Sharks shut out in Phoenix, fall from 8th place


Sharks shut out in Phoenix, fall from 8th place


PHOENIX Radim Vrbata scored twice and the Phoenix Coyotes leapfrogged the Sharks into eighth place in the West with a 2-0 win over San Jose on Thursday night at Arena.The Sharks (39-29-10, 88 points) are now on the outside looking in to the playoffs due to their second consecutive regulation loss. Phoenix (38-27-13, 89 points) is one ahead of San Jose, and both have just four games remaining in the regular season.The Coyotes, last in the league in power play percentage, scored a rare goal with a man advantage in taking a 1-0 second period lead.A blast from Oliver Ekman-Larsson rattled around in front of the net before Vrbata slammed it home at 3:49. The goal came with Patrick Marleau in the box on a boarding call in what was the first penalty of the game.The Sharks had a chance to tie it on a power play of their own later in the period, but were generally ineffective and for the final 30 seconds of the advantage didnt have a single player standing near goaltender Mike Smith.San Jose nearly tied the game seven minutes into the third. Logan Couture had a chance in front of the net on a nice pass from Marty Havlat, but couldnt find the handle with Mikkel Boedker defending in front of the crease and tying up Coutures stick.That missed opportunity hurt even more when Joe Pavelskis shot from the high slot was blocked, leading to a two-on-one the other way. Ray Whitney fed Vrbata for an easy tap-in at 8:17, giving the Coyotes a two-goal cushion they would not relinquish.Smith recorded his third shutout against the Sharks this season, as Phoenix ended the season series with a 4-1-1 mark against San Jose. Smith surrendered six goals on opening night to the Sharks in a 6-3 loss at HP Pavilion, but just six goals total in the five subsequent matchups.For the second straight night, the Sharks had the better of the scoring chances in the first period but could not convert.Havlat missed from the side of the net on a nice pass from Ryane Clowe about seven minutes in. Later, Smith stopped a Torrey Mitchell one-timer as well as the rebound attempt by Dominic Moore with less than eight minutes to go in the frame.Smith stopped Pavelski, who was probably the Sharks most effective forward in their 3-1 loss to Anaheim on Wednesday night, on a three-on-one rush with 6:14 to go in the first on a wrist shot from the circle.Phoenixs best chance in the opening period came on a breakaway by Boedker with four and a half minutes left, but Antti Niemi poke-checked it away with the handle of his stick, keeping it scoreless.The Sharks fell to 1-6-2 in their last nine road games. In their last 21 away from home, theyve won just four (4-13-4), all against teams not currently in playoff position.Phoenix welcomed three key players back to its lineup for the game. Vrbata missed five of the last seven with an allergic reaction to penicillin; defenseman Adrian Aucoin was out for six in a row with a lower body injury, while captain Shane Doan missed the last three games due to suspension.The Sharks host Dallas on Saturday, visit the Stars on Tuesday, and end the season with a home-and-home against Los Angeles.

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic


Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

The Sharks have signed Czech defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract.

The two-way deal, originally reported by Radio Praha in the Czech Republic, is expected to be announced by the Sharks later this week, according to a source. Simek just finished competing for his country in the 2017 IIHF World Championships, skating in all eight games for the Czech Republic while posting one goal, one assist, 11 shots and a minus-two rating.

Simek, 24, has spent the last five seasons in the Czech League. In 42 games for Liberec in 2016-17, he posted 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHF website.

The New York Rangers were also interested in Simek, according to the report.

Simek will likely begin next season with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks have signed a number of free agents out of Europe in recent seasons, including Joonas Donskoi in 2015 and Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed last May.