Kings Defeat Sharks 4-2

The Los Angeles Kings right winger Dustin Brown (23) tries to control the puck behind the net as the San Jose Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov (71) on Sat Apr 10, 2021 at SAP Center in San Jose (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-2 to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday. Kings goals were scored by Jeff Carter, Andreas Athanasiou, Alex Iafallo, and Dustin Brown. Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for the win. Sharks goals were scored by Dylan Gambrell and Timo Meier. Martin Jones made 15 saves in the first two periods and Josef Korenar made 7 saves in the third period for the Sharks.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“Some nights, when things aren’t going your way and it’s a back-to-back situation, you simplify your game. And it didn’t look like we were ready to simplify that. We looked like we were still trying to play a skilled game and make plays through people and mismanage the puck and not take control of the game on our power play.”

He also pointed out that the team had some trouble shooting: “The biggest issue for me is we missed the net. In the second period we didn’t get a five-on-five shot on net. We had one power play shot and two short-handed shots. We had eight attempts and we missed the net on every one of them.”

The Kings struck first, with a Jeff Carter goal 11:43 into the game. Los Angeles had just successfully killed a penalty when Carter came out of the penalty box. The Kings held the Sharks up in the neutral zone and went on the attack. Mikey Anderson’s shot from the point hit Andreas Athanasiou and bounced over Martin Jones. It landed in the blue paint where Carter could nudge it across the line.

The Sharks tied it up at 16:54 with a goal from Dylan Gambrell. The Kings had killed off another Sharks power play moments before when Christian Jaros took a shot from the boards. It went off of John Leonard and Jonathan Quick thought he had it. Instead, it trickled out in front of the net and Gambrell swept it in.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings 12-6 in the first period, and had two shots in two power plays.

Athanasiou gave the Kings their lead back at 2:28 of the second period. Jeff Carter looked like he was going to carry the puck to the net from the point and instead made a pass to Anthanasiou for a deflection right in front of the net. Assists went to Carter and Olli Maatta.

Alex Iafallo made it 3-1 Kings less than two minutes later. Anze Kopitar passed the puck between Nikolai Knyzhov’s legs and Iafallo caught it on the far side of the net. Jones moved to cover the shot but Iafallo instead kept moving and used a backhand to put it around him. Assists went to Kopitar and Dustin Brown.

Dustin Brown scored a power play goal at 19:52 to give the Kings a three-goal lead. Three Sharks were in the offensive zone on a short-handed bid and had to hussle back when Brown caught the puck in the neutral zone and went the other way. He took a shot past Radim Simek to beat Jones on the short side. It was Brown’s 16th of the season.

The Kings out-shot the Sharks 13-4 in the second period, including five shots in three power plays. The Sharks had one shot in two power plays.

The Sharks changed goaltenders for the third period, putting Josef Korenar in net for his first NHL appearance. Boughner talked about putting 23-year old Josef Korinar in goal for the third period:

“I think he did great. I think good time to put him in. Our team was completely flat in the second period. You know, they got one goal late in the period there and it looked like we just needed some kind of injection of some energy. And I was hoping that, you know, kid being in his first game, we’d play a little harder around him and maybe rally around him a little bit.”

Timo Meier trimmed the Kings’ lead with a power play goal at 12:31 of the third. Brent Burns took a shot from the slot and Quick got in front of it but could not control the puck. Meier dug it out of a scramble above the crease and pushed it around the goalie for his eighth of the season.

The Sharks out-shot the Kings 12-7 in the third, including three shots on one power play. The Kings had three shots in two power plays. The Kings won 52% of the face-offs in the game. Tomas Hertl won 70% of his face-offs but he was the only Shark to take more than five draws and win more than 42%.

The Sharks next play on Monday against the Anaheim Ducks in San Jose at 7:30 PM PT.

Kings Shutout by Sharks 3-0; Jones stops all 30 shots

Los Angeles Kings center Jaret Anderson-Dolan, left, takes a shot for not on San Jose Sharks goaltender Martin Jones (31) at the SAP Center in San Jose on Fri Apr 2, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks went to Los Angeles and beat the Kings 3-0 Friday. Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Rudolfs Balcers scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones made 30 saves for the shutout win. Calvin Petersen made 33 saves for the Kings in the loss. The win is the third in a row for the Sharks. Three was a good number for the Sharks Friday.

