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 Fall 5-3 to Golden Knights, Trail in Series 3-2

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell behind in their second round playoff series with a 5-3 loss in Las Vegas Friday. Vegas took a 4-0 lead with goals from James Neal, Eric Haula and two from Alex Tuch. Jonathan Marchessault scored an empty-netter in the final seconds to seal the win. The Sharks’ three third period goals came from Kevin Labanc, Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves for the win. In the Sharks’ net, Martin Jones made 27 saves before being pulled in the third period, and Aaron Dell finished the game with seven saves.

After the game, Sharks Captain Joe Pavelski described the team’s sense of the game:

It felt like the game was there at all times. When that score was within two or three, you feel in it. And we knew we had to get in there and create a little bit more. But, game went to four, Deller went in, all of a sudden we bang in one or two and you know it’s still there. So I don’t know, did we fell in it? We thought we had a chance for sure. Were we playing good enough? Not at some moments for sure, but the game got better at the end. So that needs to continue now, it doesn’t matter what we felt.

“We have to play harder for a longer stretch than we did tonight. We didn’t play hard enough for long enough and that’s why we lost,” said Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer. Each team killed three of four penalties. Vegas outshot the Sharks 39-30, with the biggest difference in the first period. Vegas also edged the Sharks in faceoffs, winning 51% of them. The hit count favored the Golden Knights by a big margin at 53-35.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 15-7 in the first period, but Sharks goaltender Martin Jones held them off the board until the final minute. James Neal scored with just three seconds left off a rebound created by Shea Theodore’s shot from the blue line. Theodore and David Perron got the assists.

The Sharks started the second period with an early power play but could not score. They had only two shots on goal and Vegas came back with a power play of their own just 12 seconds after the Sharks power play expired.

The Vegas power play did not last long, as Alex Tuch scored at 4:52, again off a rebound. This one was created by a close in shot from Reilly Smith. It was not much of a rebound but Tuch was right on the doorstep to knock it in. Assists went to Reilly and Jonathan Marchessault.

The third Vegas goal came from Erik Haula at 8:59. Haula caught a pass from David Perron almost at the goal line. His bad angle shot squeezed under Jones’ pad on the short side. Assists went to Perron and Ryan Carpenter.

Just shy of the half way mark, Marc-Andre Fleury thwarted an excellent chance for San Jose. Marcus Sorensen skated in fast and followed his shot up by crashing the net. He knocked Fleury across the goal mouth and off his skates. The puck was cleared away to the boards, where Brent Burns was on top of it. Fleury got back in position in time to stop the blast from Burns as well.

Vegas had a second power play at 11:02 after Justin Braun was called for tripping. The Sharks started the penaly kill with a good short-handed chance from Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, but they did not beat Fleury. They had a couple more short-handed excursions into the Vegas zone and killed off the rest of the penalty.

The Sharks’ fourth line had an excellent shift in the final three minutes of the period but that was followed by another Vegas power play. After a line change, Joe Pavelski was called for roughing after a tussle in front of the Vegas net. The Sharks spent most of the rest of the period killing that off.

The Sharks’ second power play came early in the third period after Shea Theodore was called for cross-checking Tomas Hertl. Vegas killed that off, but Theodore was back in the box at 4:11, this time for slashing Hertl. The Sharks were unable to take advantage of either penalty.

Alex Tuch scored his second of the game at 8:36 of the third. The Sharks had just finished an excellent shift in the o-zone, ever frustrated by Fleury. After the offensive zone draw, the Sharks lost the puck to Oscar Lindberg, who got it out of the zone. Alex Tuch carried it across the line and passed it to Cody Eakin. Eakin sent it right back for Tuch to shoot.

Pete DeBoer pulled Martin Jones after that goal and put Aaron Dell in.

The team responded with a a quick power play goal from Kevin Labanc. James Neal was called for slashing at 9:06. 29 seconds into the power play, Logan Couture found Labanc in the slot for a clean shot over Fleury’s left pad. Assists went to Couture and Hertl.

