Instant Replay: Sharks battle back in third to force OT, still fall to Panthers

Instant Replay: Sharks battle back in third to force OT, still fall to Panthers

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski’s two late goals forced overtime, but Jonathan Huberdeau converted in overtime to push the Panthers to a 6-5 win over the Sharks on Wednesday night at SAP Center.

Pavelski scored twice in the final three-and-a-half minutes of regulation to salvage a point for San Jose.

The first came when he was looking for Kevin Labanc cutting towards the net, and the puck directed in off of Michael Matheson’s stick at 16:39, to make it a 5-4 score.

Then, with Martin Jones pulled for an extra attacker, Pavelski fired in his 20th of the season from between the circles with just 38 seconds remaining, finding a puck that ricocheted off the post. Roberto Luongo was hurt on the play, and former Sharks backup James Reimer was forced to relieve him in net.

In overtime, Huberdeau slipped in a pass from Aleksander Barkov to give the Panthers the extra point at 1:38. Huberdeau pressured David Schlemko into a turnover deep in the Sharks' defensive zone before ending the game.

The Sharks have just one win in their last six games (1-1-4), and remain four points ahead of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division.

Nick Bjugstad broke a 3-3 tie early in the final frame, chipping in a pass from Alex Petrovic at 2:15 after Timo Meier turned it over in the defensive zone. It was his second of the night, after he began the night with just two goals in 26 games.

Barkov gave Florida some breathing room at 12:41, pushing over a dish in the slot from Jaromir Jagr. The play began when Petrovic kept a Chris Tierney clearing attempt in at the blue line.

Some early defensive miscues by the Sharks helped the Panthers jump to a 3-1 lead.

At 4:20 of the first period, Jussi Jokinen opened the scoring on a two-on-one, finishing off a pass through the seam from Reilly Smith after Brent Burns was caught too high in the neutral zone.

Burns tied the game just 31 seconds later on a wrist shot from high in the zone, but Bjugstad got behind Brenden Dillon and finished off a breakaway at 5:35.

Barkov’s one-timer at 7:12 gave the Panthers a 3-1 lead. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s defensive zone giveaway preceded Barkov’s 12th goal.

San Jose got one back before the end of the first, when Joe Thornton and Joel Ward each got a piece of a Burns low wrister at 15:25. Ward was credited with his seventh, making it a 3-2 score after the first.

The Sharks dominated the second period, outshooting Florida 14-3 and getting the equalizer on a Vlasic score at 6:27. The defenseman’s blast deflected off of Barkov and through Luongo.

San Jose could have had more, but Pavelski couldn’t convert on a penalty shot midway through regulation, and a pair of power plays were squandered.

Burns, with one goal and one assist, is now tied for second in the NHL with Sidney Crosby, just two points behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

The Sharks and Panthers split their two-game season series.

Special teams

The Sharks finished 0-for-3 on the power play, and are just 2-for-21 in their last six games.

The Sharks have five of the NHL’s 30 penalty shots this season, and are 1-for-5 (Melker Karlsson, Jan. 24 at Winnipeg).

Florida was 0-for-2 on the power play. San Jose is 7-for-7 on the PK in its last three games.

In goal

For the second time in his last three starts, Jones gave up three goals in the first period. He was pulled last Thursday in Boston, but stayed in against the Panthers, finishing with 16 saves on 22 shots.

Luongo made 29 saves on 34 shots before he had to leave the game. Reimer turned away both shots he saw, and recorded the win.

Lineup

The Sharks honored forward Patrick Marleau in a pregame ceremony for recently scoring his 500th career goal. Marleau also became just the 10th player in NHL history to appear in 600 consecutive games.

Jagr, the oldest player in the league, was celebrating his 45th birthday. His assist on Barkov’s third period goal was the 1900th point of his career.

Former first round pick Nikolay Goldobin was recalled by the Sharks on Wednesday morning, but did not play. He still has yet to make his NHL season debut.

Up next

The Sharks conclude the season series with Arizona on Saturday in Glendale. The last place Coyotes are 3-0-1 in the season series, while San Jose is 1-2-1, with its lone win coming in overtime on Nov. 29.

A home game with Boston on Sunday is the Sharks’ final before their bye week from Feb. 20-24.

Sharks conclude 2017 NHL Draft with five more forwards in the system

Sharks conclude 2017 NHL Draft with five more forwards in the system

CHICAGO – After nabbing a center in the first round on Friday, the Sharks added four more forwards and one defenseman to conclude the second day of the annual NHL Entry Draft on Saturday, held this year at United Center.

The Sharks weren’t explicitly trying to restock their forward cabinet, according to general manager Doug Wilson and scouting director Tim Burke, although the club did make two separate moves in surrendering some later round picks to move up in the fourth round (to take center Scott Reedy) and sixth round (to take left wing Sasha Chmelevski).