Hertl, Meier and Balcers were skating on the same line. Meier had eight shots in the game and scored his first goal after a nine game dry spell. After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said: “From what we see tonight, if he’s playing that way, and he’s that confident, he can be dangerous. It was good to see. I think that whole line, Tommy Hertl, Rudy’s playing great hockey. Those guys were a force tonight.”

Of Martin Jones, Boughner said:

“He looks calm in there, you know, he’s making the right saves at the right time. He’s allowing us to get that second goal and keep it 1-0 instead of 1-1 and the game completely changes. And, you know, he’s been one of our better players now for the past three weeks.”

The Sharks took an early lead when Tomas Hertl tipped Nikolai Knyzhov’s shot from the point. Assists went to Knyzhov and Rudolfs Balcers. The time of the goal was 2:57.

There was just one penalty in the first period, to Anze Kopitar for tripping. The Sharks power play got credit for two shots on goal. The Sharks outshot the Kings 9-7 in the first.

Timo Meier made it 2-0 for the Sharks nine minutes into the second period. Tomas Hertl’s pass from behind the net landed just right on Meier’s stick for a one-timer. Assists went to Hertl and Balcers.

The Kings challenged the goal for goaltender interference. Balcers pushed Kings defenseman Drew Doughty into the crease and Doughty fell on Calvin Petersen. A second or two passed after that contact and the play moved around the net before the goal was scored. The challenge was unsuccessful.

While the teams were waiting for that to be resolved, referee Pierre Lambert was escorted from the ice, looking unsteady. He had been hit by a puck.

The second period saw two penalties to each team. The Sharks penalty kill gave up two shots and their power play took three. The shot count was 14-13 Kings.

At 7:59, Dylan Gambrell put the puck in the net with a nice shot down the middle. It was called back, however, when the Kings successfully challenged for offside.

The Kings pulled their goaltender with more than two minutes left. The Sharks took several shots at that empty net but it was Balcers with the fourth good look who hit it at 19:33. An assist went to Brent Burns, who was using Balcers’ stick. After Burns’ stick broke, Balcers gave him his and had just gone to get another when the puck came to him for the shot.

The third period was penalty-free and the sharks outshot the Kings 14-9. The Kings won the face-off battle in the game, winning 55% of the draws.

The Sharks next play on Saturday at 7:00 PM PT, again in Los Angeles against the Kings.

Sharks Lose 2-1 to Golden Knights; Dubnyk stands on head despite loss

The San Jose Sharks goaltender Devon Dubnyk stops a shot by the Vegas Golden Knights Alex Tuch while on his back at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas on Mon Mar 15, 2021 (AP News photo) 

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 2-1 Monday. Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone scored for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves for the win. Timo Meier scored for the Sharks and Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about how an otherwise good game from the Sharks was thwarted by Marc-Andre Fleury’s brilliant play:

“I thought there was a lot of good things to our game. Obviously, in the second period we took on a little water. I thought that Duby was good. I thought that we had lots of chances early on in the game. I thought Fleury was a difference-maker. You know, we had a few break-aways, we hit a few posts. Could have been a little bit of a different game, but he kept them going, he gave them some momentum.”

Boughner went on to say: “I’m proud of the guys, I thought we fought hard, I thought we did a lot of good things so we just gotta get back to work here tomorrow and try and find a way to score some more goals against these guys.”

Sharks captain Logan Couture talked about how the team seems to be getting better goaltending lately:

“The last little while, I think that, you know, we started to pick each other up. We started to play better for each other, play to our system, play better defensively. When a team plays better, tighter defensively, the goaltender’s always going to look better and make more saves. So, yeah, I think we’re starting to do that.”

Max Pacioretty scored the only first period goal, on the power play at 8:35. Evander Kane was in the box for tripping Jonathan Marchessault. It took the Golden Knights just 12 seconds to score. They won the face-off and moved the puck aroud the outside once before Pacioretty scored, from just beyond the face-off dot. Assists went to Mak Stone and Shea Theodore.

The first period shot count was 11-8 Sharks. In the face-of circle, Vegas won 58%.

There were no goals and no penalties in the second period. There was, however, a surprising shot discrepancy, with the Sharks getting credit for just 4 and Vegas notching 16 shots. Oddly, the face-offs went the other way, with the Sharks winning 60% of them.

