Sharks

Couture in two NHL All-Star skills events

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Couture in two NHL All-Star skills events

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. For more NHL All-Star Weekend news, check out ProHockeyTalk.com.

Sharks center Logan Couture will take part in the NHL Skills competition Saturday night in the Breakaway and Relay challenges. The rosters for each were announced Friday as part of hockey's annual midseason showcase.

RELATED: Couture picked last, takes it in stride

TEAM CHARA Breakaway Challenge roster:
Rookie: Ryan Johansen
All-Star: Patrick Kane
All-Star: Corey Perry
Goalie: Carey Price
TEAM ALFREDSSON Breakaway Challenge roster:
Rookie: Sean Couturier
All-Star: John Tavares
All-Star: Logan Couture
Goalie: Brian Elliott

Breakaway Challenge format
The Breakaway Challenge involves one player mixing skill and creativity on a breakaway attempt on a goaltender. The event differs from a penalty shot in that a skater can start from anywhere in the offensive zone.

The three shooters will be made up of two All-Stars and one rookie, while each team will also select one goalie.

TEAM ALFREDSSON Relay Challenge roster:
One-timer passer: Nick Johnson
One-timer right-handed: Shea Weber
One-timer right-handed: Kris Letang
One-timer right-handed: Steven Stamkos
Passing accuracy: Henrik Sedin
Puck control: Milan Michalek
Stick handling: Logan Couture
Target shooter: James Neal
One-timer passer: Alex Edler
One-timer left-handed: Keith Yandle
One-timer left-handed: Scott Hartnell
One-timer left-handed: John Tavares
Passing accuracy: Daniel Sedin
Puck control: Craig Smith
Stick handling: Claude Giroux
Target shooter: Jason Pominville

TEAM CHARA Relay Challenge roster:
One-timer passer: Ryan Suter
One-timer right-handed: Dennis Wideman
One-timer right-handed: Jarome Iginla
One-timer right-handed: Joffrey Lupul
Passing accuracy: Patrick Kane
Puck control: Pavel Datsyuk
Stick handling: Gabriel Landeskog
Target shooter: Marian Gaborik
One-timer passer: Jordan Eberle
One-timer left-handed: Dion Phaneuf
One-timer left-handed: Zdeno Chara
One-timer left-handed: Jamie Benn
Passing accuracy: Kimmo Timonen
Puck control: Raphael Diaz
Stick handling: Evgeni Malkin
Target shooter: Phil Kessel

Skills Challenge Relay format
The event puts 14 All-Stars and two rookies from each team together.

The competition combines a variety of skills into five successive events. A one-timer event starts it off with three shooters and one passer needing to score three goals over an eight-inch barrier. Once completed, a different player must complete a pass into six nets placed around the rink to keep things going.

Next, a player must navigate a series of cones while controlling the puck before another skater stick-handles the puck through a series of obstacles.

In the accuracy portion, a shooter aims at four targets. Two groups from each team go through the entire relay, with the fastest squad in each heat getting a point and the fastest combined time getting a bonus point.

Sharks come up short in New York despite Couture's hat trick

Sharks come up short in New York despite Couture's hat trick

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — Anders Lee had two goals and an assist to lead the New York Islanders to a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

John Tavares had a goal and two assists, Josh Bailey added a goal and an assist, and Andrew Ladd also scored to help the Islanders win for the third time in four games. Thomas Greiss stopped 28 shots.

Logan Couture scored all three goals for the Sharks, completing the hat trick with 1:52 remaining to pull them within one. Aaron Dell finished with 18 saves.

Ladd's goal at 3:12 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie. Rookie Mathew Barzal created the scoring chance by taking the puck around the net and then setting up Ladd in the high slot for his second of the season.

Lee's second of the game and fifth of the season gave the Islanders a two-goal cushion with 8:13 remaining as he converted an odd-man rush.

Tavares sealed the win with an empty-netter with 55.4 seconds remaining and helped improve to 22-4-4 in their two-plus seasons at Barclays Center. Tavares points were his first since he had two goals and an assist Oct. 7 against Buffalo, ending a five-game drought.

The Sharks scored the game's opening goal at 6:26 of the second period on the power play. San Jose came away with the offensive draw and Couture scored from the slot, redirected Brent Burns' point shot past Greiss.

The lead lasted just over a minute as Nick Leddy worked his way to the back of the net and then quickly fed Lee for the tying goal.

The Islanders went ahead 58 seconds later after Joe Thornton made a costly turnover in his own end to give Bailey a point-blank chance. Bailey was able to sneak the puck with a backhander between his skates and past Dell to put New York ahead 2-1.

However, an impressive effort by Jannik Hansen to spin past Brock Nelson in the neutral zone led to a quick feed to Couture, who took a few strides and then fired a shot past Greiss to even the score once again.

NOTES: The Islanders held a special pregame ceremony to honor alumni of the organization who were in town for an Islanders Alumni Weekend. Among the players on the ice were Bobby Nystrom, Clark Gillies, Bryan Trottier and Ed Westfall. ... The Islanders scratched D Scott Mayfield, F Josh Ho-Sang and F Nikulay Kulemin. ... San Jose scratched F Joel Ward, F Barclay Goodrow and D Dylan Demelo. ... The Islanders honored Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie by playing music from the band during warmups. Downie passed away on Oct. 17 after succumbing to brain cancer.

UP NEXT

Sharks: At the New York Rangers on Monday night.

Islanders: Host Arizona on Tuesday night.

Recovered from injuries, Joonas Donskoi returning to form just in time for Sharks

Recovered from injuries, Joonas Donskoi returning to form just in time for Sharks

Joonas Donskoi’s first goal of the season all but sealed the Sharks’ 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

It was also a long time coming, too. The Finnish forward finished a chance for the first time in 28 regular season games, 33 if you include his goal-less postseason. He last scored on January 7, when Patrick Marleau was a Shark and San Jose still held a share of the Pacific Division lead.

He struggled mightily after that, largely due to injury. Donskoi separated his shoulder not once, but twice last season, and revealed to The Athletic this week that he also dealt with “foot issues.” He spent over a month on injured reserve and managed just three assists in his final 22 games as a result.

With health on his side, Donskoi’s returned to his rookie year form. Through six games, he's registered three points, all at even strength. That’s tied with Joe Pavelski for the team lead, despite the fact he’s played nearly four minutes less per game at even strength than the captain.

He’s done a lot in less ice time, scoring five-on-five points at a higher rate per 60 minutes than any player on the team, according to Natural Stat Trick. He’s done a lot against lesser competition, too, taking advantage of his assignments in Peter DeBoer’s bottom six forward group.

That’s an important development, given the disappearance of San Jose’s depth scoring last season. Only four Sharks forwards cracked 40 points last season, and one of them is in Toronto. Most damning, though, is that the same number managed to score 30 or more points last year. The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, by contrast, had eight forwards score 30 points in the regular season.

It’s still early in the season, but Donskoi’s underlying numbers indicate this level of play is built to last. His personal shooting percentage is below his career-high, and the Sharks are scoring on a reasonable 6.52% of their shots with Donskoi on the ice in five-on-five situations. That’s only half-a-percentage point higher than San Jose’s rate during Donskoi’s injury-riddled 2016-17.

Donskoi will undoubtedly hit some bumps in the road, but after struggling so much last season, it appears the 25-year-old is back on track. If the Sharks are to improve on last season, they desperately need depth scorers.

Thanks to Donskoi’s resurgence, they just might have found one.