Sharks

Clowe: Poke-check from bench a 'brain cramp'

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Clowe: Poke-check from bench a 'brain cramp'

SAN JOSE Ryane Clowe didnt want to talk about his now infamous poke-check from the bench in the immediate aftermath of Thursdays 6-5 Sharks win in Los Angeles. With an obvious tongue-in-cheek, Clowe said that he would need someone to show him the video of when he tipped the puck away from Jarret Stoll on a Kings rush late in the third.

RELATED: Box score -- Sharks 6, Kings 5 (SO) Game recap

So, he knew what was coming at Sharks Ice on Friday afternoon when he was surrounded by a small media contingent.

Did you have a chance to look at the video, Ryane? he asked in the third person, with a chuckle.

He spoke somewhat remorsefully about the play that should have given the Kings a two-man advantage late in regulation of what was a 5-5 tie.

It was kind of a brain cramp there, I guess, Clowe said. I was standing up, and sometimes during the game like that youre so into it and emotional, it was just kind of a reaction. I cant say it was something that was planned, it just happens.

When I sat down on the bench I said that was stupid. That was a dumb play. It probably should have been a two-minute penalty for interference or too many men, or something. I was lucky I didnt cost the team a penalty. It was definitely a brain cramp at the time. I dont think youll ever see that happen again.

He got away with it, of course, and the Sharks collected the necessary two points to keep another Pacific Division title within their grasp.

I guess now you can giggle a little bit because fortunately, nothing happened at the time. It wouldnt have been a laughing matter if we got a penalty for that, he said.

Sharks captain Joe Thornton took a different route than Clowe. The captain was amused with the situation on Friday afternoon, and had some fun with it.

I just had a good laugh out of it, to be honest with you, Thornton said. For me, its probably the play of the year.

It probably wasnt the smartest thing to do, but I have a good sense of humor and it was pretty funny to me.

As Clowe alluded to, the fact that he didnt get caught by Stephen Walkom or Brian Pochmara was a tad suspicious, as it seemed everyone in Staples Center other than the two referees saw what happened.

Todd McLellan was already displeased with some undisciplined penalties his club had taken earlier in the game, leading to no less than four Kings power play goals.

As a team we want to be emotionally attached to the game, but with that comes some emotional control. I thought it was a very intense game yesterday, and at times it got the better of us, said the coach. I thought we took far too many penalties, and penalties we didnt need to take.

That should have been one of them. Had the officials caught it, it would have been too many men on the ice and we would have put ourselves down short again. An ill-advised move on Clowies behalf, and I dont think well see it again. We move on.

Clowe will get another chance to play villain on Saturday, when the teams conclude the regular season against one another at HP Pavilion with a lot on the line.

Im just happy weve got a chance to win the division. If we can do that, Im sure theyll be even more ticked off, he said.

Odds and ends: Torrey Mitchell did not skate and is doubtful to play in the season finale. Mitchell suffered a late hit in the first period from Colin Fraser, left the ice, and did not return. ... The Sharks can clinch the Pacific Division title with a win on Saturday combined with Phoenix recording fewer than three points in its final two games. The Coyotes visit St. Louis on Friday night and Minnesota on Saturday.

Play of Jones, Khudobin this season proof of how fickle goaltending can be

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USATSI

Play of Jones, Khudobin this season proof of how fickle goaltending can be

Martin Jones was a Boston Bruin for less than a week.

The “Original Six” franchise acquired Jones from the Los Angeles Kings on June 26, 2015. Four days later, Jones was traded back into the Pacific Division, this time to Northern California.

The Sharks gave up a first round pick and prospect Sean Kuraly for Jones. It seemed like a fairly high price at the time, but it’s one San Jose was happy to pay: No goalie started more games than Jones over the last two seasons, and the team signed him to a five-year extension this summer.

The first Jones trade in 2015 set off a flood of goalie transactions, as five netminders were traded during Jones’ extremely brief Boston tenure. One of those was Anton Khudobin, who will start for the Bruins as Jones backs up Aaron Dell against  his “former team” on Saturday night.

Khudobin was traded from Carolina to Anaheim, where he started seven games before getting sent down to the AHL. He then signed with Boston in 2016, returning to his former club as the Bruins tried to fill the hole that trading Jones left behind entrenched starter Tuukka Rask.

Jones and Khudobin will have taken vastly different paths to their respective creases on Saturday night. The former enters the game as his club’s undisputed franchise goalie, and the latter the unheralded backup.

Naturally then, Khudobin’s been the better goaltender this season.

Among the 46 goalies that have played 200 five-on-five minutes this season, Khudobin’s .962 five-on-five save percentage was the best entering Saturday, according to Corsica.  So, too, is his .954 save percentage off of high-danger shots.

Jones, meanwhile, ranks 27th (.920) and 14th (.833) in those respective categories.

What does it all mean? For one, it’s early in the season, and the fact that Khudobin’s made seven fewer starts undoubtedly plays a role in his superior performance to Jones.

Mainly, it speaks to just how fickle goaltending can be.

The Bruins backup is arguably getting the nod Saturday night because of how bad the man ahead of him has been. Rask, once one of the league’s best goaltenders, has steadily declined over the last three years and reached a new low this season: This year, he’s 40th out of 46 qualifying goalies in five-on-five save percentage.

Jones has demonstrated this, too. He’s stopped a lower percentage of low-and-medium danger shots at even strength than the last two seasons, but has stopped a higher percentage of high-danger shots.

Plus, he’s played behind one of the league’s best penalty-killing teams after playing behind one of its worst last season, and has benefitted from a corresponding bump in his shorthanded save percentage.

So much of what a goalie does is out of their control. Yet who’s playing in front of them, what kind of shots they see, and how often they see those shots all can affect their performance.

Khudobin and Jones are living proof of that this season.

Sharks fall to Bruins for second straight loss

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Sharks fall to Bruins for second straight loss

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE -- Anton Khudobin stopped 36 shots to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

Peter CehlarikJake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen scored to help the Bruins get their second straight win after a four-game skid (0-3-1). Boston had totaled nine goals in its previous five games, scoring more than two for just the second time in nine November games.

Khudobin remained unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) and improved to 4-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average in five games against the Sharks.

Timo Meier scored and Aaron Dell finished with 18 saves for the Sharks, one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. San Jose has been held to two of fewer goals in five of their seven games this month.

Meier gave the Sharks, losers of two straight following wins in six of seven, a short-lived 1-0 lead after tapping in a rebound 4:50 into the game. Daniel O'Regan, making his season debut, won the puck behind the net and skated around to take the shot that bounced to Meier. It was O'Regan's first career assist and second career point.

Cehlarik, in his 14th game, scored his first career goal about 1 1/2 minutes later to tie it for the Bruins.

Boston took the lead on DeBrusk's goal with 9:14 left in the first. Charlie McAvoy cleared a puck in his zone that DeBrusk chased down and easily beat Dell 1-on-1.

Heinen made it 3-1 with 5:51 left in the third. Kevan Miller skated down the ice, drawing all the attention on the right side. He passed across the crease, from where Heinen tapped it in.

The Sharks had a goal negated for the second straight game, this one two minutes in.

NOTES: Sharks F Danny O'Regan was recalled before the game. He's the leading scorer for the Barracuda of the AHL. ... The Sharks have had three consecutive goals reversed after challenges dating to Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers. ... Sharks F Joel Ward has recorded points in six of his last eight games. ... DeBrusk, who assisted on Cehlarik's goal, recorded his first multi-point game since Oct. 14, a span of 14 games.

UP NEXT

Bruins: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

Sharks: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.