Sharks hold court over Kings in 4-2 win

582068.jpg

Sharks hold court over Kings in 4-2 win

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- They werent going to let a third period lead disappear this time. Not against the Los Angeles Kings.Logan Coutures goal at 6:40 of the final frame increased San Joses lead to three, and the Sharks held on to defeat their rivals to the south on Monday night at HP Pavilion, 4-2.San Jose was ahead of Nashville by the same 3-1 score on Saturday night, before the Predators erased it and won in overtime at HP Pavilion, 4-3.Coutures goal came when he found a juicy rebound of a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot off of the pad of goaltender Jonathan Quick, and backhanded in his sixth goal of the year.

Very important, is how Todd McLellan described the goal. When you give up a lead in the third like we did the other day, its always in the back of your mind.The game was won in the second period, though. The Sharks trailed after Jack Johnsons rocket of a one-timer on a two-man advantage opened the scoring at 6:19 of the second, but San Jose took over from there.The Sharks scored three times before the period was through, outshooting the Kings 21-8 in the process.Joe Thornton got it started. The Sharks captain controlled the puck behind the net, skated around towards the slot, and caught Quick leaning the wrong way as he lifted a backhand in off of the Kings goaltenders glove at 11:39.I kind of just saw that he was cheating at the very, very end, and I just wanted to get it on net and hopefully bank it in, said Thornton. I got lucky, I guess.San Jose took its first lead less than a minute later. Dan Boyle skated the puck over the blue line and patiently waited as defensemen Johnson and Rob Scuderi faded back towards the crease. Boyles low wrister found the tape of Marleau for a deflection goal at 12:35.Kings forwards Simon Gagne and Justin Williams got tangled up on the backcheck as Boyle skated it up the ice, giving the defenseman plenty of time to survey the landscape before his feed to Marleau.Obviously when I put the brakes on, I have to make a decision. Im no longer in position to skate the puck in because Im standing still, explained Boyle. Its either right side, left side, or on net, and I figured Id go with my chances on Patty going to the net there.The Sharks got a two-man advantage goal of their own at 17:02, when the puck squirted out to Boyle in the high slot and he ripped it home.Boyle seemed relieved to get his first goal of the season out of the way.I felt like Ive been playing with a tennis ball most of this year, the puck has been bouncing around a lot, he said. With an open net like that, everybody in the building expects you to put it in. It was nice to get rewarded, finally, for putting the puck on net.Coutures third period goal gave the Sharks their 4-1 lead, but the Kings didnt go away easily. Colin Whites cross-checking penalty in the third period put L.A. back on the power play, and Boyle gave Anze Kopitar a little too much room on the wing as the Kings leading scorer managed to put in his own rebound at 8:28.That was as close as L.A. would get, though, despite having a six-on-four advantage in the games final minute-and-a-half with Couture in the box and Quick pulled for an extra attacker.Antti Niemi finished the night with 29 saves, in a solid bounce-back performance from his previous two games. The goaltender allowed two third period goals to the Predators that he would have liked to have back on Saturday, and was pulled just 2:04 into last Thursdays game against Pittsburgh.In the first period, he stopped all 15 Kings shots thrown his way, including a pair on the snake bitten Dustin Penner. The Kings forward was denied on a breakaway midway through, and Niemi gloved his quick wrist shot on a setup from Mike Richards with less than a minute before intermission.Niemi explained both chances. On the breakaway, I tried to make him go first, and thats what happened. I got the paddle down so I dont think he had too much there. On the glove save, he caught me moving a little bit and put the puck back to the same side he was coming from. Pretty good shot, but I was able to catch it.He played great, said Thornton. Penner had a couple good shots on him and he made some big saves. I think after the first period, we kind of said lets let Nemo relax and score some goals and give him a comfort zone. But, he kept us in it early in the first.Penner, who was acquired from Edmonton at last years trade deadline and has been nothing short of a bust for the Kings, is still looking for his first goal.The victory, the Sharks third of the year at home, extends the Kings winless streak to five games (0-3-2).Odds and ends: Marleau finished with a goal and two assists for three points. Other Sharks with multiple-point nights included Joe Pavelski (2a), Thornton (1g, 1a) and Boyle (1g, 1a). The Sharks have both scored and allowed two goals on the two-man advantage this season The Sharks and Kings next meeting is on Nov. 28 at Staples Center. Ryane Clowe had a breakaway at the end of the second period but lost control of the puck at the last second. ... The Sharks have a complete day off on Tuesday.

Rewind: Sharks show no rust from layoff, fall to Sens anyway

Rewind: Sharks show no rust from layoff, fall to Sens anyway

SAN JOSE – Against Ottawa on Wednesday night, the Sharks showed no ill effects from their recent respite. They controlled play in the offensive end for long stretches, earned six power plays, and outshot and out-chanced the Senators for the majority of the three periods. 

There was no rust to speak of despite no games since Friday and no practices or meetings on Saturday or Sunday. From the opening puck drop, the Sharks were the better team.

It didn’t earn them a win, though, or even a single point in the standings. Justin Braun couldn’t prevent a bouncing puck from getting past him with about one minute left in regulation of a tie game, and Chris Kelly squeezed a shot through Martin Jones while holding off Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Sens added an empty netter, beating San Jose for the fifth straight time, 4-2.

Braun offered his perspective of the game-winner.

"It was just bouncing in the neutral zone,” he said. “I feel [Kelly] coming on me, and I'm trying to whack it over to [Joe Thornton and] miss. Miss with my feet. … You want to have that one back. Other than that, I think the boys played pretty well."