Mark Stone added a goal for Vegas just 1:02 into the third period. Nikolay Knyzhov did a good job stcking with Pacioretty as he carried the puck down the wall, but he couldn’t stop him from making a pass to Mark Stone who was trailing. No one was in Stone’s way to prevent the shot. Assists went to Pacioretty and Nicolas Hague.

The Golden Knights had a power play when Tomas Hertl was called for sendig the puck over the glass. The Sharks penalty kill allowed just one shot.

Around the 12-minute mark, Evander Kane had a breakaway chance but Marc-Andre Fleury came way out of his net for the poke check. Fleury’s gamble paid off and Kane couldn’t get a shot off.

Not long after that, Kane was sent to the penalty box for interference on Marchessault. Vegas had 3 shots on that power play.

Timo Meier got the Sharks on the board at 14:29. Meier held the puck in the slot as if he would shoot on the forehand, luring Fleury out of the net. Once the goalie was out of the blue paint, Meier switched to the backhand and dragged the puck around Fleury’s outstretched leg to tuck it in the net. Brent Burns got the assist.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender with just under two minutes left. The Sharks had a 25 second power play at the end when Max Pacioretty was called for interference on Timo Meier. That was the only penalty called on Vegas. The Sharks had a few fair chances in those 25 seconds but could not tie it up.

Logan Couture commented on the difficulty of using the extra skater in the last minutes of the game:

“Just at the end there, the puck was bouncing too much to create anything on that 6 on 5 and power play. Which is unfortunate ‘cuz I think we would have had some looks. Just couldn’t get anything tape-to-tape and the puck seemed to be spinning, bouncing, so, tough one to swallow right now for sure.”

The shot count for the period was 12-9 Vegas. The Sharks led in face-off wins at 52% for the third period and in the game.

The Sharks will play the Golden Knights again on Wednesday in Las Vegas, at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Shut-Out Ducks 6-0

The San Jose Sharks celebrate one of their six goals against the Anaheim Ducks on Fri Mar 12, 2021 at the Honda Center in Anaheim (photo by AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks shut out the Anaheim Ducks 6-0 in Anaheim Friday. Sharks goals came from Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Erik Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Fredrik Handemark. Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves for the shut-out win. Friday was Devan Dubnyk’s third start in a row for the Sharks. Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 19 saves on 24 shots before being relieved by Ryan Miller, who made 2 saves on 3 shots.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

“It was good to see the guys at the end of the game, still with the lead, playing hard and blocking shots and doing the things that we talk about. It was a great team win and Duby was our best player when we needed him.”

The Sharks scored the only goal in the first period. Just back from a COVID-19 protocol absence, Tomas Hertl scored on the power play at 7:57. Brent Burns faked a shot just below the blue line, then passed to Hertl at the side of the net. Hertl’s shot went off of a defender and in. Assists went to Brent Burns and Timo Meier, also just back from injury. Cam Fowler limped off the ice mid-penalty kill after blocking an Evander Kane shot with his skate. He did return to play.

The Sharks had just 5 shots in the period, to the Ducks’ 11. Each team had one power play in the period and just one power play shot each. In the face-off circle, the Sharks won 53% of the time. Just past the mid-point of the period, Kurtis Gabriel and Nicolas Deslauriers fought, evidently as a response to Gabriel’s hit on Jacob Larsson.

The second Sharks goal came early in the second period, from Evander Kane 37 seconds in. Brent Burns carried the puck through the neutral zone and down almost to the goal line before making a pass across to Kane as the forward skated to the net. Assists went to Burns and Kevin Labanc.

The Ducks out-shot the Sharks in the second period as well, 16-11. There was only one penalty called in the second, against Anaheim. The Sharks had no shots during that power play. In the face-off circle, the Ducks won 65% of them.

The third period was busier than the previous two with the Sharks scoring three more times. The first of those came on the power play at 5:58, from Erik Karlsson. His shot came right down the slot from the blue line about half-way into the power play. Assists went to Labanc and Logan Couture.

Timo Meier scored at 8:03. About half way up the boards, Meier dragged the puck around the Ducks defender and let the shot fly before Gibson could adjust. Assists went to Kane and Mario Ferraro.

Kevin Labanc scored his sixth of the season just over a minute later. The play looked a lot like Kane’s goal earlier, but this time with Kane carrying the puck deep into the zone and finding Labanc on the other side of the net. Assists went to Kane and Ferraro.