Just over two minutes later, Tomas Hertl scored to cut the Vegas lead in half. Mikkel Boedker made a fast move behind the net and just as he had the puck coming around the post, Hertl was there to knock it in. Assists went to Boedker and Couture.

Boedker added to the Sharks’ tally with a quick shot close in after the puck popped out of a scramble in front of the Vegas net. The time of the goal was 15:44, with an assist to Logan Couture.

With 2:21 and an offensive zone draw for the Sharks, DeBoer pulled Dell for the extra skater. The Sharks spent some precious time defending that empty net before getting the puck back into the Vegas zone for a moment. But with 1:21 left, Jonathan Marchessault got control of the puck and took a shot all the way down the ice for the empty-net goal.

Game 6 will be in San Jose on Sunday at 4:30 pm PT.

Sharks Lose to Predators 5-3, End Point Streak at 9 Games

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-2 to the Nashville Predators Thursday, their second loss in a row on the current road trip. Nashville goals came from Kyle Turris, Viktor Arvidsson, Craig Smith, Ryan Ellis and Nick Bonino. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture, Brenden Dillon and Mikkel Boedker. In goal, Nashville’s Juuse Saros made 39 saves for the win, while Martin Jones made 27 saves for the Sharks. The game was whistle-riddled, including a high-pressure penalty shot for the Sharks in the final two minutes of the game. Despite eleven penalties called, neither team scored on the power play.

Thursday’s loss ended the Sharks’ nine-game point streak, but Sharks forward Logan Couture still said: “It was a good game, it was a fun game to be a part of. It was back and forth, I thought it had a lot of grade A looks against a very good defensive team. Their goaltender made some big time saves down the stretch there. But yeah, it was a fun game.”

This was the Sharks’ second loss in a row to Nashville. On February 22, Nashville won 7-1 in San Jose. Of Thursday’s road game, Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said:

They’re the top team in the West and I think we came in and pretty much proved to ourselves that we can hang with them, and not just hang with but play well. I think we deserved better tonight, we had a lot of chances. Their goalie played well, credit to him. But I think we really took a step in our game, coming back in here after the last time.

The first period was thick with scoring. Early in the first period, Kyle Turris gave Nashville their first lead of the game. P.K Subban’s hard shot from the point rebounded off Jones and went right to Turris’ stick. Assists went to Subban and Craig Smith.

Less than two minutes later, Logan Couture tied it. As the puck came to him along the blue line, Brent Burns saw Couture skating through the high slot and hit him with a one-touch pass. Couture carried the puck briefly before taking a wrist shot that beat Saros on the short side. Assists went to Burns and Mikkle Boedker.

Just past the midpoint of the period, Nashville took another lead when Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg turned a blue line giveaway into a two-on-none against Martin Jones. Assists went to Forsberg and Ryan Johansen.

The Sharks tied the game, again less than two minutes later, with a goal from Brenden Dillon. Dillon’s shot found its way through a line of moving traffic, including a couple of Sharks, but touched no one and gave Dillon his fifth of the season. The lone assists went to Jannik Hansen.

The second period saw six penalties and just one goal. Craig Smith scored at 10:38. Kyle Turris carried the puck across both blue lines before dropping it to Ryan Ellis. Ellis took the shot, creating a rebound that Smith picked up as he arrived behind the traffic. Assists went to Turris and Ellis.

Mikkel Boedker tied it up next, at 5:54 of the third period. Just as a Sharks power play ended, several Sharks took shots from in fairly close before the Boedker moved the puck away from the net. He skated across the slot and took a shot from the top of the faceoff crcle. His shot seemed to hit one of the Nashville players in front of the net, then dropped and bounced across the line. Assists went to Chris Tierney and Timo Meier.

