Sharks Fall 5-4 in OT to Coyotes

San Jose Sharks goaltender Alexei Melnichuk (1) puts the stop on the Arizona Coyotes center Lane Peterson’s (93) putting the puck on net in the second period at SAP Center in San Jose Sat May 8, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks lost 5-4 in overtime to the Arizona Coyotes Saturday. For the Coyotes, it was the last game of the season. Arizona’s five goals came from Christian Dvorak (2), Jan Jenik, Conor Garland and Phil Kessel. Aiden Hill made 44 saves for the win. Rudolfs Balcers, Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier and Alexander Barabanov scored for the Sharks. Alexei Melnichuk made 27 saves in his first NHL start.

After the game, Sharks Head Coach Bob Boughner was asked about Rudolfs Balcers. He said:

“He’s another young guy that has probably played, with the schedule, more hockey than he’s ever been used to. And you can tell that some of these guys are hitting a little bit of a wall, physically and mentally. You know, I think once Rudy goes back in the offseason and trains and puts on a little more muscle and comes back after three months or three and a half months, and gets a regular training camp, I think you’re going to see even a better Rudy. He’s made major strides.”

Christian Dvorak scored during some four-on-four time at 3:32 of the first period. After skating away from the Sharks defense, he made his way to the slot and put a shot over Melnichuk’s shoulder. Assists went to Phil Kessel and Oliver Ekman-Larssen.

Rudolfs Balcers tied the game at 6:44. Alexander Chmelesvki carried the puck in along the boards and found Balcers in the slot with a pass. Balcers took the shot and the puck snuck under Hill and trickled over the line. Assists went to Chmelevski and Dylan Gambrell.

Dvorak scored his second of the period on a power play at 11:36. Christian Fischer set Dvorak up with a pass from below the goal line. Dvorak’s shot went by Melnichuk’s glove and in. Assists went to Fischer and Phil Kessel.

Kevin Labanc tied it back up at 15:28. Labanc skated into the zone with the puck while Erik Karlsson drew some attention from the defense. Labanc took the shot above the face-off circle and the puck flew around a defenseman and past Hill, just inside the post.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 19-8 in the first period. The Coyotes had one shot in two power plays, and the Sharks had one shot in one power play in the first period.

Timo Meier gave the Sharks a lead at 5:26 of the second period. Meier caught a pass for Kevin Labanc as he skated into the zone. Fending off Alex Goligoski with one arm while driving to the net, Meier skated in front of the blue paint and pushed the puck around the goalie. Labanc got the assist.

Jan Janik tied it up again with a shot from a bad angle. The puck went behind Melnichuck’s head and hit just inside the far post. Assists went to Christian Fischer and Victor Soderstrom.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sharks 17-14 in the second period. The Sharks’ power play had two shots on goal in the period.

Conor Garland gave the Coyotes another lead at 16:07 of the third period. Garland skated around the defense for a pass in front of the goal. He was able to tuck the puck over the line into the far side. Assists went to Goligoski and Jakob Chychrun.

Alexander Barabanov tied the game again with 49 seconds to go in regulation. With the net empty and an extra skater for the Sharks, Evander Kane sent the puck to Tomas Hertl at the net, and Hertl passed it over to Barabanov just above the goal line. Barabanov took a quick shot into an open net. Assists went to Hertl and Kane.

The Sharks out-shot the Coyotes 14-4 in the third period, and had two shots on one power play.

Phil Kessel scored the game winner 2:30 into overtime. Kessel intercepted Dylan Gambrell’s pass to Erik Karlsson in the neutral zone. He skated into the Sharks zone and put a shot under Melnichuk before the goalie knew where it was.

The Sharks will play their last game of the season on Wednesday in San Jose, against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights at 6:00 PM PT.

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

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

By Mary Walsh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sharks Lose 5-2 in Vegas; losing streak swells to seven games

The San Jose Sharks Ryan Danato tries to get the puck into the net sliding with Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury behind to defend on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas (AP News photo)

By Mary Walsh

The San Jose Sharks fell to the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 5-2 Wednesday. Jonathan Marchessault (2), Mark Stone, Alex Tuch and Mattias Janmark scored for Las Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the win. Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl scored for San Jose, with Josef Korenar making 35 saves in his second NHL start. The win was the eighth in a row for the Golden Knights, and the seventh loss in a row for San Jose. The Sharks have also lost seven in a row to Las Vegas.

Timo Meier scored the first goal of the game at 2:38. Joel Kellman’s shot went off of Meier skate while Meier was being swept through the blue paint between two Vegas defenders. Kellman got the assist.

Jonathan Marchessault tied the game at 6:51 of the period. He skated through a gap in the defense and was able to take a shot right in front of Korenar. Korenar stopped that one but Marchessault caught the tiny rebound and swept the puck around the goalie’s skate and in. Assists went to William Karlsson and Alec Martinez.

The Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 19-8 in the first period. Each team had one power play, and two minutes of four-on-four time. The two-minute Golden Knights power play had two shots and the ninety-second Sharks power play had one.

The Sharks took the lead again at 11:07 of the second with Tomas Hertl’s 14th goal of the season. He gathered up a rebound and shot it in from just below the face-off dot to Fleury’s right. Assists went to Patrick Marleau and Erik Karlsson.

Mark Stone tied the game back up at 12:52 with a power play goal. Max Pacioretty sent the puck down to Stone on the goal line and Stone swept the puck all the way around in front of Korenar and into the far side of the net. Assists went to Max Pacioretty and Shea Theodore.

Alex Tuch gave Vegas the lead at 19:10. He shot from the same spot on the goal line where Stone scored from, but he took the shot over Korenar. Assists went to Theodore and Marchessault.

The Sharks led in second period shots 12-10. They had one shot on their one power play. The Golden Knights had two power plays and got two shots in those.

Marchessault scored his second of the game 13:18 into the third period. Mattias Janmark was circling high in the face-off circle with his back to the net when he gave the puck to Marchessault, who was skating into the zone. Marchessault took the shot right away and beat Korenar before the goalie could adjust. Janmark got the assist.

Mattias Janmark made it 5-2 with a goal into an empty net at 19:04. Marchessault got the assist.

The Sharks got two shots in their third period power play and led 13-11 in shots during the final frame. The Sharks did show improvement in the face-off circle Wednesday, winning more than 50% in each period and 58% overall. All of the Sharks penalties were taken by defensemen: Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Mario Ferraro and Erik Karlsson.

The Sharks next play on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild in San Jose at 6:00 PM PT.

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.