Sharks Fall 4-3 to Avalanche, Couture Leaves Game With Injury

NHL on ice official Bob Meier (34) takes a look over San Jose Shark Logan Couture (39) after taking a deflected pass off his cheek in the first period Sunday night at SAP Center (photo sfgate.com)

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE– The San Jose Sharks fell to the visiting Colorado Avalanche 4-3 Sunday. The loss extended the Sharks’ current losing streak to three. Colorado goals came from Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Vladislav Namestnikov and Joonas Donskoi. Avalanche goaltender, Pavel Fracouz made 22 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Joe Thornton, Melker Karlsson and Noah Gregor. Martin Jones made

Before anyone scored a goal, Logan Couture took a deflected puck to the face. After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier explained what he had seen of the incident: “Unlucky play. I was trying to make a pass and it got deflected. He didn’t see it coming and I’m not sure where it hit him. Very unfortunate, I hope he’s doing well. A big part of our team, a big leader so I hope he’s recovering quick.”

Coach Bob Boughner said “I believe it was his cheek and he went under concussion protocol with the NHL. I think it was just precautionary, that we didn’t want to throw him back in there. But I don’t think it’s anything serious, I think he’s going to be fine.” Additionally, Boughner did not rule Couture out for the next game.

While Couture was being injured, Vladislav Kamenev was being called for interference against Joe Thornton. During the resulting power play, the Sharks started the scoring at 11:16. Timo Meier sent the puck from high in the slot to the net. Evander Kane was there to receive it but it went off of Erik Johnson’s skate and followed an unexpected trajectory. Kane reached for it and just pushed it across the goal mouth. Joe Thornton was right where he needed to be to gather the stray puck and put it in the net. Assists went to Kane and Meier.

Nathan MacKinnon tied it up with a power play goal for Colorado at 16:17. The Sharks had just stopped a shot by JT Compher but it rebounded up the slot to Gabriel Landeskog. He made a quick pass to MacKinnon who was waiting in the face-off circle to take the shot.

At the end of the first period, the shot count was 8-7 Colorado and the Avalanche won 69% of the face-offs.

Landeskog gave his team a lead early in the second period, just 1:59 in. A turnover in the neutral zone left Radim Simek facing a two on one of Landeskog and MacKinnon. MacKinnon took the shot and Jones stopped it but Landeskog was trailing just enough to put the rebound in the net. Assists went to MacKinnon and Vladislav Namestnikov.

Melker Karlsson tied it back up again less than two minutes later. Getting a jump on traffic through the neutral zone, Karlsson caught a pass from Marcus Sorensen near the Sharks blue line and skated the other way all alone. He went right up the middle and beat Pavel Francouz with a quick wrist shot. Sorensen got the assist.

Vladislav Namestnikov completed the goal set for his line at 8:41 of the second. Landeskog made a pass around the Sharks defenders and Namestnikov caught it but not in a great shooting position. He had to spin and shoot it back behind the goaltender to get the goal. Assists went to Landeskog and MacKinnon.

The Sharks had to kill a lengthy power play between 15:35 and 18:53, with a little under 40 seconds of five-on-three. Melker Karlsson went to the box for slashing, and then Timo Meier was called for hooking. The Sharks allowed just one shot during those penalties.

In the second period, the shot count was 10-7 Colorado and the Avalanche also won 60% of the face-offs.

A couple of things went unnoticed by the men in stripes during the third period. Colorado got away with too many men on the ice around the 10 minute mark, and then Timo Meier got whacked on the hands without any official noticing. The audience saw enough of both incidents to object loudly.

Joonas Donskoi made it 4-2 Avalanche after J.T. Compher found him with a backhand pass off the rush. It was a very nifty play, reminiscent of Donskoi in teal. Assists went to Compher and Erik Johnson.

With just under two minutes left, Evander Kane was felled with a high stick, putting the Sharks on a short power play. Kane appeared none the worse for wear during the power play.

With the Sharks goalie pulled, Noah Gregor scored his second goal of the season with 44 seconds left in the period. Assists went to Meier and Kevin Labanc.

The third period shot count was 11-6 Sharks, with the Avalanche winning 52% of the face-offs.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday in Chicago against the Blackhawks at 5:00 PM PT.

