Sharks Fall 5-2 to Coyotes, Kessel Scores 900th Point

The Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel (81) tries to quickly handle the puck against the San Jose Sharks Marc Edouard Vlasic (44) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Fri May 7, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks gave up a 2-0 lead to lose 5-2 to the Arizona Coyotes Friday. Phil Kessel scored his 900th NHL point in the game with a break-away goal in the third. Other Coyotes goals came from Victor Soderstrom, Conor Garland, Michael Bunting and Jan Jenik. Darcy Kuemper made 26 saves for the win. Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier scored for San Jose and Josef Korenar made 29 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked a little about what he had seen from the younger players during the last several games: “They’re a little bit in and out, and then they’re still learning the ropes and how to come every night and prepare and be consistent at the NHL level.” Boughner mentioned Noah Gregor, Rudolfs Balcers and Alexander Chmelevski as players in this category.

Erik Karlsson scored the only first period goal at 3:47. With some traffic in front of Kuemper, Karlsson took a shot from high in the slot. Tomas Hertl got an assist.

At the end of the first period, John Leonard fell, face-first, into the boards by the benches. After some attention from the trainer he was helped from the ice and into the dressing room. He did not return to the game. There were no specific updates about his condition after the game. Boughner did say that “he looked like he was in pretty rough shape,” during the first intermission.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 9-6 in the first, with two of those coming on the power play.

The Sharks’ second goal came from Timo Meier off the rush with linemates Alexander True and Ivan Chekhovich. Meier took the shot from above the face-off dot for his 11th of the season at 3:30 of the second. Chekhovich earned his first NHL point, an assist in his second NHL game.

Victor Soderstrom cut into the Sharks’ lead, scoring for the Coyotes at 4:59. He took a shot into the far side of the net through traffic around the net. Assists went to olive Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland. It was Soderstrom’s first NHL goal.

Conor Garland tied the game at 4:59, during a 5-on-3 power play. Garland and Jakob Chychrun played catch across the ice before Garland slapped the puck past Korenar. Chychrun got the assist.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 13-9 in the second period, with three of those coming on the power play. The Sharks had one power play that generated two shots.

Phil Kessel broke the tie 4:53 into the third period. Kessel was already behind the Sharks defense when Dvorak’s pass found him. He broke away and beat Korenar on the glove side. Assists went to Christian Dvorak and Alex Goligoski.

The Sharks seemed to have tied the game at 7:46 with another goal from Erik Karlsson but it was called back as an off-side play.

Michael Bunting gave Arizona a two-goal lead at 9:57. Evander Kane broke his stick on a shot and immediately had to hustle back to defend one-on-three. He was unable to give his goaltender much help. Conor Garland got an assist.

Jan Jenik made it 5-2 into an empty net, in the final second of the game. That was his first NHL goal, in his first NHL game.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 15-10 in the third. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 54% of the draws. Evander Kane had 6 shots on goal, and Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson each had five. For Arizona, Jakob Chychrun and Michael Bunting each had five shots.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in San Jose, against the Coyotes at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Defeat Avalanche 3-2, Hertl Scores Twice in 500th Game

The San Jose Sharks center Tomas Hertl (48) celebrates scoring in the second period against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Phillipp Brubauer (31) at SAP Center in San Jose on Wed May 5, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 3-2 after a tight game against the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday. The Sharks’ Tomas Hertl scored twice in his 500th NHL game and Erik Karlsson added the game winner on a power play. Josef Korenar made 30 saves for his third NHL win. Tyson Jost and Andre Burakovsky scored for Colorado, with Philipp Grubauer making 30 saves in the loss.

The first period was scoreless. Colorado took two penalties in the period, giving up six shots to the Sharks power play. The Sharks took one penalty and gave up two shots to the Avalanche power play. The shot count for the period was 12-10 Sharks. Colorado won 12 of 21 face-offs.

The second period was scoreless until the 15:39 mark. Tyson Jost scored the first goal of the game by picking up a rebound as he skated across the slot. His backhand shot went over Korenar as the goalie fell forward. Assists went to Patrik Nemeth and Jacob MacDonald.

