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Jones is victor in Sharks-Canadiens goalie clinic

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 07:25:22 UT

Goalie Martin Jones outdueled Carey Price as the Sharks continued their home domination of Montreal with a 2-1 win at sold-out SAP Center on Friday night. Brent Burns and Joe Pavelski scored first-period goals and Jones made 31 saves as the Sharks wrapped up a busy portion of their schedule — 10 games in 18 nights — in impressive fashion. In winning for the sixth time in seven games, San Jose increased its lead in the Pacific Division to three points over idle Anaheim. The Canadiens were able to break through on the second half of the double minor and deny Jones’ shutout bid when left wing Artturi Lehkonen scored a 6-on-4 power-play goal with Price pulled for the extra attacker at 18:43 of the third period. After dominating zone time early, the Sharks went on the game’s first power play at 4:24 after Montreal defenseman Mark Barberio held fourth-line forward Micheal Haley. Pavelski fed Burns’ wheelhouse, and the Sharks’ defenseman stepped into a one-time slapper from the left dot with his right knee on the ice to blast his 10th goal past Price at 5:22. Pavelski gained a step on Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov to get into prime position for his eighth goal. Jones stymied the Canadiens with a number of big saves, including a sprawling glove stop on center Alex Galchenyuk, a pad save on right wing Brian Flynn and a blocker stop on Radulov. Center Tommy Wingels returned after missing three games with a lower-body injury. …

Sharks Martin Jones: young goalie with big upside

Sat, 3 Dec 2016 06:26:26 UT

If Canadiens goalie Carey Price is the gold standard in today’s NHL, Martin Jones of the Sharks just might be silver. The talk surrounding Jones centers on his calm demeanor, his efficient moves around the crease and his consistent approach to games, whether it’s preseason or the Stanley Cup Finals. Jones proved last year that Doug Wilson’s gamble, sending a 2016 first-round pick and a prospect (Sean Kuraly) to Boston in exchange for the ex-Kings backup, was a solid move. “For me, he’s one of the top goalies in the league, and he’s just getting better,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said after Wednesday’s game in L.A. I think you’re just seeing the tip of what he’s capable of. [...] when Jones blanked New Jersey on Nov. 21 in his 116th career regular-season game, it marked the fastest a current goalie has reached 15 shutouts. Only two Sharks goalies have played more games in one season — a franchise-leading 77 by Evgeni Nabokov in 2007-08 (46-21-6, 2.14 and .910) and 74 by Arturs Irbe in 1993-94 (30-28-3, 2.84 and .899). With a 7-2-1 mark, 1.50 GAA and .942 percentage in his past 10 before Friday’s gem (one power-play goal allowed on 32 shots), Jones was boasting overall numbers that exceeded even Nabokov’s on a ’07-08 team that won the Pacific Division before losing to Dallas in the second round of the playoffs. Jones’ current backup, 27-year-old rookie Aaron Dell, has great numbers in his small sample size of three starts and one game in relief (2-1, 1.93 and .931), so there should be no reluctance to call his number when the games stack up. Whether the Sharks stick with Dell or add a more experienced netminder for insurance is yet to be determined, but they certainly don’t have any concerns about their No. 1. Sabres forward Jack Eichel, the second pick behind McDavid in 2015, has three goals and four points in two games since making his belated season debut. Eichel has at least one point in each of his past seven NHL games dating to March, when he finished second in rookie scoring (56 points) with a whopping 238 shots on goal.