Sharks Shut-out Penguins 5-0; Jones stops all 30 Penguin shots

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks goaltender Marty Jones (31) puts one of his 30 saves on the Pittsburgh Penguins Teddy Blueger (53) in the second period on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 Saturday, extending the Penguins’ losing streak to six. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Joel Kellman, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton. In all, nine Sharks players earned points in the game. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 30 saves for the win. Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry made 27 saves on 32 shots.

After the game, Sharks  captain Logan Couture said:

We know how it feels to be going through a tough time like that, when you get jumped on early. It really takes the wind out of your sails. So, that was our goal and I thought we did a very good job. You know, we started on time, we placed the puck in good spots and forced them to defend. With their skilled players they don’t like doing that was the big difference tonight.

The first period was scoreless until the 18:48 mark when Evander Kane took advantage of a turn-over in the neutral zone. He broke away form the pack and went right for the net. He moved right but then shot left to beat Tristan Jarry on the blocker side. Marc-Edouard Vlasic got the assist.

The shots were almost even at 11-10 Sharks. There was just one penalty, a tripping call against Mario Ferraro. The Penguins got three shots on the power play.

In the second period, penalties were called early and often. Each team had two penalties before the half-way mark of the period. Just 2:13 in, Evander Kane went to the box for a double-minor high-sticking against Chad Ruhwedel. Before that expired, Patrick Marleau was called for slashing Mario Ferraro. Less than a minute after that, Mario Ferraro was called for high-sticking Sidney Crosby. At 9:05, Marcus Pettersson was called for tripping Brent Burns. The Penguins got four shots during their time with the man advantage, while the Sharks got none.

Just seconds after that fourth penalty ended, Timo Meier added to the Sharks’ tally. Mario Ferraro held the puck in the zone and then, under pressure, got it to Marcus Sorensen. Sorensen made a quick pass to Timo Meier who was in the face-off circle. Meier took a shot that went under a defender’s stick and then through a hole against the post. Assists went to Sorensen and Ferraro.

At 14:15, Joel Kellman scored the Sharks’ third goal of the game. Marcus Sorensen carried the puck in along the boards, but had Schultz all over him. He dropped the puck to Kellman, who looked like he might pass to Radim Simek. Instead, he took the shot.

Radim Simek and Patrick Hornqvist added to the penalty tally with simultaneous minors at 14:56. A series of slashes around the Sharks net resulted in Simek challenging Hornqvist to fight but his invitation was declined. Simek went for roughing while Hornqvist went for slashing.

Logan Couture scored San Jose’s fourth of the game 8:01 into the third period. Ferraro took a shot from the blue line that Couture redirected under the goalie for his 16th of the season. Assists went to Ferraro and Kane.

Patric Hornqvist was called for interference at the same time as that goal, putting the Sharks on a power play. The Sharks got one shot on that power play.

Joe Thornton inadvertently scored the Sharks’ fifth goal. He tried to pass the puck to Timo Meier on the other side of the blue paint, but it went off a defender and into the net instead. Assists went to Meier and Tim Heed.

The final shot count was 32-30 Sharks. In the face-off circle, the Penguins won 57% of the draws.

Midway through the third period, Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton and Penguins forward Dominik Simon left the game with injuries. Their injuries were not related but occurred at almost the same time in the game. Patrick Hornqvist pushed Middleton down in front of the net and Middleton seemed to get one leg in a bad position. “I just know Middsy went down pretty hard. I think it was his left ankle, he was screaming. It wasn’t good,” said Logan Couture after the game.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Jets 3-2 in Winnipeg; Sharks win three of last four games

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks Brendan Dillion (4) goes airborne after having a collision with the Winnipeg Jets Nikolaj Ehlers (27) as the Sharks Evander Kane (9) is in the background in Friday night’s game in Winnipeg

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 Friday, in Brent Burns’ 1,100th NHL game. Sharks goals came from Marcus Sorensen, Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier. Aaron Dell made 30 saves in the win. Jets goals came from Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler, with Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck making 32 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner said:

You’re never going to come in and play the Jets and not give up some chances, with the team they have and the offense. But I thought we did some really good things away from the puck. I thought that we had guys climbing above and not giving too many odd-man rushes. And there were spurts in the game that we were really good defensively, and when they had their chances, Deller was there to make the big stop.