Andre Burakovsky made it 2-0 at 18:18. Nazem Kadri’s pass found Burakowsky in the face-off circle and Burakowsky took a moment to pick his shot. It went by Korenar on the glove side. Kadri and Conor Timmins got the assists.

Tomas Hertl cut the Colorado lead in half with a goal in the final seconds of the period. Evander Kane carried the puck in and made a pass across the slot just as Hertl arrived at the net to deflect the puck in. Assists went to Kane and Alexander Barabanov.

The Sharks took the only penalty in the second period, but their penalty kill did not allow any shots. Colorado out-shot San Jose 16-9 in the second, but won just 9 of 20 face-offs.

Hertl tied the game at 2:50 of the third period. Evander Kane’s shot created a rebound as Hertl passed in front of the net. Hertl found the puck in his skates and then scooped it into the net while falling to his knees. Assists went to Kane and Nikolai Knyzhov.

Erik Karlsson scored on a power play at 9:18. After several shots form the same spot, and with Grubauer’s stick on the ice behind the net, Karlsson’s shot finally went in. Assists went to Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl.

Colorado took two penalties in the third period, giving up three shots to the Sharks power play. The Sharks out-shot the Avalanche 12-6 in the third and won 9 of 21 face-offs. In all, the Avalanche won 53% of the face-offs in the game.

The Sharks next play on Friday in San Joe against the Arizona Coyotes at 7:30 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Len Shapiro: Kane being sued for $15 million from lender; Sharks close out four game home at home with Avs tonight

The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane who filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is being sue for $15 million by a lender (ESPN file photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Len:

#1 Len a lender has sued San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane for $15 million dollars involving Kane’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Kane has listed $10.2 in assets but is $26.8 million in debt. Kane’s gambling issues have been in some NHL headlines.

#2 The San Jose Sharks (20-26-5) played their last three games against the Colorado Avalanche (32-12-4) which all ended up in loses. The first of the three were play in Denver and in the first game Fri Apr 30th Avs goalie Phillpp Brubauer shutout the Sharks 3-0 with 21 saves.

#3 In the second game against the Avalanche in Denver on Sat May 1 the Avs just got by the Sharks 4-3 the Sharks went all out scoring twice in the third period only to be matched by the Avalanche’s two goals but fell short for the one goal loss

#4 To the Sharks last game at San Jose an overtime loss to the Avalanche 5-4. The Sharks took a 3-1 lead into the third period only to see the Avs score three and take the lead the Sharks managed to tie the game at 4-4 but Colorado would score to win the game in overtime.

#5 Len how frustrating has it got to be for Sharks head coach Bob Boughner to be eliminated for the second straight year and no post season?

#6 Game four of the home at home series in San Jose tonight the Sharks are expected to be playing a lot of their bench and younger players giving Boughner a chance to take a look at some future prospects.

Join Len each Wednesday for the Sharks podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa: Sharks will take a look at youth after being eliminated

The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane who scored two goals against Colorado Avalanche goaltender Phillipp Brubauer (31) had this shot stopped in the third period at SAP Center in San Jose on Mon May 3, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks (20-26-6) couldn’t stop the favored Colorado Avalanche (34-12-4) as the Avalanche caught up to the Sharks twice to win it 5-4 on Monday night.

#2 The loss on Monday was the Sharks second straight season of being eliminated from the playoffs and you can almost be assured of some serious soul searching during the off season.

#3 Evander Kane scored a pair goals, Tomas Hertl picked up two points and Alexander Barabanov picked up his fifth point in five games were some of the Sharks offensive highlights.

#4 The Sharks will complete this two game series with the Avalanche on Wednesday night at SAP Center and most likely head coach Bob Boughner will use the younger players on the team to take a look at the future towards next season.

#5 The Sharks have seen a lot of the Avalanche three times in their last three games and goaltender Phillipp Brubauer who shut the Sharks out in the first game 3-0 last Friday and on Monday night Brubauer allowed four goals and stopped 27 shots enough for the win.

Join Mary Lisa for the Sharks podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Laureano’s glove and bat helps out A’s; plus much more

Oakland A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano reaches up with the glove hand and makes a snow cone catch up against the padded wall at the Oakland Coliseum of a batted ball hit by the Baltimore Orioles DJ Stewart in the top of the eighth inning on Sun May 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury’s podcast:

#1 The Oakland A’s Ramon Laureano saved the series with a spectacular catch and and a two run home run in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.