The Ducks pulled Gibson after that goal and put Ryan Miller in net to finish the game.

Fredrik Handemark scored his first NHL goal in his second NHL game at 14:59. No assists were awarded on the goal but Patrick Marleau skated in with Handemark, helping out by pressuring the nearest Ducks defender, Sam Steel.

The Sharks bounced back in the face-off circle for the third period, winning 53% again. They also out-shot the Ducks in the third, 11-7. They had just the one shot on their power play, the only one of the period.

The Sharks next play on Saturday, again in Anaheim against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.

Blues Beat Sharks 7-6 in 13 Goal Barn-Burner

Photo credit: @StLouisBlues

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 7-6 to the St. Louis Blues Saturday. Blues goals came from Marco Scandella (2), Sammy Blais, Brayden Schenn, Zach Sanford, Mackenzie MacEachern and Ryan O’Reilly. Jordan Binnington made 15 saves in 30:34 of ice time, and Ville Husso made 19 saves for the win. Sharks goals came from Timo Meier (2), Evander Kane (2), Logan Couture, and Kevin Labanc. Devan Dubnyk made 24 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks forward Evander Kane said:

“Any time you score six goals you usually feel you should win the hockey game. I think we gave them a lot, I’d say probably four of those seven goals, we literally gave them the puck. So that was disappointing. And when you make that many mistakes through the course of a game, you know, sometimes scoring six isn’t going to get the job done.”

Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner talked about the four leads the Sharks earned and lost again in the game: “We couldn’t get any momentum going, after we got up, after we got those leads. So.. I mean it’s tough to build momentum when the next shots goes in the net every time.”

Timo Meier scored with the first shot of the game seven seconds in. Meier caught a puck just as it came of the boards and took the shot without hesitation. It deflected off of a defenseman and bounced past Jordan Binnington for Meier’s third of the year. Assists went to Rudolfs Balcers and Dylan Gambrell.

Marco Scandella tied the game at 6:08 with a shot from the middle of the blue line. The puck went past three skaters and into the net on Devan Dubnyk’s glove side.

Evander Kane took the lead back for the Sharks with a power play goal at 10:11. Logan Couture tried to get a shot off from close in but the puck rolled away. Binnington could not corral it and it ended up on Kane’s stick for a tight angle shot. Assists went to Couture and Brent Burns.

At the end of the second, the shots were 12-6 Sharks, with three of those Sharks shots coming on the power play. The face-offs heavily favored the Blues at 63%.

Sammy Blais tied it again 3:34 into the second period. A failed clear by Kevin Labanc ended up on Vince Dunn’s stick for a quick shot from the blue line. Blais collected the puck before it got to the goaltender and swept it around and in with a backhand. Assists went to Dunn and Ryan O’Reilly.

Meier scored again to give the Sharks their third lead of the game at 6:43. With the Sharks on the power play, Meier kept the puck in at the line, carried it down the boards as far as the face-off circle, and shot the puck into the top corner. Kevin Labanc got the assist.

The Blues came right back with another tying goal at 7:28. David Perron had the puck up high in the slot. With a number of skaters to choose from, he found Brayden Schenn coming in late and wide open. Schenn’s shot beat Dubnyk on the glove side.

Kane scored his second of the game at 10:34. Kane got control of the puck in the neutral zone and carried it in with one defenseman to contend with. He took a shot from the top of the face-off circle. the Blues made a goaltending change and put Ville Husso in the game. Binnington made a stop at the Sharks bench and then another to give Dubnyk a shove on his way off the ice.

Zach Sanford tied it up again with 1:44 left in the period. Sanford came up with the puck below the goal line, skated to the net and poked it past Dubnyk. Assists went to Jordan Kyrou and Torey Krug.

The Sharks led in shots again in the second, 20-16, with six shots coming on the power play. They had three power plays in the period and one penalty kill. The Sharks lost ground on already bad numbers in the face-off circle, winning only 21% of them.

The third period saw three goals in the first 3:20. Mackenzie MacEachern gave the Blues their first lead of the game 1:17 into the third period. The Sharks were on the power play when MacEachern and Zach Sanford broke away in a two-on-one for a short handed goal.