Timo Meier has three goals and four assists in the last six games, including the game-winner Friday. Of this streak, Evander Kane said: “He’s playing heavy. You know, he’s skating. He’s a big powerful guy with a good scoring touch. When he goes hard to the net, he can finish. So that was another example of that tonight.”

In the first period, the Sharks out shot the Jets 13-3. At 14:51, Marcus Sorensen scored in a chaotic scrum in front of Connor Hellebuyck. Assists went to Alexander True and Dylan Gambrell. The Jets challenged the goal for goaltender interference but the challenge was unsuccessful, giving the Sharks their first power play.

The second period was something of a reversal, with the teams even in shots at 11, but the Jets scoring twice.

Their first goal came on a power play at 8:21, with Evander Kane in the box for interference. From right in front of the net, Kyle Connor was able to put a shot between his legs and over Dell’s shoulder, into the top corner. Assists went to Blake Wheeler and Neal Pionk.

Blake Wheeler scored less than two minutes later. His shot went past a moving screen and into the top corner. Andrew Copp found him with a pass from the corner, and a second assist went to Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Sharks ended the second period on a power play when Josh Morrisey was called for holding Timo Meier. They started the third with 1:54 remaining on that power play. The did not get any shots on net in that power play.

At 5:18, Melker Karlsson did score, in a quick give and go play with Joel Kellman. The give and go had the Jets defense discombobulated enough that when Karlsson got to the front of the net and received the puck no one was in his way. Assists went to Kellman and
Stefan Noesen.

Timo Meier added another for the Sharks, just 1:29 later. Brent Burns sent the puck to the net where Kevin Labanc tried to get to it. Dmitry Kulikov was in his way so he couldn’t get control of it. The puck trickled out to the side of the blue paint, where Meier found it and put it in the net. Assists went to Labanc and Burns.

The teams played 4-on-4 at 6:55 when Marcus Sorensen went to the box for roughing against Jack Roslovic, and Roslovic went for cross-checking Sorensen. The Sharks killed Evander Kane’s second penalty of the game at 13:17 of the third, and held on to their lead for the rest of the period. The Jets pulled their goaltender with about two minutes to go. Those final minutes were marked by many good saves from Aaron Dell and some missed clearing opportunities for the Sharks, but they kept the puck out of the net.

The third period shot count was 16-11 Jets. The face-off contest went to the Jets 53%-47%.

The Sharks next play on Saturday in St Paul against the Minnesota Wild at 2:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 4-1 to Canucks; Get swept in three game road trip

theprovince.com photo: Vancouver Canucks centre Jay Beagle (83) goes into the boards with San Jose Sharks right wing Stefan Noesen (11) during first period NHL hockey action in Vancouver, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks Saturday and go into the All-Star break on a three-game losing streak. The win put the Canucks at first in the Pacific Division. Canucks goals were scored by Loui Eriksson, Tanner Pearson, Quinn Hughes and T.J. Miller. Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko made 17 saves for the win. Barclay Goodrow scored the Sharks goal and Aaron Dell made 35 saves i the loss.

After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier said:

Showed some good stuff but not 60 minutes. That’s what it takes on the road, you’ve got to play 60 minutes of honest hockey, hard-working hockey. We didn’t get that done. Now we’ve got a break. We’re obviously not feeling great going into this break. But coming back from the break we’ve got to be ready to give everything we’ve got, push for it.

After the game, Sharks interim head coach Bob Boughner was asked why the team was having so much trouble creating offense. He mentioned the absence of Logan Couture and the fact that the team is having trouble getting out of their own zone. He also pointed to face-offs: “I think the big difference is, this road trip, we’ve been horrible in the face-off circle. Now you’re never starting with the puck, even in the offensive zone, you’re chasing. You can’t chase pucks all night. That limits your possession, and tires you out.”

The Sharks finished the game with an abysmal 38% face-off win percentage. Tomas Hertl and Barclay Goodrow have been struggling there, though they had regular success earlier in the season and tend to take a lot of draws. The only Sharks above 50% in Saturday’s game took relatively few draws. They were Evander Kane, who won three of five draws, Annti Suomela, who won four of seven, and Joel Kellman, who won three of five.

The first period was scoreless and that was the only good thing about it for the Sharks. They finished it with three shots on goal to the Canucks’ nine. The Canucks also won 67% of the face-offs.