#2 Freak injury reported when Oakland A’s pitcher Jesus Luzardo in his excitement hit his hand against a coffee table and fractured his pinkie his length of absence was not known.

#3 Amaury in basketball another strange injury the Golden State Warriors Juan Toscano-Anderson flew out of bounds to try and save an out of bounds basketball but flew over a scorers table while playing the Boston Celtics and suffered a head gash and concussion talk about going all out.

#4 Amaury, in football talk about how competitive it could be once the San Francisco 49ers training camp gets underway when starting Jimmy Garoppolo and back up quarterback Trey Lance start showing their skills to get ready for the season. Lance quarterbacked last year in college at North Dakota State without throwing an interception while Garoppolo was battling a season ending injury.

#5 In San Jose Sharks hockey back on March 2019 one year before the pandemic the Sharks had announced that they would stream all the rest of that season’s game on Tico Sports with play by play announcer Ambrosio Rico, the Sharks had been hosting Hispanic Heritage nights and had given out Los Tiburones jerseys during those nights. Fast forward 2021 whatever became of the Spanish broadcast idea for Sharks hockey and where did it go?

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com. Amaury is the Oakland A’s lead play by play Spanish radio announcer on flagship station 1010 KIQI LaGrande San Francisco

Avs Erase Pair of Two-Goals Deficits, Eliminate Sharks from Contention in 5-4 OT Win

It’s a Avalanche of Colorado players celebrating a win against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center and eliminating the Sharks from playoff contention on Mon May 3, 2021 (@mckinnons photo)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks (20-26-6) couldn’t play spoiler Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche (34-12-4), falling to the visiting Avs 5-4 in overtime to face mathematical elimination from the playoffs for a second straight season and allow Colorado (34-12-4) to move within two points of Vegas for the Division lead.

“A lot of young guys are getting chances,” said Sharks coach Boughner when asked to reflect on a second consecutive year without playoffs in San Jose. “Calling it a ‘reset’. It’s not a surprise. You look around the league. , out of 31 teams, the teams that missed the bubble last year are still out. It just goes to show you don’t flip things around in this league in six months or eight months. It takes time. There’s pain involved in that. There’s some growing to do.”

Evander Kane scored a pair, Tomas Hertl picked up two points and Alexander Barabanov picked up his fifth point in five games with the Team Teal, but San Jose (20-26-6) blew a two goal lead. Philipp Grubauer was denied a fourth shutout of the Sharks this season but picked up the win allowing four goals on 27 shots. Andre Burakovsky scored the winner in overtime for a two-point night and the Mikko Rantanen-Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon lined combined for five points.

Trailing 4-2 with almost halfway through the third period, Colorado showed why they’re clear cut Stanley Cup favorites. Mario Ferraro had an opportunity to clear the puck from the Sharks end on the left boards, but MacKinnon picked it off and fed Landeskog in the slot. The Colorado captain right a wrister that beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones to cut San Jose’s lead to 4-3 with 11:01 left in regulation.

In what felt like an inevitable outcome, the Avs pressured the Sharks down the stretch, using a failed Brent Burns clearing chance to tie the game 4-4. Nazem Kadri beat Martin Jones on a sharp angle shot over the near post shoulder with 3:39 left in regulation.

Burakovsky beat Jones just 41 seconds in to the overtime period that was controlled entirely by the Avalanche from the opening faceoff. Burakovsky hopped on the ice, received a Makar pass and sped right down the middle of the ice. He wired a wrister that squeaked through Jones and into the net for a 5-4 win.

“It’s tough to see the way that game ended,” said Boughner. “I thought we should have been celebrating the two points.”

Kane put the Sharks on the board early after Barabanov picked off an Avs pass at their own blue line. He dropped the puck from below the goal line to the slot where Kane was streaking, but Valeri Nichushkin was waiting to clear the puck. His effort rolled to Kane though, he wired the puck past Grubauer for an unassisted goal and a 1-0 lead 3:20 into play.