Brent Burns’ goal 19 seconds into OT lifts Sharks

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 07:10:00 UT

Brent Burns blasted a power-play goal 19 seconds into overtime to give San Jose a 2-1 win Tuesday night at SAP Center, its first in three tries against a last-place Pacific Division foe that has given the Sharks fits this season. “They’re a division opponent, and they play hard,” Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon said of the Desert Dogs. [...] it was a similar theme Tuesday as the Sharks held a 41-19 edge in shots on goal through regulation. Burns scored the game-winner, his ninth goal of the season, on a feed from captain Joe Pavelski, putting the puck past Arizona goalie Mike Smith. The Sharks and Coyotes traded goals in the middle period to go into the second intermission tied 1-1. Radim Vrbata hit a wide-open Max Domi with a cross-ice pass, and the second-year Arizona forward went short side to beat goalie Martin Jones with a wrist shot at 7:19 from the inside edge of the left circle. San Jose continued to pressure throughout the middle part of the period, running its shot advantage to 25-10 before finally striking. Left wing Mikkel Boedker did a nice job to win a battle on the boards and sent a puck deep to Chris Tierney, who walked out of the right corner and slipped his second goal of the season between the pads of Smith at 15:29. The Sharks outshot the Coyotes 14-5 during a scoreless first period that included close calls for each side. Patrick Marleau went top shelf with a backhand shot into the net from the right circle off the rush, but Arizona’s Dave Tippett was successful with a coaching challenge as Dillon was clearly offside. [...] the puck struck the near post, rolled in front of the goal line and hit the far post, too, before San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic fished it out of harm’s way.

Islanders get break in OT on Flames’ broken stick

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 05:05:56 UT

Islanders get break in OT on Flames’ broken stick Thomas Hickey scored 1:53 into overtime, helping the Islanders rebound from a vexing West Coast trip with a 2-1 win over the Flames. New York captain John Tavares wheeled around the zone with the Flames momentarily shorthanded before backhanding a shot that Hickey tipped off goalie Brian Elliott and in. Tarasenko took a pass from Jori Lehtera and fired a wrist shot past Dallas goalie Antti Niemi for 10th of the season and team-leading 23rd point. Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak scored twice, including the tying goal with 50 seconds left in the third period. Buffalo head coach Dan Bylsma says there’s a possibility that center Jack Eichel (sprained ankle) will make his season debut at Ottawa on Tuesday. ...

KNBR Conversation with the Sharks’ Brent Burns

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 23:47:21 UT

KNBR Conversation with the Sharks’ Brent Burns An edited transcript of an interview with the Sharks’ Brent Burns, who agreed Tuesday to an eight-year contract extension: How did this all get done? Did you always want to stay here or did you think, “You know, it’d be kind of cool to go to free agency”? Do contract negotiations affect your play or do you just play hockey and forget about it? How much of it was looking at this team and knowing you’ve got a Stanley Cup contender here? Getting a taste of it (in the Stanley Cup Finals) last year, you realize how fun the journey is. You know, short summer, World Cup, we had a lot of guys missing trying to come together really quick. Is that just because you guys have played a ton on the road early? Hockey’s just a crazy game and everyone talks about the balances and stuff and you’ve just got to work for those balances. Recently we’ve been playing good, but those balances haven’t gone in our favor. Is that just a case where if you get a couple to go in everything will be OK, or is there something else that needs to be changed? Yeah, it’s just one of those things where it’s not going in (and) you start forcing plays and squeezing your stick a little bit. Hopefully last game will break it out for the boys and we can get it going.