Kevin Labanc tied it back up at 2:13. John Leonard made a nice back-hand pass from almost behind the net to set up Labanc for the shot. Assists went to Leonard and Meier.

Ryan O’Reilly scored the eleventh goal of the game at 3:20. Justin Faulk’s hard shot from the top of the circle created a rebound through traffic for O’Reilly to nudge in, reaching through a thicket of bodies.

Logan Couture tied it up again at 6:31. Brent Burns took a shot from the blue line and it deflected off of Couture half way down the slot. It bounced and spun over Husso. Assists went to Burns and Mario Ferraro.

Oskar Sundqvist gathered the puck up behind the net and sent it past two Sharks to Marco Scandella coming in on the other side of the blue paint. Scandella directed it in by the post for the seventh Blues goal at 7:14.

The Sharks pulled their goaltender at the end but could not tie it up again. The Sharks improved somewhat in the face-off circle during the third period, winning 47% which still put the Blues ahead. The Blues had two shots through two power plays and led in shots for the period 9-8.

The Sharks next play on Monday in San Jose, against the Colorado Avalanche at 7:30 PM PT.

Tomas Hertl was out for COVID-19 quarantine, which triggered the rescheduling of Thursday’s game. Erik Karlsson and Radim Simek both returned from injury for Saturday’s game. Karlsson had six shots on goal and Simek had one. The team wore throwback jerseys from the 90s, with the wide grey stripe.

Sharks Beat Kings 4-3 in Shootout

The San Jose Sharks Evander Kane (9) celebrates with teammates after scoring a third period goal as the Los Angeles Kings could only look away Mon Feb 9, 2021 at Staples Center in Los Angeles (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks won 4-3 against the Los Angeles Kings at Staple Center Tuesday. It was their fifth shootout of the season and their third in a row. Sharks goals came from Logan Couture, Timo Meier and Evander Kane, with Couture also scoring the shootout winner. Martin Jones made 24 saves for the win. Kings goals came from Dustin Brown (2) and Anze Kopitar, while Calvin Petersen made 37 saves in the loss. Patrick Marleau passed Jaromir Jagr in Tuesday’s game, on the NHL’s all-time games played list. His 1,734 games are good for third, just behind Mark Messier.

Sharks captain Logan Couture had an outstanding game with a goal, an assist and six shots on goal before the shootout. Only Brent Burns had more shots with seven. After the game, Sharks goalie Martin Jones said: “He just brings it every night. He’s got kind of a workmanlike attitude and, you know, he comes and he brings it every night and that’s something that, you know, I definitely respect about him.”

The Sharks started the scoring early, just 1:20 in. Radim Simek put the puck off to the right of the net and Ryan Donato caught up to it just in time to send a pass backwards to where Timo Meier was arriving at the net. Goalie Calvin Petersen was following the puck to the left and Meier moved it back to the right and into an open net. Assists went to Donato and Simek.

The Sharks’ second goal came in the final minutes of the first. Knyzhov put the puck on Patrick Marleau’s stick by the net and he passed it across the crease to Logan Couture. Petersen could not get back across in time and Couture scored his sixth of the season. Assists went ot Marleau and Knyzhov.

The Sharks took one penalty mid-period but allowed no shots. Instead, Marcus Sorensen got credit for a short-handed effort. The Sharks led the first period in shots 12-4, and the teams were even in face-off wins.

The Sharks started the second period on a power play that carried over from the first period. They got two shots in on that power play but then took three penalties over the course of the period. Timo Meier went for hi-sticking, Mat Nieto went for hooking and Ryan Donato sat for a too many men penalty. Those penalties gave the Kings six shots and a goal.

Seven minutes into the second, Anze Kopitar got a breakaway, skating most of the length of the ice to beat Martin Jones one-on-one. Assists went to Alex Iafallo and Dustin Brown.

Dustin Brown tied the game with a power play goal at 17:54. Adrian Kempe took a shot from the blue line that hit Jones’ glove and dropped to the ice. Before Jones could cover it, Brown lifted it over the goalie’s glove and into the net. Assists went to Kempe and Drew Doughty.

The Kings led in shots during the second period 12-9, and in face-off wins at 53%.

Brown scored his second of the game to give the Kings a lead at 10:45 of the third period. Iafallo fought his way down the ice and around behind the Sharks net and made a quick pass up to Brown just as he came through the face-off circle. His quick shot squeezed between Jones and the post.