Ryan Ellis gave the Predators their final lead at 10:06. Ryan Johansen carried the puck through the neutral zone and handed it off to Viktor Arvidsson. Arvidsson tried to center it but it bounced off a skate and then pinballed off the boards to Ellis high in the slot. His shot caught Jones trying to move across. Assists went to Filip Forsberg and Arvidsson.

The final few minutes to the third period were frenetic. The Sharks had a power play at 16:50 after P.K Subban put the puck over the glass, and before that ended, Ryan Ellis was called for displacing the net. Logan Couture was awarded a penalty shot for the Ellis penalty but he could not beat Saros. The Predators killed off the Subban penalty and got a goal from Nick Bonino in the empty net with 17 seconds left in regulation.

The Sharks are still in second place in the Pacific Division, five points behind the Las Vegas Golden Knights and five points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks next play in Las Vegas on Saturday at 7:30 pm PT.

Sharks Shut Down Dallas Stars, Win 5-2

photo from The San Jose Sharks Mikkel Boedker (89) goes for the victory skate in front of the Sharks bench after scoring a first period goal his first of two against the Dallas Stars Sunday night at SAP Center in San Jose

by Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks beat the Dallas Stars Sunday, taking a 5-0 lead before giving up two goals in the third period. The Sharks have now won eight of their last ten games. Mikkel Boedker scored twice for the Sharks, with additional goals from Joe Pavelski, Melker Karlsson and Justin Braun. Martin Jones made 26 saves for the win. Gemel Smith and Tyler Pitlick scored for Dallas and Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves on 23 shots after coming in to relieve Ben Bishop who made just one save on five shots in the first period.

The win might not erase the team’s horrific 6-0 road loss in Dallas last New Year’s Eve, but was a major improvement. Sharks defenseman Justin Braun was asked about the two games later. “We were actually moving in this game. Back in Dallas everyone left their legs somewhere else,” he explained. Sunday was different. “It was great. Everybody was coming above on the backcheck and shutting down their speed so, yeah, that was huge.”

Also significant was how long the Sharks held a 5-0 lead, from 5:00 of the second period to 5:35 of the third. Despite significant absences like Joe Thornton and now Tomas Hertl, the team is proving to be resourceful and tenacious. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Pete DeBoer said:

As a coach you hate those types of leads, especially with a lot of game left and we had that big lead for a long time. You know the other team’s going to push and they’ve got some quality. We just kept talking about if we allow them open it up a little bit they’re a team that can easily score four or five goals in a period. So I thought we stuck with it overall for a good length of time and did a good job with it.

The first period was a goaltender’s nightmare for Ben Bishop. By the time the Sharks had put five shots on net, they had four goals.

The first came just 29 seconds in, from Joe Pavelski. Taking advantage of a Jamie Benn turnover in the neutral zone, Marc-Edouard Vlasic caught the puck as it crossed the Sharks blue line. He returned the puck quickly to Pavelski, who sent it behind his back to Timo Meier. Meier carried it in but Dallas wrested control soonafter. As Tyler Seguin tried to clear it, he put it right on Pavelski’s stick. Pavelski’s spinning backhand found its way through traffic, went off the post and in. Assists went to Meier and Vlasic.

The second goal came from that same line at 5:59. Meier took a shot from the blue line that missed the net just enough to bounce off the boards behind it. Melker Karlsson was on the doorstep to poke it in when it bounced in front of the post. Assists went to Meier and Pavelski.

Jannik Hansen moved the puck into the Dallas zone but it didn’t go far before bouncing off of a Star. The ricochet first whizzed by Chris Tierney, then by Alexander Radulov and finally landed on Mikkel Boedker’s stick as he skated into the zone. His wrist shot from the circle went between Bishop’s pads and in. Assists went to Hansen and Justin Braun.

Boedker scored again at 17:23. Chris Tierney held on to the puck for a long time at the end of a Sharks power play, sending it once to Joakim Ryan on the blue line, only to get it right back from him. Finally, he saw Boedker ready in the slot and passed it perfectly for Boedker’s one-timer. The shot went into traffic and under Bishop’s blocker before the very tall tender could react. The goal came one second too late to end the Sharks power play goal drought. Assists went to Tierney and Vlasic.