The Avs took control of the 1st period, answer back just 2:18 later in play, with Gabriel Landeskog winning a faceoff in the Sharks end clean to Nathan MacKinnon waiting on the halfwall. Mackinnon fired a pick on net that rebounded right to Mikko Rantanen for a backhand strike and his 29th goal of the season, with his linemates picking up the assists.

The tie remained in place, but Colorado peppered Sharks netminder Martin Jones, outshooting San Jose 13-5 over the first 20 minutes of play, including an Avs power play. Jones withstood the tilted ice to keep the Sharks and visitors knotted at 1-1.

“The second period I thought we did a better job of managing the puck,” said Boughner. “Our changes were good tonight. We did a lot of good things structurally, bottled up the d zone and did a good job in the neutral zone. There were some good things in there, just unfortunate how it ended.”

Hertl rewarded his goaltender’s first-period heroics, scoring another period opening goal 1:57 into the second period. Patrick Nemeth’s pass went into Tyson Jost’s back skate, allowing Hertl to pick up the errant pass in front of Grubauer. He then put Nemeth on skates with a deke before going back hand to score his 17th of the year and give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.

Kane added to the Sharks lead after being hit with a breakaway pass by Hertl. Kane managed to get a step on Avs stud defenseman Cale Makar, again going backhand on Grubauer while Makar wiped out the Sharks power forward. The puck went into the net though, and Kane picked up his 22nd goal of the year 7:47 into the period and, more importantly for the penalty-ridden Kane, maturity won out as he didn’t seek retribution on Makar for the takeout.

Nichushkin pulled Colorado within one after some sustained offensive pressure. Andre Burakovsky fired a puck that beat Jones but hit off the post and popped up. The Avs forward was ready and waiting for the rebound, beating Jones on his tenth tally of the season 1:18 into the third.

Timo Meier hit the release valve on the mounting third-period pressure at the time, scoring his tenth of the season just 2:14 later, with the top pair of Brent Burns and Mario Ferraro assisting.

“I thought he was more physical,” said Boughner on Meier. “I thought he held on to more pucks and used his speed a little more, his size. That’s the way he has to play. It paid off with a nice shot on that goal.”

The Sharks wrap up the final homestand of the season with a final game against Colorado Wednesday night. Fresh off the loss Boughner couldn’t confirm any lineup changes, but the expectation is that the Sharks will skew towards youth as the play out the string.

Sharks Fall 4-3 to Avalanche, Kane scores 500th Point

The San Jose get swept in the two game set with the Colorado Avalanche losing on Thursday 3-0 and on Sat May 1, 2021, 4-3 in Denver (@Avalanche photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost their final road game of the season to the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 4-3. Nathan MacKinnon, Andre Burakovsky, Patrik Nemeth and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado. Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves for the win. Alexander Brabanov, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose. Josef Korenar made 39 saves in the loss. Evander Kane scored his 500th NHL point in the third period with an assist on Logan Couture’s short-handed goal.

Josef Korenar made 39 saves on 43 shots Saturday. After the game, Sharks captain Logan Couture talked about the goaltender:

“I thought he kept us in the game. He was probably our best player for the majority of the night. I thought it could have been a lot more than the four that they got. So, he battled for us. We made it a game at the end there but wish we’d helped him out a little bit more throughout the game.”

The first period ended scoreless, with Colorado leading in shots 15-10. There was just one penalty, taken by the Sharks. The Avalanche power play got one shot on goal.

The Sharks scored the first goal of the game, on a power play at 4:25 of the second period. It was their first power play goal in 28 power plays. Barabanov caught a rebound out in the face-off circle and shot it by Dubnyk on the blocker side. Assists went to Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson.

Nathan MacKinnon tied the game at 13:08 of the second. The teams were playing four-on-four with Brent Burns and Dan Renouf in the box for penalties taken less than 20 seconds apart. Conor Timmins made a pass across the ice to MacKinnon who was closing fast on the net without anyone in his way. Assists went to Timmins and Mikko Rantanen.

Andre Burakovsky gave the Avalanche the leads at 16:06. Burakovsky caught the puck out of an offensive zone face-off, skated toward the slot and took the shot through some traffic to score. An assist went to JT Compher.

The Sharks killed one penalty in the second period, but were out-shot 12-4 in the period. The Colorado power play had four shots in the second. The Sharks power play had the one shot.