The second period did not shape up to be any better than the first for the Sharks, while the Canucks seemed to gain confidence. The period was still scoreless until 14:05 when Tanner Pearson took a shot from the slot. He did not get all of it and it went off of a Sharks before getting to Dell. Loui Eriksson was at the net to pick up the rebound and put it in the net. Assists went to Pearson and Bo Horvat.

The Sharks challenged the goal as an offside play but the review determined otherwise and put the Sharks on the penalty kill. The Sharks killed the penalty but by the end of the period they still only had four shots  and had allowed 18 including the goal.

The Sharks had a better start to the third period, getting the first shots in the first few minutes of play. But at 4:37, Timo Meier went to the box for goaltender interference. 24 seconds into that penalty, Vancouver scored again. This one came as the Canucks entered the zone with Jake Virtanen on the wall. He took the shot and Pearson tipped it in. A secondary assist went to Adam Gaudette.

Barclay Goodrow got one back for the Sharks at 7:09. Erik Karlsson’s shot wound up in traffic in front of the net, where Goodrow dug for it and put it across the line. It was Goodrow’s eighth of the season, a career high for him. Assists went to Karlsson and Antti Suomela.

Vancouver took that back less than a minute later. Quinn Hughes took the shot from the blue line, right through a line of traffic. Assists went to Antoine Rouselle and Adam Gaudette.

Near the midpoint of the period, refereee Kendrick Nicholson took a shot to the head. It appeared that his helmet took the brunt of it but he left the game to be checked out.

Vancouver scored again at 15:27 of a two-on-one against Brent Burns. Burns dropped to block the pass but Virtanen passed the puck over him to J.T. Miller, who beat Dell on the blocker side. Elias Petterssen got the secondary assist.

For the second game in a row, the game ended with laundry list of penalties as scraps broke out at 17:18. Joe Thornton and Alexander Edler took matching roughing penalties. Thornton got an extra one for interference, and Edler was given a misconduct. Barclay Goodrow and Brenden Dillon both had misconducts. Brandon Sutter had a misconduct and Christopher Tanev got a roughing and a misconduct.

The Sharks finished the third period with a more respectable 11 shots to Vancouver’s 12.

Tomas Hertl will attend the All Star game starting on the 24th. The rest of the team will be off until the 29th, their first game after the break.

Sharks Beat Flyers 6-1, Hat-trick for Meier

photo from sfgate.com: The San Jose Sharks Timo Meier (28) scores a goal in the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at SAP Center in San Jose

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks played like a new team Saturday, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 at SAP Center. Timo Meier scored three of those goals for his first NHL hat trick. Mario Ferraro and Joel Kellman scored their first NHL goals and Patrick Marleau addded the sixth. Martin Jones made 26 saves in the win. Ivan Provorov scored the one Flyers goal and Carter Hart made 23 saves in the loss.

The lop-sided win was in stark contrast to the Sharks’ loss Friday night, when they gave up a 2-0 lead during the third period and then lost in overtime. After the win, Sharks captain Logan Couture said: “from the start of the puck drop I thought we were physical, we won more battles and got rewarded.” Nevertheless, he also said: “in the grand scheme of things we’re still near the bottom so we need to win a lot more games.”

Asked about what Timo Meier and Evander Kane did in the win, Sharks Interim Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

They’ve both been struggling a little bit of late and, you know, we had a good meeting this morning where we sort of called each other on the carpet about the details and why we’re struggling. And I think both those guys, along with Goody on that line I thought were obviously our most effective line but they played a lot more straight and north and they were stopping on pucks, they were being physical and I think that’s the results you get when you play that kind of detail.

The Sharks’ first goal came near the halfway mark of the first period. The Sharks had just one shot on goal when Mario Ferraro tried to move the puck out of his zone. the pass was intercepted and bounced back in his direction. He was already moving to chase it down and it came right to him. He moved it through the neutral zone where Barclay Goodrow caught it and carried it into the Flyers’ zone. Ferraro continued his pursuit and was closing on the net when Goodrow passed it back to him. Ferraro shot it past Hart for his first NHL goal. Assists went to Goodrow and Timo Meier.

By the end of the period, the Sharks had seven shots to Philadelphia’s five but were lagging in face-off wins with just 33% going their way.