Kane paces Chicago past Anaheim 3-2 in Black Friday rivalry

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 05:42:46 UT

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks hung on to beat the Ducks 3-2 for their fifth consecutive win in the clubs’ Black Friday rivalry game in Anaheim. The game has become an annual tradition for both franchises — and for hundreds of Blackhawks fans who show up in balmy Orange County in even larger numbers than usual to roar for their cold-weather hometown. Artem Anisimov and Ryan Hartman also scored as the Blackhawks snapped their two-game skid even without captain Jonathan Toews. Because of an upper-body injury, he missed a game for the first time this season. Playing the sixth game of its road trip, Chicago took a 3-0 lead in the second period and hung on against Anaheim’s late surge with superb play from Corey Crawford, who made 34 saves. Brandon Saad scored on a power play to snap a 3-3 third-period tie and Cam Atkinson added a shorthanded goal for insurance as visiting Columbus improved to 9-2-2 in its past 13 games. Defenseman Mike Green scored from the right circle at 3:18 of overtime as Detroit handed New Jersey its second home loss in nine games. Esa Lindell scored his first NHL goal and had an assist for host Dallas. Charlie Coyle scored twice in the first period to set the tone for host Minnesota, which matched its season high for goals and scored three times on the power play. Marcus Johansson scored his eighth goal of the season and Philipp Grubauer made 29 saves to help Washington close its five-game homestand with its fourth victory. The Blue Jackets placed left wing Matt Calvert (upper body) on injured reserve.

Dell, Marleau help Sharks top Islanders

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 03:56:06 UT

Aaron Dell hasn’t seen a lot of action as the Sharks’ backup goalie. The 27-year-old Dell beat the Islanders 3-2 on Oct. 18 in his NHL debut. Nonetheless, Dell was up to the task as he nursed a one-goal lead while the Isles pressured hard over the final period. New York tied the game 2-2 with its goalie pulled with 57.2 seconds remaining when defenseman Nick Leddy one-timed John Tavares’ feed past Dell. Marleau moved into a tie with Steve Yzerman for 11th all-time with his 94th career regular-season game-winning goal. The Sharks struck for goals 34 seconds apart on consecutive shots early in the middle period to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. Captain Joe Pavelski scored his seventh goal of the season at 5:09 and Burns added his team-high eighth at 5:43 in rapid-fire succession after ex-Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss had stymied the hosts over the first 25 minutes. Left wing Matt Nieto’s stretch pass hopped over the stick of Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a breaking Chris Tierney, who instead of taking a shot, slid a cross-ice drop pass for Pavelski’s one-timer. Burns let go with a slap shot from center ice that deflected off the stick of Islanders’ defenseman Calvin de Haan to handcuff Greiss on San Jose’s 15th shot of the game. New York squandered a glorious opportunity when Tavares fired wide point blank with Dell diving across his crease late following a Josh Bailey feed after Burns turned the puck over deep in San Jose’s end. The Islanders scored the only goal of a first period that the Sharks dominated over the final 12 minutes. New York capitalized on its first power play, needing only 27 seconds of a slashing minor by San Jose defenseman Brenden Dillon to convert. Joe Thornton was awarded a penalty shot when Boychuk hooked the Sharks’ breaking center.

Martin Jones, Sharks top Chicago

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:51:39 UT

The Sharks scored two first-period goals and rode the hot goaltending of Martin Jones again for a 2-1 win over Chicago in front of 17,501 fans at SAP Center on Wednesday. Jones stopped 33 of 34 shots to deny the best team in the Western Conference, which lost its captain, Jonathan Toews, for the second half of the game with an undisclosed injury. “Good hockey game,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said. The Blackhawks scored the only goal of the second period to trim San Jose’s advantage to one during a middle session that was as action-packed and energy-filled as the first. Jones was on top of his game coming off a 26-save shutout Monday, but could do nothing about an Artemi Panarin one-timer from the top of the left circle at 12:11. The Sharks escaped with a 2-0 lead on special-teams goals during an opening 20 minutes that were as entertaining as any period at home this season. Chicago’s first power play turned into San Jose’s advantage, however, when Joel Ward scored his second goal of the season shorthanded at 14:42. Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook lost a gamble when he dived to try to keep a clearing attempt by San Jose’s Chris Tierney in the Sharks’ zone.

Sharks, Brent Burns agree to 8-year extension

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 00:03:34 UT

The Sharks on Tuesday announced that Brent Burns has signed an eight-year contract extension — the longest deal in franchise history. “Brent is one the most dynamic players in the National Hockey League and we’re very excited to get this deal done,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. A two-time All-Star — including last season — Burns was a finalist for the Norris Trophy a year ago as he played in all 82 regular-season games and helped push the Sharks into their first Stanley Cup Finals.

