sharks by a score of 4-2 on Saturday afternoon. It was the Sharks’ third straight loss, all on home ice. It also leaves them still waiting to clinch a spot in the playoffs. It was a disappointing follow up to Thursday’s defeat at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, but Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer saw some positives in Saturday’s game:

I think we played a pretty good game tonight. Obviously we didn’t win. It was one of those nights where every mistake we made ended up in our net and we couldn’t buy one at the other end for a couple periods. You gotta be careful and make sure you keep the proper perspective. Obviously we want to be winning every game his time of year but we’ve won a lot of games over the season where we played like that. So we just gotta build on the positive.

Sharks goals came from Joel Ward and Tomas Hertl. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 13 saves on 16 shots. Two Dallas goals came from Mattias Janmark, and one each from Patrick Sharp and Jamie Benn. Antti Niemi made 34 saves on 36 Sharks shots. The shot discrepancy is not unfamiliar to the Sharks. After the game, Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said: “The last couple games I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job. That’s one of the top scoring teams in the league and we limited them to 17 shots against so obviously we can’t be satisfied when we still lose the game and get no points.”

The Stars’ Antoine Roussel was a conspicuous participant in the first six penalties of the game, including a fight with Tommy Wingels. His antics did slow the game down. After the game, Wingels said:

I don’t get it. It’s embarrassing, I don’t think that stuff belongs in the game. Every shift after that you’re going to try to fight again. The rest don’t want that, the players don’t want their teammates… the fans don’t want to see after every whistle you have to be broken up.

Those Roussel penalties were not the only ones in the game. In all, the Sharks had six chances on the man advantage, but did not score. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said, of their power play:

You give our PP unit that much time, we’ve got to get one, you know. We’ve got to really find a way to produce, not just chances but goals. And we didn’t do a good enough job there. There were a few looks we had, we still need to be a little cleaner I think but this time of the year PKs are hard, they’re aggressive. You got to make those entries count, you got to make the faceoffs count, I didn’t win enough of those draws. They’re all parts where they really add to that momentum throughout the PP. Could do a better job, sure.

Missing from the Sharks lineup was Joonas Donskoi. He did skate in the warmups, which may indicate that his absence will not be a long one. Matt Nieto and Marc-Edouard Vlasic both missed their fifth games since injury on March 17. Dainius Zubrus moved up to the Couture line, and Micheal Haley played on the the fourth.

The Dallas Stars have sustained several significant injuries this season. They are presently without perpetual scoring threat Tyler Seguin and regular blue-liner Jason Demers. John Klingberg, talented young defenseman, recently returned from injury, giving his team a needed boost.

The first period was going by scoreless, with a penalty per team and a couple of scuffles. Brenden Dillon took a roughing minor against Antoine Roussel. Roussel then took a slashing minor against Micheal Haley. Roussel and Tommy Wingels finished with fighting majors around the 14 minute mark. At 15:28, the shot count was 12 to 3 Sharks. On the Stars’ fourth shot, the puck went over Martin Jones’ pad for Mattias Janmark’s 14th goal of the season. His shot from the blue line got a little help from passing traffic. Assists went to Jordie Benn and Ales Hemsky.

The Stars added to their lead 4:22 into the second. A miscalculation from Jones left him too far from the crease and the net open for Janmark. Tomas Hertl made an attempt to stop the goal, but he lacks experience as a goaltender. Assists went to Jason Spezza and Stephen Johns.

The first penalty of the game that did not involve Antoine Roussel came 6:40 into the second. The Sharks did not score. Joe Pavelski went to the box at 13:41 for boarding against Johnny Oduya. During the ensuing power play, Jason Spezza made a pass from below the faceoff circle across the ice and back. Patrick Sharp took the shot quickly and cleanly. Assists went to Spezza and Klingberg.

The Sharks had a late power play, at 15:35. Stephen Johns went to the box for elbowing Roman Polak. With four seconds left in the period, Klingberg was called for roughing, and Thornton received the same.

Seventeen seconds into the third, Stars captain Jamie Benn was called for hooking Joe Pavelski. As a result, the teams payed four on three for 1:40. The Stars went right to the man advantage when Dylan DeMelo was called for slashing, just as the Sharks power play expired.

Before the DeMelo penalty expired, Joel Ward put the Sharks on the board with a short-handed goal. Antti Niemi handled the puck behind the net and he made a pass up the wall. After the pass, Joel Ward skated in behind him and seemed to nudge him from behind. Niemi went down and was thus unable to get back to his crease before Ward could put the puck in an open net.

The Sharks closed the gap further at 5:48 with a goal from Tomas Hertl. Taking advantage of busy traffic in the slot, Brent Burns made a pass to Pavelski, who carried it a bit and tried a backhand shot. Hertl skated in behind him and caught the rebound for his 19th goal of the season. Assists went to Pavelski and Burns.

Alex Goligoski was caught hooking at 10:09, putting the Sharks back on their thus-far ineffective power play. It was not effective.

The Stars took another penalty at 13:24, this time to Mattias Lanmark for tripping DeMelo. Still no power play goal.

The Sharks took their time out with 1:35 left in the game, and set up for an offensive zone faceoff with their net empty. Dallas wont the faceoff and iced the puck. The Sharks made better use of the next faceoff and moved the puck around in the Dallas zone, but with 1:08 left in the game, the Stars’ Patrick Sharp took control of the puck, passed it to Jamie Benn and Benn put it in the empty net.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the visiting Los Angeles Kings at 7:00 PT.