The Sharks had killed off the only first period penalty, but had lost Melker Karlsson in that kill. He took a shot to the head and had to be helped off the ice. The shot hit him close to or below the bottom of his helmet, near the base of his skull. After the game, Bob Boughner said that Karlsson received some stitches and “he’ still being evaluated but hopefully we can have him back here. It’s a day to day thing.”

The Sharks scored again at 2:39 of the second period. Joel Kellman, playing his third NHL game, scored his first goal on a nice breakaway. He had to collect the puck from his skates on his way to the net but he managed in time to get a neat backhand under Hart’s pads. Assists went to Radim Simek and Mario Ferraro.

Timo Meier added a third goal at 9:21, his 12th of the season. He tipped Burns’ shot from the blue line while he and Goodrow both screened the goaltender. Assists went to Burns and Brenden Dillon.

The Sharks finished the second period with eleven shots to the Flyers’ eight. They also had one power play and took two penalties. One of those was Barclay Goodrow’s and gave the Flyers almost two full minutes of power play time to start the third period.

The Flyers scored on that power play, 51 seconds into the third. Claude Giroux, on the edge of the face-off circle, made a backhand pass to Ivan Provorov up on the blue line. Several Flyers converged on the net just as Provorov took the shot and it went by Jones on the blocker side. Assists went to Giroux and Travis Konecny.

The Sharks got that goal back with a three on one from Evander Kane, Barclay Goodrow and Timo Meier. Kane carried the puck into the zone and waited until defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere went down, trying to block the pass. Kane’s pass floated over Gostisbehere’s stick to Meier. Meier took the shot and put it past Hart as the goaltender tried to get across.

Timo Meier completed his hat-trick at 12:52 of the third. Barcay Goodrow sent the puck around the boards as he crossed the blue line. Evander Kane was coming around the other side and picked the puck up behind the net. Timo Meier arrived at the net, ready to receive the pass from Kane across the ice. Assists went to Kane and Goodrow.

With 2:40 left in the period, Marcus Sorensen made a nice move after carrying the puck into the zone at speed. He chipped the puck around Provorov to attempt a shot. Sorensen’s shot failed but Patrick Marleau was right behind him to tap the puck in. Assists went to Sorensen and Joe Thornton.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Detroit against the Red Wings at 4:30 PM PT.

Sharks Best Canucks 4-2; Six game skid comes to an end

photo from sfgate.com: The Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (left) tries to reach around on San Jose Sharks rightwinger Timo Meier on Saturday night at SAP Center.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks celebrated Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s 1000th NHL game with a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks Saturday. The win ended a six-game losing streak and no doubt made Star Wars night more fun for the fans at the SAP Center. Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Evander Kane and Logan Couture. Aaron Dell made 33 saves in the win. Canucks goals came from Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat with Jacob Markstrom making 23 saves in the loss.

After the game, Marc-Edouard Vlasic confessed that he did not keep the puck from his 1000th game: “No, that was for Bob. I’ll just pick up a random puck and tell everybody it’s 1000 games. Nobody’ll know the difference.” The win was also Bob Boughner’s first as head coach of the Sharks.

Boughner talked later about the work the team is doing: “We got a practice in yesterday so it was nice to get our lines together and work some offensive zone play that we’re trying to establish. I think that both ends of the ice really, we worked on a little different defensive structure.” He also gave credit to his goaltender:

Deller, you know, he was our best player. You know, he made some key saves at key times and, you know, really kept us in it when we were starting to take on water. And that’s what a goalie does in a win like that. I liked the way we played. We played with some poise. Second period we took on too much but, you know, I thought the third period we responded. Even though they were in our zone a little bit, we didn’t have too many let downs and so many break downs in the slot area.

The first goal of the game came at 10:50 of the first. Joe Thornton got the puck from Kevin Labanc and held it while Tomas Hertl went to the net. Vancouver’s Tyler Meyers dropped to block the pass but Thornton sent it behind him, between the prone defenseman and the goaltender to Hertl on the other side of the net. From there, Hertl had an open net to shoot at and he did not miss. It was Hertl’s 12th goal of the season.

The second period was scoreless with Vancouver out-shooting San Jose 12-7. San Jose had two unsuccessful power plays and one successful penalty kill.

A nice outlet pass from Erik Karlsson found Timo Meier in the neutral zone. Couture, Kane and Meier went into the zone three on two. Meier made a pass to Lane, who passed it right back. Meier wound up taking the shot from just above the goal line and it went in off of Markstrom. Assists went to Kane and Karlsson.