Sharks get back on track against Devils

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 07:39:43 UT

Martin Jones made 26 stops for his second shutout of the season and goals from four skaters added up to a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils as the Sharks ended their three-game slide. Forwards Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and Chris Tierney, and defenseman Brent Burns scored s to support Jones’ 15th career shutout. The Sharks struck shorthanded at 1:59 of the first when Tierney’s wrist shot off the rush from the left circle found the back of the net. San Jose’s struggling power play finally clicked at 10:33 of the second period when Couture wristed a shot from the slot past Kinkaid. Couture’s fifth goal snapped a 1-for-23 slump over eight games for the power play. New Jersey left wing Reid Boucher’s attempt from the right point ramped up the stick of penalty-killing forward Tommy Wingels and struck Tierney, who returned 10 minutes later. The Sharks’ fourth goal came benefit of New Jersey defenseman Kyle Quincey, who accidentally tapped the puck in his own net. Center Danny O’Regan was recalled from the American Hockey League’s San Jose Barracuda to make his NHL debut.

Avs’ Matt Duchene returns, scores winning goal

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 04:52:01 UT

Matt Duchene scored 1:49 into overtime in his first game back from a concussion, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat Columbus 3-2 on Monday to snap the Blue Jackets’ seven-game home winning streak. J.T. Miller scored shorthanded to cap a three-goal second-period rally as visiting New York overcame an early two-goal deficit. Jamie Benn scored from the left face-off circle 1:23 into overtime for host Dallas, which had lost nine overtime games in a row — including five this season — over the past two seasons. Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist and Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for his third shutout of the season as host Edmonton won its second in a row after a five-game skid. Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist and host Buffalo scored three power-play goals in its second consecutive win. The Hurricanes placed backup goalie Eddie Lack on injured reserve with a concussion suffered in practice and called up Michael Leighton from the minors to replace him. ...

Alexander Wennberg’s late goal gives Columbus win

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 04:24:49 UT

Alexander Wennberg’s power-play goal with 53.6 seconds remaining gave the Columbus Blue Jackets their fourth straight win, 3-2 at Washington on Sunday. After the Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom was called for high-sticking with 1:34 remaining, Wennberg took a pass from Nick Foligno and slammed the puck past goalie Braden Holtby. Alex Ovechkin’s ninth goal of the season midway through the second period gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead, but the Blue Jackets tied it 14 seconds into the third on Brandon Dubinsky’s second goal of the season. Carter assisted on Drew Doughty’s score early in the second and then added power-play goals 71 seconds apart later in the period to make it 3-0. Rangers center Mika Zibanejad broke his leg when he slammed into the boards in overtime and is expected to be out at least six weeks, reported. Flames 3, Red Wings 2: Mikael Backlund scored the tie-breaking goal with 7:46 left as Calgary handed host Detroit its fourth consecutive loss. The Stars placed defenseman Johnny Oduya on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

Sharks rally, then fall to Coyotes in OT

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 06:34:17 UT

Martin Hanzal redirected Alex Goligoski’s shot into the net 1:16 into overtime, giving the Arizona Coyotes a 3-2 victory over the Sharks on Saturday night in Glendale, Ariz. Tobias Rieder and Max Domi also scored for the Coyotes, who ended a four-game skid and played into overtime for the third straight game. The Sharks cut the Coyotes’ lead to 2-1 just 41 seconds into the third period with Joe Pavelski’s sixth goal of the season, a long, rising shot that was too fast for Smith to deflect. Rieder, who missed Thursday’s overtime loss at Vancouver due to injury, opened the scoring. Haley leads the Sharks in penalty minutes despite having played in only eight games. The Coyotes mustered just four shots against goalie Martin Jones in the opening period and scored on one of them. Domi’s second goal and team-leading 13th point of the season came 25 seconds after Arizona went on a power play. Cal O’Reilly scored the lone goal in a shootout and Anders Nilsson stopped 46 shots through overtime plus all three shootout attempts he faced as host Buffalo ended its six-game skid. Connor McDavid ended his 10-game goal drought with his first career hat trick as visiting Edmonton snapped a five-game losing streak. Kyle Brodziak scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Jake Allen stopped 30 shots as St. Louis improved to 8-1-2 at home. After Chicago erased a three-goal, third-period deficit, Marian Hossa scored in overtime to complete the visiting Blackhawks’ comeback.