Patrik Nemeth made it 3-1 for Colorado at 9:05 of the third period. His slap shot from the blue line zipped through traffic and into the net. Assists went to Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon.

Logan Couture cut the lead by one with a short-handed goal at 9:55. Evander Kane snatched up a fumbled puck at the blue line and skated away from Makar to get a shot on goal. Logan Couture followed in a hurry and put the rebound away.

The Avalanche challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Kane did make contact with Dubnyk without actually entering the blue paint. The NHL did not consider it enough to call back the goal.

Colorado took back their two-goal lead with 4:26 left in the period. Mikko Rantanen’s shot from the blue line went through a lot of traffic and in. Assists went to Devon Toews and Conor Timmins.

With the Sharks net empty, Brent Burns took a quick shot from the blue line at 17:47. The puck went off of Tomas Hertl for his 16th of the season. Assists went to Burns and Barabanov.

The Sharks made a good final push at the end but it was not enough. The Sharks finally won the shot battle for the period, 11-8. The Sharks had one power play and a bit in the third, which added two shots to their tally. Colorado had just one shot on their power play before Couture scored and the unsuccessful challenge ended the power play. The Sharks won just 41% of the face-offs in the game.

The Sharks next play on Monday, in San Jose. They will face the Avalanche again at 7:30 PM PT.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Matt Harrington:Sharks drop 9th of 11 games; Shutout in Colorado 3-0

Colorado Avalanche left wing J.T. Compher, left tries to get control of the puck as the San Jose Sharks left winger Evander Kane (9) tries to defend on Fri Apr 30, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the SJ Sharks podcast with Matt:

#1 The San Jose Sharks (20-25-5) get shutout on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche (32-12-4) 3-0 they got on the scoreboard in the third period but the goal was taken away could you describe what happened.

#2 Martin Jones was in net for the Sharks once again was this a game where he just didn’t get any support in front of him or the Aves were able to take advantage and get some good chances on Jones.

#3 The Sharks couldn’t get anything going on offense I know you talked about their power plays this would have been a great opportunity to do something on the power play.

#4 Much of the credit goes to the Colorado goaltender Phillipp Grubauer faced 21 shots and was able to stop them all.

#5 Sharks and Avalanche face off at 5:00 PM PDT which Sharks team will show up the team that will be fired up after taking a 3-0 shutout loss or the team that took the shutout loss?

Sharks podcasts on Saturday are hosted by Matt Harrington at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks could be odd hockey team out; SJ Planning Commission on board with Google Development plan

Rendering of the Google Village that is on the drawing board for development literally right at the doorstep at SAP Center in San Jose (image from sanjosespotlight.com and Sitelab Urban Studio)

By Marko Ukalovic and Daniel Dullum

SAN JOSE–San Jose Sharks and Sports Entertainment has two choices regarding the future of the NHL hockey team staying in San Jose grin and bear it lose over 4,000 parking spaces and crater to the direction of new and future neighbor Google and their development of a new Downtown West Village that will feature retail, condos, new housing and 7.3 million feet of office development. Not to mention the remodeling and development of the Caltrain and BART stations that Google will push for as a huge public transit hub right across the street from SAP Center.

The San Jose Planning Commission voted unanimously to move forward with the development on Wednesday night. Meaning Google is getting one step closer towards building their 80 acre campus in the Dirdon/SAP Center neighborhood.

Google’s plans are to be the big business developer in the neighborhood and the Sharks would be welcomed by Google to stay but the mega tech company plans to develop or have the run of their parking lot as they are a major purchaser of the surrounding area.

The Sharks are waiting for the next meeting that will take place with the San Jose City Council who will vote on the development on May 25th. Google needs two thirds of a yes vote from the City Council to move forward with the development.

A two thirds vote is critical to the project because the San Jose Airport Commission voted no to the development because the Downtown West Village does not meet the building height and noise standards. Although it’s hard to say who on the City Council will vote in favor or not Google has made the deal interesting for the City of San Jose by pouring billions into developing the Downtown West Village project and the city is looking at the project as huge revenue and tax money income in spite of the City’s only professional team the Sharks who say they will leave if this project goes forward.