Less than a minute later, Adam Gaudette skated through the neutral zone with the puck, found his way around the Sharks defense and managed to make a quick pass to Jake Virtanen in the slot. Virtanen carried it a few strides before taking the shot and beating Dell on the far side. Assists went to Gaudette and Christopher Tanev.

The third San Jose goal came from Evander Kane at 18:39 of the third. After he missed the empty net twice, his team-mates held the zone and got the puck back to him for a third try. He got that one but did not celebrate. Assists went to Logan Couture and Barclay Goodrow.

The Canucks gave some extra weight to that empty net goal at 19:31 with their goaltender pulled again. Quinn Hughes took a shot from the blue line. Dell stopped that but gave up a trickling rebound. Bo Horvat was there to tuck it in the net. Assists went to Hughes and Brock Boeser.

The Canucks pulled their goalie again. A few seconds later, Marc-Edouard Vlasic stole the puck at the Sharks blue line and found Logan Couture with a pass for another shot into the empty net. The time of that goal was 19:52.

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

Sharks Tough It Out, Beat Golden Knights 2-1 in OT

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in overtime Thursday, in Vegas. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier and Logan Couture. Aaron Dell, making his first start in three weeks, made 37 saves for win. The lone Vegas goal came from Brayden McNabb and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves.

Aaron Dell last played on November 2, seven games ago for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier said: “He was incredible, he made some really big saves for us, he was steady all game in net. And that’s a big win and he definitely was a huge part of that.”

In his first game of the season, Antti Suomela seemd to scored the first goal. From high in the face-off circle, he tipped Brenden Dillon’s shot from the point at 6:08. Las Vegas challenged it for goaltender interference by Timo Meier. Merrill had given Meier a push as he hit Fleury’s glove while skating around him at the edge of the crease. The officials did not consider the push to be relevant and the goal was disallowed.

The Sharks started Thursday’s game without Tomas Hertl and Dalton Prout,  and Melker Karlsson and Radim Simek both left the game early with injuries. No injury details were forthcoming after the game but Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said:

It was a big character win for us, was a lot of thing stacked against us with some of the injuries in the lineup, obviously coming into this building and what happened the last couple times we’ve been in here. So, I thought our guys dug deep, I thought we got contributions from everybody. I didn’t think we had any passengers tonight and obviously Deller gave us a big game.

The Sharks took the only penalty of the first period, and that was to Logan Couture for tripping Reilly Smith. The Golden Knights had two shots on that power play and 14 shots in the period to the Sharks’ 6.

When Timo Meier scored at 1:26 of the second period, it counted. Skating through the neutral zone, Meier caught a pass from Dylan Gambrell and went tearing into the Vegas zone. Nate Schmidt had a step on him, but a stutter step got him around the defenseman and a hard stop by the goal sent Schmidt into the post as the puck went into the net.

By the middle of the period, the Sharks were being out-shot 8-2, and that was before they took a penalty for too many men on the ice at 9:12. Vegas got two shots on that power play as well.

The Sharks’ first power play came at 13:14 of the second, a tripping penalty to Marc-Andre Fleury against Marcus Sorensen. The Sharks got one shot early in the power play, but spent a lot of time stuck in the defensive zone after that, being turned back in the neutral zone again and again. They finished with two shots in that power play. The Sharks were out-shot in the second period 14-11.

The Sharks took their third penalty of the game at 4:18 of the third period when Brenden Dillon was called for interference on Cody Eakin. The Sharks had a couple of scares during that one, but their goaltender was up to the challenge and bailed them out. Vegas only had one shot in that power play.

Vegas tied it up at 10:18 of the third when Brayden McNabb took a shot from the top of the face-off circle. The puck found its way into the net through traffic. William Carrier got the assist.

The Sharks were on the power play at 11:17 when Cody Eakin was called for slashing Timo Meier. The Sharks had three shots in that power play. The Sharks had six shots for the period, as did Vegas.

In overtime, the shots were 6-4 Sharks after Logan Couture ended it at 3:20. His breakaway was made possible by a pass-interrupting tip from Marc-Edouard Vlasic in front of the Sharks net. Fleury stopped Couture’s initial shot, but Couture closed on the net and poked the puck under the goaltender before any defenders could catch him.

