Sharks

Sharks get two points, beat Predators 2-1 in shootout

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Sharks get two points, beat Predators 2-1 in shootout

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE Joe Thornton tied the game in the third period and Ryane Clowe scored the only goal in the shootout, as the Sharks beat the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at HP Pavilion, 2-1.

After a strong second period yielded nothing, the Sharks finally tied the game early in the third on a power play, as David Legwands interference penalty late in the second period carried over.

San Jose was the beneficiary of a fortunate bounce on the goal. Thorntons pass back to Dan Boyle was behind the defenseman, but Boyle eventually got the shot on net. It deflected right back to the Sharks captain for an easy tap-in at the 55-second mark.

After a scoreless overtime, Clowe converted on San Jose's third shootout attempt, while Niemi stopped Legwand to give the Sharks a much-needed two points.

The Sharks (35-25-10, 80 points) remain in ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Sharks had the better of the chances in overtime. A pair Patrick Marleau blasts were stopped by Pekka Rinne early in the extra frame, and the lanky goaltender sprawled out to stop Boyle charging in alone after the Sharks defenseman danced around Ryan Suter at 2:55. San Jose was awarded a power play with 3.9 seconds left, and Patrick Marleau nearly won it with a backhanded after an offensive zone faceoff win by Thornton.

Special teams was the difference as the Predators jumped out to a 1-0 lead, and held onto that lead through two periods.

After a weak effort behind the boards by Brent Burns, the Predators kept control of the puck in the offensive zone while Marc-Edouard Vlasic was off on a high-sticking minor. Patric Hornqvist was left all alone at the side of the net, took a pass from Mike Fisher, and had time to cut in front of the net and deposit it past Antti Niemi at 13:18.

The Sharks outshot the Predators 13-7 over the first 20 minutes, but it was Nashville that looked like the more tenacious team on the forecheck and along the boards.

That changed in the second, but still the Sharks could not solve Rinne.

TJ Galiardis blast about three minutes into the second went just wide, but Rinne gloved Benn Ferrieros blast from the circle after a nice drop pass from Justin Braun a little later.

Marty Havlat, making his return to action after a three-month absence due to a partially torn hamstring, had the best chance of all. Clowes pass found Havlat cutting through the slot all alone, and although Havlat couldnt find the handle on the puck right away, stayed with it and got a shot off. A sprawled out Rinne managed to get just enough of it with his glove hand, though, and it remained 1-0 with 5:41 to go.

Less than a minute later, Rinne got just enough of a Marleau wrist shot from the circle and it trickled just wide.

Havlat and Rinne were in the middle of a scrum less than two minutes later. After Havlat appeared to inadvertently trip the Nashville goalie, Preds newcomer Paul Gaustad shoved him back towards the crease. Rinne and Havlat wreslted after that, and a large pileup resulted in coincidental minors to Havlat and Gaustad. The Predators went to the power play, though, as Daniel Winnik was called for a trip just before the brouhaha.

Nashville didnt convert, though, and Legwards interference penalty at 19:49 gave San Jose a power play to start the third, which it capitalized on with Thorntons marker.

Niemi finished with 32 saves, including a pad stop on Legwand, who was breaking in alone with 12:20 to go in the third and the score still 1-1. It was the Sharks goaltenders ninth straight start.

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

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AP

Sharks start training camp with familiar face elsewhere: ‘It’s kind of strange’

SAN JOSE — There was something familiar missing in San Jose when the Sharks opened training camp.

For the first time since 1996, the Sharks took the ice for their first training camp practice without Patrick Marleau on the team as the franchise's career leader in games and scoring left as a free agent for Toronto this summer.

"I've spent a lot of years with him. It is kind of strange," said Joe Thornton, who came to San Jose in 2005. "It's his birthday today too. It's a little weird, but he's going to do great up in Toronto."

Marleau had been with San Jose since being picked second overall in 1997 but left the Sharks to sign an $18.75 million, three-year deal with the Maple Leafs in July.

Marleau has 508 goals and 574 assists for 1,082 points. He had 46 points in playing all 82 games last season as he rebounded from a disappointing 2015-16 season by scoring 27 goals, including the 500th of his career. He ranks first in San Jose in career goals, games and points.

Only six players in NHL history have played more games with one team than Marleau's 1,493 in San Jose. The Sharks haven't played a game without him on the ice since April 7, 2009.

"Obviously Patty has meant so much to this organization and this group," captain Joe Pavelski said. "Everyone in this room has pretty much played with him and Patty has done something to help them out. He'll be missed. ... Just by committee somebody will step in and fill that kind of hole. That's what we'll need."

The Sharks made no major additions this offseason so will need to replace Marleau's 27 goals by getting development from younger players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Danny O'Regan, as well as bounce-back seasons from veterans like Thornton, Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi.

Only Pavelski, Logan Couture and Brent Burns are back after scoring more than 12 goals last season.

"When I look back at last year we had key people either have down years or miss significant time with injuries or coming off injuries," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think if we can stay healthy I think we've got a large group of guys that can really take a step this year and I expect a step out of them."

While the Sharks lost Marleau in free agency, they did manage to keep Thornton by giving him a one-year, $8 million contract despite dwindling production last season and offseason knee surgery.

He scored just seven goals — his fewest in an 82-game season since his rookie year in 1997-98 — and was a key part of a power-play unit that uncharacteristically struggled last season. But he still managed 43 assists, teaming with captain Joe Pavelski on San Jose's top line.

Thornton missed the final week of the regular season and the first two playoff games with a left knee injury before returning for the final four games of a first-round loss to Edmonton. Thornton then underwent surgery to repair his MCL and ACL after the season but was back skating in August and started ramping it up for training camp two weeks ago. Thornton believes the lower-body work he did in rehab this offseason will pay dividends on the ice.

"They feel real strong," he said of his legs. "I feel a lot of pop out there. They're probably as strong as they've ever been just because I had to rehab that knee so much."

Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

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Sharks Media Day highlights: Beards, smiles & cup checks

The boys were back together in San Jose on Thursday for Sharks Media Day, with plenty of smiles and moments of levity. Check out the highlights...

Hey Jumbo, you dropped something. 👖🤷‍♂️

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Martin Jones is pretty good at photobombs 📸💣

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🤳 Media Day #SJSharks

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New season. New commercials. 🕉🚌📺 #ComingSoon #SharksForLife

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