Penguins rebound with win over Islanders

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 05:54:16 UT

Kris Letang scored 1 minute, 24 seconds into overtime, lifting the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins past the last-place New York Islanders 3-2 on Friday night as the Penguins rebounded from one of their worst losses in recent memory. Sidney Crosby set up the winner by faking a shot and then passing to Letang, who fired in his second goal of the season. Jaroslav Halak was cool under pressure in the third period and stopped 32 shots in his seventh straight start. Victor Rask had a goal and an assist as host Carolina rallied to win with a three-goal third period. Matt Calvert returned from taking a slap shot to his forehead that required about 30 stitches and scored a shorthanded, tie-breaking goal in the third period to lift Columbus to a franchise-record seventh straight home win. William Karlsson had a goal and an assist, and Sam Gagner and Boone Jenner also scored for Columbus, which recovered from surrendering a 2-0 lead in the third period. Artemi Panarin’s hard shot was deflected by Flames goalie Chad Johnson’s glove high in the air, and as the puck came down behind him, Hossa knocked it in.

What’s making San Jose Sharks so toothless?

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 03:07:59 UT

Before we read into this that it’s all Joe Thornton’s fault that San Jose is off to a pedestrian 9-8 start as defending Western Conference champion, let’s crunch numbers. Only Buffalo (31), Colorado (33) and Vancouver (38) have scored fewer than San Jose’s 39 goals, and the Sabres, Avalanche and Canucks certainly are not the Stanley Cup contenders the Sharks fancy themselves to be. Why is a San Jose team that led the Pacific Division by a wide margin with 241 goals last season now struggling to find the back of the net, when all the Sharks did up front was gain maturity and experience with their youth while fortifying an already dangerous attack by adding speedy Mikkel Boedker? Spearheaded by goalie Martin Jones’ starting 15 of 17 games, San Jose is tied for the fifth-best goals-against average (2.29) in the league, and the Sharks are surrendering the fewest shots (25.6 per game) in the NHL. If San Jose was to finish with the 88.1 percent success rate it sports on the penalty kill, ranking fourth before Friday, that would represent a franchise best — beating even the 86.2 percent clip that led the NHL in 2000-01. The Sharks haven’t been enough of a threat 5-on-5, and they certainly are struggling to find their way on the power play, usually a team strength. The power play ranked 17th before Friday, and only four teams who had played as many as 17 games had fewer than San Jose’s 53 shots. Thornton’s below-average production continued for nine more games, in fact, as he had three goals and 15 points on Dec. 5 before catching fire to score 16 goals and add 51 assists for 67 points over his final 56 games. [...] he also has 10 assists, so he’s not too far off his better than point a game pace as a Shark (899 points in 852 career games with San Jose). Tough week for injuries as Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos (surgery to repair meniscus tear), Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau (broken finger), New Jersey’s Taylor Hall (arthroscopic repair of meniscus) and Detroit’s Darren Helm (shoulder dislocation) were sidelined. The Sharks are holding their breath on Hertl, who was injured on an innocent looking collision with Blues forward Jori Lehtera on Thursday night in St. Louis. Goalie and Montreal native Roberto Luongo improved to 5-0-2 against his hometown team as the Panthers handed the Canadiens their first loss at home in 11 tries on Tuesday.