Golden Knights Beat Sharks 3-1; San Jose takes ninth loss in ten games

photo from sfgate.com: Vegas Golden Knights center Paul Stastny (26) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks have lost a third game in a row, again. The 3-1 loss was to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. Vegas goals came from Paul Stasny, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault. Malcolm Subban made 37 saves for the win. Logan Couture scored the only Sharks goal and Aaron Dell made 34 saves in the loss.

The Sharks have earned the distinction of scoring the fewest goals(19) this December of any team in the NHL. Comparing the team’s performance in November to this abysmal December, Sharks captain Logan Couture said:

We’re finding ways to lose now whereas in November we were finding ways to win. That was the close games, you know. We were getting games to overtime, we were finding a way to score in overtime, we were getting to a shootout, win in a shootout. Now we’re giving up goals in the last ten minutes in a tie game in the third period and losing those games.

Sharks head coach Bob Boughner was not available for the post game press conference, but Associate coach Roy Sommer said: “Another one of those games where we were in it and end up tying it up and I thought positive things were going to come out of it. It’s kind of like you’re waiting for the other shoe to fall off and sure enough that’s what happened. I thought for the most part we battled.”

In the scoreless first period, the Golden Knights out-shot the Sharks 13-7, and had two power plays. The power plays came at the start of the period, a 1:30 penalty to Evander Kane for tripping, and at the end, a 17:17 penalty to Erik Karlsson for sending the puck over the glass. Vegas got credit for four shots during those power plays.

Almost six minutes into the second period, the Sharks had just one shot on goal, taken by Joe Thornton during a breakaway. Vegas goaltender Subban got enough of that shot so that it rang off the outside of the post. By contrast, Vegas had five shots and Aaron Dell was busy in net.

The Sharks finally had a good shift in the offensive zone around a minute later. They added a couple of shots to their count and drew their first penalty of the game- another puck over the glass penalty. The Sharks applied some pressure during that power play but registered just one shot on goal.

About 90 seconds after the Sharks’ power play expired, they were on the penalty kill for an elbowing penalty to Brent Burns. Vegas came up with no shots on that power play.

Vegas broke the tie with just 2:29 left in the second period. Paul Stasny, guarded by Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson both on the same side of the ice, took a shot that went off the post. It bounced out to the other side of the net and Stasny got to it again before either Sharks defenseman could get to him. He also had an open net to shoot at. Assists went to Alex Tuch and Valentin Zykov.

The final minute of the period was spent four-on-four with Brenden Dillon and Ryan Reaves in the box with matching roughing penalties.

Logan Couture tied the game back up at 3:54 of the third. Brent Burns carried the puck around behind the net and sent it through the blue paint across to the open shooter. Assists went to Burns and Tomas Hertl.

Vegas took the lead back at 8:05. William Karlsson had his pas intercepted by a Sharks skate as he moved into the Sharks zone. He turned as if to retrieve the puck but instead left it for Shea Theodore to collect, while Karlsson kept Patrick Marleau clear of Theodore. Theodore took a quick shot from above the face-off circle and beat Dell. Assists went to Karlsson and Nicolas Hague.

The Sharks had a third period power play after that, but could not score.

Vegas expanded the lead with a third goal at 16:35. Reilly Smith got the puck after a neutral zone face-off. He carried it over the blue line and out-skated Erik Karlsson before making a cross-ice pass to Jonathan Marchessault who was closing on the net. Dell could not get across quick enough to stop Marchessault’s shot. Assists went to Smith and William Karlsson.

As they have for three games in a row now, the Sharks closed out the game with a late third period power play and a six-on-four advantage with their goaltender pulled. As before, they did not score.

The Sharks will next play after the Christmas break, on December 27 against the Los Angeles King at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Break Bad Streak, Beat Knights 4-3 in OT

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks ended their seven game losing streak Saturday, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in overtime. It was a good preview of the playoffs, possibly even a playoff matchup if the standings remain as they are. Each team got credit for 40 hits. Between hits, a lot of goals were scored too. For San Jose, goals came from Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Brent Burns. Las Vegas goals came from William Karlsson, Cody Eakin and Shea Theodore. Martin Jones made 23 saves in the win while Vegas goaltender Malcolm Subban made 30 saves in the loss.

Vegas scored first at 3:54. The Sharks had just thwarted a nice play by Vegas, turning what could have easily been a goal into a puck behind the net. Unfortunately, Vegas had control of that puck and Jonathan Marchessault made a pass from below the goal line to the slot, where William Karlsson was open with a clear view of Martin Jones. It was Karlsson’s 24th of the season. Assists went to Marchessault and Reilly Smith.

The rest of the period was littered with matching penalties. An interference penalty to Marcus Sorensen was matched by an embellishment penalty to Colin Miller. Joe Thornton’s high-sticking penalty was matched by a roughing penalty to Ryan Reaves. Reaves also got a misconduct on that one.