The second option on a possible Sharks move in a worst case scenario is narrowed down to three locations if they look past the project development succeeding, the Oakland Coliseum Arena previously served as a site of the defunct NHL California Golden Seals who played in Oakland in the 1970s. That site most likely won’t work for the Sharks because the Oakland A’s and the City of Oakland are considering developing the Coliseum proper if the A’s can land a new ballpark in downtown Oakland. Also the Sharks like the A’s most likely do not want to play their games at the Coliseum location.

The Sharks could turn to the San Francisco 49ers and Levis Stadium and develop a new arena in Santa Clara near Great America. That is if the Sharks will accept being a tenant of the 49ers. The Sharks really want their own location and own building. Right now being in a downtown setting is what the Sharks want and moving to Santa Clara would not offer that downtown ambiance.

The third location is Quebec City Canada. Quebec City lost it’s hockey team the Nordiques when they moved to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche in 1995 and the city has been hungry for an NHL team ever since and have a NHL regulation facility in the waiting for such a team who is looking for a new home.

It all boils down the the San Jose City Council vote on May 25th and the Sharks will either be happy with the vote if the City Council votes thumbs down to the Downtown West Village project or they will have to look at their options if the vote moves forward with the project.

Marko Ukalovic is a San Jose Barracuda beat writer and Daniel Dullum does Headline Sports podcasts each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Sharks Ride 3-Goal 1st Period to 4-2 Win Over Yotes

The San Jose Sharks get their celebration on after a two game sweep over the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center on Wed Apr 28, 2021 (@SanJoseSharks image)

By Matt Harrington

The San Jose Sharks playoff hopes, while dimming, still live on after the Sharks 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes Wednesday night in San Jose. Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl had two points each, Kevin Labanc scored in his return to the lineup after missing Monday’s game with an injury and Evander Kane scored to continue a streak of six 20-goal seasons. Josef Korenar made 28 saves for his second career and consecutive win to keep San Jose (20-24-5) 5 points back of St. Louis, another victorious team Wednesday, for the final spot in the West.

The Sharks did most of their damage in the first period, scoring three goals on Darcy Kuemper. Kane scored first just 1:12 into play on the rush. Tomas Hertl wheeled into the zone, pulled up and hit Alexander Barabanov on the far post. Barabanov dished the puck to Kane cross-crease for the one-timer. Barabanov now has points in both games he’s appeared in for San Jose.

Rudolfs Balcers beat Kuemper 10:06 into the frame after the Sharks continued to gum up the neutral zone and force turnovers. Balcers caught Niklas Hjalmarsson flat-footed and sped around him for an open lane to the net. Logan Couture and John Leonard assisted on Balcers’ seventh of the year.

The Sharks third goal was a combined effort of Noah Gregor, Alex True and Kevin Labanc. Gregor picked up a homerun pass that would have gone for an icing for a slower skater and fed true net front. The pass drew Kuemper out so that True’s rebound would go to Labanc for an easy empty net goal and a 3-0 lead with 5:52 left in the first. It’s Labanc’s 11th goal of the season, and first since April 9th. He missed Monday’s game with an injury.

Phil Kessel joined rare company, becoming one of three players to score eight goals against the Sharks in a season. He accomplished the feat with 4:13 left in the period for a 3-1 Sharks edge. He joins Teemu Selanne and Luc Robitaille in the outer club and has nearly as many goals against the Sharks as the rest of the league (10) this year. Johan Larsson scored 4:40 into the second to cut the lead to one at 3-2. Hertl’s empty-netter sealed the game for San Jose and gave him an Couture (secondary assist on the play) multipoint nights.

Next up for the Sharks is a road trip to Colorado. They’ll play a two game road set against the Avs before welcoming the second place in-division Colorado side for two at home as the season moves to the final weeks.

Notes: Brinson Pasichnuk made his NHL debut for the Sharks. He’s the first skater and second player from the fledgling Arizona State hockey program to make their NHL debuts this year. Joey D’accord played in net for the Ottawa Senators earlier this year…Matt Nieto skated in practice but a return date is still unclear…Alex True appeared in the lineup for the first time since March 3rd. He had his first point of the season…Evander Kane has seven career 20 goal seasons in total….John Leonard has his first point since an assist April 10th against Los Angeles.