Sharks back in eighth with 3-0 win over Stars

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Sharks back in eighth with 3-0 win over Stars

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE Joe Pavelski scored twice and the Sharks moved back into playoff position with a 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars at HP Pavilion on Saturday night.

San Jose (40-29-10, 90 points) sits in eighth place in the Western Conference, one ahead of ninth place Dallas (42-32-5, 89 points). The teams meet again at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday.

The Sharks trail the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes by one point, after both clubs won earlier Saturday night. All four Pacific Division teams vying for the three final playoff spots have three games remaining.

RELATED: Conference standings

It didnt take long for the Sharks to jump on the road-weary Stars, who entered the game 1-10-2 in the second of back-to-back games and arrived in San Jose late after a 5-2 loss in Vancouver on Friday.

Joe Thornton set up Pavelski in the high slot, and Pavelskis one-timer cleanly beat Kari Lehtonen at the 58-second mark to make it 1-0. Pavelski reached the 30-goal mark for the first time in his career.

It didnt take long for him to get it to 31, when he deflected a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic midway through the second period to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead. The goal moved Pavelski into the team lead, surpassing Logan Couture.

Pavelski has seven goals in his last nine games.

A power play goal put San Jose ahead by two at the first intermission. Marty Havlat made it happen, controlling the puck along the boards and patiently waiting for something to develop. He eventually found Jason Demers on the other side of the ice, sending a saucer pass to the defenseman for a redirection at 18:38.

That goal came with Stars agitator Steve Ott in the box for interfering with Justin Braun at 16:50, much to the approval of the sellout crowd.

The Sharks nearly scored earlier on that same power play, but Patrick Marleau rang one off of the crossbar with about 2:20 left in the period.

The Sharks much-maligned penalty-kill unit came up big with San Jose ahead 2-0. Torrey Mitchell was whistled for hooking at 6:11, but a nice play in the defensive zone by Dominic Moore led to a clear. Daniel Winnik chased after the puck and held it along the boards behind the Stars zone, and the crowd grew to a crescendo as the Sharks easily killed off the penalty.

San Jose had three power plays in the first period alone, after getting just one each in losses to Anaheim and Phoenix. The Sharks were shorthanded just once total in those two games, not taking a single penalty in the 3-1 loss to the Ducks on Wednesday.

The nastiness thats typically prevalent during Sharks-Stars games was also in full effect, despite the Stars looking downright sloppy and tired for long stretches. Andrew Desjardins and Jake Dowell fought at 12:42 of the second, while Mitchell and Ryan Garbutt dropped the gloves midway through the third.

Ott was handed a 10-minute misconduct at 9:55 of the third period for arguing with the officials over a slashing penalty to Adam Burish that gave the Sharks more than a minute of five-on-three time they were unable to cash in on.

The Sharks finished 1-for-6 on the power play and killed off all three Stars advantages.

Antti Niemi finished with 22 saves to record his sixth shutout.

Odds and ends: Joe Pavelski became the ninth Sharks player all-time to reach 30 goals in a season. Of Pavelskis 31 goals this season, 13 are in the first period, including five in the first two minutes. Jason Demers marker was the first on the power play by a Sharks defenseman in 18 games, since Brent Burns scored at Minnesota on Feb. 26. Joe Thornton is now tied for third in the NHL in assists with 58.

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.

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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.”

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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.”