Sharks can't solve Quick in 2-0 loss to Kings


Sharks can't solve Quick in 2-0 loss to Kings


LOS ANGELES -- The Sharks showed effort, energy and focus in the third period of Mondays loss to the Kings at Staples Center.Thats what makes it so much harder to figure out where they were in the first two.Jonathan Quick pitched a shutout in net and Ethan Moreau and Mike Richards provided the offense in a 2-0 Kings win over San Jose, in which the visitors were missing in action for most of the first 40 minutes. It was the Kings' first home shutout of the Sharks since March 23, 2002.
All I can say is, there are 82 games. You have to find a way to get up for every game, said Dan Boyle, whose team lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Oct. 15-17. Some nights are tougher than others, but at the end of the day you have to find a way.Im going to pick work-ethic, commitment, passion, said an ornery Todd McLellan, when asked what the problem was at the outset. I wanted to know where they went between the second and third to find it. Really disappointing, and probably more disappointing because we came out and played hard in the third. It made it even tougher to swallow.
The Sharks have played a number of physical and fast paced games lately against the likes of Detroit, Dallas, Chicago and Vancouver. Could it be that they were emotionally or physically drained, and looking ahead to a couple days off before hosting Montreal on Thursday?Boyle doesnt want to hear any excuses.Theres no reason why we shouldnt be ready for these guys, he said. Theyre in our division. As well as weve played, we talked about how were one point out of a playoff spot after 20 games. Its that close.He's right. The Sharks entered Mondays action with 27 points and the third seed in the Western Conference, while the ninth-seeded Edmonton Oilers had 26. The Kings, who improved to 6-1-2 in the Pacific while dropping the Sharks to 3-4-0, leapfrogged over three teams to take the division lead with 28 points.Quick, playing in his 200th career NHL game, recorded his 18th career shutout and second against San Jose. He didnt have to do a whole lot until late in the second when the Sharks had back-to-back power plays while trying to cut into the Kings two-goal lead.The 25-year-old goalie got some help on one shot when Boyle blasted it off of the post, and later snagged a wrist shot by a cutting Joe Pavelski late in the frame.In the third, Quick made a chest stop on Jamie McGinn after a bouncing puck ended up on McGinns stick in the slot with about seven minutes left, and shortly after he stoned Patrick Marleau who was alone in front, trying to redirect in a nice feed from Joe Thornton.Thirteen of Quicks 33 saves came in the third period.It didnt matter who was in goal for them, we werent near the net and didnt create anything, said McLellan of the first 40 minutes. In the third period he played very, very well."Hes an elite goaltender. We had our chances, we just couldnt finish, said Thornton.The Kings jumped out to a first period lead for just the third time this season on a pair of Sharks mistakes. After an unfathomable turnover by Justin Braun in the defensive zone, Moreau picked it up on the corner and quickly threw it on net. Antti Niemi misplayed it, and it snuck behind him at 8:37.Same thing as last game, I just have to see the puck and follow the puck, said Niemi, referring to a similar goal he surrendered on Saturday to Vancouvers Manny Malhotra.The goal was Moreaus first in 59 games, with the last coming on Oct. 9, 2010 in San Jose, when he was a member of the Edmonton Oilers.Los Angeles increased that lead to 2-0 during a four-on-four situation with Thornton and Jarret Stoll off on coincidental minors. This time it was Richards, who scored his ninth goal in the last 10 games on a feed from behind the net by Simon Gagne. Gagne patiently waited for Marc-Edouard Vlasic to give him an opening before feeding Richards in front of the net.Despite being down and showing little fight up to that point, the Sharks had a couple of golden opportunities to get back into it before the second period ended, as Stoll and Matt Greene were whistled for infractions at 15:24 and 17:52, respectively.The Sharks finished 0-for-5 on the power play, though, and McLellan chalked up that failure to San Joses general approach to the game.Its typical of these nights, he said. When you dont contribute, you dont give effort early in the game and wait for the power play to come, youre usually not sharp enough to score. You create a number of opportunities, but youre not going to get rewarded for it.The hockey gods dont work that way.Odds and ends: The Sharks were without Michal Handzus (sick) and Colin White (personal). Jason Demers was scratched, while Frazer McLaren made his season debut. There was a long delay in the third period after an apparent goal by the Kings that would have made it 3-0. The ruling came down that Slava Voynov kicked it in, although it appeared to go in off of the heel of Dustin Browns stick. Just before that, Brown made a dazzling move to skate around Braun and feed Voynov. Niemi finished with 31 saves. The Kings were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Sharks won 40 of 69 faceoffs.

Rewind: Vlasic the unlikely hero in Sharks OT win

Rewind: Vlasic the unlikely hero in Sharks OT win

SAN JOSE – Prior to the season’s start, Marc-Edouard Vlasic mentioned that the Sharks’ blue line group might not get the league-wide respect it deserves due to it only having “one offensive defenseman.” He was, of course, referring to Brent Burns.

Through the first six games, that was the truth. Burns entered Tuesday night’s action with nine points, tied for the league lead in scoring, while the other five Sharks defenseman had just three assists – combined.

For at least one night, though, it wasn’t Burns who was the offensive hero. That honor went to Vlasic, who seized a loose puck in the neutral zone in overtime against Anaheim, raced ahead towards goalie John Gibson on a partial breakaway, and finished off a beautiful goal in giving the Sharks a much-deserved 2-1 win at SAP Center.

“Put my head down, breakaway, cut across and I was able to put it in,” said Vlasic, who had the presence of mind to use his skate to keep a backchecking Corey Perry from knocking the puck away. 

Pete DeBoer said: "He's got some speed when he wants to use it, and he's a big game player. That's what he does. Those guys find another level at key times, and he's one of those guys.”