Evander Kane tied the game back up at 19:15. With the net empty, Couture took a shot from high in the slot. As the puck bounced around in the blue paint, Kane pushed it over the line through sticks and bodies. Assists went to Couture and Brent Burns.

The shots were 11-10 Sharks in the third. The Sharks won just 44% of their third period face-offs, but in the brief over-time session, they won 80%.

Despite outshooting the Kings 8-1 in overtime, the Sharks could not end it without another shootout. Jones was perfect in the shootout, allowing Logan Couture’s goal to win it for San Jose.

The Sharks will play the Kings in Los Angeles again on Thursday at 7:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 4-1 to Wild; Sharks Dubnyk allows two goals against former team

The Minnesota Wild’s Zach Parise puts the puck on net as San Jose Sharks goaltender Devan Dubnyk can only watch it go in in the second period during Fri Jan 22, 2021’s contest at the Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis (Minneapolis Star Tribune photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 4-1 to the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Minnesota goals came from Joel Eriksson-Ek, Zach Parise, Kevin Fiala and Jordan Greenway. Cam Talbot made 11 saves on 12 shots in the first period. Kaapo Kahkonen made 17 saves after coming in for an injured Talbot. Matt Nieto scored the Sharks’ one goal and Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves on 27 shots faced for San Jose.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said that he was generally pleased with the first 40 minutes, but the team needs more from the power play and the top six:

“We didn’t generate a lot of emotion from our power play, especially when we had chances. Didn’t capitalize on our chances. [LeBanc] Banker missed one here on the back door and it was basically a 2-1 game in my mind but … you know what, we need more from the big guys. We got another goal from Matt Nieto, on that fourth line here, and, you know, we need our best players to be our best players.”

Sharks forward Timo Meier explained what the team needs to do to create more offense: “It starts obviously in the D zone, breaking out better. Come with more speed through the neutral zone and I think a big thing is holding onto pucks in the offensive zone and wear down the D. I think that’s where we gotta do a better job.”

As for what is missing from their power play now, Meier said:

“I think we gotta just keep it more simple, get some pucks through. Net presence is important. I think for some amount of time we’re moving the puck well but we’re not really dangerous in front of the net. So I think we’ve just gotta fight to get, you know, an ugly one and that’ll give us some confidence back.”

Joel Eriksson-Ek scored first for the Wild just 5:01 into the first period. Jordan Greenway took a shot from the boards that Eriksson-Ek deflected in, from right on the edge of the blue paint. Assists went to Jordan Greenway and Ryan Hartman.

Matt Nieto tied the game just 1:11 later. Patrick Marleau got control of the puck ow in the zone and passed it to Erik Karlsson who was coming down from the blue line. Instead of takig a shot, Karlsson deviously tapped it over to Nieto i the slot. Nieto took the shot with two players in Talbot’s eyes. Assists went to Erik Karlsson and Patrick Marleau.

Each team had two power plays in the period, and each gave up short-handed chances in their first power plays. Evander Kane had a second short handed chance in the second Minnesota power play. The Sharks’ second power play looked very good, with the team holding the zone for over a minute before play stopped. Ferraro and Donato both made some nice plays.

When play stopped, Minnesota’s Talbot appeared to be injured but remained in the game. He did not, however, come back in the second period.

Minnesota took a lead in the second period, at 13:17. Zach Parise had just been stopped by Dubnyk but, seconds later, Parise was back in front of the net creating a screen for a shot from Nick Bjugstad. Dubnyk stopped that one but Parise found the loose puck and put it past the Sharks goaltender.

There were no penalties in the second period until 17:39, and then a few penalties were assigned after a near-fight between Jordan Greenway and Marie Ferraro. Ferraro got two for roughing, while Greenway got a double minor for roughing.

A power play for Minnesota early in the third did not change the score. The game remained 2-1 until the final two minutes. The Sharks made a final push by pulling their goaltender with just under two minutes left. That did not work out as Erik Karlsson could not hold the ouck off of a faceoff. Kevin Fiala snatched the loose puck at the Minnesota blue line and carried it down for the empty net goal, giving the Wild a 3-1 lead.

The Sharks persisted with the empty net only to have the Wild gain control again. Jordan Greenway took a shot from his own zone and made it 4-1. Assists went to Joel Eriksson-Ek and Marcus Foligno.