The Sharks tied the game just under a minute into the second period. Tomas Hertl caught a stray rebound from a Joonas Donskoi shot. Hertl then wove his way around a defender and poked the puck between skaters and shot it past the Malcolm Subban. It was Hertl’s 35th goal of the season. Assists went to Donskoi and Timo Meier.

Just before a fight between Barclay Goodrow and William Carrier (at 3:01), Brenden Dillon was called for cross-checking, so the crowd was presented with the odd sight of a power play coming out of a fight. It did not change the score but took a little explaining.

That power play probably did set the Knights up to score at 5:30, moments after it expired. Cody Eakin was right in front of the blue paint when Deryk Engelland’s shot came in and dropped dead off of Jones’s pads. Eakin was able to gather it up and put it in the net. Assists went to Engelland and Ryan Carpenter.

The Sharks tied it again at 7:22 of the third. Tomas Hertl burst into the Vegas zone trailing one defender and slipping around another on his way to the net. He didn’t get a shot off but drew all the attention his way as he went behind the net and sent the puck forward for one of several Sharks to take a shot. Two couldn’t catch it but Evander Kane was coming in as the trailer and he found the rebound for a quick shot into an empty net. Subban was stuck in traffic to the side of the net, unable to get back for the save.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic gave the Sharks their first lead of the night at 11:26 with a slap shot off an offensive zone faceoff. Logan Couture got the assist. It was Vlasic’s third of the season.

That lead only lasted for 38 seconds. Shea Theodore did almost exactly what Vlasic did, taking a shot off an offensive zone faceoff win by William Karlsson. It was Theodore’s 12th of the season.

The end of the third was spent mostly in penalties. First, matching roughing penalties were assigned to Timo Meier and William Carrier at 16:10. At 10:05, almost a minute after the four-on-four ended, Colin Miller was called for hooking.

That power play carried over into the extra period, right up to Brent Burns’s game winner 22 seconds into overtime. That shot came off of Couture’s pass along the blue line. A secondary assist went to Kevin Labanc.

The Sharks next play on Sunday at 5:00 PM PT against the visiting Calgary Flames.

Sharks Fall to Golden Knights 3-2, Knights Clinch 1st in Pacific

sjsharks.com photo: The Vegas Knights’ center Cody Eakin (21) and the San Jose Sharks Logan Couture (39) chase down the puck during Saturday night’s game at T Mobile Center

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost on the road to the Las Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 Saturday. Las Vegas goals came from Shea Theodore, Oscar Lindberg and William Karlsson. Sharks goals came from Joe Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.  Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the win, while Martin Jones made 35 saves for the Sharks.

Saturday’s win clinched first place in the Pacific Division for the Knights. Sharks forward Chris Tierney said, of the NHL’s newest team:

They have a lot of speed. You know, they create chances off of turnovers and they move pucks well in the o-zone. If you’re sleeping a bit or if you lose your guy they’re going to find him and make plays. They play with a lot of speed, a lot of energy, and they cane hurt you if you don’t manage the puck well.

As the playoffs approach, the return of injured players is particularly good news for the Sharks. Saturday saw Joonas Donskoi return for his first game since March 14. Joel Ward played his third game since his lengthy absence. Barclay Goodrow and Eric Fehr are out now. Fehr is expected back before Goodrow, who in recovering from finger surgery. No return date is set yet for Joe Thornton, though he has been skating.

Shea Theodore opened the scoring in the first period at 2:21. A nice play from blue line to faceoff circle and back up to the high slot was aided by a good screen from Alex Tuch. Assists went to William Karlsson and Deryk Engelland.

The Sharks answered back at 7:14 with a goal from Joe Pavelski. Joonas Donskoi carried the puck into the zone along the boards and found Timo Meier near the faceoff dot. Meier’s shot created a big rebound that went right to Pavelski for the goal.

The second Vegas goal came after Kevin Labanc’s failed clear landed right on Shea Theodore’s stick at 3:03 of the second period. Theodore’s shot went through traffic, off Oscar Lindberg’s stick and right under Jones. Theodore got the only assist.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic tied the game at 9:50. The Sharks had just added an extra skater during a delayed penalty against Las Vegas when Joe Pavelski took a shot from the blue line. The shot hit Fleury and came back out for Vlasic to put away. It was Vlasic’s 11th goal of the season, a career high. Assists to Pavelski and Justin Braun.

The Knights challenged the goal for goaltender interference, as Timo Meier looked close to Fleury. Meier and Fleury did make some contact. but not inside the crease, and well before the shot came through.

William Karlsson scored the game winner short-handed at 8:35 of the third period. The Sharks power play was struggling mightily, hardly able to get through the neutral zone. Karlsson picked off a failed pass from Joe Pavelski to Brent Burns and took off on a breakaway. He went all the way to the net, then let the puck go between his legs for a nice little trick shot.

The Sharks play next on Tuesday in San Jose, against the Dallas Stars at 7:30 pm PT.