Dallas opted to change goaltenders then, putting Kari Lehtonen in net.

The second period started much as the first had, but only produced one Sharks goal. Five minutes in, Joe Pavelski sent the puck up the boards as a Dallas defender closed on him. Braun picked that up and took the shot and it went in. Assists went to Pavelksi and Karlsson.

Jones’ shutout bid ended at 5:35 of the third. A miscue put Daniel O’Regan in front of Jones while Gemel Smith caught a pass from Brett Ritchie and took it to the net. Jones saw the shot too late. Assists went to Ritchie and Stephen Johns.

Dallas scored again at 8:57. A shot came in and Jones almost had the puck when it slipped away in front of him. Tyler Pitlick was right there to pick it up and put it in with his backhand.

Brent Burns left the ice briefly during the first first period Sharks power play, and returned very quickly. He left again during the third period less than four minutes in after two shifts. He did not return. As things stand now, Pete DeBoer expects Burns to be on the upcoming road trip.

The Sharks next play in St. Louis against the Blues on Tuesday at 5:00 pm PT.

Sharks Lose 4-1 to Kings

San Jose Sharks’ Mikkel Boedker, left, celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in San Jose , Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

by M. Walsh

SAN JOSE– After Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, Sharks Captain Joe Pavelksi said:

“It’s two games in, we’re not panicking by any means but we need results and that’s on us as players. We’ve been given something that we know inside out and the commitment to do it has to be there. There’s just too many odd man rushes, a few too many battles that we lose and we’re not getting those second chances. So there’s just a commitment level that has to go up and doing it the right way.”

That described the game quite accurately. Logan Couture’s comments were more sweeping:

“That was just horrible. You can’t make excuses because that was a very very poor effort. From the first minute to the sixtieth minute, from power play to penalty kill. That was just garbage hockey.”

For Los Angeles, two goals came from Anze Kopitar, one from Dustin Brown and one from Nick Shore. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick made 24 saves on 25 shots. The lone goal for the Sharks came from Mikkel Boedker, while Martin Jones made 25 saves on 29 shots and backup Aaron Dell made 9 saves. It is worth noting that Sharks forward Melker Karlsson took a hit during the second period and did not skate during the third.

Martin Jones started out looking like he might have a better game than he did. As the team struggled to get a shot on goal, the goaltender made a fine save near the four minute mark after the Kings stormed into the zone three on one. The Kings seemed to get more energy from that than the Sharks did and two minutes later the Sharks had a shot on goal but the Kings had a goal. Dustin Brown’s bad angle shot went over Jones’ shoulder through an opening that probably should not have been there. An assist went to Anze Kopitar.

That did spark the Sharks and just 1:06 later, Mikkel Boedker put the Sharks’ second shot past Jonathan Quick. Assists went to Brenden Dillon and Dylan DeMelo.

After a skirmish in the corner behind the Kings goal line at 8:31, Kurtis MacDermid was called for roughing. The Sharks added just one shot to their tally during that power play.

Logan Couture was called for tripping at 11:29, and the Sharks killed the penalty. Tomas Hertl took the next penalty, for hooking. The Sharks killed that one off as well, but as the seconds wound down, the Kings kept the pressure on. A regrettable line change gave Kopitar an opening to skate in nearly unfettered. He did not waste the opportunity and scored with just 8 seconds to go. The period ended with the score 2-1 Kings, with the shots an ominous 17-6 for Los Angeles.

5:57 into the second, the Sharks were on the penalty kill after Brenden Dillon high-sticked Kopitar. The Sharks killed the penalty off and were rewarded with a power play of their own at 8:34. It did not amount to much, and was riddled with bad takeaways by the Los Angeles penalty killers.