While Braun could have played that one differently, the Sharks probably deserved better than to be tied at 2-2 at that stage. They outshot Ottawa, 37-17, and out-attempted the Senators a whopping 78-36.

Despite a strong first period, they fell behind 2-0.

On an early power play, Mark Stone was the beneficiary of a deflected puck in front of the net, when Mike Hoffman’s shot hit both Paul Martin and Brent Burns before squirting to Stone. Erik Karlsson increased the lead to 2-0 with a wrist shot through a screen a few minutes later.

“Take a penalty, they get a lucky bounce, they score a goal, [then] they go up two on a shot through traffic,” Logan Couture said. “I thought we had most of the chances in that first.”

No one had better chances throughout the night than Joe Pavelski, who was the best player on the ice. The Sharks captain was robbed in front of the net twice late in the first period, rang a shot off the crossbar in the second on a breakaway, and in the third his desperation attempt on a loose puck just outside of the blue paint was snared by Ottawa goalie Mike Condon.

Pavelski finished with a game-high seven shots, and 10 shot attempts altogether.

“That’s the way it goes,” he said. “We’ve won games 2-1, 3-2. Tonight we didn’t find that extra one, and some of the chances we had, we have to get it.”

The power play got one in the second period, courtesy of Couture, but could have had more on its six opportunities. That 1-for-6 stood out on the scoresheet to coach Pete DeBoer.

“I thought the power play maybe could have won us the game,” he said.

Even with wins in six of their last seven entering Wednesday night, though, the Sharks are still struggling to score. They have two or fewer scores in eight of their last 11 games, although they’ve managed to go a respectable 6-4-1 over that span.

They continue to get goals from the usual suspects like Couture (seven goals in 10 games) and Brent Burns, who had the game-tying goal in the third period (his fifth in eight games), but the depth scoring just hasn’t shown up nearly one-third into the season. It’s clearly becoming an issue as evidenced by DeBoer’s constantly shuffling his lines, which he did again late Wednesday.

The coach downplayed a suggestion that the depth scorers aren’t holding their water, though.

“We've been managing to find ways to win games and get enough goals to win,” DeBoer said. “Just didn't happen tonight, even though the shots and most of the play was in our favor. We just didn't win."

While the shot and scoring chance discrepancy was encouraging, the last minute loss meant it was all for naught.

“You’re never happy when you lose, especially [when] you give up a late goal, you want to at least get a point out of that game,” Couture said. “I thought we were the better team, start to finish. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t find a way to get the third one.”

Instant Replay: Sharks' streak snapped by Sens in final minute

Instant Replay: Sharks' streak snapped by Sens in final minute

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – Chris Kelly scored with a little more than a minute left in regulation, pushing the Senators to a 4-2 win over the Sharks at SAP Center on Wednesday night.

On the deciding goal, Justin Braun misplayed a puck at the defensive blue line, and Kelly raced ahead on a partial breakaway before chipping it through Martin Jones at 18:54.

San Jose outshot Ottawa 37-17 for the game, and out-attempted the Senators 78-36, but lost for just the second time in their last eight games (6-2-0).

Ottawa won its fifth straight against San Jose, improving to 1-1 on its four game road trip.

Despite a lopsided advantage in shots and shot attempts throughout the night, the Sharks trailed 2-1 to start the third period. Brent Burns got the equalizer in a four-on-four situation, though, ripping a wrist shot from the top of the circle through Mike Condon at 6:30.

The Sharks had the better of the scoring chances in the first period, but it was Ottawa that claimed a 2-0 lead after the opening stanza.

Mark Stone’s power play goal at 3:42 opened the scoring. A shot by Mike Hoffman deflected off of the skates of Paul Martin and then Burns before Stone found it in front of the net.

Three-and-a-half minutes later Erik Karlsson made it 2-0, wiring a wrist shot through Jones after the Sharks were caught running around in their own end. Jones appeared to be screened by Tom Pyatt on the goal at 7:19.

Condon made some clutch saves later in the period, including a pair on Joe Pavelski, who was denied on a Sharks power play with 4:30 to go and then again at even strength with 1:52 remaining before the break. Pavelski was around the net all night, finding the post on a breakaway in the second period and getting robbed by Condon’s glove early in the third.

The Sharks kept pressuring the Senators in the middle frame, finally breaking through on the power play. A laser from Couture at 8:19 cleanly beat the Ottawa goalie for his seventh goal in the last 10 games.

Couture was playing despite minor surgery on Saturday, when he had a screw from a previous operation that had been bothering him removed from his right ankle.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau had an empty net goal to cap the scoring.

Special teams

The Sharks finished 1-for-6 on the power play, and are 6-for-25 over their last eight games. They generated 11 power play shots against the Senators in more than 10 minutes of power play time.

San Jose surrendered a power play goal against for the fifth time in the last six games, going 9-for-14 over that span. They came through late in the third with 3:58 to go in regulation when Patrick Marleau was issued an interference minor.

In goal

Jones was making his first start against Ottawa as a member of the Sharks, as Alex Stalock played both games last season. He took the loss with three goals allowed on just 16 shots.

Condon improved to 4-1-1 on the year with 35 saves.

Lineup

David Schlemko did not play due to injury, and is day-to-day. Dylan DeMelo played in his third game of the season, all coming within the last two weeks.

Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan returned after missing the previous three games with a finger injury. Goalie Craig Anderson was not with the club for personal reasons, as his wife is battling cancer.

Up next

The Sharks will visit Anaheim for the first time this season on Friday. The Sharks are 1-1 against the Ducks this season, both at SAP Center.

San Jose hosts the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday for its second game in as many nights.