The goal served as poetic justice in that the Sharks were the much better team throughout three periods. San Jose held a 35-20 advantage on the shot clock but only managed one goal, a power play marker by Joe Pavelski in the first period. Chris Wagner answered that late in the second period, despite San Jose registering 15 of the 20 shots in the middle frame.

DeBoer rearranged all four of his forward lines after the Sharks were shut out in Detroit on Saturday, and the Sharks looked much more dangerous despite just the single lonely marker before overtime.

“There’s a lot of good little things that we did well,” Pavelski said. “We were on the attack, felt like we were on the inside. We just weren’t cashing in or getting that bounce.”

Couture said: “We created some chances. We could have had a couple. Each line played pretty well.”

DeBoer, too, liked what he saw from his new combos.

“If we keep playing like that, it's going to come,” he said. “But, it was a nice response game after the Detroit game.”

Perhaps the most consistent part of the Sharks’ game through seven games has been their penalty kill. San Jose fought off all three Ducks advantages, including a brief five-on-three in the first period shortly after Pavelski had opened the scoring.

Micheal Haley took exception to a high hit by Clayton Stoner on Patrick Marleau, and dropped the gloves with the Anaheim defenseman. He was issued an instigation minor to go along with a fighting major and 10-minute misconduct, and one minute and 24 seconds later, Tomas Hertl was busted for a faceoff violation.

Couture, Burns and Paul Martin worked to nullify the two-man advantage, and the Sharks proceeded to kill the remaining time on the Hertl penalty, too.

“It was an important time of the game with a one-goal lead,” said Martin Jones, who made seven saves on the PK and 19 total.

Penalties like Haley’s, where he was sticking up for a teammate, are also easier to get up for according to the goalie.

“I don't think he was expecting to get an instigator call on that one, but yeah, we'll kill that off, for sure,” Jones said. “Hales is a good team guy to go out and do stuff like that."

San Jose is 18-for-22 on the penalty kill overall, including a third period kill of a Joe Thornton holding-the-stick minor at 4:09.

“We’ve allowed [four] goals against, but they were unfortunate bounces or really nice shots from them that we could do nothing about,” Vlasic said. “Penalty kill has been good. Guys have been bearing down, blocking shots when we need to.”

The Sharks will remain at home where they will host the rebuilding Blue Jackets on Thursday and Predators on Saturday. After an odd training camp with many players missing and a tough five-games-in-eight-days road trip after the home opener, they’ll get a chance now to enjoy a much more normal day-to-day routine, with practice.

Tuesday’s win could serve as a solid foundation on which to build.

“That was definitely one of our better games this year,” Couture said. “It was good from basically start to finish.”

Especially the finish.

Instant Replay: Vlasic's OT goal lifts Sharks past Ducks

Instant Replay: Vlasic's OT goal lifts Sharks past Ducks


SAN JOSE – Last season, the Sharks had the worst home record of any team that made it to the playoffs. They’re off to a good start so far in reversing that in the 2016-17 campaign.

The Sharks won their second game in as many tries at SAP Center on Tuesday, beating the Ducks, 2-1. Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored the winner in overtime, flying up the wing and cutting to the net before flicking it past John Gibson at 1:24.

The Sharks ended a two-game losing streak, improving to 4-3-0 on the season. The Ducks fell to 2-3-2. San Jose has won nine of its last 10 against its Pacific Division rival at SAP Center.

The Sharks broke out of a power play slump with a Joe Pavelski goal at 7:58 of the first period. The captain managed to direct a Patrick Marleau rebound over the goal line just before the net came off of its moorings for his third goal.

The Sharks went just 2-for-17 on the power play on their five game road trip, with one empty net goal and another on a two-man advantage.

San Jose controlled play for much of the second period, outshooting the Ducks 15-5, but couldn’t increase its lead. Gibson stopped Micheal Haley from the circle midway through, and Joel Ward couldn’t quite handle a centering pass in front of the net by Logan Couture a few minutes later.

Anaheim managed to tie it late in the frame. Chris Wagner redirected a Clayton Stoner floater from the point and snuck the rebound through Martin Jones at 17:49.

The third period was scoreless despite three power plays, two that belonged to San Jose. The Sharks' top unit had plenty of zone time, but couldn’t connect on anything, leading to their first overtime game of the season.

Sharks coach Pete DeBoer rearranged all four of his lines after his club was shut out in Detroit on Saturday. Mikkel Boedker joined the top line, while Tomas Hertl centered the third line with Marleau and Melker Karlsson.

Anaheim’s Jonathan Bernier started the game and lasted one period before he was replaced by Gibson to start the second, due to an upper body injury.

Anaheim lost Ryan Getzlaf for the third period. He left the bench for a stretch in the second period with an upper body injury after blocking a Vlasic shot, returned, but did not come out for the final frame.

Special teams

The Sharks were 1-for-5 on the power play, and 3-for-3 on the PK.

San Jose was forced to kill off 38 seconds of a Ducks two-man advantage shortly after it had taken the lead. Haley was issued an instigator and game misconduct for jumping Stoner after the Ducks defenseman hit Marleau up high, while Hertl received a minor for a faceoff violation.

In goal

Jones ended a personal three-game losing streak with 19 saves.

In his second start of the season, Bernier made 10 saves on 11 shots before his departure. Gibson allowed just the overtime goal on 25 shots.


Matt Nieto came out of the lineup as a healthy scratch for the second time in the last four games.

Up next

The Sharks host the Blue Jackets on Thursday. It will be the second and final meeting, after San Jose beat Columbus on Oct. 15, 3-2. Nashville visits on Saturday.