The three stars went to Logan Couture, Brayden McNabb and Ryan Reaves, likely for the 12 hits he got credit for.

The Sharks next play on Saturday back in San Jose against the New York Islanders at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Beat Predators 2-1 in Shoot-out

Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Nashville Predators 2-1 in a shootout at SAP Center Saturday. Timo Meier scored to win in the seventh round of the shootout, and Tomas Hertl scored during regulation for the Sharks. Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville. Martin Jones made 24 saves for the win, and Juuse Saros made 31 saves for the Predators.

After the game, Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson said: “This is a good start. I think this was the first game where we felt right from the start no matter what the score was we felt like we were playing our game and we weren’t too worried about what they were doing. We were focused on the things that we needed to do well and I think we did that.”

Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said: “I think 60 minute effort for sure. You know, I thought we handled the adversity of not scoring first even though we were playing well better than we have in the past. Stuck with it, and yeah I think it was our best 60-minute effort.”

Coming into Saturday’s game, Nashville had won 2 of their last 5, with their last game being a 9-4 loss in Colorado. The Sharks had also won 2 of their last five, and had just come off a high-scoring game that they prevailed in 6-5. Tightening defense was clearly a goal for both teams, so it should be no surprise that the game was scoreless through the first period and much of the second. In shots, the teams stayed within three or four, each leading for one period they each had two power plays and no power play goals. The Sharks had the lead in blocked shots and the Predators were doing better in the face-off circle.

Filip Forsberg broke the deadlock at 14:44 of the second. He scored his eighth goal of the season carrying the puck in from the blue line while fending off Erik Karlsson on his right. Despite Karlsson getting a stick in his way, Forsberg put the puck up and over Jones on the short side. Dante Fabbro got the assist for his pass from the Predators’ blue line.

With a little over a minute left in the second period, Dante Fabbro took an Evander Kane shot in the face and had to leave the game. He returned during the third period wearing a face cage.

Tomas Hertl tied it at 5:22 of the third period. He had a shot knocked off his stick during the zone entry but the Sharks retained control of the puck and eventually Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s point shot got to the net and Hertl was there to knock it in. Assists went to Vlasic and Erik Karlsson.

The score remained unchanged through the rest of the period and overtime, including an overtime power play for Nashville.

Before Timo Meier scored to win the shootout for the Sharks, Saros stopped shots from Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, Evander Kane and Brent Burns.

Martin Jones stopped Matt Duchene, Ryan Ellis, Filip Forsberg, Kyle Turris, Ryan Johansen, Nick Bonino and Rocco Grimaldi.

The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 4-3 to Red Hot Sabres

photo from sfgate.com: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark, right, reaches for the puck next to San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE- The Buffalo Sabres continued their hot start to the season with a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks Saturday. The win brings the Sabres record to 7-1-1. Buffalo goals came from Marcus Johansson, Casey Mittelstadt, Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons. Linus Ullmark made 29 saves in the win. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Marcus Sorensen. Sharks goaltender Martin Jones made 31 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks forward Timo Meier said:

I think it was a good team game. We took some penalties that we probably shouldn’t have taken. It kind of took the rhythm out of our game, to kill off some penalties, and you know at the end, some energy that might miss. But overall, I think we played a pretty solid game. Like I said, too bad we didn’t come up on top but overall some stuff we can take out of this game.

Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer also thought the team played pretty well:

I liked their resiliency, I thought we battled all night. I thought our game was pretty good tonight. When I look at the seven or eight games we’ve played, that’s probably one of the better sixty minute efforts we got. Penalty kill did a good job, we got a power play goal. I thought we passed up some opportunities to shoot, you know, got a little cute around the net a few times. That might have been the difference.

The Sabres scored first at 12:10 of the first period. Henri Jokiharju carried the puck into the zone and made a drop pass to Marcus Johansson in the slot. Johansson took a shot just as Jokiharju passed in front of him. The puck went off of Jones and trickled across the line Assists went to Jokiharju and Marco Scandella.

The Sharks tied it on a power play at 16:00. With Marleau screening the goaltender, Timo Meier took a pass from Joe Thornton below the goal line. Meier’s quick shot went into the top corner for his second of the season. Assists went to Thornton and Erik Karlsson.