At 12:07 the game went from bad to worse as a shot got through to Jones and bounced over him to sit momentarily in the blue paint. No Shark was there to prevent Kopitar from tucking it over the line.

There were plenty of teal sweaters around the Sharks net when the next goal went in. Jones seemed to catch a long bouncing shot in his glove, but the puck instead bounced out and pinballed around and into the net to make it 4-1. The goal was awarded to Nick Shore. Aaron Dell came into the game to replace Martin Jones.

By the end of the second period, the score was 4-1, with the shot count still an abysmal 32-18 Los Angeles.

The third period provided little redemption for the Sharks. They did not give up any more goals, but the Kings did not look very motivated to increase the three goal lead. The Sharks killed three more penalties, while the Kings killed two. The Sharks pulled their goaltender with three minutes to go but it did not change the score.

The Sharks next play on Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Preseason 2017: Sharks Win 5-4 in Arizona

Photo credit: San Jose Sharks

By M. Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won their third preseason game on Saturday, against the Coyotes in Arizona. The final score after a shootout was 5-4. Tim Heed got the game winner, with Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick stopping 24 of 28 shots.

San Jose got off to a slow start in Saturday’s preseason game in Arizona, falling behind by three goals before turning the tables late in the first period and through the second. Mikkel Boedker started the rally with two goals, followed by goals from Barclay Goodrow and Kevin Labanc, with goals in the shootout from Logan Couture and Heed. Coyotes goals came from Nick Cousins (2), Derek Stepan and Luke Schenn. Max Domi added a shootout goal.

For their third preseason contest, the Sharks lineup included forward prospects Timo Meier, Noah Rod, Ryan Carpenter, Kevin Labanc, and Rudolfs Balcers. On defense, Joakim Ryan, Radim Simek, Nick DeSimone and Tim Heed joined Sharks veterans Brendan Dillon and Dylan DeMelo. Recent addition Brandon Bollig played at forward with Sharks regulars Logan Couture, Chris Tierney, Barclay Goodrow, Joonas Donskoi, and Mikkel Boedker. Troy Grosenick started in net with Aaron Dell backing up. Goaltender Antti Raanta played the first two periods for Arizona, and his backup Marek Langhamer played the third.

The Coyotes jumped out to a strong lead with two goals in the first period. The first came just 30 seconds in from Nick Cousins, asisted by Alex Goligoski and Christian Dvorak. The second came from Derek Stepan at 7:26, assisted by Clayton Keller. The Sharks challenged the second goal as offside, but the call held up on review and the Sharks came away witha penalty to kill.

The Coyote power play was shortened by a hooking call to Goligoski at 9:01. Playing 4 on 4, the Sharks gave up another goal, this one to Luke Schenn, with Stepan and Keller picking up the assists.

The Sharks scored on the ensuing power play when Mikkel Boedker beat Coyote goaltender Antti Raanta. Assists went to Ryan and Heed. Boedker cut the lead to one when he took advantage of a broken play to score, assisted by Joonas Donskoi at 18:49.

Nick Cousins started the second period as he had the first, extending the Coyotes lead back to two at 1:38. The lead lasted for several minutes, until Barclay Goodrow and Kevin Labanc both scored in just over a minute. Sorensen and Carpenter took assists on the first, Tierney and Meier assisted on the tying goal.

Brandon Bollig and Michael Latta exchanged blows in the second half of the period. The teams exchanged penalties as the period wound down, but the score remained tied going into the third.

The Sharks had a scare in the middle of the third when Logan Couture caught a puck to the upper body after Simek tried to dump the puck in. Couture went down but got back up and seemed fine.

The game went to overtime and then on to the shootout. Logan Couture was the first San Jose shooter and he scored. He was followed by Mikkel Boedker, Kevin Labanc and Chris Tierney before Tim Heed got the game winner. Clayton Keller, Max Domi, Derek Stepan, Brendan Perlini and Conor Garland shot for Arizona, with the lone goal scored by Domi.

The Sharks next play on Thursday the 28th at Anaheim.