First, though, it was defenseman Mario Ferraro in the second round at 49th overall. The offensive defenseman was a player that the Sharks targeted, using the pick they acquired from New Jersey last Friday as part of the trade for Mirco Mueller.

“He’s got a lot of speed, offensive guy, exciting,” Burke said. “Puck-moving type of guy.”

Wilson said: “We’re very pleased with the d-man. He’s a very dynamic, athletic guy, great skater. He was a guy that we moved up a little bit aggressively to get because that round, you could see people going after who they wanted. He is a guy that we identified.”

After moving up from the fifth round to the fourth round last Friday, again because of the Mueller trade, the Sharks jumped up 21 more spots in the fourth round by obtaining the Rangers pick at 102nd overall for the 123rd and 174th selections.

Center Scott Reedy is a player that Burke has high hopes for, projecting the Minnesota native as a “second line right winger [with] high-end potential.” Burke pointed out that Reedy, who is friends with first round pick Josh Norris, occasionally played on the same line with Norris for each of the last two seasons with the U.S. Under-18 team.

“He’s a big, strong forward that can play both positions (center and right wing),” Burke said.

Right wing Jacob McGrew, an Orange, CA native, went to the Sharks in the fifth round despite missing all of his first season in junior with a lower body injury suffered in training camp with Spokane (WHL).

“We knew about him before he went up there,” Burke said. “He’s a California kid. … If he was healthy he probably would have gone earlier.”

The Sharks again moved up to snag Huntington Beach native and center Chmelevski at 185 overall, and made their sixth and final pick in the 212th position by taking left wing Ivan Chekhovich in the seventh round. Both players look to have some offensive skill, based on their numbers and Youtube highlights.

Burke was surprised that both players were around so late.

“I thought they had pretty good years and they kind of slipped in the draft,” he said. “We weighed that versus some other more project-type guys, and we thought they had more offense and finish to their game. They just kept sliding, so we took a chance on them.”

Wilson said: “We moved up for the guys we wanted, and then there were some skilled guys at the end that we were surprised were still there. … We’ll go back and take a look how it all went, but we feel, I think, really good about where we ended up with this.”

Sharks coach DeBoer had 'good relationship' with Kovalchuk

Sharks coach DeBoer had 'good relationship' with Kovalchuk

CHICAGO – Ilya Kovalchuk is still reportedly mulling over a return to the NHL, four years after he surprisingly walked away from a monstrous contract with the New Jersey Devils to play in the KHL.

The Sharks have been linked to Kovalchuk, in large part because of Pete DeBoer, who was Kovalchuk’s most recent head coach. In 2011-12, Kovalchuk was a dangerous scoring winger under DeBoer, helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final.

It was apparently a good working relationship between the player and the coach for the two seasons they were together, DeBoer said on Friday at the NHL Entry Draft at United Center.

“I loved Kovy in New Jersey,” DeBoer said. “We went to a Stanley Cup Final together. He was a huge piece for us there. I really enjoyed coaching him. I haven’t seen him in four or five years now. I’m sure there’s still a lot of game left there.”

DeBoer said he’s had no contact with the 34-year-old Kovalchuk, who would have to be traded by New Jersey before signing a new contract with any other NHL club. Still, it seems like the Sharks’ coach might welcome a reunion with Kovalchuk, who posted 78 points in 60 games with SKA Saint Petersburg last season, and has 816 points (417g, 399a) in 816 career NHL games with Atlanta and New Jersey.

“I had a really good relationship with him. I had a lot of respect for him as a player and a person,” DeBoer said.

* * *

DeBoer seemed as uncertain as everyone else as to whether Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will return to the Sharks or move on to other clubs as free agents.

But, naturally, it’s on his mind.

“You think about it all the time,” DeBoer said. “They’re obviously important pieces in the history of the franchise, and in our group. I also understand the business side of this, and there’s always tough decisions to make. The way I approach these type of things is I’m going to go to Canada and relax, and Doug [Wilson] is going to make those decisions. I’m sure we’ll have a good group come training camp.”

“We’ve got a really good core group of guys and some tough decisions that have to be made. The one thing Doug and his group has shown over the years is their ability to stay competitive, to find a way even after making tough decisions. I have all the faith in the world in that, and I’m excited about training camp.”

* * *

The Sharks lost David Schlemko in the expansion draft earlier in the week. Vegas then flipped him to the Canadiens for a fifth round pick in 2019.

“I think for David, it’s a great opportunity for him, especially going to Montreal,” DeBoer said. “For us, it’s an opportunity for a young guy to jump in. The one thing we have in the organization is some depth. There’s a lot of guys knocking on the door, and guys hungry to grab that job.”