The Sabres took the lead back near the end of the second period when Casey Mittelstadt scored on a shot that was initially called a goal, then disallowed by the on-ice officials as being scored with a high stick. An official review reversed that reversal and called it a good goal. Assists went to Jokiharju and Jimmy Vesey.

The Sharks tied the game again 44 seconds into the third period on another power play. Erik Karlsson took a shot that went off of Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen. Tomas Hertl had taken a shot that rebounded out to Karlsson. Hertl and Evander Kane we both nearby when the puck went in but it did appear that Karlsson was the last Shark to touch it. Nevertheless, the goal went to Hertl with assists to Karlsson and Logan Couture.

Buffalo took their third lead of the game at 2:28 of the third with a goal from Jeff Skinner. Marcus Johansson tried to take a shot as he skated to the net but he didn’t get all of it and instead the puck slid slowly toward Martin Jones. Jones kicked it away but had come out too far to properly recover when puck went to his right. Skinner skated in behind him and was able to backhand the puck into the net for his fifth of the season. Assists went to Jake McCabe and Johansson.

The Sharks tied it again just 22 seconds later when Brent Burns’ blue line shot went off of Marcus Sorensen’s skate. The puck bounced over Ullmark’s leg and under his blocker.

Zemgus Girgensons scored the game winner at 12:15 of the period. Johan Larsson took a shot from above the face off circle. Martin Jones was set to stop it but it hit Kyle Okposo in the back instead of getting through to Jones. That created a rebound that Girgensons was able to pick up and shoot back in before Jones could find the puck. Assists went to Okposo and Larsson.

The Sharks will play the Sabres again in Buffalo on Tuesday at 3:30 PM PT.

Sharks Put Out the Flames to Win 3-1

sfgate.com photo: San Jose Sharks center Dylan Gambrell, top, reaches for the puck behind Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane during the third period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019.

By Mary Walsh

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 at the SAP Center Sunday. It was San Jose’s first home win of the season. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, and Tomas Hertl. Martin Jones made 30 saves for the win. Elias Lindholm scored the lone goal for Calgary. Cam Talbot made 17 saves for the Flames.

The final score drew an eerie parallel to Patrick Marleau’s last regulation home game as a Shark in 2017, which was also against Calgary and was also a 3-1 Sharks victory. Though Marleau did not score Sunday, it is hard to ignore the impact his return has had on the team. After the game, Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said:

I don’t think it’s an accident that we’ve won the last two and he’s been in the lineup. I think that’s a piece for sure. He just plays the right way, he does the right thing when he’s out on the ice, you know, all the time. It’s really helped solidify our lineup a little bit.

That solidification is evident to the players as well. Team captain Logan Couture said:

I thought Dylan Gambrell has played two really really good games now in a row. That’s something that we need. He’s been given an opportunity and I think these last few games he’s shown what he’s capable of. So, when we have that line playing well and the other three rolling over, we’re a tough team to beat.

The Sharks took an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Timo Meier at 3:04. Logan Couture carried the puck in around the Calgary defense and then paused at the red line before finding Meier right in front of the net. Assists went to Couture and Patrick Marleau.

San Jose added to their lead at 10:13 when Kevin Labanc skated through the neutral zone, handed the puck off to Tomas Hertl at the blue line, then got it back as he went flying into the zone. His wrist shot beat Cam Talbot glove side. Assists went to Hertl and Erik Karlsson.

Each team took one penalty and killed one in the first period. Calgary outshot San Jose by 11-6.

Calgary got one back at 6:43 of the second period. Calgary won an offensive zone draw and got the puck right to TJ Brodie at the blue line. He gave the ice a quick look and then took a shot right up the middle. Elias Lindholm tipped it mid-slot and past Jones glove side. Austin Czarnik was screening Jones until the lest second. An assist went to Brodie.

The Sharks reclaimed their two-goal lead at the end of the second period with a short-handed goal from Tomas Hertl. Brent Burns was in the box for tripping Michael Frolik. Logan Couture cut off a Calgary pass in the defensive zone, carried the puck all the way to the Calgary zone, then found Hertl just as he came into the zone. Hertl took a quick shot past Talbot for his first of the season.

Each team took a penalty in the second period, but neither scored on the power play. The teams were tied with 11 shots each in the second.

Calgary pulled their goaltender with almost three minutes to go in the game but could not alter the score. The final shot count was 33-20 Calgary.

The Sharks next play on Wednesday in San Jose against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 PM PT.