Despite the loss, there was one one bright stat in the Sharks’ game: they did better in the face-off circle, winning 58% of them. Tomas Hertl won all six of his draws, Logan Couture won a respectable 50% of his six draws, and Ryan Donato won two of his three.

The Sharks next play on Sunday, again in Minnesota at 5:00 PM PT.

Sharks Lose 5-3 to Coyotes Despite 3 Point Game for Meier

The San Jose Sharks Timo Meier (28) stick handling the puck, the Arizona Coyotes Christian Fischer (28), and the Sharks Logan Couture (39) in pursuit at Glendale Arena on Sat Jan 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-3 to the Coyotes in Arizona Saturday afternoon. Arizona goals came from Phil Kessel (2), Barrett Hayton, Jakob Chychrun and Clayton Keller scored for Arizona. Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl and Ryan Donato scored for San Jose. Antti Raanta made 31 saves for the win Martin Jones made 19 saves in the loss.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner said:

We spent a lot more time in their end in the O-zone, we played a little faster I thought. You know, they got a little bit of puck luck tonight. They were the better team in the first game. I thought we played a lot harder and a lot more structured in this game.

The Sharks led the game in many respects but not on the scoresheet. They outshot the Coyotes 34-26, they had four power plays to Arizona’s 3. San Jose scored in two of four power plays and killed two of three penalties. The glaring bad stat was in the faceoff circle. They won just 40% of them. The only Sharks skater to win more than half of his draws was Patrick Marleau, who took five draws and won four. Tomas Hertl won 7 of 18, and Logan Couture won 5 of 11. No one else took more than three or won more than one.

On the subject of faceoffs, Boughner said:

It’s something we gotta get way better at. I think that we struggled in the faceoff circle even in the first game. You know, it’s an important part of the game and I thought our puck movement was better off of won faceoffs. But we lost too many, and you’re chasing the puck all night.

The Sharks scored first at 3:34, with a power play goal from Ryan Donato. Conor Garland was in the box for tripping Marc-Edouard Vlasic. High in the slot, Timo Meier bobbled a shot but got it right back and sent it through traffic and off of Ryan Donato. Assists went to Meier and Mario Ferraro.

Arizona responded with their own power play goal at 12:31. Evander Kane was in the box for tripping Tyler Pitlick. Phil Kessel tried to send the puck in and it went off of Nikolai Knyzhov. It came right back to Kessel and he moved around the Sharks defense to make a backhand shot that went through before slipping past Martin Jones. An assist went to Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Barrett Hayton gave the Coyotes a lead at 14:41. After a lot of play behind the net, Conor Garland made a quick pass to the Hayton in the slot. Assists went to Garland and Nick Schmaltz.

Timo Meier tied it back up less than a minute later. Meier was moving down the wall with the puck, while Kevin Labanc skated down the slot with Jakob Chychrun defending. Meier made the pass and it hit Chychrun and bounced into the net.

Arizona scored twice in the second period, the first a shot from the blue line from Ekman-Larsson. His shot went right through four skaters before hitting Phil Kessel on its way into the net. It was Kessel’s second of the game, with assists to Ekman-Larsson and Christian Dvorak.

Jakob Chychrun scored at 8:56. A clean face-off win in the offensive zone gave Chychrun a shot with lots of traffic as the face-off broke up. Derick Brassard got the assist.

Clayton Keller added to the Coyotes lead just 2:39 into the third period. After Brassard won another offensive zone faceoff, Ekman-Larsson held the puck at the blue line before trying for a tip from Keller in the slot. Martin Jones stopped that but Keller came right down for the rebound and put that one in. Assists went to Ekman-Larsson and Brassard.

Midway through the third, Boughner pulled Martin Jones and put Devan Dubnyk in. After the game, the coach explained that that was only to give Dubnyk sme ice tine before their next game. Since it did not come right after the fifth goal, it did not look like a reaction to Jones’ play in particular.

The Sharks had a power play start in the final minute of play, and scored their own goal right off of an O-zone faceoff. Just eight seconds into the power play, Tomas Hertl tipped Timo Meier’s shot from the top of the circle. Assists went to Meier and Erik Karlsson.

Roster changes: Jacob Middleton was in for Nick Meloche on the blue line.

The Sharks now travel to St. Louis for their next game at 5:00 PM PT on Monday, against the Blues.

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.